How to Store Cast Iron for Camping? [Tips & Tricks]

When you go on a camping trip, there is little chance for you to be as comfortable as you would be when you are at home. Not only will you have an improvised sleeping arrangement, but you will not have a proper kitchen or the cookware needed to cook meals. You can always bring some kitchen equipment from home, but you will need to learn to store it properly.

When using cast iron cookware, proper storage is a must. You have to take paper towels or bags between the pots and pans, while you also need to keep them clean and dry. If you do not do this, you risk damaging the cookware.

But there is no need to worry about anything – this guide will tell you what you need to do with your cookware to keep it safe during storage. If you want to learn more on the topic, keep reading to the end. I bet you will be able to use the helpful tips provided in today’s guide!


cooking cast iron while camping

How Can You Store Cast Iron When Camping?

Storing any kind of cookware can be somewhat difficult when you are camping. Any practice you are using to store the cookware at home goes out the window. You must rely on alternative storage practices to keep your pans and skillets safe.

Most people do not realize that cast iron cookware can be quite heavy. The cookware is also large in size, so it is not that easy to take it with you. You do not want to take a lot of cookware to weigh you down and take up too much space in your backpack. You should take only what you must.

Then again, from the moment you put the cookware in the backpack to the moment you store it to take it back home, it needs to be protected. You will have to rely on bags or towels that you can put between your cookware for that purpose.

It can be a paper towel or a regular towel, a paper bag or plastic bag, or anything similar. You should put the towels or bags between the cookware or wrap the cookware in them. That way, your pots, and pans will not get scratches or other damage.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the cookware needs to stay in a cool and dry area, while you also need to keep it dry and clean at all times. After you cook your meals, give the cookware a nice clean-up and store it away. You can use one of the towels to wipe the water from it.

Never let the cookware sit with dirt or oil, or water on it, no matter what you do. That can also cause damage. So, check their condition during the use and before storing the cookware away. That is the only way to ensure that you are doing everything right!

How to Store Cast Iron Cookware after Camping Trip?

After a camping trip, there are several things you can do if you want to store the cast iron cookware in the right way. First of all, you need to make sure that everything is completely clean and dry – otherwise, you will need to clean and dry the cookware before storing it.

It is not that easy to clean the cookware when camping, especially if you do not have that much water available. Campsites located near springs or those that have a regular bathroom that you can use are fabulous. If you do not have any of these options, you will have to choose an alternative option.

For example, you can always use wet wipes to clean the cookware. Then, you can wipe them dry using a regular or paper towel. If you know any other ways to clean the cookware, feel free to use them. Once you are sure the cookware is ready for storage, you can proceed to the next step.

Using paper towels or bags, wrap the cookware all around. Then, stack the skillets and pots on top of one another and put them in your backpack. If you are car camping, you can set the cookware directly in the car and not worry about it. Carrying it on your back for the entire trip can be somewhat exhausting and may cause back pain.

But even in such situations, it is worth it to go through all that trouble. Camping is a beautiful experience that I wish everyone would try out. So, if you love camping or want to try it for the first time, do not be afraid to take some cookware on the trip. It will be worth it, trust me!

Can You Store Cast Iron Outside?

When camping, you might think that you can store your cast iron cookware outside. That is true only in part – you have to be quite careful when trying to keep cast iron outside. This material should not be exposed to too much sun or warmth and water.

So, you have to keep the cast iron in a cool and dry place. No sun, no dew, and no water are allowed! If you do not have any space in the tent for it, make sure to store it under some rock or tree and to keep it protected at all costs.

If you are camping with a car or a camper, that is another story. Then, you will not have to worry about the storage at all. As long as the cookware is clean and dry, you can leave it in your car or camper. You can store it in paper bags or towels or keep it in a cabinet.

The storage rules are similar to those you follow when you are home. As long as you store the cast iron in the same way as at home, you should be alright. Ensure that you have enough storage space to fit everything and get some bags and papers!

How Do You Store Cast Iron Long-Term?

All the things mentioned thus far can help you store your cast iron. If you want to store it long-term because you do not need it or will be absent, you can follow the same rules. Here is what you should remember:

  • Always keep the cast iron clean and dry

  • Always keep the cast iron in a cool and dry place

  • Always use towels or bags between the cast iron to prevent damage

As long as you follow these rules, your cast iron cookware will be pristine. As it should – the cast iron cookware is not that expensive, but it is not that cheap. Once you get it, you can use it for years and years as long as you keep it protected.

This material allows the pot or pan to get so hot that you can cook anything in a matter of minutes. Whether you are cooking on a regular stove or a campfire – your lunch or dinner will be cooked to perfection! You will not even have to deal with the food sticking as this material is non-stick.

Another thing to know is that the cookware made from cast iron is multifunctional and quite durable. You can rest assured you are using quality cookware with this material, which is more than you could say for aluminum or regular iron.

Because of all this, you should learn how to store the cast iron and keep it intact for years. The long-term storage rules are not that difficult to master, so there are no excuses that you can use!

Other Useful Information:

I bet you already feel prepared to go on your next camping trip with your cast iron cookware. You might not think that it is possible to love camping more than you do. But, when you try cooking on cast iron while camping, you will find it is much more enjoyable.

So, no matter where or when you are camping, always bring your cast iron with you. If you decide to do that, there is some extra information that you might find helpful. Let’s get right into it:

  • What Types Of Meals Will You Be Cooking On Camping Cast Iron?

You can cook any type of meal on camping cast iron. The thing is that you cannot take any kind of food on camping trips. Especially if you are camping for a while, you will need to bring food that does not need to stay in the fridge at all times.

You can use meat and eggs but only if you cook them in the first few days of your trip. You can also choose to make improvised pizza using a cast iron pizza pan, but that can be somewhat difficult.

Still, I encourage you to try and cook your favorite meals. Make sure that you always get enough cooking oil and vegetables. You can pair the veggies with all types of meats. That will make a great, healthy lunch or dinner. So, why not give it a shot!?

  • How Many People Will You Be Cooking For When Using Camping Cast Iron?

There is cast iron cookware in various sizes. Depending on how many people you expect to cook for on the trip, you can get the appropriate cookware. You do not want to get a small skillet and have to cook for hours to prepare enough food for everyone. So, it is good to go with something larger if camping with a group.

Compared to a Dutch oven size, cast iron cookware can be anywhere from 8-inches to 16-inches in size. The smallest skillets are perfect for couples or groups of three. The larger skillets of 16-inches can be great for 12 to 16 people groups. Here is a detailed overview of the size of cast-iron cookware and the serving options:

  • 8-inch cast iron cookware is for 2 to 4 people

  • 10-inch cast-iron cookware is for 4 to 6 people

  • 12-inch cast-iron cookware is for 6 to 8 people

  • 14-inch cast-iron cookware is for 8 to 10 people

  • 16-inch cast-iron cookware is for 12 to 16 people


Thank you for sticking with me through this guide. I hope you learned a lot about caring for and storing cast iron cookware. All kinds of paper bags, paper towels, or regular towels can prove helpful in this type of situation.

Remember that you can always come back to this guide and remind yourself how you can store cast iron skillets and pots whenever you go camping. If you know any other storage practices you would like to suggest, feel free to do so in the comments below. Your suggestions may help other people preserve their cookware from cast iron or other materials.

Andrew Mullen

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