Organizing Your Camp Kitchen Box

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The new year has me anxious to get organized, and on my list of things to organize has been my camp kitchen box. Now that I have kids, getting out the door is about a million times harder. This is especially true for camping trips. There are so many things to remember, and there are usually kids tugging at my pant legs when it comes time to pack up my stuff. So while I’ve always had some version of a camp kitchen box, mine needed some love to be truly useful.

Here are some ideas for how to organize your camp kitchen box:

  1. Print out a list of things you want to keep in your camp kitchen. If you don’t have one, REI has a nice checklist of almost all the possible things you might want to bring. You might consider using that list to create your own trimmed down version based on your cooking style. I wouldn’t just print out someone else’s checklist because you really want to think about only the things you’re actually going to bring. I highly recommend putting a pen or pencil on your checklist so that when you’re out camping you can write down the things you wish you had brought.
    camp-kitchen-checklist
  2. Gather all the things on your list so that you can see how much space you need to store it all.
  3. Get a box to store it all in. I use one of those big plastic storage bins. Everything should go in the box. For small things like pot grabbers and utensils, I like to use small stuff sacks to keep them contained. Depending on how many small things you have, it could be useful to have several small stuff sacks to further organize things.
  4. Get a sheet protector and stick your checklist in it. Tape the sheet protector to the outside of the box. Now, before every trip you won’t have to search for that checklist, and you can quickly go through it to verify that everything’s there. You can use a dry-erase marker right on the sheet protector itself so that you don’t have to mess up your printed checklist every time.

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A final tip is once you get home from your camping trips, remember to clean and organize everything in your box. It’s pretty gross to open that box a month later and find dirty dishes. Also, your mind will be on camping so making improvements to your box will be easier than if you wait until your next trip to do it.

This is how I’ve organized my camp kitchen box. Since some of the stuff I bring camping is from my home kitchen (I don’t have doubles), my box sits half empty in my garage until it’s time to go camping. I love having peace of mind knowing that I haven’t forgotten anything, and I especially love that I don’t have to think about what to bring.

Do you have any favorite tips for keeping your camping kitchen organized?

3 thoughts on “Organizing Your Camp Kitchen Box

  1. The sheet protector and dry erase idea is brilliant! Easier than my method which involves printing the list every time.

    I do have doubles of most things I take camping, so it can all live in my plastic box (I am a car camper). Some things I already had, like a set of silverware I hadn’t gotten rid of when I upgraded to a new set. Some things I bought for cheap at Target from the dorm section (some plastic dishes, a can opener). Some things are from thrift stores. I didn’t think I would be that person, but it didn’t cost that much and it makes things so easy to pack, I almost don’t need the list.

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