The backpacker’s cooking experience is getting ever closer to the convenience of cooking in your own home kitchen. Advances in cooking equipment not only have made things lighter, but also more efficient and diverse. Cookware for backpackers even means you can bring along a stove without weighing you down nearly as much as it would have 20 years ago.
The backpacker’s stove of today is a single-burner or double-burner unit that is light enough to carry on long hikes. You also have the choice of cooking with gas, methylated spirits or paraffin. Backpackers who will be covering a lot of territory may wish to consider a canister-type stove that has pot attached to the stove. Not only does this save fuel, but it helps to heat the pot much faster.
Pots and Pans
Pots and pans are basic backpacking cookware essentials whether you are planning on heating the food or not. Look for a cookware set that nests inside each other to save space and lighten the load. While you want to get a lightweight set of pans and pots, you don’t want to sacrifice sturdy quality. You will increase your chances of burning or scorching food the bottom of the pan or pot is too thin. You should also make sure that handles are firmly attached so that they don’t break off and put your food into the dirt.
Tongs and Silverware
Pack a pair of tongs in addition to basic silverware items like a spoon, knife and fork. Tongs come in handy and are much more efficient for turning over items like bacon in your frying pan. A spatula is also a good piece of cookware to have if you are planning on making pancakes, fried eggs or an omelet while you are out backpacking.
Aluminum Reflector Oven
An aluminum reflector oven allows you to enjoy delicacies on your backpacking expedition that you may not even have thought it was possible to enjoy dozens of miles from the nearest bakery. This small, lightweight device is easy to set up and operate as long as you take great care to read and follow all include safety instructions. As long as you are backpacking in an area where ground fires are not prohibited, you can use an aluminum reflector oven to bake bread, cakes and pies as well as pizza and casseroles.
“Hiking and Backpacking: A Complete Illustrated Guide” recommends water bags for backpackers as way to avoid having to go back and forth between the water supply and your camp. Water bags allow you to carry up to two gallons of water so you can use the water for drinking, cooking and clean-up without making the extra effort to get more. Add some disinfectant tablets to purify the water and you can use this particular kind of cookware to refill water bottles on the hiking path.