General Guidelines

  • Have your cooking fire going when you start these recipes.
  • You can leave your measuring cups and spoons at home. We'll give you general guidelines for amounts.
  • We aim for above-average deliciousness, but not perfection.
  • We use local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible.
  • If you have a camp cooking question, email us at vtstateparkscooks@gmail.com
  • Follow us on Instagram at @vtstateparkscooks

Basic Pantry for Campfire Cooking

Cooking Fats

These are my go-to fats. Occasionally I will use grapeseed oil or lard in dishes. Flavorful oils such as walnut oil can be amazing in salad dressings or drizzled over vegetable dishes.

  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Butter
  • Toasted sesame oil


I buy these in very small quantities from the bulk section of a nearby co-op and replenish as needed. That way you can create an inexpensive but extensive spice cabinet and you can be sure that the spices you're using are fresh.

Spices help take your campfire cooking to the next level
  • Sea salt*
  • Smoked salt*
  • Black pepper in a pepper grinder*
  • Smoked paprika*
  • Chipotle powder*
  • Ancho chili powder
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder*
  • Bay leaves
  • Mustard powder
  • Mushroom powder*
  • Celery seed*
  • Coriander
  • Caraway seed
  • Cumin
  • Dill weed
  • Fennel seed
  • Cinnamon*
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice*

* If I could only choose 10 spices, these would be it!

Unrefrigerated Liquids & Canned Goods

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup (it's good to refrigerate in the long haul but it's okay to leave out for a few days.)
  • Molasses
  • Dijon mustard (the smooth kind, not the kind with seeds.)
  • Tamari (very much like soy sauce, but gluten-free.)
  • White wine vinegar
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Black beans
  • Cannellini beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Crushed tomatoes


I purchase nearly all produce for specific meals, or I plan meals around the produce that looks the most incredible at the farmers' market. There's very little that I always keep on hand. Here are the exceptions:

Lemons and limes add acid to dishes
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Onions
  • Lemons
  • Limes

Animal Products

I generally buy meats and dairy for specific recipes but there are a few things that I always have on hand (butter is listed in the "Cooking Fats" section above).

  • Cream for coffee
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs

Perishable Condiments & Other Items

  • Salsa
  • Mayo
  • Corn tortillas

Basic Equipment for Campfire Cooking

With these items around you'll have an easy time making delicious food over a campfire. (Items used for eating or drinking, such as flatware and dishes, and items used for cleaning dishes are not included on this list.

Dutch Oven
A Dutch oven
  • Very long, heavy duty tongs
  • Suede or silicone hot mittts
  • Heavy-duty spatula for turning things on a grate.
  • Large supply of aluminum foil, at leant one of heavy duty.
  • Dutch oven
  • 12-inch skillet
  • 2 small pots
  • 2 medium pots
  • 8 - 10" chef knife
  • Paring knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • 2 cutting boards
  • Colander
  • Can opener
  • Mason jars, both pint and quart sizes
  • Ziploc bags
  • Cheesecloth
  • Microplane grater

Advanced Equipment for Campfire Cooking

If you want to have a great deal of flexibility in your campfire cooking and take your dishes to the next level, you might try:

  • Mortar & pestle
  • Filet knife

Back to top

State Park Passes

Upcoming Events

Sign up for our Newsletter