There's a new way to streamline your camping kitchen thanks to the Camp Champ, which packs a home kitchen's worth of cooking gear into a neat box. At camp, the box opens up into a full kitchen area complete with stove, cookware, dishes, tools, utensils and plenty of counter space. On the road, the all-in-one kitchen keeps all of that equipment secured snugly in a series of cubbies, shelves, cabinets and racks made from elegant sapele-veneered plywood.
We've seen a couple of recent efforts at turning the classic camping chuck box, traditionally made at home or as a project for organizations like the Boy Scouts, into a commercial product. The My Camp Kitchen is a wooden model, and the Kanz Outdoors Field Kitchen uses a mix of wood and aluminum construction. Considering that both of those companies have expanded their lineups in the years following our initial coverage, and new, similar products like the GrubHub have launched in that time, it seems like there is a market there.
Designed and built in Upper Austria, the Camp Champ is a larger, more intricate kitchen-in-a-box. Like many a good chuck box, the Camp Champ was purpose-built for its designer's personal use. CEO Franz Moser was looking to create a travel camp kitchen fully equipped with kitchen-grade gear, as opposed to cheaper, flimsier camping hardware.
Moser designed the Camp Champ last year, sourcing the cooking equipment from Germany and Switzerland. After using the design for a while, Moser decided to bring it to market this year, and he has been showing it at European trade shows like this month's Abenteuer und Allrad (Adventure and All-wheel) show.
Unlike the MCK, Kanz and GrubHub efforts, the Camp Champ isn't just a specially designed storage box with organizers and counter space; it's a complete all-in-one camping kitchen with all the tools and serving ware you need to prepare and serve a meal for up to six people. It includes everything from a four-burner gas stove, a knife block, and a set of pots and pans, to a spice rack and dishes and utensils for six people. It also has more specific tools, like a coffee percolator, grater and stainless steel strainer. Unless you're planning a really complex campsite meal, the Camp Champ should have every piece of hardware you need to make and serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Including all of that gear as standard has allowed Camp Champ to design its structure to fit that specific set of equipment, instead of just designing general shelves and compartments. In turn, that snug, purpose-built fit means less rattling and shuffling when driving over the bumpy roads common on camping trips. With each tool and utensil fitted securely into its purpose-designed space, the dual doors of the main body close and the outer shell secures over top the main unit, creating a neat, compact package ready for transport. The waterproof cover offers protection from the weather.
At camp, the outer shell slides off and serves as a base, lifting the main kitchen body to a more natural food-prep level. There is a garbage bag holder on each door, and the tops of the doors serve as the main cooking/food preparation space. There's also a small flip-down counter inside the box. When the kitchen area isn't in use, the packed box doubles as a seat, complete with included cushion.
The Camp Champ is built from boatbuilding-grade plywood with 1.5-mm veneers made from sapele wood, an African wood also used in furniture making, cabinetry, construction of guitars like the Taylor T3, and the interior trim of the Cadillac XTS. The design is rounded off with a weatherproof finish, rugged POM thermoplastic base, galvanized steel corner reinforcements, aluminum edge protectors, steel handles, and durable, laminated work surfaces.
The Camp Champ weighs 88 lb (40 kg) when empty and 154 lb (70 kg) when filled with all accompanying gear. It measures about 27 in x 21 x 22 in (68 x 54 x 57 cm) when closed.
Nothing about the Camp Champ's design sounds cheap, and the price definitely reflects that. The unit is available for order in Europe now, retailing for €5,381 (approx. US$6,120). That's probably several times what I've spent on all the camping gear I've ever owned, but folks looking for an all-in-one outdoor kitchen to carry in the types of six- and seven-figure expedition vehicles and campers common at Overland Expo may be willing to spend it. The unit would be particularly useful in smaller 4x4 campers that don't have room for a full indoor kitchen.
The Camp Champ appears to be a good-looking, high-quality kitchen, and its cohesive design sounds ideal for rough, bumpy activities like overlanding and 4WD camping. Camp Champ suggests other uses like boating, picnicking, and cooking on the patio. The design would also fit right in at a high-end tailgate party.
You can watch the Camp Champ unfold and pack up in the three-minute video below.
Source: Camp Champ