There’s a range of styles to camp cooking, from the one-pot dirtbag or to the I-brought-everything-including-the-fridge. Generally when I go climbing or mountain biking, I’m car camping and I fall into the latter and it’s for this reason the Kanz Outdoor Field Kitchen fits my bill precisely.
The field kitchen is a concept that’s been in use for centuries, although I could find no irrefutable proof in my research, I’m sure Cortez had one as he plundered the Americas. Most recently, river guides and outfitters have put some sort of chuck box to use on their multi-day trips, and in Africa they are standard equipment on vehicle-supported safaris. Harald Kanz, a German industrial designer, set out to make cooking outdoors simple and elegant without the bulk of what was readily available on the market. He designed his kitchen with the footprint of Zarges cases, a global standard for freight and overland use. Using a combination of aluminum and birch, he has created something that is both industrial and warm, a very modern approach.
Broken down, the kitchen is easy to lift and stow, 45 pounds as tested — it’s when going through a simple Transformer-like growth spurt that the kitchen becomes a backcountry gastronomic creation station. With a choice of multiple leg heights or even a wall mount, an ergonomically correct level is reached easily. The interior has space for a full size double burner stove, a utensil drawer, and nooks for all other kitchen implements or dry goods.
Aside from the thoughtful design, its timelessness and versatility are real standouts. And yes, $675 is lot for a box, even a beautiful one, but I can see this field kitchen, if properly maintained, handed down through the family. Using it in a yurt or that cabin you’re building will make life that much more civilized.