What to pack for your first trailer camping trip:
If you’re finding this series useful, feel free to check out this checklist and make a copy for yourself in Google docs to help keep yourself organized.
- Camp stove
- 1Lb backup propane
- Small kettle
- Cooking spoon
- Knife with cover
- Cutting board or mat
- Large bowl
- Coffee pour-over & filters
Camp cooking is personal. It can range from dehydrated MREs to elaborate Ooni-fired pizza and everything in between. We take a lot of pleasure in eating, drinking and relaxing at camp. At the same time, we like to be in the backcountry, where we don’t want to generate a lot of food waste. As a result, our trailer galley is kind of like a restaurant prep kitchen. Most of the hard work is done at home before we leave, to be assembled and reheated at mealtime. We don’t need a lot of equipment to eat well.
You can get a pull-out camp stove as an accessory option with your trailer. We opted for a high quality, compact camp stove with two full-size burners that easily stows in one of the cabinets. It comes with a large pot and pan. Make sure you have the right connection to the 5Lb propane tank. It’s confidence-boosting to have an extra 1Lb propane tank on hand as backup. We pre-cook or buy pouches of long-cooking grains and legumes, so we’re only reheating things that would take a lot of time (and propane) to make at camp. We always have oatmeal and couscous on hand, which don’t take much to cook.
Plastic takeout containers are another tiny hero of our camping experience. They’re readily available, come in different sizes, are easily labeled, and stack nicely in the cooler. Watch out for leaks from lids that don’t quite match by storing things upright.
We keep a dedicated set of multipurpose silicone cooking utensils and a versatile, lightweight knife in the trailer. Some people install a magnetic knife block in the galley; we make do with a single knife that rests in one of the shallow cabinets in a cheap knife cover ($4 from a restaurant supply store). A strainer is useful for washing vegetables, or for straining dishwater with lots of food scraps. We don’t do a lot of heavy duty chopping, so lightweight cutting mats are perfect for food prep.
There are a very small number of dedicated trailer food items that we travel with: pepper mill, small bottle of olive oil, tiny mayo in the cooler, stack of small plastic jars for kosher salt, sugar, etc. Otherwise, we grab things from our home pantry to support a general meal plan for however many days we’ll be camping.
Coffee is its own personal universe. Make sure you have a kettle to boil water, insulated mugs for hot drinks, and whatever other accessories are required for your level of coffee obsession.
Sarah Labowitz and Pete Molick live in Houston, TX and their favorite place to take their Pika Off-Road is Big Bend National Park.
- JetBoil Genesis Basecamp System Camp Stove (with large pot and pan)
- Coleman Propane Fuel Cylinder
- GSI Outdoors Halulite Ketalist II Cookset
- Muji Silicone Cooking Spoon (Greatest cooking spoon of all time. Frequently sold out, expensive to ship, but worth it.)
- Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 5-inch
- Zulay Extra Thick Flexible Cutting Board Mats
- MiHerom 2-in-1 Large Nest Washing Colander Bowl Set
- Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, Mini Slim
- Hario Coffee Dripper V60 (size 02)
- Hario Double Vacuum Carafe (size 02)
- Hario V60 Paper Coffee Filters (size 02)
- Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask (12 oz)