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14.07.2013 admin
I always prepare two “just pitched” meals and some breakfast rolls: after pitching the tent, sorting out the bedrooms and lighting the fire, I don’t want to do a big shop or cook, I want to crack open a beer, warm something on a campfire and watch the children leap about.
We have ditched the barbecue but kept the grill, propping it up with bricks or stones, and using it to cook over the campfire. The methylated spirit stove (Trangia) packs down small and comes with saucepans, a frying pan and a tiny kettle. If I’m cooking a joint of meat or a bird over a campfire, I like it perfectly done, and because you are not using a domestic oven, with its reliable temperature, a thermometer spares the campfire cook all that uncertain prodding and poking. We experimented with folding plastic mugs and plates, which I was adept at assembling but which completely defeated Math. To cook a large joint of meat on the campfire, you will have to wrap it in tinfoil once it has been browned. Just having returned from camping in the north coast of Ireland I was glad of my Pampered Chef serrated bread knife. Whether you’re packing for a day hike or a full-family camping excursion, going with the proper gear is a fail-safe insurance policy to make sure you and your crew have fun no matter what Mother Nature brings.
Our editors have selected gear that includes cooking and kitchen equipment, lighting, tents, sleeping gear and furniture. Good quality camping gear or cookware can sometimes make or break a Camping, Fishing & Hunting, and in some bad cases, save your life. Careful using it in the garage though - need to have very good ventilation, and a carbon monoxide detector wouldn't be a bad idea.
For ultra lightweight camping this is great, yes the wind effects it but it's too easy to build a wind block. For the weight, price, consistency and being to get your fuel wherever, this thing is great.
Living comfortably in harsh weather requires a constant heat source that not only heats but dries. The main factor to consider when choosing a stove is weight, which is determined by the amount of square footage you are trying to heat and the construction of the stove.
For a table, you can use everything from folding card tables to my current selections, both of which roll up for easy transport.
One is made in Maine out of hardwood, and the other came out of Washington and is covered in PVC.
Everything I have described above, with the addition of a couple of grub boxes, two hunters* worth of groceries, and hunting gear for a week to ten days, can be organized to fit into the bed of a full-size pickup. A portable potty chair of the type used in hospital settings or sold to the public for convalescing at home.
What's the best camping cookware to use for whipping up your tasty camping and backpacking meals?
We put each set through the wringer, cooking several months worth of meals as well as specific cooking challenges and boil tests. We went the extra mile, in fact about five extra miles, for a backcountry picnic while testing the Snow Peak Titanium cookware.
G4Free uses silicone to cover the metal handles, but they are prone to melting on larger sized burners such as most camping stoves. Snow Peak makes the lightest and most compact set we tested during this review out of titanium metal.
In order to bring you the best camping cookware review, we tested eight different models to see how they compared side-by-side. With so many different options available it can be difficult to select the right set for you. The GSI Bugaboo Camper comes fully loaded with some great amenities, but also makes it the largest, and heaviest cookware we tested. Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="The GSI Bugaboo Camper comes fully loaded with some great amenities, but also makes it the largest, and heaviest cookware we tested.
Car camping cookware is typically less focused on concerns with weight, and instead focuses on more amenities and features, such as the addition of cups, bowls and plates. You can easily use all of the pieces included in the Winterial set while car camping, or scale it down to take with you into the backcountry.
Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="You can easily use all of the pieces included in the Winterial set while car camping, or scale it down to take with you into the backcountry. Backpacking specific cookware is exceptionally lightweight so that you barely feel the weight within the pack on your back, and designed to pack up small and take up little room. We tested eight different models for several months by preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner while camping in Western Colorado and the Panhandle of Texas to bring you the Best Camping Cookware Review.
Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="We tested eight different models for several months by preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner while camping in Western Colorado and the Panhandle of Texas to bring you the Best Camping Cookware Review. Boiling water is an activity that is most commonly performed by all camping cookware, and quite often at that. The heat exchanger on the bottom of the Optimus Terra HE helped it boil two cups of water in 2 minutes and 12 seconds - twice as fast as any of the other pots we tested. Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="The heat exchanger on the bottom of the Optimus Terra HE helped it boil two cups of water in 2 minutes and 12 seconds - twice as fast as any of the other pots we tested.
Finally, after extensive research to learn more about the metals used in cookware for our Buying Advice article, we created a test to see how evenly each of the sets performed while preparing a scrambled egg. The lowest performers for this test were the two backpacking specific models, the Snow Peak Titanium and G4Free Outdoor sets, which wasn't that surprising.
Weight is key consideration if you plan to carry your cookware for any length of time on your back. The largest and heaviest set we tested was the GSI Bugaboo Camper Cookset, which weighs in at 3.7 pounds.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset, cast from lightweight titanium, weighs in at 10.6 ounces.
Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes is where we found the sweet spot for weight that didn't sacrifice too few amenities or a terrible cooking performance. None of the sets that we tested experienced many major issues in durability, but we did scratch the Teflon coating in the skillet of the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper set by stacking another skillet inside of it while cleaning. We also experienced some durability issues with the handles on the G4Free Outdoor Camping set. Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="G4Free uses silicone to cover the metal handles, but they are prone to melting on larger sized burners such as most camping stoves. Credit: Gentrye Houghton">G4Free uses silicone to cover the metal handles, but they are prone to melting on larger sized burners such as most camping stoves.
During the months of our hands on testing, we used these eight sets in as many ways as we could imagine: making breakfast, lunch and dinner with friends, at home near the trailheads, hiking in for romantic picnics, as well as overnight excursions in the Elk Mountain range of Western Colorado. We used every single piece in every single set to determine their versatility and practicality.
The G4Free Outdoor Camping Set also received a high score in this category, as our reviewers found it to be the most useful in the backcountry. Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="We went the extra mile, in fact about five extra miles, for a backcountry picnic while testing the Snow Peak Titanium cookware. Credit: Gentrye Houghton">We went the extra mile, in fact about five extra miles, for a backcountry picnic while testing the Snow Peak Titanium cookware. The lowest competitors within this category were the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set, the Snow Peak Titanium set and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset.
The Snow Peak Titanium set is so small that we felt like we were cooking with a child's tea set.
All of the sets of cookware we tested fit into their own self-contained systems and wrap up neatly with a sack, except for the MSR Quick 2 System, which locks together by the pot handle flipping over the straining lid. The Optimus set of cookware compacts into its own neoprene bag, with the pot gripper sliding into the top pouch to stow away or slip into your pack. Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="The Optimus set of cookware compacts into its own neoprene bag, with the pot gripper sliding into the top pouch to stow away or slip into your pack.
The backpacking specific sets of cookware scored the best within this category for being the smallest, lightest, and most compact sets we tested.
Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="Snow Peak makes the lightest and most compact set we tested during this review out of titanium metal. Credit: Gentrye Houghton">Snow Peak makes the lightest and most compact set we tested during this review out of titanium metal. The Snow Peak Titanium set is so small that we were only able to fit a small fuel canister with some tea bags within it. When purchasing a backpacking specific set, look for a unit that can fit your stove and gas canister inside of it. One thing we love about the G4Free set is the ability to pack an entire backpacking cooking system into it.


Credit: Gentrye Houghton" alt="One thing we love about the G4Free set is the ability to pack an entire backpacking cooking system into it. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the two GSI Outdoors cookware scored the lowest in terms of packability for being the bulkiest sets we tested. The Best Buy award is one of our favorite awards, as we all love to get a good product for a great price.
Our Top Pick Award for Backpacking goes to the G4Free Outdoor Camping Set for its high scores in Weight, Ease of Use and Packability. We'd recommend that you augment a cookware set such as one of the award winners above, with at least a cast iron skillet. If you want some tips for outfitting your camping kitchen, be sure to check out our Ultimate Camp Kitchen article. If you are already outfitted with a camping kitchen and are looking for some recipes and ideas to put all your gear to good use, check out our Best Camping Food and Best Backpacking Food articles for some tasty recipes and ideas on how to fuel your body during your next adventure.
A bread knife, wrapped in a tea towel to protect the serrated blade,  is also required; if someone could invent a camping bread knife with a cover, I’d be very grateful. If weight isn’t a factor, indulge yourself with convenient cooking equipment, a comfortable chair and a thick, soft sleeping bag atop a lofty mattress.
It gets over 500 easy in sunlight and on cloudy days you can still cooking hot dogs and beans or veges etc. It was pretty susceptible to wind and we couldn't procure the ideal fuel mixture because of widespread shortages. Propane excels for cooking, but as a wall tent heat source it produces too much moisture to keep you comfortable during downpours and snowstorms. In a pinch you have also used the top of many woodstove, but usually that becomes a warming tray at dinnertime. Most people prefer comfort over convenience, so my current hag is a very large, flannel-lined rectangular bag - good quality sleeping pad. I once set mine out to warm during an Idaho September elk hunt, and used it later to cool my beer for the next couple of days. Cots, sleeping bags, tables, chairs and fold up kitchens all can be added to provide all the comforts of home. The outdoor industry is continually improving and enhancing the gear they produce, and even camping cookware has vastly improved in the past ten years or so. Then we rated them on Cooking Performance, Weight, Durability, Ease of use and Packability.
The worst offenders were the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set, the G4Free Outdoor, and the Snow Peak Titanium cookware. Six of the eight sets we tested were cast from an aluminum variation, with three made specifically from hard anodized aluminum. When camping close out of a car, packable size is less of a concern than for someone who is backpacking, while the ability to easily prepare and clean up after making meals, like breakfast burritos or lasagna, is more important. The MSR Quick 2 System, GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker, GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper set, MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set, Optimus Terra HE set and Winterial Camping Cookware are all best used for car camping. Cooking while backpacking or thru-hiking is typically focused on meals prepared by simply boiling water; therefore, these types of cooksets probably aren't the best for making complicated meals like chicken marsala. We want a set that doesn't burn our food, boils water efficiently and minimizes heat loss so that we don't waste precious drops of fuel. More often than not, it's quite cool out while you're camping, and eating a hot meal can be quite the morale booster. Eggs are extremely sensitive to temperature differences, and any hot spots created on the pan will quickly burn the eggs - which also created a second half of this test: ease of clean up! Our best performers were the two GSI Outdoors models, which both have a Teflon non-stick coating. These sets are made with boiling water in mind and little else, for the dehydrated meals, cup-o-soups and oatmeal packs you are more likely to be eating on the trail.
Be careful with how you scrub your pans though, as the wrong scrubbing brush can ruin your set. This set comes fully featured with two pots, two straining lids, a skillet, four plates, four mugs with lids, and four bowls, plus a sack that doubles as a washbasin. This backpacking specific set is ultralight, but it sacrifices cooking performance to achieve it.
Ideally, we'd like for our pots and pans to last a lifetime; however, it's easy to be hard on our camping sets, even if it's unintentional. The MSR Quick 2 System ranked the highest within this category for its versatility both in the campground as well as on the backpacking trail. While the Snow Peak Titanium was by far the lightest set, the nesting bowls from the G4Free set was actually a more useful design. Here, Ryan prepares a Mac and Cheese meal while Great Dane, Page, supervises on the Avalanche Lake trail in Western Colorado near Carbondale.
Although we enjoyed the cooking performance of the Pinnacle Backpacker, we are unlikely to backpack with it due to the delicate Teflon coating. The casing for the GSI Outdoors sets both double as wash basins, and the Optimus Terra set uses a neoprene bag that can help insulate food from dropping temperatures as well as keeping your fingers burn free while eating.
The Snow Peak Titanium set is the most compact set with packable measurements of around 6 x 4 inches.
The pot hands collapse back around each pot while the lid handles flip up over the top of the system. This minimizes the overall volume of your entire cooking system and keeps everything more organized. However, these two sets fit ingeniously into their own system and protect the cookware, rather effectively, from scratching while packed.
It comes with just about everything you need to take you from camping at the trailhead to throwing the system in your pack and spending a few nights under the stars. We've given the Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set our Best Buy award for having the highest value of all the sets we tested.
This set is our reviewers go-to cookware for backpacking specific applications, because it can easily fit an entire cooking system within it, as well as the cylindrical shape that helps eliminate dead spots while packing a backpacking pack. Those who want to step into a more gourmet camping kitchen will want to consider a dutch oven as well. We recommend the robust Lodge Dutch Oven - 8 quart, which also comes in a 5 quart and a 10 quart version.
We also have reviews for Camping Stoves, Backpacking Stoves, Portable Grills, Camping Tables and Camping Coffee Makers to help you in your decision making. A two ring propane stove lets you extend your culinary options, but will take up more space. While I brought this one for many uses like crusty bread, cutting sausages, slicing baps(not all at the same time) there are different sized ones for each individual. If you’re looking to travel lightly, our Gear Guide also contains recommendations to stay cozy and warm with less weight and bulk.
We hope our advice and recommendations will save you time and effort, so you can spend more time researching your next destinations and go knowing you’re properly prepared.
Both the burner and a newly-shaped MSR 4oz canister (available in January) will fit inside the pot for small packing. Not only are they built of heavy gauge steel, but they also have a good, flat surface for cooking and a great stainless water reservoir that hooks on the side, giving you hot water on demand.
One good choice in that department is the Big Agnes insulated pad, which is far superior to an egg crate foam or sell-inflat- ing pad. John paid a couple of bucks for his plain Jane model; you can spent $5.00 for your silver-plated royal throne!
If you have a large enough wall tent everything can be set up inside, also cooking outside of the tent if possible. With a full array of metals to choose from, from stainless steel to titanium, and many variations of aluminum in between, it's difficult to know which one is the best and how to choose a set that adequately fits your needs.
Keep reading to see which ones were our top winners, or head on over to our Buying Advice guide where we break down the different types of sets available as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials.
Or are you looking for something that you can throw in a pack and take with you on the Pacific Crest Trail? Most of these sets can also be used on an overnight trek, which adds both versatility and value to your purchase, but if you plan on mostly backpacking or are thinking of a long thru-hike, then you'll want a more backpacking specific model.
The G4Free Outdoor Camping Set and the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset are the two models of cookware we tested that fit solely into this category.
So, we carefully created a few tests in an attempt to simulate within a controlled environment cooking situations that arise in the outdoors.
The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper took the same amount of time and the MSR Quick 2 System was only 12 seconds longer.


So, after each of the pots brought two cups of water to a boil, we immediately placed them in a 40 degree F walk-in refrigerator for 10 minutes. So, for this experiment we beat eight eggs and cooked one apiece in each of the skillets if available, or pots and bowls if the set did not include a skillet, over our two burner propane camping stove.
Although prepared in a pot, the MSR Quick 2 System was also an excellent performer during this test and had an easy cleanup afterwards. The stainless steel MSR Alpine set also did not conduct heat evenly and therefore burned our eggs easily. Stainless steel sets can handle abrasive steel wool pads, but all other sets should be treated more cautiously. We used a digital food scale to weigh each set as we've noticed in the past that manufacturer's stated weights do not always match up with reality.
The amenities are great if you're looking to completely set up your car camping kitchen, but this also adds a considerable amount of weight. Metal spoons and spatulas are common around the campground, but are hard on delicate non-stick coatings.
As with all of our outdoor gear, there are trade-offs and sacrifices that should be examined and many options weighed before purchasing.
Unfortunately, they easily began to melt while cooking over larger burners, including a two burner propane stove that is typically used while car camping.
Even though a skillet is not included with this set, these pots still performed well during our scrambled egg test.
The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper set scored a little higher than the Pinnacle in this category for being an easy to use set while car camping. However, it scored a point lower than the G4Free Outdoor set, with measurements of 5.5 inches by over 6 inches, because of the differences in the way these two sets fit inside the space of a backpack. We also found the the oblong shape of the G4Free set eliminates dead space within our pack better than the Snow Peak cookware. The Bugaboo Camper has packable measurements of over 9 inches by 5.5 inches, but for car camping purposes our reviewers found that packing this set into a vehicle was easy because of it's compact system for the amount of pieces you acquire with this set.
MSR also outfits this cookware with a couple of amenities that our reviewers found incredibly helpful, and they loved the deep dish plates included in this set. One great thing about buying cast iron cookware is that you can use them all year round in everyday cooking as well as camping. While some of the cookware sets in this review, such as the Winterial include a skillet, we much prefer a beefy cast iron skillet for car camping situations where weight is not such a big consideration.The Lodge skillet comes pre-seasoned and can be used on campfire, stove, or BBQ coals to add a gourmet cooking element to camping cooking.
The ability to slow cook with the even heat cast iron is known for is the key to many gourmet meals. And, when weather or terrain unexpectedly changes, packing the right just-in-case gear can make the shifting conditions a fun challenge, rather than a downer. And, be sure to check out the June 2012 issue of Camping Life for even more great product recommendations, including canoes, kayaks, hiking footwear and day packs.
The 1L pot will also be available seperately in the case that you already have a Reactor System.
However, they are heavier than most other types and sometimes their overall weight becomes too much to manage. Having the wind blow up your backside while bathing keeps one from showering every day, and it definitely keeps your spouse from wanting to spend time with you in your canvas palace. After a little shovel work, one has a throne fit for a king, hut good enough for the queen.
In order to help you select your next pots and pans, we chose eight of the top rated and most popular camping cookware sets out there to see how they compared side-by-side. You might also be interested in our Backpacking Stove, Camping Stove and Camping Table reviews to help fully outfit your camp kitchen. Do you need a crossover set that isn't too heavy to take out on the trail, but could still be used while cooking at a campground? The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper set is the largest set of cookware we tested, and really the only one that would be difficult to cross over into the backpacking category, unless you are dividing the pieces up among several people. We timed how long it took to bring two cups of water to a boil with a pot from each set, and also threw in a 2 quart pot from our regular kitchen to see how it compared to the camping cookware. The Optimus Terra HE Cookset has a heat exchanger element on the bottom of the largest of the two pots in the set, which helped it boil water in 2 minutes and 12 seconds! The control pot lost 60 degrees F in 10 minutes, as did the G4Free Outdoor Camping Set and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset. For aluminum and titanium sets, green scrubbing pads are the best way to go, but if your pan has a non-stick coating then you'll want to be even more gentle and use a spatula or soft dishcloth to loosen and remove leftover food.
It comes with a few useful features, like deep dish plates and insulated mugs, that can be left behind if going ultralight.
Stainless steel pots and pans are the most durable and scratch resistant material available, but as you can see from our results in the cooking performance category, this cookware isn't the best performer when it comes to actually preparing meals. This set is more specifically designed for lightweight backpacking applications in which you'll most likely be using a smaller stove system, like the MSR MicroRocket, which did not produce a flame big enough to melt the handles. Typically, we find a skillet unnecessary for overnight trips, and due to how well this set scrambled an egg without one, we felt like anyone could do without a pan while car camping.
You can easily shed some pounds from this set by leaving several pieces behind and slip this set into your backpack. It comes with the most pieces of all the cookware we tested, and the two pots and skillet are a great size to use when cooking for four.
The handles are stable and the set can be pared down in order to take with you while backpacking. In our camping food article, we have a section on the Top 10 Camping Meals for the Gourmet Chef that showcase how a dutch oven can open the door to everything from pizza to lasagna. One solution is to have a rain fly attached to the front of the tent to provide a dry cooking area; another option is to erect a tarp over your kitchen area several yards away from your tent.
In addition to cooking our everyday meals in all the sets to gauge cooking performance and durability, we also tested boiling time, how well each set held food temperature, and how evenly each cooked a scrambled egg.
These are all important questions to consider in order to determine which size of set and what type of material will best fit your needs. Our results varied considerably, as there are several factors that can drastically affect boiling time. The stainless steel MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set took the longest at 5 minutes and 40 seconds to boil, and the titanium set from Snow Peak took 4 minutes 35 seconds. Our best performers during this test were the Snow Peak Titanium and MSR Alpine sets, which both lost only 50 degrees F.
The Teflon coatings kept the eggs from sticking to the skillets, allowing them to cook evenly and without burning.
Although, if you feel you really need one, you can purchase an individual Quick Skillet from MSR. Larger sizes are available, such as the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet 12 in version, but going bigger than 10" can get tight to fit on most camping stoves so we prefer the 10" model. If weight and space are not a problem, most of the tent makers offer a suitable shower tent.
To find out more about the pros and cons of each of the metals available, make sure to check out our Buying Advice article, as well as our How We Tested section to learn more about the specifics of this review.
The type of metal the pot is cast from is an important factor, as well as the diameter and depth of each pot. After a long day hiking and exploring, it’s nice to settle back into a comfy chair and just watch the fire flicker in front of you. If you’re cooking for a crowd, there are larger two burner camp stoves, but we prefer the the smaller single burner MSR Whisperlite Camp Stove - it works great for two people and is easy to pack up and store. We love a nesting sets like this Texsport Trailblazer Black Ice Hard Anodized Cook Set - it’s got a frying pan and 2 sauce pans that are large enough to boil pasta. Sure you can try to remember to pack all the utensils from your kitchen each time, but we found keeping a batch of utensils just for camping, like this Coleman Dining Kit, makes life a LOT easier. Simply pour in your coffee grounds, add boiling water that you heat up on your camp stove, wait a few minutes then press! PowerPad Mosquito Repellent Lamp - the flame is safely contained within the lantern so there’s little risk of accidentally setting something on fire, but more importantly it works like crazy! We usually use a couple of these lamps on our campsite and have never had much of an issue with mosquitos.Great Food & Snacks - Ummm, do I really need to say more about this? In addition to the big meals of the day, be sure to stock on up plenty of chips, trail mix and granola bars.



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Rubric: Small Pans For Cooking



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