Brits have traditionally been very keen on camping as a family holiday. This can encompass the most basic tented accommodation, transported on foot, right up to sophisticated motor caravans or Winnebagos. Either way, the cooking facilities are basic and require a bit of imagination to come up with anything more than the most rudimentary of meals.
The one proviso even the keenest wilderness enthusiast should follow is to stay on an official campsite, as camping on unauthorised ground is both illegal and fraught with risk. Fortunately on most campsites you will have unlimited access to clean water and be permitted to use a barbecue (open fires are rarely permitted).
Get the kit
When everything you use has to be carried with you it’s particularly important to travel light. Specially designed camping gear is lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport. Don’t forget to take plenty of matches or a full lighter and be creative with what you have – many pieces of equipment can be multifunctional:
- Enamel plates can be used as saucepan lids.
- Enamel mugs can be bought with markings to use as measuring jugs.
- Saucepans can be used as serving dishes and washing up bowls.
- Enamel mugs with lids can be used for storage.
The beauty of enamel plates
Enamel plates are ideal for camping as they are light, robust, easy to clean and virtually unbreakable. Bear in mind that they conduct heat extremely well so avoid balancing a hot enamel plate on your knees!
Apart from an adequate quantity of crockery and cutlery per person you will need:
- At least one multi-purpose knife, good enough to cut meat, bread, fruit and veg and cheese
- A tin opener
- A corkscrew
- A wooden spoon
- Washing up liquid, a scourer and a tea towel
- Space permitting, you may also consider a small chopping board, a sieve and a grater.
Of course one of the joys of going on holiday is taking the opportunity to eat out, but there are obviously times when it is easier or more economical to eat on site, so make sure you have a plentiful supply of coffee, teabags and basic food ingredients. While large packets tend to be more cost effective they are bulkier to carry around, so consider what you really need and only take the essentials with you. These include:
- Salt and pepper
- Long life milk
- A general purpose oil for salad dressing and cooking
- Stock cubes
- Breakfast cereal
Like so many things in life a successful camping trip relies on preparation and organisation. Above all, have fun!