Camp Cooking Mess

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Buck Conner

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2015
Camp Cooking Mess
This is my complete camp mess that will handle four members of the party.

  • (1) tin water pail approximate (1) gallon with lid.
  • (1) tin lined brass trade kettle with tin lid.
  • (1) HBC tin lined copper boiler with copper lid.
  • (1) folding handle tin lined copper “Gentlemen’s Cup” with chained on lid.
  • (1) 1000 Eye lantern – copper body, greased leather bag.
  • (2) old glass bottles, used for soap & cooking oil.
  • (1) brass tea strainer.
  • (1) tin baking pan.
  • (1) tin of buffalo lard.
  • (1) small tin frying pan with removable handle.
  • (1) hand forged folding fork & wooden spoon.
  • (3) hand forged fork & spoons.
  • (1) hand held small grater.
  • (1) copper box with first aid kit, greased leather bag.
  • (1) tin with tea strainer, spoon, brick tea & maple sugar.
  • (1) strike-a-lite box (fire starting set).
  • (3) hand towel, wash cloth, sea sponge, hot pad & piece of brain tanned leather for hot handles.
At the beginning when first getting into this life style everyone buys, trades for, or swaps for more things than any common thinking person should. Over 50 years of being involved the term "everything including the kitchen sink" pretty much says it all for many camps. A good clue is seeing the folks coming with a large storage trailer or horse trailer, first thing I think is "NEW BEE". The old traders really look these folks over with dollar $$$ signs in their eyes.
Then on the other hand are the guys that just can't say "NO". All their free loading friends ask them to setup to handle "X" number of people and they'll help. Don't believe this for a moment, your going to do all the work, cook the meals and wash the dishes. Then they disappear when you run out of something or its time to load up. look in the mirror friends there's something written on your forehead - "SUCKER". Been there more times than I can count, finally the wife said those magic words "NO MORE'. Consider this warning because they are waiting for you, so be prepared with that simple little word "NO". It's hard to say at first but will become easier and only needed a few times, they will move on to the next bright eyed "NEW BEE".

Really look around when getting started in gathering up a good mess, experienced folks are more than willing to help you. Don't be afraid or shy to visit them, look around at how they are setup and what they are using for their mess. Years of trying, buying and finding what works is fun but expensive. Ask for some ideas or their thoughts on why they do what they are doing. It will save you and yours money and lets that old timer show his knowledge on the subject. We all know how one wants to share his wonderful knowledge to a new group of friends.

As you can see from the list what I have carried around in the past was setup to handle a small party of four, whether canoeing, horseback or just camped. That's many many dollars when you have top of the line goods, not counting what buffalo meat costs and all the fixin'.

Take your time and it will all work out and you'll enjoy yourself in the learning process.​


New Member
Jul 8, 2019
Thank you for sharing. I found this interesting. since I just decided to relook through all that I bring along for camping. I try to lay everything out prior to see what's needed, especially as the seasons change. I do keep to myself mostly but enjoy talking to others to learn. Cooking is one of those things I need the most to think about, and what do I really need, as I want to build a small chuck box. Curious if you keep all cooking supplies in a single crate?

OK, I also have to admit I bring a small 12x6 trailer with me. not to over fill it, but rather I make many cross country trips each year and don't have to load and unload when I get home.... I just load a few items for my lodge that's on my property at home.


Aug 11, 2019
Another good read Buck and informative as well. Makes me rethink all the extra things I pack along.

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