What is camping cookware?
Part of achieving a great camping trip is getting the camping cooking right. Camping cookware helps with this. Camping cookware is, essentially, the same as the typical cookware. The only real difference is that the cookware is built for outdoor excursions. This means that the products are specifically created for travel and to cope with the trials of outdoor environments. As a result, products like a camping cooking set will cook as home sets, but also be compact, packable and durable in changing weather conditions.
What are the most important camping cookware products?
Amongst the plethora of cooking products suitable for outdoor use, there are a few essentials that are must-haves.
This is an obvious one. When you’re compiling a checklist of camping cookware you’ll need, a camping stove should come at the top. A camping stove is a lightweight, portable cooker, making it ideal for use in the outdoors.
Camping stove types
There are many stove types that the would-be camper can choose from based on the type of fuel they use. The type of stove will depend on the level of performance and safety a user would like.
These stoves are extremely convenient. They are simple and quick to assemble, and their skeletal design make them great space-savers. Despite their lack of body, they boast numerous features including multiple burners and grills.
Liquid fuel stoves
Like the gas stove, a liquid fuel stove is ideal for camping and backpacking due to its size and weight. The main difference is that the stove runs on methylated spirits, as well as kerosene and paraffin. Liquid fuel stoves are beneficial as they maintain a consistent heat in all conditions, are eco-friendly and fairly inexpensive.
Alcohol burner stoves
The alcohol burner stove is the ultimate in convenience cooking. These stoves require little maintenance and can be compacted enough to fit into the pockets of your backpack. They also run on methylated spirits, so they share similar heat burning benefits as the liquid fuel stove.
Choosing a camping stove
With so many types of camping stove available offering effective cooking, thinking about other important variables will help you pick one to suit.
Firstly, it helps to know exactly the type of activity the stove is being used for. If you plan on doing some really versatile cooking and grilling, you’ll need a powerful stove.
Consider the amount of people you will be cooking for. To save time, it’s prudent to buy a stove with more than one burner if the group is larger than three. There are as many double burner stoves available as there are single. More burners make lighter work by cooking more and allowing space for more than one cook.
Finally, the conditions will effect the type of cooking you will be able to accomplish. If you are in colder conditions, it can prevent some types of stove from achieving high-energy heat. Conversely, stoves that use fuels that ignite beneath low heat are dangerous to pack in hot climates.
Camping Cooking Set
Once you’ve found your stove, you’ll need the pots and pans to cook the food in. That’s where your camping cooking set will come in. Camping cook sets have three key remits: conductivity, portability and durability.
Types of camping cooking set
Because of these remits, outdoor equipment brands have been striving to provide solutions that combine all three. Not only have they toyed with different shapes and sizes, they’ve also employed various materials to build efficient cook sets.
Stainless steel camping cooking set
This is the most commonly-owned camping cook set due to its affordability and effectiveness. Steel has great conductivity allowing it to provide an even heat whilst cooking. It is also scratch resistant, which comes in handy when you’re lugging it about with other heavy-duty gear. It is, however, quite heavy. If you plan on cooking for larger groups, a massive steel cook set could prove a cumbersome problem.
Titanium camping cooking set
Whilst titanium cook sets are expensive, you get a lot of pros for your money. They are abrasion and dent resistant, heat quickly and, with their non-stick coating, are easily cleaned. A titanium camping cooking set has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all the potential options available.
Aluminium camping cooking set
Consider this as the midrange alternative between titanium and stainless steel. It has the affordability of a steel set with the excellent thermal conductivity of titanium. Though, if not regularly maintained, aluminium has a fairly short lifespan.
Once you’ve finished cooking, your camping tableware comes into play. These are the dining tools you use to plate, serve and eat the food you’ve made. Like the previous essential camping cookware products, they are built to pack and carry.
Typically, camping tableware comes in sets with all the vital pieces – plates, bowls, containers and utensils. These pieces are built from different materials providing insulation to hot and cold foods, as well as heat-resistance.
What to consider when buying camping cookware
There are a few factors that could help you determine your ideal camping cookware kit. Everything has to be tailored towards convenience, so stick to only the most manageable and necessary products.
The number of necessary camping cookware pieces
Avoid lugging around a Michelin star kitchen-worth of camping cookware by modifying the number of cooking items you bring. The aim is to bring as little as possible without compromising comfort. So if you’re camping with four people but you’ve only got enough room for three plates, that will not work.
Ask yourself how many will be attending and will you be driving or backpacking. This will help you to optimise your load. The larger the group, the more camping cookware you’ll need, and vice versa.
The weight of the camping cookware
Don’t compromise quality just to get your pack slightly lighter. Obviously, you don’t want to be carrying heavy equipment if you’re trekking tough terrain. But your cookware becomes useless if it gets damaged. Spend a little more on titanium, in this instance.
Also, what will be on the menu goes some way to determining the weight of your chosen cookware. Will it be largely canned foods or gourmet meals? Canned and dehydrated foods require lighter, smaller pots and pans compared to meals.
Camping Cookware Checklist
Don’t rely on memory where your camping cookware is concerned. There are loads of parts that are useful making it easy to forget. Here’s a helpful checklist of all the pieces you may need:
- Camping kitchen
- Camping stove
- Camping cooking set
- Tableware – plates, bowls, cups and cutlery
- Cooking fuel
- Tin opener