Build a Portable Camp Kitchen For Your Next Picnic or Camping Trip

Do you love going on picnics or camping trips with family and friends? Then you will surely like this project too as this will make cooking, eating and cleaning up while outdoors really easy. And ‘easy’ means enjoyable!

Portable Camp Kitchen

This kitchen is very portable, allowing you to fold it down to fit your camping vehicle easily. The stand is collapsible and the box is easy to use and close.

It can store all basic kitchen ingredients, cooking and cleaning equipment. The shelves inside are adjustable in case you need to change some equipment or rearrange items inside. What also makes this portable camp kitchen a winner is that it has expandable parts, giving you extra workspace at your camp site.

This project, though one that can be difficult to build for its many details, only requires common tools and materials that you most probably already own or have access to.

See how this clever idea was built and be inspired to make your very own camping kitchen!

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.8-)

You’ll need these materials:

  • 3/4″ Swedish Plywood
  • 1/8″ Tempered Masonit Board
  • 3/8″ Luan Mahogany
  • Closet Door Hinges
  • Road Case Hinges
  • Piano Hinges
  • Hinges with removable pins
  • 1-1/2″ Wood Screws
  • Bolts and Nuts
  • Pipe Clamp
  • Natural Pine Finish
  • Polyurethane

And these tools:

  • Wood Clamps
  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Measuring Tape

Steps:

BOX DESIGN: I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the best design that works for me. I found many good designs on the net and borrowed features from some and added many of my own. You may not like this design so feel free to change anything you like.

Design Criteria:
1. Must fit stove and all cook/clean gear.
2. Must maximize storage space for large and small items.
3. Must maximize working counter space.
4. Must hold fresh and wash water containers.

Portable Camp Kitchen

The two top panels fold out and are supported by the swing out doors. The doors double as storage space for cleaning and condiment items. I added bungees to the doors to keep things from rattling around. The large storage compartment has adjustable shelves as does the right compartment. Nesting cooking components saves space and the flip out door design allows easy access to all components.

STAND DESIGN: Given that the design of the box would probably not allow it to collapse with equipment inside, the stand had to fold down.

Portable Camp Kitchen
1. I used door hinges with removable pins to allow the 2 halves of the stand to attach and detach to each other.
2. Sections that were removed from each side to make the stand lighter were reused for fold down shelves.
3. The back cut out had movable legs attached to rest across the horizontal supports.
4. Supports for a free standing beach umbrella were added for sun shading.

Portable Camp Kitchen
5. The inside dimensions of the stand fit the outside dimensions of the box so that  the box nests inside the stand against the stops.

BUILDING THE BOX: Take care to measure everything carefully!  Measure twice, cut once.

Top, sides, divider, and bottom: 3/4″ Swedish plywood
Back and internal adjustable shelving: 1/8″ tempered Masonite board
Doors: 3/4″ plywood frame, 1/8″ Luan mahogany skin, closet door hinges
Handles: recessed road case hinges (1/2″ of side had to be routed out so the handle fit flush)
Top fold out counter: 3/4″ Swedish plywood, piano hinges recessed

Portable Camp Kitchen
The box has1-1/2″ screws were driven through the top and bottom to hold the sides. I used bar clamps to hold everything during assembly. There was no glue used on this project.

Portable Camp Kitchen
Prefit the doors before assembling the box. The doors should be made a little bit shorter than the opening so they will swing out easily. I used small pieces of scrap pine for the door latches and stop.

Portable Camp Kitchen
I cut extra slots on the inside of the box to maximize adjustability of the shelves for the future should the contents change.

Portable Camp Kitchen
The finish is natural pine with 2 coats of poly urethane.

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