Backpacking Cookware Basics

Backpacking Cookware

Backpacking cookware is an essential part of your gear. While you can bring the cookware from home, it isn’t advisable. Your kitchen cookware cannot pack up very well and is heavier than items specifically made for backpacking.

When it comes to cookware, there are many different options: dishes, flatware, tea kettles, French presses, martini glasses, ovens, pots, pans and more! The important point to be made about these many different options is that while they are really neat and tempting to buy (who wouldn’t want a backpacking French press?!), you must remember that each additional item will add weight and take up space in your pack. So save yourself the extra weight and money (unless you just can’t live without the French press) and stick to the basics.

What are the Backpacking Cookware Basics?

This is what we considered the basics for our cookware:

  • Pot with lid – a lid that can double as a plate is handy, but be careful about using it if you’ve just been cooking with it. For more info on backpacking pots, click here.
  • Accessories - we use a handkerchief for a pot holder and a rag or sponge for a pot/dishes scrubber.
  • Plates – we bring only one if we have our pot with us. If you're interested in more info about camping dishes, click here.
  • Cups – this is one of those optional items that we bring if we want the luxury of drinking our coffee from a mug, otherwise a water bottle makes a good substitute.
  • Eating utensils – we find a spork to be a very handy tool. We don’t even bother to bring a knife, as we normally have a pocket knife among our gear.
  • Cooking utensil – a spoon and/or a spatula are handy. Go for something plastic to keep from scratching your pot.

This list can get even smaller. On shorter trips, we like to bring foods that don’t need to be cooked and thus can eliminate the need for a pot, a cooking utensil, a stove and fuel.

Another thing to consider when choosing your cookware is the material of which it is constructed. For example, titanium is a very sturdy, yet extremely lightweight metal. It is the material of choice when it comes to backpacking equipment. If you would like more information on titanium, visit Titanium Exposed.

Additionally, if you're interested in getting all your cookware in a set as opposed to piecing it together yourself, visit our page on backpacking cooksets for more information.

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