By guest, Jessica Miller
Cushy pillows, flower vases, oriental lamps and chandeliers, WiFi... let’s be real, girl. These aren’t for your survival, they’re for your enjoyment and comfort. And when properly glamping, your cooking and dining experience should be no different! Depending on the caliber of your glamping set-up, your accommodations may already come equipped with a microwave, mini fridge, and/or ceramic stovetop (this French glampsite near Tolouse thought of everything!). But even without these appliances you can still achieve your own A+ glamping kitchen.
Let’s start with the essentials. A cooler is, and always will be, your best friend. Campers and glampers alike gravitate towards Yeti coolers which are thermodynamically engineered to stay cold for everrrrrr. You can also opt for a portable mini fridge which is good primarily for keeping them brewskies (or if you’re me, cider-skies) cold. Some plug into your car while others are solar powered or battery-operated. Amazon has a variety of options and they’re all stinkin’ adorable.
When it comes to the actual cooking, you can turn up the 21st century heat with a portable, solar-powered grill or oven such as the GoSun Stove (or its older, yet shorter brother, the GoSun Sport). Long gone are the days of scraping the charred, unevenly-cooked remains of hot dog links off of a grody old frying pan. With a portable camping stove you can easily cook nearly anything you’d normally have at home. Looking at you, Thai basil stir fry.
One thing I used to overlook when packing for camping trips is food prep space and utensils. I have so many flashbacks to me camping in college, pathetically sawing a tomato with a plastic knife on a soggy paper plate in vain because I wasn’t prepared. Don’t. Be. Me. In. College. Bringing a cute little wooden fold-out table like this one is an easy way to add ambiance to your glampsite while providing you the comfort of a decent food prep space. I’m also a big advocate of cutting boards for hassle-free clean-up after each meal.
Do yourself the service of packing these kitchen wares: two sharp cutting knives, a mixing bowl, spatula, salad bowl and tossers, two cooking pots with lids, and a medium-sized no-stick frying pan. This is an expandable starter pack to get things going in your outdoor kitchen. Don’t forget to also pack some tin foil, cling wrap, and tupperware to keep leftovers tidily put away and easy to store.
Once it’s time to serve the delicious meal you (...or somebody else) prepared, this is where glamping gets serious. Presentation is all part of the experience. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to beautify your dining table out in the wild. Start by laying out a linen tablecloth, which functions as both eye candy and as a sanitary measure if you’re eating off one of the site’s picnic tables. Wood or bamboo dining sets are nature-inspired and the actual best: lightweight, durable (won’t break during the car ride), eco-savvy, stylish. Oh yeah. Compliment your dishware with matching serving bowls/platters, silverware or chopsticks, cloth napkins, and camp-friendly stemware. Glass is potentially harmful for animals and other campers, which is why REI sells these stellar stainless steel and copolyester plastic nesting wine glasses. Don’t you worry, your friends at Glamp-Ed will make sure you can enjoy a glass of wine from anywhere in the world!
Most importantly, let your individuality guide the rest of your glamping cookout arrangement: adorn the table with faerie lights and candles, put on some mood music from your portable speaker, create a centerpiece bowl full of pinecones and natural found objects. When it comes to glamping, the dinner table is a central place to unwind from the day, share stories, and enjoy a beautiful, freshly-prepared meal with your beloved fellow glampers.
Table all set? Click here for some fabulously simple and decadent glamping recipe ideas!