Creating a Tent Kitchen

One of the biggest concerns for parents who camp with their kids is food. More specifically, preparing food. If you’re camping for longer than a night or two, your kids are going to need more than campfire-roasted hotdogs and s’mores. Creating a “tent kitchen” will help you prepare nutritious and camper-friendly meals in a clean environment. The basic idea of a tent kitchen is to set-up an enclosed area away from sleeping tents and close to the grill that will serve as a mess hall for the duration of the trip. No more cooking on the tailgate or wrangling plates and utensils as you flip burgers.

Investing in a canopy that is enclosed with netting will allow you to prepare food without worrying about bugs and still keep an eye on the kids. A small, plastic, foldable table is also great because it allows you to have a sturdy area on which to prepare food, wash dishes, or place a campstove. If you’re camping in an area where bears or other large animals are not a concern, you can store coolers and large plastic containers containing your family’s food inside the enclosed canopy. Otherwise, store food in designated animal-safe areas.

If your family camps regularly, it’s wise to purchase and keep designated tent kitchen utensils and supplies ready to go in large, labeled, plastic containers. In one, store everything you need to cook and eat: a skillet, Dutch oven, spatulas, tongs, knives, extra bowls, grill brush, lighters, aluminum foil, chip clips, silverware, disposable or tin plates and cups, etc. In another, store items that you need to keep your tent kitchen tidy: a small basin to wash pots and pans, dishwashing soap, rags, sponges, disinfectant wipes, sandwich bags, garbage bags, and paper towels. Also keep prepackaged snacks ready to grab in a bowl or box so the kids can help themselves.

Set up a drink area with a cooler of clean ice, cups, and beverages to ensure everyone stays hydrated. Taking an extra fifteen minutes or so to set up a canopy and arrange your cooking supplies will make campground cooking much easier and prevent your kids from going in and out of tents and vehicles in search of something to munch on.


What tips do you have for keeping you camp kitchen in order?