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:
- What type of cooking will you be doing?
- How much weight are you willing to carry?
- The size of group you will be cooking for
WHAT TYPE OF COOKING WILL YOU BE DOING?
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.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT ARE YOU WILLING TO CARRY?
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.
WHAT SIZE GROUP WILL YOU BE COOKING FOR?
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.
COOKWARE MATERIAL OPTIONS
- Ultralight weight
- Excellent heat conductor
- Most expensive
- Easy to clean
- Scratch resistant
- Good heat conductor
- Easily dented and scratched
- Heaviest option
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!