The 10 Best Camping Dish Sets
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in January of 2017. A great set of camping dishes can make your wilderness site almost as comfortable as your dining room back home. We chose several lightweight and durable sets perfect for all sorts of outdoor scenarios, including ultralight backpacking and car camping, as well as some ideal for a feast enjoyed on the porch of a cabin or served up fresh from an RV galley. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best camping dish set on Amazon.
Heavy Cover Titanium Canteen Mess Kit For long treks and survival scenarios, the Heavy Cover Titanium Canteen Mess Kit is a handy companion, since the metal offers an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. It's pricey, though, especially since you'll need to purchase the titanium spork separately. heavycoverinc.com
Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set The Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set looks unassuming, but nestled within the robust pot is nearly everything you need to get cookin' in your RV, van, or tiny cabin. It even includes a silicone trivet to protect your tables and counters — but there aren't any knives. stanley-pmi.com
June 05, 2019:
Everyone has different needs when it comes to camping dishes, but we feel that the Extreme Nomad Mess Kit (for solo campers) and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper (for groups) remain top options at this time. Both are thoughtfully designed for usability without unnecessary weight, and they're easy enough to wash (which is crucial when you don't have access to running water). For something even simpler, you might look at the Sea to Summit Delta Camp, a featherweight choice that's versatile, packable, and sturdy.
Now, on to a harder question: does enamel make for good camp dishes? Enamel dishes were quite popular in the past, so we often associate them with a retro look today. So, as far as style goes, they're tough to beat. On the other hand, enamel can chip, which has led some to declare them unsafe. It's also possible that the materials underneath the food-safe enamel might contain traces of potentially harmful elements. With that in mind, we have kept the Stansport 24-Piece Enamel with the caveat that they need to be treated gently. And if you tend to be paranoid about such things, you might want to skip them altogether.
Everybody Needs A Little Wilderness Time
This doesn’t all come just from anecdotal experiences related by people who spend time in the woods either.
Heading into the great outdoors can have a profoundly positive impact. We spend so much time cooped up staring at a computer screen, the television screen, and our phone screen, that our sedentary screen time eclipses almost any other activity.
Leaving all that behind and entering the wilderness gives you an opportunity to unplug, at least for a little while. You’re free to climb trees, watch as beautiful birds pass in the sky above, or even drink from a babbling brook, so long as you have the proper water sanitation supplies. This kind of experience can literally refresh your sense of your own humanity, putting you in touch with a part of yourself that is ingrained in you instinctually, even if you feel otherwise totally divorced from it.
This doesn’t all come just from anecdotal experiences related by people who spend time in the woods either. There is a legitimate body of evidence that shows significant improvements in mental health, physical well-being, and general happiness when people spend even a little bit more time outdoors.
Spending time camping and relying on yourself in the wilderness may also help improve your problem-solving skills back at home, as well. When you’re all by yourself in the wild, and there’s no one within a reasonable distance you can call on for help, the stakes will seem rather high. Then, when you get back to work, and things get a little hairy with the boss, it’s really not gonna seem that bad.
Considering all the many benefits of camping, as well as the ample natural spaces available to us in this country, it’s a wonder more people don’t take advantage of this valuable pastime. On the bright side, that means more space for you to get out there, cut yourself off from the rest of the cacophony, and get in touch with what really matters.
Choosing The Right Dish Set For Your Camping Excursions
If your short hikes have gotten a little bit longer lately, and you find yourself staying out in the wilderness long enough that you need to eat some substantial food, you’re going to want to have a reliable dish set that can provide you with surfaces to eat off and utensils to thoroughly enjoy your food with. Sure, plenty of people make do with a large piece of lightweight cardboard as a plate and their hands as trusty eating implements, but serious campers know that dedicated dishware can elevate your camping experience without adding too much weight to your pack. Of course, knowing how many dishes you need for the amount of food you wish to eat or the amount of people you need to sustain will largely determine which set is right for you.
In some cases, these kits completely collapse into themselves for maximum portability, giving you the means to cook and eat your meals with ease.
Beyond that relatively obvious consideration, there are a few different things about each of these dish sets that can make one much more appealing to you than another. By looking at a few particular qualities, you can easily find the set that’s going to provide you with the most streamlined use and the most rewarding user experience.
If you’re a loner on the trails, you won’t need to bring too much dishware along, but there are some kits that can provide you with an entire set of cookware, to boot. In some cases, these kits completely collapse into themselves for maximum portability, giving you the means to cook and eat your meals with ease. If you’re too lousy a cook to bother with pots and pans, however, or if you camp in areas where building a fire is off-limits, you can opt for a simple one-person set with utensils, bowl, plate, and mug. These will take your cheese and summer sausage experience to the next level.
If you’re more the type to camp with a group or a family, you’ll have similar options as the lone camper, just with more pieces of flatware and larger pots or pans should you go for a set that also lets you cook. Many of these sets are pretty plain, but there are some fancier options that could be ideal for glamping families or groups that are headed to a cabin for a week or more.
Don’t fret if some of these selections seem like they’d take up an entire pack, either; if you’re traveling in a group you can easily divide the dishes up amongst their users. This is particularly important if you have kids coming along with you, as you can make them take charge of their own eating equipment, building responsibility in them and preparing them for any lone excursions they have in their future.
Gear To Maximize Your Camping Experience
Now that you’ve selected a great dish set for your next outing, it’s time to make sure that all your other gear is present and up to snuff. That means it might be time to ditch that sleeping bag you’ve been using for over a decade and upgrade to something a little nicer.
And when it comes time to decide what you want to eat, a healthy selection of emergency foods is always welcome.
In keeping with the theme of our list, staying fed in the wild is vital for your good times, if not your survival. If you’ve gotten your hands on a nice dish set, but you still don’t have the pots and pans for it, look into those. You’re also going to need a heat source like a good camping stove to use for all your cooking needs. And when it comes time to decide what you want to eat, a healthy selection of emergency foods is always welcome.
In the unlikely event that you get hurt or stranded in the wilderness, you’ll want to have some kind of survival kit with you, even if that’s just a good knife, a compass, a flint and steel set, some paracord, and a first aid kit. With just those implements, you should be able to navigate your way to safety.
Make sure you have a high-quality camping backpack, as well, one that can fit all this great gear you’ve been amassing.
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