Lightweight Backpacking Cooksets

Lightweight Backpacking Cooksets

There are so many options when it comes to lightweight backpacking cooksets.  When you are trying to decide what type of cookware to purchase the main things you will have to consider are:

  1. What type of cooking will you be doing?
  2. How much weight are you willing to carry?
  3. The size of group you will be cooking for


Lightweight backpackers will typically be cooking either one pot meals, freezer bag meals, or commercial freeze dried meals so I will be focusing on those for this post.  One pot meals are simply, like the name implies, when you cook or rehydrate your meal in one pot.  The best size pot for this is between 1 and 1.5 liters.  Its helpful if your pot has liquid measurements imprinted on the inside and a strainer built into the lid.  For freezer bag and freeze dried meals, a mug will be sufficient because you will only be boiling water to add to your food inside the bag.


There are many different kinds of backpackers so of course you will have to consider your own preferences when deciding on any backpacking gear.  Are you the type of backpacker that wants an entire cookset with multiple pots, pans, cups, bowls, and lids?  Or do you want to go very minimalist to save weight?  Answering these questions will really help you narrow down the choices you have.  For the purposes or this site, I am focusing mostly on lightweight and ultralight weight cookware options.


If you’re going solo, you can most likely just get by with a titanium mug for boiling water.  Two people will be more likely to use a small 1 Liter pot for one pot meals or each bring a titanium mug and cook separately.  Cooking for a large group in the back country can be tricky. Its easiest to do simple one pot meals and you will probably need 1 stove for every 4 people and a 2 Liter pot for every 4 people.  It is most efficient to split up into cooking teams. This way team members can share the responsibility of carrying equipment, food, and fuel and dinner will be ready a lot sooner.

After you have answered these three questions, you are ready to start looking at cookware.




  • Ultralight weight
  • Excellent heat conductor
  • Most expensive

Hard-Anodized Aluminum

  • Non-stick
  • Easy to clean
  • Scratch resistant


  • Lightweight
  • Good heat conductor
  • Easily dented and scratched
  • Affordable

Stainless Steel

  • Durable
  • Heaviest option


==>  Click here to see a list of my recommended backpacking cook pots  <==

As mentioned, your own backpacking cookware needs will vary, but the above are some really popular and good quality pots and mugs.

So what is your go to choice for cookware while out backpacking?  Please feel free to comment and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts you want to add!

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6 thoughts on “Lightweight Backpacking Cooksets”

  • I enjoyed cooking a lot during my spare time my I have never thought of cooking at a camp or outside before but after reading your recommendations, I decided to give it a thought! However, I didn’t realize there were so much consideration for cook wares. I took a look at Toaks Titanium 1100 ml and I like that a lot! 🙂

  • Hi there, I would like to thank commend you on your backpacking and hiking cook sets. The cook sets are very targeted and very helpful for us. We do occasional hiking on a different set of people ranging from family, friends, officemates and even hiking for cause-oriented groups.

    the cook sets are very welcome and educational for us since most of our hikes happened to be in tropical places. Some hikes are very heavily forested with thick bush, trees, and sometimes we just camp out on a muddy grounds with occasional rain showers.

    Your site is clean and easy to browse and I don’t find it tiring to read long articles.

    Keep on posting and thank you for a lot of information here.

    • Hi Troy,

      Glad to hear you found the site helpful 🙂 It sure is difficult to figure out what type of set up will be best for you when you’ve got such variable circumstances like your own. I settles on a small titanium mug for when I’m solo or with one other person and have a bigger pot with bowls and such for when I’m with a larger group. It really helps to be able to split up the weight among the group.

      This cookware should work fine for you in tropical/forested locations. Check out my new page on Ultralight Backpacking Stoves if you need any information on those!

  • I have never been a backpacker hiker but I certainly enjoyed the pleasures of camping in my youth with all the necessary cooking equipment safely stored in the boot of my car with the camping equipment.on the way to our selected holiday venue. I enjoyed reading this interesting article with the suggestions on different cookware options.

    • Hi James,
      Yes, car camping is great fun too! If I’m going car camping but want to keep things simple I will sometimes take my smaller stove and cookset. Glad you enjoyed reading my page and reminiscing.

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