After a long hiking day, it is always great to come back to the camp, and enjoy a hot meal or even a cup of coffee. You will also need to have enough energy to take you through another hiking day. Therefore, if you don’t want to rely on canned foods alone or even freezing dry meals, then you will need to bring along a cookware set. Having the appropriate camping cookware is very essential. Whether you are preparing a multi-course meal or just heating simple food from the can, you need to have the proper cooking tools.
Choosing Camping Cookware
Several factors should be considered, when it comes to selecting camping cookware. With so many options in the market today, it can be very challenging to choose the right one. The following are the factors to consider when selecting the type of camping cookware needed.
Consider your Setup
You need to determine the number of people who will be using the cookware. The chosen one should have sufficient capacity to hold at least one pint for every camper. You should also use this rule even when you intend to hiking alone. If your camping setup will involve preparing multi-course meals, then you should have two pots, a frying pan, or even a Dutch oven. Two campers who will be eating canned meal or dehydrated meals only need two pots. For efficiency, if you are camping alone, you only require a single pot and lid. The pot will be used for cooking while the lid will double up as a plate or even a frying pan. You don’t need to have your entire kitchen in the bush with you! Lids reduce cooking time and save fuel. Ensure that you carry a lid for each pot, or even a multipurpose lid that can fit all pots.
If you will be camping as a group, then you should consider investing in a cookset. This is a collection of pans, lids, and pots designed to pack together. Since there are multiple items in the cookset, all their needs will be taken care of. Since vessels nest together into a single space, it is able to save space. This is a huge benefit especially for backpackers. Cooksets also come with a bag that makes it easy to carry. You can carry the pack alternatively, since you will all be using the vessels.
Camping cookware is available in different materials. They are designed to meet the needs and preferences of different campers, from light to fast. Each material has its own benefits and setbacks. Therefore, understanding each material will make your work easy when choosing hiking cookware.
Aluminum is lightweight and conducts heat well. Camping cookware made from aluminum is affordable. However, it dents out easily and is less durable than others like stainless steel are. Another drawback of stainless steel cookware, is their ability to react with alkaline or acid foods. This may change their flavor, or even lead to other complications. Raw aluminum is best suited for simmering foods.
Hard Anodized Aluminum
Hard anodized aluminum was created to deal with most issues presented by raw aluminum. It is one of the best materials to choose for camping cookware. It is equally popular for home cookware. Just like raw aluminum, anodized conduct heats evenly, it is easy to clean, lightweight and durable. It resists scratching and abrasion. However, you need to avoid scratching the non-stick material with sharp or hard objects like metal spoons. Additionally, it is more expensive than raw aluminum. Hard anodized preferable is also preferable when preparing heat-sensitive foods like eggs or fresh vegetables, thanks to its even heat dispersal. It also conducts heat fast, saving fuel and time.
If you want ultralight camping cookware, titanium should be your preferred choice. It is stronger than aluminum and lighter than steel. Titanium cookware is very popular with campers and backpackers. You get an opportunity to buy a lightweight cooking material, without sacrificing the strength. Cookware made from titanium is also resistant to corrosion. Titanium pots come with very thin walls. This makes them perfect for heating fast foods and boiling water. Their main setback is failure to disperse heat evenly. Therefore, they end up with hot spots. As much as it is one of the lightest materials used for camping cookware, it tends to be very expensive. They are mostly used by thru hikers who are after shedding unnecessary luggage. A basic camper would rarely see the need for titanium cookware.
Stainless steel is another widely used material in camping cookware. In terms of suitability and performance, it can be placed between titanium and aluminum. It is not a very good conductor of heat, which may lead to burned food or hot spots. It also ends up consuming more fuel than titanium and anodized aluminum. The major benefit of using stainless steel cookware, is their resiliency and durability. It is therefore ideal for backcountry camping where camping gear will suffer from a lot of abuse. Unfortunately, it is very heavy. Therefore, if you are going for a thru-hike, this is not the one for you. If you transport your hiking equipment via car, then you will enjoy the durable services of stainless steel.
Non-stick hiking cookware is very easy to cleanup. Additionally, they only require small amounts of oil for cooking. However, they are easily scratched than the uncoated ones. Therefore, be very careful and avoid mixing them with metal utensils. Apart from that, they also pose a health risk. Cookware coated with fluoropolymer PTFE can produce toxic fumes especially when overheated. These fumes usually cause flu-like symptoms and even death in pet birds.
What Food to Bring For Short Hikes
If you are going for a short hike, especially a day hike, then you will be eating much of the way. This means that you have the luxury of carrying a bit more food items that you would during a thru-hike or a backcountry hike. Here are some foods to carry for your short hike.
- Fresh fruits
- Dried fruit or trail mix
- Granola or cereal bars
What Food for Long Hikes
When packing for longer hikes, you want to travel with as minimal weight as possible. You don’t have the luxury of eating fresh foods or your favorite foods. As a matter of fact, you should only carry food items that are just enough to last you through the hike. Therefore, choice of food materials will be key. For your thru hike or backpacking trip, consider the following foods.
- Fresh foods like carrots
- Dried foods such as pasta, noodles, drink mixes, soup mixes, and instant rice are light
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods are super convenient and light
- Spices can boost your appetite. Consider bringing garlic powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, cayenne pepper, or even cinnamon
- Energy bars
Best 15 Hiking Cookwares – Reviewed
1. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves, Piezo Ignition
This ultralight backpacking cookware is strong and built to last. Made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy, this cookware can withstand high weight and temperature. It is collapsible and compact. It is the perfect design for backpacking and ultralight camping. For enhanced portability, you should use a carrying case. Due to its wide compatibility, it can be used with butane-propane, or even single butane fuel canisters. Flame control is achieved through the adjustable control valve.
It allows you to adjust to fast heat for those quick meals as well as a simmer. When using this cookware, you don’t have to worry about leaving traces behind. It burns clean without leaving soot or any form of debris behind. This cookware uses the piezo ignition system. Therefore, it is able to attain a quick ignition while the strong valve connection ensures that the flame remains strong and consistent whether you are adjusting from low to high settings. Set up is easy and it comes with a very small footprint. The metal on the feet is slightly bendable, which allows you to adjust them, based on where you will be camping. You don’t have an excuse to eat cold meals anymore, whenever you go hiking.
2. MalloMe Camping Cookware Kit, Folding Spork, Nylon Bag, Ebook (10-Piece)
Gone are the days of disorganized, burdensome, and bulky camping cookware. With this one, you don’t have to worry whether you packed every cooking item. It is a mobile, compact and lightweight camp kitchen set. Made of anodized aluminum, it conducts heat quickly, while the cookset is able to last longer. The entire kit is easy to store and clean. Comprised of ten pieces, the entire set collapses into a single and small bundle for easy control. It contains all your cooking accessories into one.
Some of the items in the kit include non-stick pot, non-stick pan, pot cover, 2 BPA free bowls, BPA Free Soup Spoon, Folding Stainless Steel Spork, Wooden Spoon Spatula, BPA Free Soup Spoon, Cleaning Sponge, Nylon Travel Bag Drawstring Pouch and a cooking guide. It is one of the best hiking cookware, for someone looking for outdoor cooking camping, hiking and backpacking cooking set. The kit is suitable for everyone who wants high quality product for the great outdoors. If you are tired of that rattling noise as you hike along, then you will appreciate this compact cooking set.
3. Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set 24oz Stainless Steel
This smart and simple Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set allows you to prepare meals quickly, whenever you are hiking or backpacking. The cook set is easy to clean and campfire friendly. It comes with a narrow profile, which makes it even simpler to pack. With a small footprint, it does not consume space that could have been used by other important accessories. As much as the cups seem heavier than the titanium varieties, they are insulated and they don’t scorch your lips when taking that hot coffee.
With the strainer lid feature, you can prepare a very nice cup of coffee, before you hit the trails. Pot is created using single-wall stainless steel, which is naturally BPA free and rust proof. A 2 position handle can be extended and then locks in place. Once you have finished preparing the meals, the handle folds or retracts, which helps to save space. Vented lid allows steam to escape when you are cooking. The whole set is dishwasher safe. You can also be a seasoned outdoorsman, thanks to this cook set. The attention to detail on this cook set is just on another level. The workmanship is great and the entire set is designed to make your outdoor life much fun.
4. MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot
The MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot is a versatile piece of cookware, perfect for hiking and backpacking. Whenever you are not cooking, you can store your supplies or gear inside. The entire kit is secure, thanks to the hinges and the handle flips that provide an easy to lift mechanism. If you are looking for affordable stainless steel cookware, then you should consider the MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot. The lid fits perfectly without allowing food to splash all over. Additionally, the lid can be removed and stored separately. It is a durable and high-quality cookware option, which packs easily.
It is dent and scratch resistant, which is just what you need to handle those rugged outdoor conditions. With rounded corners, the heat is able to travel up the sides more quickly, thus boosting efficiency. Since it is scratch-resistant, it can be scrubbed with anything, including sand and there will be no noticeable damage. It is much wider than other lightweight cook sets, which makes it to fry when placed inside the bottom of a pot. Many people would argue that the set is heavy, but this can be attributed to its durability and quality construction. If you love big meals prepared over open campfires, this is the pot for you.
5. OuterEQ 8pcs Lightweight Outdoor Camping Hiking Cookware Bowl Pot Pan Set
This hiking cookware is designed for around two people. The frying pot and the pan are created using anodized aluminum, making it light and solid. The use of anodized aluminum also promotes fast heat transfer, helping you to save your fuel. The cookware is non-stick, making it easy to clean after meals. Foldable handles have been fitted on the soupspoon, frying pan and the pot.
You simply extend them when you are cooking, then fold back, for easy storage. This entire set is portable and has a small footprint, making it suitable for backpacking and hiking activities. For portability, all the items in the set can be stored inside a mesh bag. You will not encounter any issues of rusting. Once you have cleaned them, they dry fast and the use of stainless steel makes the set rust proof. Also included in the knife is a sharp, serrated knife that will be very handy when you are out there.
6. RioRand Portable Cookware Backpacking Bowl Pot Pan Cooking Kit
If you are looking for high quality, compact and light backpacking mess kit, then this one should be on your list. Created using high quality aluminum alloy, both the bowl and the pot are fitted with folding handles for compactness and space saving. It can be used for backpacking, camping and most importantly hiking. Once the kit is packed together for travelling, it creates some room to carry several accessories such as a stove, matches, seasoning, sponge, pepper, salt and a host of other things needed for cooking.
It helps to minimize space consumption as much as possible. It can be used by a maximum of two people and the mesh bag makes it very easy to carry. The handles are sturdy and insulated, which means that they do not get hot when you are cooking. Packing and unpacking is fast and easy, since they are logically arranged. If you are camping in an area frequented by bears, then your food is safe. Once you put it inside the pot and secure the lead, bears cannot tear through the metal. The entire set is solid and durable. It can last several years, without needing a replacement.
7. G4Free Outdoor Camping Pan Hiking Cookware, Bowl Pot Pan Set, 4 Piece
The G4Free Outdoor Camping Set contains a 4-piece set cast of aluminum while weighing just 1.2 pounds. It comes with two bowls and two pots, which can also be used as lids, ideal for a hiking or backpacking environment. The set is also fitted with folding handles, wrapping around the cookware rather than the conventional method of flipping over. Once it is packed, it compacts to a diameter of 5.5 inches and 6.6 inches long. As you can see, it will occupy minimal space inside your backpack.
Additionally, after it has been put together, you can carry several cooking accessories such as pepper, salt, seasoning, stove, matches, a sponge and other smaller cooking items. Its handle is foldable, thus enhancing easy storage. The handle also comes with a silicone tube cover, which protects you from burning. With nylon mesh carry bag, packing and carrying this set is easy. Non-stick coating ensures that your eggs and other foods can be removed easily, once cooking is done. It also makes cleaning them easier and faster. It is advisable to use wooden cooking sticks with this set, to prevent scratching of the non-stick coating.
8. Camping Pots, Portable Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Bowl Pot Pan
If you are an avid outdoorsman, you do not have to travel with separate cooking gear anymore, thanks to this set. It has all the necessities needed to prepare a meal. Portable and small, all the items can be bundled together then stored in the accompanying mesh bag making it easy to carry. Pot and pan are small and packable. However, they still have enough capacity to boil a lot of water. You can use them to different types of meals when you are the trail. When the lid is one, water boils quickly.
Also included in the set is a stove. You do not have to break the back to buy expensive stoves, when this one can do all the cooking needed out there. The flame is concentrated. The inclusion of an ignition close to the stove is highly convenient. You will lose very little fuel when removing the stove from the fuel canister, unlike other models. The stove is properly supported by the small legs. There is also a headlamp to make your cooking easier. With a dimmer and bright setting, it can be used for various campsite activities, apart from cooking. A flashing red SOS setting has also been included in the flashlight. You do not have to balance a flashlight on your mouth anymore when cooking, thanks to this hands free flashlight.
9. TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot with Pan
The TOAKS 1600ml is an ultralight titanium hiking pot with rounded bottom edges that makes cleaning easy. Heat efficiency is also improved by the rounded bottom edges while the titanium used to make the pots is corrosion resistant. For compact storage, the handles just fold away. There is no metallic taste or smell when you use these accessories for cooking. The pan and pot are both sturdy and durable. The versatile saucepan can be used to prepare small meals. Moreover, it can also act as a lid for the pot.
Wire handles on the pan and pots are coated to make sure they do not get too hot and burn your fingers. This cookware also comes with pouches for carrying and storage. They are made from durable dual-layer nylon together with a plastic cord lock, making it easy to operate. Apart from keeping the cooking kit protected, you can use the mesh storage as a coarse filter, in case you need one. The TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot with Pan is lightweight and sturdy, available at a reasonable price. Materials used are durable, giving you that long-lasting consistency.
10. Arcadia Outdoors 11 Piece Cookset, Lightweight, Durable, Compact, Utensils, Firestarter
The Arcadia Outdoors Cookware Mess Kit is designed for the modern explorer. Whether you are going for a hike or even a backpacking trip, this cookware is the perfect accessory to your outdoor travels. It is rugged and built to last. Apart from that, it heats quickly. This means that you will spend less time preparing meals and less fuel will be used. Created using anodized aluminum metal, the mess kit can be conveniently folded into one bundle. It weighs less than 14 ounces. This helps to reduce bulk while making it incredible easy to store.
The kit is also easy to carry. With this cookware, you will be able to cook safely. Each item on the set is BPA free and waterproof. It is built to handle long-term use. Safety handles are included with the pots, which prevents cooking burns and similar incidences. As a bonus, you also get a free spork and fire starter. Included in the set are 1 nonstick frying pan, a non stick pot, 1 cleaning loofah, 1 bamboo handle spoon, 1 foldable steel spork, 1 pan cover, 1 soup spoon, and 2 bowls.
11. HealthPro Titanium Lightweight 3-Piece Pot and Pan Hiking Cookware Set
Triple your outdoor cooking efficiency and capability, with this titanium cookware set. Healthpro has managed to create a double boiler system, through the pairing of a titanium lid pan and titanium pots. With this system, you can cook two food items simultaneously. This saves both fuel and time. The lid-pan comes with a unique design, allowing it to lie on top of the pot. This allows it to capture heat directly from the pot, thus cooking food slowly while preventing burning.
This system is perfect for cooking several food items like spaghetti sauce, dehydrated meals, and others. The Healthpro titanium cookware is one of the lightest titanium hiking pots. With titanium construction, you are assured of super strong, multifunctional, and lightweight cookware. Foods prepared using the equipment does not retain an odor or even taste. The entire set is non-allergic and rustproof. A nylon mesh storage bag has been included. It makes storage and carrying much easier. The set is designed for two people, but can also be stretched to prepare food for three light eaters. Construction on the entire set is solid. You will not encounter anything flimsy or loose.
12. Extreme Nomad Outdoor Cookware, 10 Piece Cook-set, Durable, Compact, Utensils
This set by Extreme Nomad is perfect for campers and backpackers looking for lightweight cooking pans and pots. It includes a pot, a frying pan, two plastic bowls, one pot or pan lid, one wooden spoon, one spork, one loofah cleaning sponge, a soup spoon and a canvas bag. The whole set is durable, lightweight and compact. The lid, the pot and the pan, are all created using non-toxic anodized aluminum, which is designed for longevity. The cookware is incredibly easy to clean, thanks to the included loofah cleaning sponge.
Weighing only 14 ounces, the set is lightweight, easy to store and easy to carry. A compact canvas bag is included which can also be attached to your pack, for portability. Any avid outdoorsman knows the importance of quality cookware. The use of anodized aluminum allows the pots and pans to heat fast, saving you time and fuel. It is perfect for those backpackers and hikers alike. Handles are heat resistant while the surface of the pots and pans is non-stick. This eliminates any chance of your food getting contaminated by the metal used to make them. These pots and pans will serve you for long, without a need for replacement.
13. Bisgear Outdoor, Non-Stick Cookware, Stove, Carabiner, Utensils, Wine Opener, 12 Piece
Lightweight and small, this cookware is created using anodized aluminum, for fast heat conductivity and durability. The interior comes with a non-stick coating, making it easy to clean. The unit is compact, easy to carry and has a small footprint. It can easily fit inside your backpacking, without consuming too much space. The items included in the set are stainless steel foldable knife, piezo ignition mini stove, mini stove pocket, anodized aluminum non-stick pot, canister stand tripod, dishcloth, mesh bag, carabiner, wine opener and others.
Moreover, all the items can be conveniently stored inside the provided mesh bag, for additional space saving. The folding handle design also saves space. It has a high heat resistant, which means that your hands are protected from scorching. The pots are multipurpose, which means that you can use them for different activities during your hike whether you are cooking, frying, boiling, or stir-frying.
14. Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set 11 Piece Set For Backpacking / Hiking / Trekking
If you are on a budget and you are looking for cookware that you can use for camping and backpacking, this is a good option to consider. It comes with stable handles, cooks well, and can be bundled together for easy carrying during backpacking. In total, the cookware has 11 sets. Included in the set are a pot, tea kettle and pan. All these are made from aluminum. Also included in the set are a lid for covering the pot and the pan, plastic bowls, serving ladle, plastic spatula and a scrubbing pad for easy cleaning.
The hot pad in the set can also be used as a chopping board. The whole set can be stored inside the carry pack, which also comes with a drawstring closure. Considering the price of this set, it cooks fast. Although the whole set weighs around 1.8 pounds, you can remove the unnecessary items, then remain with the spatula, lid, frypan and pot. This reduces your weight significantly, to almost half. This makes it a highly versatile set for use during backpacking. Due to the versatility of the various pieces, the set is very easy to use. The handles collapse back to the pan.
15. BeGrit Backpacking, Picnic Cookware for Hiking, 8 Pieces, 410 Stainless Steel
This stainless steel hiking cookware conducts heat quickly and is build to last. The stainless steel material used to make the cookware does not rust or even attach to food. Foods prepared are thus safe and healthy. It is easy to store and clean. It includes a frying pan, 2 reel-edge plates, 2 mugs, and 2 pots and an extra plate. The cookware is great for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities that require meal preparation.
A bag is also included for outdoor carry and storage. Construction is solid and you should expect the set to serve you for long, without a need for replacement. If you do not like aluminum cookware, then this would be a great alternative. When you are backpacking, you do not have to carry the whole set. Just carry what you need, and you will be able to shed some weight off your backpack.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best 15 Hiking Cookwares – Reviewed
- 1.1 1. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stoves, Piezo Ignition
- 1.2 2. MalloMe Camping Cookware Kit, Folding Spork, Nylon Bag, Ebook (10-Piece)
- 1.3 3. Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set 24oz Stainless Steel
- 1.4 4. MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot
- 1.5 5. OuterEQ 8pcs Lightweight Outdoor Camping Hiking Cookware Bowl Pot Pan Set
- 1.6 6. RioRand Portable Cookware Backpacking Bowl Pot Pan Cooking Kit
- 1.7 7. G4Free Outdoor Camping Pan Hiking Cookware, Bowl Pot Pan Set, 4 Piece
- 1.8 8. Camping Pots, Portable Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookware Bowl Pot Pan
- 1.9 9. TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot with Pan
- 1.10 10. Arcadia Outdoors 11 Piece Cookset, Lightweight, Durable, Compact, Utensils, Firestarter
- 1.11 11. HealthPro Titanium Lightweight 3-Piece Pot and Pan Hiking Cookware Set
- 1.12 12. Extreme Nomad Outdoor Cookware, 10 Piece Cook-set, Durable, Compact, Utensils
- 1.13 13. Bisgear Outdoor, Non-Stick Cookware, Stove, Carabiner, Utensils, Wine Opener, 12 Piece
- 1.14 14. Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set 11 Piece Set For Backpacking / Hiking / Trekking
- 1.15 15. BeGrit Backpacking, Picnic Cookware for Hiking, 8 Pieces, 410 Stainless Steel
This page was authored by Brian Bradshaw, who represents the Boot Bomb. Brian is backed up by an expert team, made up of experienced family and friends, all of which are knowledgeable in the ways of footwear and/or hiking. His ancestors used to own a shoe store for almost a century. He has lived and breathed footwear for as long as he can remember.
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