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The Best Backpack Cooking Gear

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FAQs

What cooking gear do I need for backpacking?

  • A light-weight backpacking stove, fuel canister (s), wind screen, and lighter are usually needed.
  • All of the cooking gear is packed into a convenient backpack-sized container.
  • Sometimes just a spoon and fork to eat with and a cup to drink from is all that's needed.
  • A water filtration system usually does the trick for backpacking drinking needs. A filter may also be combined with treatment drops or tablets, so it can double as your water purification tool.
  • A cookset holds everything you need for preparing food in one place, such as plates, bowls, cups, utensils, even salt and spices! Cooksets often come with pots, but there are also options without them too.
  • Travel bottles and/or a collapsible cup and/or a bowl for carrying and storing food.
  • A larger backpack to hold all of your cooking gear. Some people use a separate bag or pack for this purpose, while others prefer it as part of their main bag.

Which is more important, lightweight or sturdy?

sturdy, as long as the weight stays reasonable. So as not to waste money on something that breaks after one use, you should always try out the product before buying it if possible. However, if you're going with a used option, make sure there are no cracks or chips in the glassware.

They are lightweight and usually made from plastic or metal pots and pans with a thin aluminum bottom layer to lighten them up. They usually weigh between 1 and 3 pounds (0.5 to 1.4 kg). Even with such a small weight, it should be able to support up to 2 cups of water and other things like food cans and bottles without too much trouble.

Both! Especially when layered! Use more sturdy items for cooking and preparing food, but use the lighter ones when you don't want something too heavy or bulky in your pack while still having everything you need at hand... like early morning coffee before setting out on the trail. Or during meals, instead of pulling out all of your gear, you can just pull out one lightweight item instead.

What material should I get?

There are many options out there for backpacking cooking gear.

If you don't mind the weight but are concerned about cost, then the cheapest option available is usually aluminum. It's also easy to clean up and doesn't rust. Unfortunately, it can be easily dented, which makes it slightly less durable, especially if not treated well.

The most common type of material used for lightweight backpacking cooking gear is titanium. It's more durable than aluminum and has a higher melting point, so it won't burn as easily. Plus, it's much lighter!

There are other options too, like stainless steel, copper, cast iron, etc., but those are not really recommended for light-weight purposes since they're very heavy or expensive to manufacture. However, if that's all you have, then go ahead and make do with it!

How can I test out my gear?

You should always try using the product at home before taking it on a hike. If possible, ask someone else to use it too so you can see how they feel about it. Don't be shy! See what works best for everyone involved. A group of people is ideal since there are usually more ideas to go by compared to one person's perspective alone, which is subjective anyway.

What about backpacking cooking tools?

Backpacking cooking tools are inexpensive or even free items lying around your house that can be used in place of something specifically made for hiking meals... like spices, oils, butter, etc.

  • Toilet paper tube pots for boiling water, making coffee, etc.
  • Pot gripper: a simple device that can be used as tongs or to grab hot objects.
  • Insect repellant container-great for holding salt and/or pepper while also protecting it from small animals at the same time!
  • Napkin holder turned knife block-makes a convenient way to keep your utensils organized and close by. You should at least have a knife since other things like forks and spoons are common tableware anyway... in case someone forgot their own backpacking cooking tools. But there's no reason why you shouldn't share it if asked nicely!

Can I use glassware, plastic or metal food cans?

Glass jars are not recommended since they're heavy, fragile, and break easily if dropped accidentally.

Metal food cans are not recommended because they're heavy and break easily if dropped accidentally.

Plastic is great for cooking, especially when microwaving. It lasts a long time too, which makes it very durable. However, it can be quite expensive to buy in bulk or when you need something that doesn't already exist. You may like a specific size of pan to suit your unique type of cooking needs and supply of ingredients. Also, depending on the plastic and the potential heat involved during cooking, it can melt or warp instead of remaining stable under fire conditions. High quality plastics work best for this, but again, costs add up quickly, so just try keeping an eye out for them instead.

Is aluminum or stainless steel better for backpacking?

Aluminum is cheaper and less durable, but it's lighter. Stainless steel is more durable and a little heavier.

What size of pot should I get?

For a single person, a 1 liter pot usually works best. You can boil water for hot drinks or reconstitute freeze-dried meals with ease. It's also good for making ramen noodles!

For two people, a 2-liter saucepan works great since you can cook pasta, rice, vegetables, eggs, whatever your heart desires without any issues. Just make sure there is enough of each item in the recipe to meet everyone's dietary needs and personal preferences. Being hungry after eating has a negative impact on morale, regardless of how delicious the meal is!

For three or more people, a 3-liter pot is the standard minimum size of pot you should have for three or more people.

What about cookware sets?

If you're considering buying one of those cheap "cookware sets" they sell at discount stores, think again. You might as well make do with what you already own!

They are usually made of cheap metal, which is bad for backpacking since they're heavy and can't handle the heat from a campfire very well.

They are usually non-stick, making them unsuitable for backpacking meals anyway. Why would you bother with non-stick cookware when it's just going to get dirty anyway?

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