How Camping Cookware Works

Types of Camping Cookware

At the very least, your high adventure cooking kit needs a pot with a lid. If you can boil water, you can make coffee and instant oatmeal, reconstitute dehydrated meals, cook pasta and rice, and sterilize your eating utensils. A fry pan gives you the option to cook bacon, eggs and other fresh foods. In a Dutch oven, you can fry bacon, whip up a batch of beans, bake bread and pies, and slow-cook stew in a cooking pit.

Several manufacturers make camping cookware sets built specifically to meet the needs of different groups, from single hikers to a family of six. Many of these include a lid that fits two pots or doubles as a plate, fry pan, strainer or cutting board. Some include dishes and utensils. Sets like these often nest together like Russian dolls that open to reveal ever smaller dolls inside.

You can also opt for all-in-one cooking systems that integrate cookware with a heat source. Jetboil systems, for example, are lightweight, highly portable water boiling kits engineered for fast heating and fuel efficiency. The boiling pot attaches to an ultralight stove that connects to a miniature fuel canister. It has a push-button, no-match lighting mechanism and comes in different sizes to accommodate individual or group needs. These types of integrated systems work well in cold weather and at high altitude [source: Men's Journal].

For heavier cooking, the Safari Chef Grill, manufactured by Cadac SA, is a stove, fuel source and cookware in one foldable, portable package. The propane-powered grill includes a wire grate and a reversible grill insert, with one ridged and one flat surface. The dome doubles as a pot [source: Johnson]. Coleman offers a similar set-up, but the clamshell lid on the "Fold N Go Grill" doesn't double as a pot, and the griddle and stove grate are sold separately [source: Hostetter].

The metal used in your camping cookware affects more than the weight. Read on for some comparisons on the next page.