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Camping Cookware Comparisons: Which Is Best For Camp Cooking?

What type of camping cookware is best for you? Camp cooking and clean-up can be easy or a hassle, it all starts with great camping equipment.

Camping cookware, like any camping equipment, should be versatile and tough. A lot of campers have a set of cookware just for camping because they don't want to risk damaging their good kitchen set and/or it's easier to keep all your camping gear organized and ready-to-go in big plastic bin(s). Kitchen cookware usually won't last long in the field anyway. Camp cooking outdoors can be a lot more demanding than what most kitchen utensils are made for.

Heavy duty camping cookware is not only a good idea, it's almost a necessity. If you're camp cooking and your only pan cracks or burns through making it unusable, you're either going to have to find a way to use tin foil creatively or eat cold sandwiches the rest of your camping trip.

Remember to get camping cookware with tight-fitting lids to help heat food on your camping stove more quickly and to help save fuel, this is especially important to hikers that carry everything. I'd stay away from non-stick coatings as it only takes over-heating them once and the surface is junk. Also once the surface is scorched the chemical make-up is permanently changed and I'm not sure how healthy it would be for you. Non-stick surfaces can also scratch, it's hard enough keeping them in good shape at home let alone camping or hiking.

Some pots/pans come in sets that mate together or "nest" for storage and even allow you to tuck a canister of fuel inside them. This comes in handy when you're looking to save room while camping.

Look for camping cookware with rounded corners/edges to help reduce hot-spots and for ease of cleaning.

Remember that most camping cookware handles can get hot so bring something you can use to protect your hands. For quicker boiling and heating look for camping cookware with black colored bottoms because it will absorb heat better and save you some fuel.

Backpackers: One liter pots are a good size for two people who don't eat much, if you and you're buddy have a normal appetite you'll want to use a 1.5 liter pot. A two liter should supply about three hikers with a bigger appetite each with a good-size meal. If you're in a bigger group you'll want to bump up the size.

There are several different types of camping cookware and they have different advantages and disadvantages...

Aluminum pans and cookware: Advantages: Lightweight, heat quickly, and cheap. Disadvantages: Possible link to Alzheimer's, food has a tendency to stick, hot spot heating can easily burn food so you'll want to stir it, hard to clean, can taste bad, pans can get bent/dinged easily, and aluminum has a tendency to react with foods. I've seen tomato sauce eat through...

If you'd like more information on camping cookware please click here for the whole article. You may also want to take a look at this related article on how to pick the best camping stove for your use.

About the Author

Marc learned about quality gear when his tent flooded forcing him to sleep in his tiny 2-seat Honda CRX. His hiking equipment & camping gear guides & reviews save you time & money. Subscribe to his camping & hiking newsletter & get the most usable info. FREE! Marc Wiltse. Reprint permission if author, copyright, links & this notice are intact.

Marc Wiltse