Outdoor enthusiasts know one thing is true anywhere, anytime: nothing tastes better than after it’s been cooked over a fire. From morning coffee to midnight snacks, a bed of coals in the woods does better than our stoves at home. Fortunately, whether it’s hunting camp, a picnic spot, a drive-in movie theater, or a faraway shoreline, it only takes a few tools to make those culinary dreams come true.


Since there is often limited space for gear on our outdoor adventures, a key attribute is versatility. Items that can multitask are invaluable, because equipment capacity and weight are often in short supply.


A great example of versatility is tripod grills. [like those made by Coleman or Coghlan’s]. They can be used to grill food directly on the grill or to hang cooking utensils such as kettles and pans over the fire. The circular rack is suspended between three legs, which also makes it self-leveling. It can also be raised and lowered according to the state of the fire and cooking needs. Do you need more heat? Lower it closer to the coals. Do you want to let things simmer or just keep warm? Pick it up again.


Despite their name, fillet knives can be exceptionally versatile. In addition to turning whole fish into smaller, boneless parts, they can be used to prepare other meats. Such as deboning pork chops or trimming fat or sinew from cuts of beef or venison. Agile, flexible blades easily carve around bone and cartilage. Their thin profiles are also great for slicing vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms. This is especially true of many delicate wild mushrooms, such as maitake, morels, and chicken of the woods.

A great general choice is the Mr. Crappie 4 Inch Folding Steak knife. On top of all these features, it folds in half, meaning it can easily fit into a bag, backpack, or tackle box for any adventure.


As with the Mr. Crappie fillet knife, a hallmark of other essential outdoor cooking tools is a small (and often lightweight) size. In addition to packing as few things as possible, we often need to fit them into as little space as possible. The following items fit the bill and earn bonus points for high performance.


No matter what we cook, it is almost impossible to avoid carrying a knife. He Edgesport Camp Knife it is meant to go anywhere it is needed. With its 4-inch blade and an overall length of less than 8 inches, there are few knives that would fit any packing list better. In addition to meats, it does a great job cutting vegetables like onions and potatoes.

It can do general kitchen tasks well, but the Edgesport Camp Cleaver is also exceptionally strong with its full tang construction. You can take on tough jobs like removing the head from fish before smoking or grilling. Since it comes with a snap-lock sheath, this blade can be safely stored with other gear.


When people say, “they don’t make them like they used to anymore,” it’s usually not a compliment. In the case of Fire Wire Flexible Grill Skewers , is. And at a reasonable MSRP of $12, Fire Wire Skewers offer a lot to outdoor chefs in a product that hides neatly.

These are not your grandmother’s bamboo skewers. For one, Fire Wire is made from stainless steel, which means it won’t burn if placed over a hot spot on a fire. Another thing that sets them apart from ordinary skewers is that they are long (30 inches) and flexible. This allows them to be placed where convenient on the grill, such as around or between steaks. They can also be loaded with food ahead of time and then stored in a plastic bag (perhaps with a marinade) until it’s time to grill.

After cooking, unloading them couldn’t be easier. Simply hold Fire Wire by the loop and slide food down and out of the other end into a serving bowl. You no longer have to worry about burnt skewers or stray splinters.


Just as knives are indispensable tools in the camp kitchen, so are knife sharpeners. The more you use a knife, the closer it will come to needing a touch up. Most will need polishing, which is done with a “fine” sharpening stone or tool. Some more worn ones will also need a “rough” treatment. The Edge Grip Select 2-Stage Sharpener You can do any job in just a few moments. It’s made to rest against the corner of a counter, table, or other stable surface, and its rubberized grip will ensure consistent performance. At 4.5 inches long, it’s small enough to take on any hike and ensure the blades are always up to any task.

For more information on Smith’s consumer products and essential tools, please contact Dena Vick,


Smith’s Consumer Products is an Arkansas-based company that traces its history back to 1886. Smith’s produces the broadest line of knife and scissor sharpeners available, ranging from simple fixed-angle sharpeners for consumers who want quick and easy sharpening to sophisticated precision kits. Designed for the knife sharpening enthusiast. Our offering includes manual and electric sharpeners that incorporate many different abrasive materials, including diamond, carbide, ceramic, bonded synthetic abrasives, and of course, Arkansas natural stone. Smith’s Consumer Products Edge Experts also design and manufacture a wide range of tools for the outdoor enthusiast, as well as knives for everyday carry, tactical, shop, kitchen, hunting and fishing needs.