14 Camping Cookware Essentials You Didn't Know You Needed (2024)

Leah Balagopal

Leah Balagopal is a Brooklyn, NY-based climbing coach, surfer, art conservator, and Field Mag Contributor.

Field Mag may receive a minor commission from purchases made via affiliate links.

When we think about campsite meals, we often imagine things like hot dogs and boil-in-a-bagbackpacking meals. Although there is something to be said for traveling light and cheap—though dehydrated camping meals aren't always inexpensive—a hot and hearty meal after a long day of hiking, rock climbing, or surfing feels like a real reward when it's made from scratch. But to make one, you'll need the right camping cookware.

In this article, we're diving into all things campign cookware, from what you need to know to our own top picks, largely based on experience. Read on for the intel, or scroll a little further to get right to our product picks. Enjoy!

What You Need to Know About Camping Cookware

As with all backpacking gear, durability and weight are two primary factors to consider when building a cook set for camping. Aluminum, steel, and titanium are all popular materials in cooking pots, frying pans, as well as bowls, plates, mugs, and cutlery. There are pros and cons to all of them. Aluminum heats up quickly, is lightweight, and is often affordable but can warp more than other materials. Steel is scratch resistant and made to last, but tends to be heavier.Titaniumis extremely lightweight and durable but is often more expensive than your other options.

Weight and material aren't the only considerations to make when buying camping cookware though—sometimes you just need the right tool for the job (or the right pan for the recipe). Features like collapsible handles and an included storage bag to keep things clean can be a major plus. And if you're car camping or visiting a campground you don't need to worry about weight or pack space anyway (that's when we pull out the cast iron).

Here, we've rounded up the best camping cookware for all scenarios and considerations—get cooking.

The Best Camping Cookware of 2022

VSSL Java Coffee Grinder

Say goodbye to cowboy coffee andinstant coffee. This packable coffee grinder has a detachable magnetic handle that makes it sleek and easy to stuff into your camping gear bin or backpack alongside your favoritecamping coffee maker. It's a manual grinder which we all know can be a workout, but this one provides a consistent smooth rotation and can produce around 20 grams of ground coffee in 60 seconds. It also uses high-quality burrs and has 50 grind settings, just like the pro-grade machines at your local coffee shop.

Material:stainless steel
Weight:14 ounces
Price:$160

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GSI Outdoors Stove Toaster

GSI's Stove Toaster isn't the most necessary item to include in your camp cook set, but if you can't live without your morning toast (or are car camping and can afford to bring some extras), it's worth bringing along. This stainless steel toaster works with typical camping stoves MSR's WhisperLite or Jetboil systems and features a fine steel mesh that will leave you with perfect and even toasting.

Material:stainless steel
Weight:6 ounces
Price:$13

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Snow Peak Titanium Dining Set

With two plates and sporks weighing 145 grams, this is a great ultralight not to mention sleek and durable dining set. It comes with theTrek Titanium Plateas well as the Snow Peak's classicTitanium Spork(we carry one with us at all times, in town and on the trail). You can also add to the dining set with the brand'sFork and Spoon Setif a spork doesn't quite cut it for you.

Material:titanium
Weight:5 ounces
Price:$53

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Lodge Cast Iron Cook It All

True to its name, this cast iron camping cookware set can really do it all. Perfect for car camping excursions, it beats typical cast iron skillets with a frying pan/griddle combo that has five different cooking configurations including a grill, griddle, skillet, wok, and dutch oven. If that quantity of options seems daunting, rest assured that the set comes with tips, tricks, and a recipe book to jumpstart your camp cooking inspiration. Cast iron is known for excellent heat distribution and minimal cold or hot spots, so if you're a food-focused camper, give this piece of camping cookware some consideration.

Material:seasoned cast iron
Weight:29 pounds
Price:$125

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Montbell Alpine Kettle 0.9L

A favorite of Field Mag's editor in chief, this tea kettle is tried and tested to be the perfect camping tool forbackcountry boiling. The small spout ensures accurate pours while the coated handle protects against accidental burns, and the hard anodized aluminum construction guarantees it'll be lightweight in your pack.

Material:hard anodized aluminum
Weight:7 ounces
Price:$28

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Barebones Cowboy Fire Pit Grill

Inspired by open-fire cooking and the mobile chuck wagons used in the American West, Barebones's Cowboy Grill is aportable fire pitmade for outdoor cooking. Constructed out of heavy-duty steel, it's a bit lighter than cast iron—the apparatus weighs 30 points—and can be used to grill up the on-the-road bbq of your dreams with the grill grate or used as a simple fire pit. This one's probably better suited to backyards and all-out car camping trips. (Already have an established fire pit? Use theBreeo Outpost Grillto create an adjustable cooking surface that's heavy duty and dependable.)

Material:cast iron
Weight:30 pounds
Price:$400

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SiliPint Lidded Speckled Bowl

With a classic speckled pattern that calls to mind old-school camper cooksets and a non-slip base, SiliPint's lidded bowl is the perfect vessel for any hot or cold meal or drink you'll consumer out in the backcountry. Built to last with chemical-free, platinum-cured silicone, these bowls are durable to chips and cracks so you can stuff them into your pack worry-free. They're dishwasher and microwave safe too, which makes reheating leftovers and home cleanup a breeze.

Material:platinum-cured silicone
Weight:10 ounces
Price:$17

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MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove

MSR's basic and functional camping stove is so practical that it's become an icon, and a standard piece of gear for backpacking trips. The universal version can use both liquid fuel and propane canisters with two source couplers and three self-cleaning Shaker Jets (this thing can even take gasoline in a pinch). It also folds down into a tiny compact package and comes with a carry bag that's perfect for camping, backpacking, and traveling.

Material:stamped stainless steel
Weight:11 ounces
Price:$128

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Hydro Flask 3qt Serving Bowl with Lid

If your base camp cook set is in need of serving bowls to feed a crew, Hydro Flask's is among the best you'll find. Like the brand's water bottles, the bowl features double-wall insulation to keep your hands comfy and your food warm (or cold) no matter the temperature of its contents. The bowl also features a press-on lid so you can easily transport food mess free and simplify cleanup.

Material:pro-grade stainless steel
Weight:2 pounds 10 ounces
Price:$55

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Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset 2.2

Sea to Summit's Alpha cook set comes with upgraded versions the basics you'll need for a backpacking trip. The stars of the set are the two pots, both made with hard anodized stainless steel, which are lightweight and have locking handles and lids that include holes for straining. In addition to the cooking pots, the set comes with two DeltaLight bowls and two insulated mugs that next together with the pot set for one compact and complete mess kit.

And if you're all set on bowls and mugs, you can buy the Alpha Pot on its own in various sizesat REI.

Material:aluminum
Weight:1 pound 14 ounces
Price:$100

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Sea to Summit Alpha 10in Pan

If you're a true camp chef and freeze-dried backpacking meals aren't your thing, you'll need to do more than boil water, and this is the perfect frying pan for making home-cooked meals (while not at home). The Alpha Pan is compatible with most camp stoves, is compact with a folding and locking handle, and has a durable non-stick coating that makes cooking and cleanup easy.

Material:aluminum alloy
Weight:12 ounces
Price:$57

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Yeti Rambler Stackable Mug

The Yeti Rambler is your classic go-to insulated mug if you want to ensure hot liquids are kept hot and cold ones are kept cold. With kitchen-grade stainless steel and durable color coatings plus an included lid, Yeti's mugs are made to last and come in a variety of colors to choose from.

Material:stainless steel
Weight:13 ounces
Price:$25

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Oxo Outdoor Steady Surface Cutting Board

You can dice onions directly into a pan, but it's an awkward process and a quick way to dull your blade. Instead, bring along a cutting board. This one is made of BPA-free materials and has nonslip feet for grip on the weird surfaces at base camp. This cutting board is good enough to use as part of your home cook kit, too.

Material:polypropylene/thermoplastic elastomer
Weight:13 ounces
Price:$13

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Snow Peak Takibi Fire & Grill

Made in Japan from top-quality stainless steel, Snow Peak's Takibi Fire & Grill is a cooking apparatus consisting of a combo of a portable firepit and grill cooktop. Use it to upgrade your base camp kitchen output from just boiling water to grilling veggies, seafood, or whatever else you can think of. You can even kick it up another notch withSnow Peak's Field Oven add-on, which has a ceramic plate insert that allows you to make anything an oven can, including bread, pies, and pizza.

Material:stainless steel
Weight:32 pounds
Price:$350

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14 Camping Cookware Essentials You Didn't Know You Needed (2024)

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