A roaring campfire, fire-roasted brats, and a cooler full of backwoods beers are all essential for any proper car camping trip. But, the one thing that takes any wilderness outing to the next level is a legitimate hot meal. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it’s now possible to pack an entire mobile kitchen into the back of your Prius to guarantee a full gourmet meal no matter how far off-grid you plan to go.
Nomad Kitchen by Nomad Kitchen Company
Nomad Kitchen Company’s namesake product is a clever, ultra-compact mobile solution designed to fit almost any vehicle. At roughly 26 inches by 22 inches by 14 inches, it’ll snuggle into the rear of everything from an SUV or a minivan down to a wagon and even some hatchbacks. Installation is as easy as ratcheting down the straps to the existing tie-down points found in most modern vehicles. The unit collapses to about the size of a large camp cooler with twin nesting drawers that slide out to reveal a surprisingly full-featured kitchen. The smaller of the two drawers holds a two-burner propane stove, while the larger contains a sink basin and a wire basket for drying dishes or freshly rinsed produce. Both double as storage when the Nomad Kitchen isn’t in use. Just mount a gravity-fed water canister over the sink, and you’ve got everything you need to cook a gourmet meal in the wild.
Camp Kitchen with Stove by Trail Kitchens
If money is no object and only the best will do, Trail Kitchens’ catalog boasts some of the best mobile kitchen solutions available. The company’s aptly named Camp Kitchen with Stove is an all-in-one solution that features a built-in two-burner stove with 40,000 BTU/hr, plus more than 14 square feet of storage and food prep space. The aircraft-grade aluminum construction means that it’s designed to take a beating, and it promises a 300-pound load capacity once erected. At more than 50 pounds, it’s a beast of a unit, but heavy-duty wheels make rolling it into place a snap. Add a dedicated, hot-water camp sink, and you’ll forget all about your kitchen back home.
Pack-Away Portable Kitchen by Coleman
If space is at a premium, Coleman’s Pack-Away Portable Kitchen is among the most compact camp kitchens available. The entire setup collapses down to a 31-inch by 11-inch by 4-inch metal case that weighs less than 14 pounds. Fully unfurled, it provides a stable base for all the essentials of a legit camp kitchen. The main table is well-sized for food prep and chopping ingredients, while the side table is large enough for most Coleman stoves and coolers. Well placed hooks and a mesh shelf help keep everything organized, plus the overhead hook provides a place to hang a lantern while you cook.
Deluxe Camp Kitchen by Bass Pro Shops
For a full-featured alternative to Coleman’s Pack-Away Portable Kitchen, the Deluxe Camp Kitchen from Bass Pro Shops offers all the same features and more. It adds a removable sink/dishwashing basin, plus a swing-out windscreen to keep the flames from your camp stove reined in. Clever features to help organize your accessories include a spice rack, a side-mounted towel rack, and a zippered food pantry to keep critters out of your dry goods.
Sherpa Camp Table & Organizer by Camp Chef
If you value organization and utility above all else, Camp Chef’s Sherpa Camp Table & Organizer is as dead-simple a camp kitchen as you can find. The lightweight, fabric-sided design collapses down small with plenty of padded handles for easy carrying. Inside are four color-coded bags to keep all your camp cooking essentials neatly and visually organized. The one blue organizer is specially lined to double as a sink or cooler. Telescoping aluminum legs and a roll-out aluminum topper allow the Sherpa to function as a cook-top or a food-prep station.
If you’re looking for a way to keep your cold goods chilled in the woods, check out Yeti’s fancy new vacuum-insulated V Series Stainless Steel Cooler.