Western Traveler

Cooking Equipment

As with any outdoor gear, there are endless possibilities in this area.

If you’re a backpacker or kayaker, weight is once again first and foremost on your list of concerns. Cook sets come in a variety of configurations and materials. This is a very personal thing, finding a set that you’re comfortable with.

When I began my camping career in the Boy Scouts I used the traditional aluminum, 5-piece “mess kit”. It was lightweight, compact and worked like a charm. It contained; a skillet with folding handle, a plate/bowl combination, a cooking pot with lid and a cup to drink out of. These kits are still available for less than $10 at almost any store with a Sporting Goods department. The only real disadvantages to this type of set are that they’re not the most durable and they can be hard to clean. Otherwise, they’re great.

The more high-end kits are now made of: heavier aluminum, stainless steel and even titanium. My personal choice is Evolution Cookware. It’s an enameled, aluminum system with a non-stick coating. One thing I really like about the Evolution system is the fact that the bottom of the pots have a texture which makes them less likely to slide off of a stove while cooking.

While we’re talking about cooking equipment, let’s not forget about cooking utensils. You can buy them in two basic materials, stainless steel and Lexan. In my kit, I carry a Lexan knife, fork & spoon set as well as a miniature stainless steel spatula. These utensils to date have fulfilled all my cooking needs in the wild.

Also, make sure to carry multiple trash & ZIPLOC bags with you, the uses are endless.

If you’re car camping, it’s a good idea to put together a kitchen box. Mine contains; plates, pots, skillets, cooking utensils (in a separate container), coffee pot, cutting board, dishwashing kit, paper towels, matches, and an assortment of other items. This box always stays stocked and is ready for immediate use. You can customize your box based on your level of cooking.

Last modified on: March 15th 2012.
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