The post I did on my cooking setup back in September has proved to be one of my most popular articles, however my kit has changed a bit since then so I thought I’d do a quick update. Lets dive right in.
Previously I was using a Snow Peak Trek 900 titanium pot, the capacity was great and the weight was minimal. The only let-down was the poor heat conduction of the bare titanium which caused food to catch during cooking. Whilst browsing through gear on eBay I happened upon a non-stick Evernew pot with the option of placing a Best Offer. $41 later I was the proud owner of a new 0.6L pan.
Of course this pan is smaller than my Snow Peak pot, but I generally cook for one when camping so the 0.6L is quite adequate. Being non-stick I can cook ‘proper’ food in it without the fear of burning things in 10 seconds flat and being left with a bit of a mess on my hands. I haven’t sold the Snow Peak since it’ll still come in handy if I have to cook for two or more people, but I’ll probably limit the cuisine to boil in the bag or foods that only require hot water or a few minutes of simmering.
The Evernew pot paired with the non-stick frying pan from my mini Trangia makes for a versatile setup, and means washing up is a doddle. The pot nests inside the frying pan and everything fits in the supplied stuff sack with few issues.
Heat is still supplied by a Trangia meths burner – my infatuation with the purple stuff shows no sign of abating, although I do have a Jetboil Zip on the way as part of my Trail subscription which may be an interesting alternative. As you can see in the picture below the burner’s simmer ring is looking a bit worse for wear from a few mishaps when trying to force it through the Pocket Stove’s aperture but it still works a treat. I like the trangia as the heat output is low relative to gas burners, it is dependable in all weather and the smell of meths and bacon in the morning still brings a smile to my face after all these years. The only negative is the need to warm the fuel in cold weather, but ten minutes in the sleeping bag brings things back to life.
Speaking of the Pocket Stove, it has morphed from stainless steel into titanium since my last Camp Kitchen post. This saves about 100g and provides a splash of colour as the material gradually oxidises. I really like this design and can’t see myself changing for a good while. Naturally the stove fits inside the pot when folded flat, along with a cotton bandana, firesteel and the burner in its mesh stuffsack.
The frying pan was an in-and-out feature in my last cooking kit, but after a few trips at the back end of last year that involved bacon sarnies it has become a pretty solid addition. Fried food always is always the best tasting food when out camping in my opinion – definitely way better than the freeze-dried stuff I tried on a trip to Helvellyn last year. I just throw a little 20ml bottle of cooking oil in with my food to lubricate the process.
I have used the titanium Pocket Stove for a few months now, here are a few pictures of it in action:
Cutlery duty is still fulfilled by a Sea to Summit Alphalight long spoon and a LMF spork. The silver number with the elastic band is the frying pan pot gripper. Plenty of people moan about the fragility of sporks but I’ve found mine really hard-wearing and dependable and great value at less than 2 quid. The spoon is still a fave for eating out of bags but I don’t use it for stirring whilst cooking as the non-stick coating on both pans could chip or scratch quite easily.
For me, the only reasonable addition is a foldable windscreen to add a bit more protection than the Pocket Stove can provide. Other than that I’m really happy with this setup – it took a bit of time and some trial and error to refine but, for me, it’s there. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen a better solo meths cook set.
My next post is going to be on backpacking food, with a focus on supermarket-sourced bargains inspired by a great post on the One Swedish Summer blog. Look out for Super Noodles and Spam, coming soon.