I think it's interesting to compare these two pieces of Coleman camping cookware, both of which Teddy owns. The oven at left is a folding metal box that folds down to the size of a piece of paper (obviously thicker) and heats up when you set it on top of a propane stove or even just over a fire. It's got a tiny thermometer in the face so you know at what temperature you're baking your food. Perfect for Teddy's biscuits, and for my potatoes au gratin. At right is their latest, a multi-burner stove and grill with its own folding stand and pop-out trays. Probably ten times the price of the oven.
Stephen's cooking gear is probably ten or fifteen years old; he's got a two-burner stove with a fold-up cover that blocks the wind and sits on a table, and another piece with one big burner underneath a reversible cast iron griddle/grill top. You can see both in this picture from a couple of years ago.
Honestly, I've done lots of cooking just over (or in) a fire, but having even just Stephen's stoves on hand makes cooking loads easier and more controlled. Of course, I learned the lesson last time that you don't want to cook more than one or two eggs directly on the griddle cooktop. Unless it's perfectly level, it's going to run all over the place! And, it's not going to be perfectly level. Petey learned the same lesson this weekend; the griddle you can see on top of Teddy's new Coleman is the solution to Petey's first attempt on the stove's built-in griddle-top, when lots of raw egg ran straight down the drain hole. Oops!
For four people's worth of eggs yesterday morning, I borrowed Kat's big cast iron skillet, of the same vintage as Michelle's grandma's dutch oven. :-) Very nice piece. I've suggested cast iron to Stephen for camping, but he prefers lighter-weight stuff when it has to be carted around so much. I guess I can sympathize with that. He does need a bigger skillet, though, since the five-inch one isn't enough for more than a couple of eggs at a time. Maybe I'll buy him one for next summer.