In my mind, camping dinnerware is a necessity for a camping trip. A lot of people rely on paper plates and plastic flatware because it is easier to deal with without a kitchen; however, when using disposable dinnerware, there is a chance that you will run out and believe me, paper plates and campfire grilling don't go good together.
You could take your dishes from home, but most household dishes are not tough enough to stand outdoor dining. I can almost assure you; you will come back with chipped or broken dishes.
It is much better to go stocked with outdoor dinnerware that is made tough and intended for dining outdoors as camping dinnerware is. It is also necessary to have the appropriate cookware for a camp trip.
There are three ways to camp…
If you are camping in a cabin or camp trailer, you likely have a stove, a sink and storage space. In that environment, standard cookware and melamine dinnerware might be appropriate. There is also some rustic dinnerware in melamine that might make you feel like you're "roughing it". If you are so privileged to have a microwave, you do need to know that melamine is not microwave safe.
For campfire cooking, you will basically need fire-resistance cookware. Cast iron skillets and a cast iron dutch oven are musts. If you're a coffee drinker, you will appreciate a campfire percolating coffee pot . A campfire tripod is nice to have. It is also nice to have an over-the-fire grill , but you can use broiler baskets to grill meat and veggies. Nowadays, they even make popcorn poppers and waffle irons designed for campfire cooking.
Of course you will need camping utensils . Leather camp gloves or welding gloves work well for potholders. For roasting marshmallows or hot dogs, toaster forks are nice to have, but really a straightened out metal hanger works well. Aluminum foil always comes in handy.
Tinware, stainless steel dinnerware or enamel dinnerware serves well for campfire dining. I prefer enamelware myself. These things do get hot, so it may be necessary to let the food cool off a bit before placing a plate on your lap, or you might choose to take towels to drape over your lap to sit the plates on.
If you are partially spoiled (like I am) you will like to take along a Coleman cooking stove . It will make it easier to warm things in saucepans and to make coffee first thing in the morning. For this type of cooking, enamelware cookware is sufficient and you can usually get it to match your camping dinnerware.
The number one reason why people are more prone to using ready to eat food and disposable dinnerware on a camping trip is that they don't know how to do dishes without the luxuries of a modern kitchen.
To do it right, you'll need three wash pots - one with hot water and soap for washing, one with clear, hot water for rinsing, and one with cold water and a bit a bleach for sterilizing (something I never use - really, who does that?). For me, a two-section tub works just fine.
Scraping the dishes and pans and washing them immediately after dinner will make the task so much easier and will eliminate the need for scrubbing. You can really wash dishes in the outdoors just like you do at home without the luxury of a dishwasher.
If you take ready to eat food and disposable dishes when you go camping, you really don't know what you are missing. Campfire cooking is an awesome experience and it creates unforgetable memories.