Everything you need to know about cooking on a camping trip

Everything you need to know about cooking on a camping trip



Camp­ing in one of SA’s nation­al parks? Plan­ning ahead is the key. Here’s what you’ll need to cook up a storm.


South Aus­tralia has some won­der­ful bush camp­ing options, with camp­grounds in more than 40 of our nation­al parks and reserves.

In Every­thing you need to know for your first camp­ing trip in a nation­al park we shared some ideas for choos­ing and set­ting up your tent, and get­ting a good night’s rest.

Now it’s time to make sure you have every­thing you need to be able to cook while you’re away.

1. Cook­ers, uten­sils and toma­to sauce

Many nation­al parks do not allow camp­fires for all or part of the year. In the parks that do allow camp­fires, stick to the pre-made fire­places and always bring your own fire­wood. It’s an offence to gath­er fire­wood inside park bound­aries as fall­en wood pro­vides impor­tant habi­tats for small ani­mals and reptiles.

Some camp­grounds have pub­lic gas bar­be­ques, but it’s always handy to car­ry your own equip­ment. This can range from a basic butane-fuelled, sin­gle-burn­er cook­er up to a portable gas bar­beque. Tai­lor your cook­er to the space avail­able for pack­ing, and remem­ber, cars fill up very quick­ly once you start loading.

When it comes to uten­sils your basics can be as sim­ple as a fry­pan, ket­tle, chop­ping board, bowl, a cou­ple of sharp knives and a roll of foil. Add a plate, bowl, mug, knife, fork and spoon per per­son and you’re set. It’s always a good idea to throw in a roll of paper tow­el and the toma­to sauce.

Com­plete your Aussie camp­ing expe­ri­ence with a long-han­dled jaf­fle iron, for mak­ing toasties on the fire, and if you want to get fan­cy bring along a small stove-top espres­so mak­er. There’s no need to miss your morn­ing caf­feine hit because you’re in the bush.

It’s also handy to have some­thing to keep your food cool for a while, whether it’s a portable fridge or an esky full of ice.

2. BYO food and water

Not all parks have drink­able water, so always bring your own. Count on about 2 litres per per­son per day in warm weath­er, plus extra for cook­ing, mak­ing tea or cof­fee, and wash­ing up.

While some parks have a café, like Ikara-Flinders Ranges Nation­al Park, most don’t. Make sure you bring enough food for your stay and remem­ber, unless you have a portable fridge in your car you may not be able to get fresh ice for the esky, so your food won’t stay cool for long. Non-per­ish­ables like dried or canned food are always a camper’s friend.

3. Take your rub­bish with you

It’s vital to have a way of stor­ing rub­bish, as you need to take it with you when you leave. A leak-proof bag is fine but be pre­pared to put it in the car or tent overnight to keep ani­mals from get­ting into it.

You’ve got your food under con­trol now, how about pack­ing? Read these sto­ries for some ideas:

Please remem­ber to keep social dis­tance of 1.5m from oth­er vis­i­tors at all times and don’t vis­it if you are sick or required to self-iso­late. In response to South Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment COVID-19 restric­tions, access to parks and their facil­i­ties in South Aus­tralia is chang­ing reg­u­lar­ly. You can keep up-to-date by read­ing our fre­quent­ly asked ques­tions, by fol­low­ing us on Face­book or by con­tact­ing us.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly post­ed in Sep­tem­ber 2015


This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living