5 Cooking Tools for Camping


Pots and Pans

Obviously the stove won't do you much good unless you have some pots and pans to use with it. The size, type and number that you bring on a trip depends on your cooking style and the number of people you're dining with. If all you need to do is boil water for dehydrated food, then one small pot will probably suffice. But if your trail food is a bit more gourmet, you'll need two good pots and a frying pan. For one to three people, bring a 1.5-liter and a 2.5-liter pot; for groups of six, pack a 2-liter and a 3-liter pot; for eight or more, try a 2-liter and a 4-liter pot.

Backpacking pots and pans are made mainly from three materials:

  • Aluminum: Pots made from this metal are strong, light and cheap. They do, however, tend to scratch easily, and food readily sticks to the surface making them difficult to clean. A 2-liter aluminum pot sells for about $15 or $20.
  • Stainless steel: This material is slightly more heavy-duty than aluminum, but it's heavier and doesn't distribute heat well. The price is similar to that of aluminum -- about $15 to $20 for a 2-liter pot.
  • Titanium: Pots cast from titanium are durable, easy-to-clean and lighter than those made from other metals. The downside? The cost; they can run you about $50 a pot.

Non-stick coatings can make pots easier to clean; just be sure not to scour them with harsh abrasives.