A friend was telling me yesterday about wanting to teach his kids to camp and love it. He said that he had inherited a bunch of camping gear from his dad and grandpa and had all kinds of cool old-timey camping stuff. He wanted to try a small trip with the kids to try out the tent and see what they needed and maybe do something bigger in another year. Of course this got to me because some of my fondest memories of learning to camp are from trips when I was a little kid.

But then he asked a question that I’ve been pondering ever since. “What is your favorite camp kitchen piece of gear? What can you just not do without?” Oh, gosh. I love so many things in my camp kitchen. We’ve worked hard to find just the right items that pack down small, that are easy to use and clean and that make cooking outdoors simple and fun. I can’t pick just one.

So today I took a quick look at the galley in the Silver Shadow and went through some of my cooking gear. I think I’m going to have to write-up a lot of these items.

X-Bowls collapsed

So let’s start with the Sea-to-Summit X-Bowls. These little guys are awesome. First of all, they fold up nearly flat and in two seconds they expand so you have a whole bowl. They are great for cereal and oatmeal, for salad and noodles. They come in different colors so that each person can have their own. They wash up quick and easy. They even have a “cup” that is a taller bowl that fits into the bigger one. They make great dog dishes and the dog loves the cup and bowl combo for his dinner and water. (And I love that the dog has the chartreuse bowls and I have the pink one!)

They make great cereal and salad or fruit bowls

It makes it easy to have extra bowls if you have guests for camp dinner. And it is simple to throw one in your pack if you are planning to eat an MRE type meal on the trail for lunch.

And they basically tuck away in almost no space amongst our other dishes on the shelves. They aren’t super cheap, but they last pretty well. We’ve been using these 4 bowls for a few years now.

Want some for yourself? Get some here at REI.

The X-Bowls tuck into almost no space on our shelves