Choosing good dishes is very important to get a better camping experience. Most people use whatever they get but it’s not right. Camping dishes are actually an important thing to think about to make sure you get the right dishes for when you go outside.
First, many regular dishes you use on a day to day basis would immediately break into a hundred pieces if you tried to bring them camping with you. Ceramic tends to not do well with camping!
Secondly, many companies sell dishes made of harmful chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Eating a meal off of plastic or metal plates that are treated with poor chemicals could cause a significant issue to your health.
Finally, paper plates and dishes are horrible solutions for the environment and often get littered around all over the space. A few years ago, you could see paper plates and dishes all over campgrounds. Recently, however, many campgrounds have now banned paper plates and plastic utensils in order to protect the environment and themselves from needing to clean up from campers who weren’t particularly clean.
But since you’re here and reading this article, you probably have heard those points above before and you’ve realized you need some sort of camping dishes with you when you go out camping!
For this post, I’ll highlight:
- A buying guide of what you should be thinking about when looking at a camping dishes
- The five best options in 2020
- A FAQ section on key questions you might have regarding compasses while camping
So, let’s get started!
Camping Dishes Buying Guide
When you go camping, there are a couple of things you should be thinking about when it comes to your dishes. In this section, I’ve highlighted what matters most to when you are looking at different camping dishes. However, please let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any or if you know of other features that matter to you!
- Weight: As with all camping supplies, the weight always matters. For camping dishes, we want solidly built plates, bowls, and utensils at the lowest possible cost.
- Safe to eat with: We want supplies that won’t put any toxic chemicals into our food. For that reason, anything that is not completely safe gets a hard pass from me
- Dishwasher safe: When you get back home from camping, it’s definitely nice to be able to throw the dishes into dishwasher to get them completely clean. You can always clean them while out in the woods, but you definitely can’t clean them as well as you would like.
Now that I’ve highlighted some of those key features, here are some of my favorite camping dishes.
Best camping dishes of 2020
Below are my five favorite picks for the best camping dishes of 2020.
My favorite pick: Sea to Summit Camping Dishes Set
If you are looking for good quality camping dishes at a budget-friendly cost, then these camping dishes set from Sea to Summit is the best option for you. They are sturdy, keep your food hot, and have no chemicals in them. They also are super light and can fit in any bag with barely any noticeable added weight.
The best thing about this dish set is that it is easily washable and you don’t need a lot of energy in washing it. It is also dishwasher safe, which means you can use it at your home too.
These dishes are BPA free and won’t harm your body in any manner. These dishes are made from glass reinforced polypropylene and they also microwave safe. It features a Protex base which helps in dispersing the heat so that you can easily hold all utensils no matter how hot the food is. This camping dish set comes with a handy mesh pouch that makes it dry faster and transport.
Pros of Sea to Summit Camping Dishes Set:
- Made up of good quality material
- It is BPA Free
- Easy to clean and maintain
Cons of Sea to Summit Camping Dishes Set:
- They look a little weird
- Only one set
Best option for families: GSI Outdoors Camping Dishes Set
This camping dishes set from GSI outdoors is one of the most popular camping dishes set currently available in the market. It comes with all the necessary utensils, which includes 12-ounce cups, 5 bowls, and 10 plates. It is perfect for people that go camping with their family and friends.
The best thing about these camping dishes is that they are very durable. Heavy gauge steel is used to make them and to make them stronger, a stainless steel rim is added. This camping dining set is very compact and it is very easy to carry. You just need to put them in your backpack and you are good to go.
These dishes are also very lightweight, despite the steel in them, so it won’t burden you. This dish set comes in a wide range of colors and you can choose as per your choice and preferences. GSI Outdoors is a very reputed company that has been in the business for a long time and it provides a lifetime warranty on its products. After receiving the product if you see any material defects, then you can reach the customer support team for further inquiries.
Pros of GSI Outdoors Camping Dishes Set:
- Family sized set
- It is very portable and lightweight
- GSI offers lifetime support
- Very durable
Cons of GSI Outdoors Camping Dishes Set:
- Slightly expensive
Best one-piece set: STANSPORT Full Set Camping Dishes
This STANSPORT Full Set Camping Dishes is perfect for people who want a simple purchase that covers their camping dishes needs. This pack is big enough for the family and also comes with utensils, making it an easy one-stop-shop purchase.
Since it has everything, it is a very cost-effective camping dishes set and made of high quality 24-piece steel tableware. These dishes set are very durable and their enamel finishing increases the overall look and make it more elegant. This dish is perfect for family trips and friends’ night-out. The best thing about this camping dish set is that it features double-coated blue enamel, which increases its durability and if you keep them with care, then it can stay with you for a very long time. It is very portable and you can take it anywhere you want. It contains all the main utensils and all of them are very lightweight and you won’t face any problem in carrying them.
Pros of STANSPORT Full Set Camping Dishes:
- Has everything you need
- It is very compact
- Highly durable
- Made up of high-quality stainless steel
Cons of STANSPORT Full Set Camping Dishes:
- The color can chip off
Best for storing and eating food: Light My Fire Camping Dishes Set
This camping dishes set from Light My Fire is best for people whose main priority is the ability to transport and store food. It is an 8-piece designer kit that is specially made to make the food serving easier.
The best thing about this dish set is that all the products are waterproof, which makes it perfect for using it to transport and then eat food. You can put some hard-boiled eggs in it, then keep them safe while going to the campsite, then eat the eggs off of the same dishes once you get there.
It comes with many useful features like pack-up cup and snap-lock lids that keep the food safe and prevent it from collapsing. Another great thing about this camping dish set is that it is BPA free and made from Polypropylene. Most people say that their dishes get soften at higher temperatures but with this one, you won’t have to worry about anything. In short, it is an all-in-one camping dish set that can be used anywhere. From long hiking tours to a small family picnic, it is perfect for all purposes.
Pros of Light My Fire Camping Dishes Set:
- It is fully waterproof
- BPA free and heat-resistant
- Good looking dishes
Cons of Light My Fire Camping Dishes Set:
- A little heavier
Best entry-level set: Barbeqa Camping Dishes
If you are in the market for multi-purpose camping dishes that can fulfill all of your needs, then this Barbeqa Camping Dishes set has everything. It is a complete camping kit that comes with all the necessary utensils such as plates, bowls, cups, and sporks. The best thing about this camping dish set is that it comes in 4 different colors and you can choose according to your choice. It is a must-have kit for people that go camping and hiking tours more often.
All of its components are BPA-free and made of high-quality polypropylene, which makes it very durable. This camping dishes set is a onetime investment as it is designed to last long. It is dishwasher safe and doesn’t take a lot of effort into cleaning. With this set, you will also get a mesh bag so that you can store it easily and take anywhere you want without any difficulties.
Pros of Barbeqa Camping Dishes:
- It looks very colorful
- Made of eco-friendly material
- Doesn’t need much maintenance
- Easy to store and carry
Cons of Barbeqa Camping Dishes:
- It can hold smells after cleaning
My hope is that my thoughts and reviews above have been helpful for you as you think about which camping dishes are right for you. There are a couple of good options on the market right now.
Camping dishes FAQ
There are a couple of questions that many people have when they first start to look into these dishes. With that in mind, I’ve put a couple of the most common questions below and did my best to answer them and help you out!
How to wash dishes while camping
There is a few step process to follow when it comes to cleaning your dishes. It’s important to do this (see below!), but for now, let’s focus on how to wash them.
- Clean your plate: When you are eating your meal, make sure to finish it all! You’re hungry when camping after all! Once you are done, take all excess material (like bone) and put into a trash bag
- Cleaning pot: Take your biggest pot (I recommend this one) and heat it over the fire or stove until the water is warm. Then, clean your dishes in the pot. You shouldn’t use soap here as it’s difficult to transport and impossible to get rid of soapy water when you are camping
- Dry them out: Take your dishes and put them somewhere, like a table or bench, to let them dry
That’s about it!
Do I need to wash my dishes while camping?
Absolutely, without a doubt. You cannot get away with NOT washing dishes while camping. The reason why is wild animals.
Animals are always better than you would expect at smelling and finding food. For that reason, if you don’t wash your dishes, you’ll quickly find animals in your campsite and digging through your stuff to find your dishes.
Make sure to always wash your dishes!
What soap for camping dishes?
In the best-case scenario, you clean your camping dishes by boiling them. That way, you don’t need soap.
However, if you are going camping for longer than just a weekend, you should probably look into getting some kind of camping soap in order to keep your dishes clean for the length of your trip.
In that case, I’d recommend Camp Suds soap. I personally haven’t used it, and have defaulted to boiling my dishes clean. However, if you want soap, then Camp Suds is probably your best option.
Where to buy camping dishes?
Stick to the pros here. Some gas stations and 7-Elevens near campsites sell cheap supplies for people who forgot to bring one from home. I’d buy supplies only from BPS or Gander Mountain if you want to buy from a store.
However, I just buy all my camping supplies from Amazon. Faster and cheaper than going to the store.
How to store camping dishes?
Many people (myslef included) are/were hesitant about buying camping dishes because the dishes aren’t used all the time. After all, it could be a not good purchase if you don’t go camping frequently and don’t want to have your camping dishes just stored somewhere.
You can storee the dishes very easily and put them into a closoet when home.
Howevr, you can do what I do, and use them at home. Most of these dishes work great while at home. For the ones that don’t work as well at home, like the ones also great for transportation, can be used by kids to bring meals to and from school.
See you at the campsite!