Outdoor cooking – 3 simple methods

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Spring is upon us and that is a perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors, especially in nature. There are many great things to do outside, for example, hiking, shelter trips, and making lunch over campfires.
Outdoor life is a fantastic way to connect with nature, and at the same time, it can make your mind feel brighter. Going on an outdoor trip with some friends is also a great way to make new memories and try new things. For example, cook a delicious outdoor dish.

It can seem challenging to start planning an outdoor trip if you are not used to it. There is a lot of equipment for the outdoors life, and some of it is very nice to have, but for a beginner, you don’t need a lot of fancy gear to get started. In the beginning, you can easily start with things you have at home. You can invest in some good gear later if you get addicted to the lifestyle.

Choose your outdoor kitchen
There are different kinds of ways to cook outdoors. The method you use depends a lot on which kind of trip you are going on. If you are going on long trips, you must pack light and bring as little as possible. Therefore, you can’t bring heavy pans and a lot of gear with you. It needs to be simple. Are you not going to hike, but staying at one place, you can bring more equipment and make more complex dishes.

These three ways to cook are very different, but each of them is very useful and great depending on your purpose.

  • Trangia
  • Campfire
  • Jetboil

Trangia – a complete cooking set
A Trangia is a great cooking system containing a pot, a kettle, a pan that can also be a lid, and a burner. It is easy to bring on a trip because it can get packed down smartly and doesn’t take much room. Using a Trangia, you can cook wherever you want, because you have everything with you.
The con about the Trangia is that you can only use either the pot or the pan, and not at the same time unless you have an extra burner. The Trangia is very suitable for one-pot dishes.
The Trangia exists in ‘large 25’, ‘small 27’, and a mini version, depending on how many people you expect to serve. Additionally, you can get a ‘light weight’ version that is even easier to bring with you. The Trangia is a terrific piece of equipment for you, who likes to make delicious outdoor food, but also wants it to be easy and simple.

Campfire dinner
Food made over the campfire tastes delicious! The dish gets a smoked taste and smell, and it feels so down to earth to cook this way. It feels simple and reminds of how our ancestors used to cook.
To cook over a campfire, you need some pots and pans that are made for this use. They are big and solid because they must stand against a lot of heat from the fire.
Cooking over a campfire sometimes needs a bit more practice and can seem more unmanageable to begin with if you don’t have any experience with lighting and building a fire. When you plan to go on a trip where you use a campfire, there are certain things you must have in mind:

  • Wood
    Some fireplaces already have wood that visitors can use. But if they don’t, you must bring your own with you. A fire always takes more wood than you think therefore, make sure you have enough. Also, use wood that burns slowly. Beech, oak and, ash burns gradually and at the same time release a lot of heat. That is good when you want to cook and must have a fire that burns for a long time.
  • Gloves
    Gloves may be obvious, but still not something that you may think of as the first thing to bring. But it is necessary to wear gloves when you are moving or touching the pots and pans on the fire. But also, if you need to put some more wood into it.
    You can buy heat-resistant gloves that are made for the purpose, or you can use regular gloves that you have at home. But only use gloves that can get dirty.
  • Time and preparation
    It always takes more time than you think when you are cooking in nature, especially when you are making a fire. It takes time to build a good fire, but you also must wait for the fire to get tamed and has several glows. To save time when you are out, you can prepare a lot of the food from home, so you don’t have to do it all out there.

Jetboil – the easy and simple choice
A Jetboil is a fantastic piece of equipment to bring with you if you plan on going on long trips, where you don’t want to bring too many things with you. Also, if you are going on smaller hikes or trips it is very easy because it doesn’t take much space and don’t weigh too much. Either way, it is super convenient to pack in your backpack.
The Jetboil is a small cooking system that can boil water for a cup of coffee, tea, or noodles. It is very easy to handle, and you can prepare a dinner in no time. Jetboil is the best choice for you if you are not interested in spending a lot of money on outdoor gear and you don’t want to use a lot of time cooking.

For some people, it can seem overwhelming to do the outdoor lifestyle because they think they must own a lot of equipment. But nature is simple, and you can easily use what you got at home. If you don’t want to invest in cooking equipment at all, you can also bring a sandwich from home.

About the author

Heidi Kirstine is a freelance writer and has been vegan for 4 years. She loves to travel, cook and an outdoor lifestyle.