You may be wondering why a kitchen is needed when glamping for just a weekend or a few days, though rest assured it is. When you and your group finally get setup and have a chance to explore; being able to eat and enjoy delicious food and drink at your campsite is a must. From a delightful frozen drink while setting up in the hot sun, to being able to toast bagels in the morning; you will want to have the space and tools needed to make these conveniences happen.
Without a doubt, the "glampin' kitchen" is also a bit of a catch all space with some items serving dual purposes. For example, the tops of your cooler and bins can serve as a "buffet" area in the event rain comes. In this scenario, you may choose to serve everyone and pass the plates through to others through the netting or everyone can self serve. Each instance where you are in the kitchen will prove unique based on weather and time of day, yet with these items you will be ready for them all.
Now, if you plan your day out on the water or on trails; it's likely you will be packing a lunch. Depending on how long you stay, you may make that ahead of time and bring it with you prepared or you may choose to assemble lunch at lunchtime. So, it stands to reason most of your kitchen time will be spent in the morning and evening.
The above is my must have items always packed in our "ready to go" camping bins as most of our trips are a simple weekend excursion. However, if you are staying more days I recommend bringing along a toaster over and/or single burner camp stove. These small appliances help make side dishes a breeze! Yet, if you are mobile enough and you need to restock on other supplies, perhaps consider finding a restaurant or deli in the area you are camping. Supporting a local economy never hurts.
Just to help elaborate on how we have operated thus far and why I feel these items are important in any glampin' kitchen is that real comfort stems from having tastes and luxuries you enjoy. Granted, everything I am suggesting can be items you already have around the house that you have duplicates of and can spare to put in your "glampin' kitchen kit;" however, some you may want to purchase so you can always be ready on a whim or come load day with little extra effort.
First off, it is hard to operate with everything in boxes especially once it gets dark out. These shelves with tops we found are perfect! They are super easy to put up and take down plus it allows you and your fellow campers to see all the goodies you have to offer, no extra digging around. Then, the tops serve as make shift counters. These are durable with plenty of space, keeping in mind our family purchased two. One for food and dry goods, the other for all the plates and utensils leaving the appliances on top by next to a special power supply tower. Not only does the power tower match our tent and gear, it also conserves on electricity by working only if the orange button is pressed to proceed. Truly, it took about 5 minutes to set these items up; super easy!
My son is a huge fan of frozen drinks and for all his hard work setting up, this is a welcome and very refreshing treat. Using the cooler dedicated to drinks and ice, I bring our favorite pina colada mix and some pineapple, orange or peach juice to whip him up a delectable frozen trick. Then we use his large tumbler with lid and reusable metal straw for ease of enjoyment with no pesky flies getting into it. Once the kids batch is done, make some more and feel free to add a splash of rum (or more to your preference) trust me setting up is much more enjoyable this way for everyone. Remember, at this time in the setup, the air conditioning isn't up and running yet and there is still plenty more to do so a treat like this can go a long way. Of course, a plastic pitcher is super important for your camping blender because it's going to be in a bin that gets tossed around a lot. This one from Proctor Silex has power yet isn't too complicated for the mission at hand. You'll love this new tradition too!
If you are like me, coffee is a necessity in the morning and camping doesn't change that. Sure, you could go fancy with some sort of mobile espresso setup but even that is a bit much for me. A simple 5 cup coffee maker is all you need. Depending on the time of year, you may prefer hot coffee but sometimes an iced option is your craving. Since it is summer in Florida, I like brewing the coffee the night before and just letting it sit overnight, no power on. Then, once you are up, grab your lidded cup and fill it with ice, your pre-made coffee and some milk or cream plus sugar if that's your preference. So long as you keep your milk chilled, your coffee will be just fine and at the perfect temp for a refreshing morning enhancement.
Use your wide cooler bag to bring all your dry goods. Then for your daytime excursions bring it with you to preserve your snacks and lunch. We love sliders because they can be made Friday afternoon before leaving (no sauce and be sure to toast the bun) then transported in a lidded container. Grab one of your ice packs and your chilled items to enjoy throughout the day and then away you go. Feel free to use good sized ones you get at trade shows or at your local grocery store, remember we don't want to have to buy things you can reuse throughout your house; though if it's just too small, I'd suggest getting one that you will want to use. This dual bag setup is perfect because having two never hurts. Plus you can leave the top up and get more girth out of the bag for transporting on your dry goods and non-chilled produce plus it will condense when on the boat or strap down on your watercraft when bringing lunch.
Remember, there is no refrigerator in your glampin' kitchen kit so use your coolers wisely. I prefer a smaller cooler for drinks so you can take it with you on your boat. For inflatable water craft you may just bring a lunch sized cooler for iced drinks or even a canteen but the food cooler needs to be somewhat substantial. After all, it has your dinner for two nights, lunch for at least one if not more along with fixings, condiments and still needs to fit a bag of ice. Square works well for stacking; here's the one we really like and it's reasonably priced.
Now, if you are wanting to invest in something a little more meaty. Perhaps a cooler than is something a bit more certifiable to keep everything cold, like the way folks sing about in songs. Our friend's at Bass Pro have jut the ticket.
To round out my explaining of items, as many are simply things you will re-purpose from your house to commit to your glampin' gear and then restock inside the home accordingly, is our silicone gloves and cast iron skillet. Since we do a lot of fishing on these trips, mainly catch and release, there is bound to be that time when you catch something worth keeping. Try it any way you like, when camping fresh fish is best done fried and it's fun to do over an open flame with the right tools. Since you are going to be glampin' for a while, dedicate a decent cast iron skillet to your kitchen kit. Remember, it needs to be seasoned and be big enough for you to leave on the fire pit grate over coals while also having room to move your fish pieces about. Of course, that pan is going to be hot as can be, hence the gloves. These ones are amazing when it comes to effectiveness when dealing with super hot pans and grate handles; you are welcome in advance.
First night of glampin' after setup, is all about an easy dinner. Mainly because we jet off right away to see what there is to see. Also, we have to scope out the nearest boat ramp and test out a few potential fishing spots. Needless to say, dusk falls quickly when you are having fun so these cool telescoping sticks make dinner and dessert a breeze when we cook up our own hotdogs, followed by some gooey smores.
To conclude this portion of your glampin' experience, the kitchen space is going to be vital in everyone's overall fond memories of the camping excursion. There will be lots of variables with some items you don't use one time but do the next. Just stay the course, bring these things along and you will be ready to serve. Most importantly, don't be afraid to improvise as needed. For example, know that coolers can serve as additional "counters" as needed and large tupperware can serve as a dish bin. Also, trust me when I say, a trash bag should always be in use; though not left outside overnight. So print off the checklist and start filling your bins. Lastly, please use our links to shop online for a variety of your glampin' gear. As a result, we are able to help support local charities and keep sharing our experiences with you; we appreciate your trust and viewership.
For ideas of what to have for your glampin' bar, dry goods selection, check out some of our other posts. Happy glampin' ya'll!
If you choose to partake in extended stays, here's a few more tools for the kitchen you might really enjoy.