"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Hiking Cookware

Danielle Fletcher
• Saturday, 17 October, 2020
• 14 min read

One of life’s greatest enjoyments is to kick back after a hard day on the trail and fire up some delicious food. Considered to be one of the most essential pieces of gear to own, your investment in having one of the best backpacking cookware sets will go a long way in providing creature comforts on the rugged trail.

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(Source: realsurvivalist.com)


But with literally hundreds of options to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 best backpacking cookware sets to make your choice as simple as possible. 12 oz. Backpacking$$5.0 Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact 11.6 oz. Ultralight Backpacking$$4.9 Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo 6.38 oz. Ultralight Backpacking$$4.85 GSI Outdoors Halite Microanalyst II 1 lbs.

Features Color Coded Plates/Mugs Prevent Mix ups Entire Set Nests Within 2.5L Pot For Efficient Packing Pieces Can Be Left At Home To Create An Even Lighter Set Perfect for any backpacking duo, the MSR Quick 2 System is a light and versatile cook set that covers all your bases and can be stripped down to the essentials for an even lighter load.

This set can also be stripped down for a single backpacker or if both you and your partner already have water bottles, you can remove the cups to create room inside the pot to store your stove! Small backpacking groups of 2-3 people looking to invest in the most durable and longest lasting cookware set ought to consider the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact cook set.

Sporting the lightest, most durable, and longest lasting material (Titanium), you’ll get the absolute best bang for your buck. The handles on each pot and pan fold down for easy storage and all four pieces nest within each other for the most efficient use of space and can also store a 100/110g fuel canister inside (sold separately).

Made from Titanium, the lightest and most durable material for a cook set, the Mini Solo resists corrosion and heats food evenly. Cup thanks to a slight difference in circumference size, allowing you to nest the two pieces for the ultimate pack down.

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Features Hard-Anodized Aluminum Heats Food Evenly Welded Stuff Sack Protects Cookware And Doubles As Wash Basin Pot Lid Is Crushproof And Heat Resistant, Also Includes Built-In Strainer The GSI Outdoors Halite Microanalyst II shatters all of those conventions in favor of a streamlined, lightweight, affordable cook set that sports all the features of a fully-loaded set.

Feature Includes A Mesh Storage Sack No Metallic Aftertaste With Titanium Ounce And Liter Marks Allow For Precise Measurement Able to hold 1.6 Liters (1600ml), this sizeable pot is still super lightweight and has a lid that doubles as a fry pan (or vise versa).

Looking for a fully loaded cook set that has pots, pans, plates, and cups galore? Then the GSI Pinnacle Camper Cook set is your perfect match for a truly cushy camping experience.

For the ultralight backpacking soloist who obsesses over cutting off handles, shaving down large parts, and leaving extraneous pieces behind in an attempt to reduce their base weight, the GSI Outdoors Glacier Minimalist cook set is your match made in minimalist heaven. While it is stainless steel, a less effective medium that doesn’t cook food as evenly, the small size and base weight makes up for that.

Food is cooked evenly and efficiently on aluminum cookware since it’s such a great conductor of heat. While it’s pretty durable, over time it will eventually break down and need replacing, especially if you cook highly acidic foods such as tomato sauce.

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Aluminum is also softer than other metals, meaning it will get banged up, taking both scratches and dents with heavy use. Titanium is the lightest material possible which makes it ideal for backpackers looking to shave weight.

While it is more expensive than some other options, it’s extremely efficient which translates into fuel cost savings. Last but not least, titanium is highly corrosion-resistant meaning it will outlast and outperform any other cook set material.

Best for car camping, cast iron skillets hold seasoning really well and make some amazingly delicious campfire dinners. A rough estimate is 1 pot for every 1 to 2 people in your group, but that largely depends on what you’re cooking.

But if you’re cooking a more standard meal from scratch with multiple ingredients, then each backpacker will likely need a dedicated pot/pan. The size of your chosen pots and pans also plays a critical role in determining the best cookware set.

Ideally, the largest pot in your set should hold 1 pint per person in your group. While completely optional, and usually ditched by ultralight enthusiasts, lids can help food cook faster and achieve results such as melting cheese atop a burger pattie.

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Car campers may enjoy a Dutch oven as it increases your dinner options and makes large meals easy to cook. Many of the pots and pans on the list above are measured in liters, which is roughly 4 cups of water.

A style of backpacking that focuses on reducing unnecessary weight to make travel lighter. Many ultralight backpackers obsess over ounces and have been known to snap toothbrushes in half and shave them down to create the most minimalist design possible.

The set's components all feature a spiral heat distribution pattern to help avoid the burned meals that are all too common over open flames. No one wants to bring their home cookware and tableware out on the trail, but buying everything from pots to forks to plates can add up when outfitting a camp kitchen.

The cookware set from Light ahead is a complete package for one or two people and avoids breaking the bank by not buying all the little things separately. This set isn’t fancy, but for the cost of a single pot elsewhere, you can get everything you need for a few nights out in nature with a simple camp kitchen.

The cookware consists of a pot and a frying pan with matching lid, plus two bowls, utensils for eating and cooking, a cleaning pad, a fire starter, and a carrying bag. The included stuff sack doubles as a bathroom sink which is handy when you realize you couldn’t bring along the kitchen sink.

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(Source: cookwarereviewz.com)

It includes all the cookware and utensils you'll need for a family camp kitchen and packs down inside the large cooking pot for easy transportation. The package also includes an extendable spatula, serving spoon, eating utensils, plates, bowls, drying rack, and a silicone trivet that doubles as a cutting board.

When you’re keeping things simple and light on long treks, sometimes all you need is a single pot to boil water for freeze-dried meals or coffee. The Oaks Titanium Pot is small enough to work as an oversized coffee mug but holds 25.4 ounces, which is enough volume for one-pot meals such as chili.

The titanium vessel is sturdy yet light, weighing a barely noticeable 3.6 ounces and featuring fold-flat handles that keep it from taking up much room in your pack. The Personal Cooker 3 by Snow Peak is a highly polished stainless steel cookware set that features two pots, a frying pan, a lid, a plate, and a bowl.

Reviewers noted that the stainless steel heated up food evenly and appreciated that the material worked well over an open fire. Snow Peak manufactured their cookware in Japan with premium materials, and if it doesn't survive outdoors you can contact the company to receive a new set for free.

It boils water quickly and features a wider shape that's great for simmering a sauce or cooking pasta. It also comes with an insulated cozy so it's easy to handle while the pot is warm, and the lid converts into a plate or bowl when you're done cooking.

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(Source: huntandlunch.com)

The entire set weighs less than half a pound and nests together, so the kit won’t break your back or fill up your pack. The burner's efficient design allows you to boil a liter of water in just over 4 minutes and can withstand extreme temperatures and wind gusts.

The cook pot fits snugly onto the burner and features a heat exchanger ring on the bottom that also prevents wind. Additionally, you can buy a French press insert that lets you turn the system into a gourmet morning coffee maker without adding the weight and bulk of a dedicated coffee vessel.

At least once and maybe even twice a day, you’ll bring out your pot or kettle to make a meal. Meals are typically a relaxing time so don’t spoil it by choosing cookware that’s frustrating to use.

What you pick to throw in your pack depends on what you plan to eat on your trip. Just like your household teapot, a backpacking kettle is designed to boil water rapidly and pour it without spilling into another vessel.

It has a wide base, a small pout, and a lid to help hold in heat. Kettle’s heat water quickly, but they can be bulky to pack and difficult to clean.

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(Source: cleveradventurer.com)

Most people heat water in their pot, but you also can use it to simmer food that needs some cooking time. Titanium cookware is the most popular for ultralight backpacking and my personal favorite.

Despite being super light, it is extremely strong (on par with steel) and is known for being highly corrosion-resistant. This even distribution is why anodized aluminum is the first choice among household pots and pans.

Aluminum pots typically are larger than titanium which is important if you need to heat water or simmer food for a group. It does contain elements like iron, nickel and chromium that can leach into your food.

The amount that can leach into your food is minuscule unless you damage the cooking vessel. Some pots add a non-stick coating like Teflon to prevent food from sticking to the inside of the cooking vessel.

There’s also the question of safety as perfluorooctanoic acid or FOA used to make the non-stick layer is a suspected carcinogen. Save your cast iron for car camping or van life.

backpacking cookware pot pan titanium toaks 1600ml oz
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Most 750ml pots are big enough to hold your fuel canister, a pocket stove, a lighter and even a cleaning sponge. A well-designed lid should fit your pot snugly both for cooking and so you don't lose it on the trail.

A snug lid also lets you store items inside the pot and not worry about them falling out into your pack. If you are a pasta or ramen fan, a lid with a built-in strainer can be a helpful feature to have as well.

A strainer built into the lid is a great option if you're going to cook noodles or pasta. Also, make sure they are rugged as you will be using them when you remove the pot off of your stove or pour out the hot water.

Some pots add rubber coatings to prevent you from burning your fingers, but they can melt off and are not practical for any kind of fire use. Little tick marks on the inside of your pot can be super helpful to quickly eyeball measurements for cooking.

Measuring a little more accurately can prevent your noodles from turning into a watery sludge... or, on the contrary, a dry and crunchy paste. Lines that are painted eventually wash off, leaving you to guess where you should fill your water.

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Your target weight will vary based on the materials you choose for your pot. Stainless steel: Much heavier than their aluminum or titanium counterparts.

Most stainless steel cookware is sold in sets and is meant for car camping or short distance backpacking where weight is not a concern. On top of being featherlight, the lid has a built-in strainer handy for letting steam out and straining your favorite noodles.

Rubber-coated handles provide extra grip and let you move the pot when it is hot. When you are done cooking, the fuel canister and a pocket stove fit nicely inside the pot.

Cargo coined the name “BOT” as a shortened nickname for Bottle Pot. What makes this piece of titanium so awesome is that it functions effectively as both a bottle and a pot.

The BOT comes equipped with a watertight screw-top lid for an easy access drink on the trail. The lid also sometimes sticks due to pressure changes from hiking or sealing hot food inside the pot.

backpacking cookware
(Source: www.campingwithcharlie.com)

Just use something slim like a credit card and slide it between the lid and the pot to break the seal. The pot includes graduated measurements and foldaway handles (700ml version).

It's also big enough to hold a small gas cylinder, a stove, and a lighter or matches. Just a few fractions of an ounce heavier than the Ever new, the MSR Titan Kettle is another great ultralight backpacking pot with a little more cooking capacity.

A unique feature is that the lid fits tightly... and with a drip-free spout, it makes it easy to pour hot water without any mess or endangering your hands. The top-lid handle is insulated, making it easy to lift off the lid when cooking.

The 750ml version is the perfect size for a small fuel canister, pocket stove, matches/lighter, and even a collapsible mug that you can store at the top instead of the lid. The Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 achieves the perfect balance between weight and usability.

The Trek 700 has a lid with a drain hole/strainer so you can boil up some ramen and pour off the water without losing your noodles. It holds plenty of water and can double as a storage container for your canister, stove, and more.

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Cargo Titanium Ti-Boiler is a two-piece cooking kit with a larger pot and a lid that functions as a small pan. You can boil water below in the cup for pasta and heat your sauce on top in the pan).

The cup and lid fit snugly and have a sleek and seamless ultralight titanium construction. Not only do you get a quality pot, but you also get a lid that functions as a pan with little to no hit in weight.

Like most Ever new gear, the construction is solid and meant to stand up to the abuse of the trail. We especially like the silicone's red color, which makes it easy to see in dim light conditions.

Other bonuses include internal gradations for easy measurement and a nylon mesh stuff sack to hold all the pieces together when you're not hiking. The Keith Titanium cook set is for those times when you want to go big or go home.

Like most pots, the Keith Titanium cook set has a fold away and non-insulated handles. Like most of Took’s products, the pot and pan set is made with high-quality titanium and a rock-solid construction.

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(Source: www.outdoorgearlab.com)

The cook set strikes a nice balance between capacity and weight. It offers a little more volume than a standalone pot without adding too much extra weight.

Unlike the other two-piece cook sets on our list, the Oaks Titanium cannot be used as a double boiler. Which one you choose depends upon how dirty your pot is and how much effort you want to put into cleaning.

When in town, take the time to clean it properly with warm water and soap. METHOD 2 : Take advantage of natural cleaning agents by adding a splash of water to your pot and scrubbing it with pine needles.

Clean your pot properly with camp soap and a small sponge if you have one. He wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail and currently works from his laptop all over the globe.

Affiliate disclosure: We aim to provide honest information to our readers. In exchange for referring sales, we may receive a small commission through affiliate links.

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