TOP GEAR PICKS

Best Backpacking Cooking Gear: 8 Items to Make a Great Meal Outdoors!

cooking in the forest

When you are backpacking, at some point you will want to cook a hot meal with or without a fire pit. When searching for the best backpacking cooking gear, you will want to pinpoint what type of items you need when you are on a backpacking trip.

Companies have seen the need for items that can be used by outdoor enthusiasts such as backpackers, so they have begun making camping cooking gear. All you need are a few pieces to set up your very own outdoor kitchen! The best camp kitchen will have, serving sets and a stove system, among other items that we will talk about below.

It is incredible how far backpacking and hiking, cooking gear has come in modern times! Of course, there is a lot to consider, so we will give you some pointers on what you should look out for when it comes to buying new cooking gear, which can only enhance your backpacking trip!

After you see these 8 items to make a great meal outdoors, you will want to rush to plan your next backpacking adventure! All you need to do is round up some friends, pick a day, and hit up the grocery store for some great eats to prepare for your adventure!

Product NameWeightDimensionsEasy to CleanSpecial FeaturesPrice
MSR Wind Burner1.1 lb9 x 5 x 5 inYesLocking pot, internal pressure regulation, drinking and strain portsCheck price on Amazon
G4 Free Outdoor Cookware1.5 lb6.8 x 6.8 x 8.2 inYesBuilt to last, heats quickly, folds up, easy to store, 4 piecesCheck price on Amazon
Coleman Nylon Set0.3 lb2.7 x 4.2 x 11.9 inYes3 piece set held together by a metal ring, durable, light in weight, slim designCheck price on Amazon
Wealers Camping BBQ Set 2.1 lb1.8 x 8.7 x 13.6 inYesCutting board, rice paddle, made of nylon, durable, strongCheck price on Amazon
Docooler Kettle0.7 lb7.8 x 7.1 x 3.8 inYesPortable, made of aluminum, heats fast, scratch resistant, corrosion resistantCheck price on Amazon
Mallome Mess Kit0.7 lb3.8 x 6.3 x 6.6 inYesEasy to clean, collapses, lightweight, portableCheck price on Amazon
GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen38.6 lb5.8 x 24.1 x 46.2 inNoDouble sink, faucet, adjustableCheck price on Amazon
JetBoil Minimo1.3 lb3 x 3 x 4 inNoPush button ignition, simmer control, low spoon angleCheck price on Amazon

Now, let us go over some features to consider so you have an idea of things you need to look out for before you go on a cooking gear shopping spree!

Features to Consider

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to backpacking cooking gear. Keeping these things in mind will help you feel less overwhelmed when it comes to making purchases of items that you need for backpacking outdoors.

Size

Most cooking items are not too big. But you want to consider size and bulk when it comes to bringing along cooking gear. You do not want to feel overwhelmed with big pieces if you do not need to be.

Esbit Alcohol Stove on the ground

If traveling with friends or family, you can always distribute the cooking items so that everyone carries something. If everyone works as a team, nobody will be feeling too overloaded.

Weight

While some items do weigh more than others, you will want to consider weight as a factor. If you are carrying items that make your gear too heavy, you will get overwhelmed and tired faster. Again, if with others, you can distribute the weight between everyone.

This is where you need to know exactly what to take, and not take extra because keeping weight down is something backpackers and hikers alike strive for.

Accessories

There are so many cooking gear accessories on the market. Again, like with weight, you do not want to take too much along. Sure, those giant salt and pepper shakers you inherited from grandma are adorable, but they are not necessary to take along on your backpacking trip.

Only take the accessories you need like cutlery, a spatula, bowls, and things alike. Keep bulky items to a minimum.

Top Product Reviews

We have now arrived at the part where you can review the top products related to cooking gear that you can take on a backpacking trip. Hopefully, some of these items can be taken with you on your next trip! Take a look below and see what these products have to offer!

MSR Wind BurnerMSR WindBurner Stove System

Price: Approx. $140

Weight: 1.1 lb

Dimensions: 9 x 5 x 5 in

Specifoc features: Locking pot, internal pressure regulation, drinking and strain ports

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: The MSR Wind Burner is a great all in one stove and cooking system that has 100 percent primary air combustion and a locking pot. It comes along with a mug that has an insulated cozy, making it very simple to hold your hot mug while you sip.

With this stove system, there is room for a 4 oz fuel canister, which will be used to heat your food or liquid. The canister is not included with the purchase, however. You will love the drinking and straining ports, making your cooking experience less messy!

This device also includes a folding canister stand that will not collapse when you cook on windy days. This stove system has great fuel efficiency and holds one full liter. This comes with an extra 16 oz bowl and has a heat exchange and radiant burner! You will see that the pressure regulation works perfectly, and the boil times are not long!

You can find accessories for this line, including pots and pans, skillet, hanging kit, and more! Best of all, is that it is durable, strong and the pot locks! Plus, it is made in the great old United States of America!

PROS:

  • Compact
  • Windproof
  • Internal pressure regulator

CONS:

  • Some experience low flame
  • May have a regulator issue

Related: When using this stove, you will need cookware. Consider getting the MSR WindBurner Skillet which is from the same company and is made to heat evenly, as well as made for this stove exclusively.

Check the price on Amazon

G4 Free Outdoor CookwareG4Free Outdoor Cookware Set

Price: Approx. $25

Weight: 1.5 lb

Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.8 x 8.2 in

Specific features: Built to last, heats quickly, folds up, easy to store, 4 pieces

Best use: Backpacking and camping

Description: The G4 Free Outdoor Cookware is able to fold down to a smaller size, making it less bulky in your pack. Perfect for hiking, backpacking and camping, you will surely enjoy a meal after using this cookware! It has room to store things like a small stove, seasonings, matches and more!

These items are strong and durable, thus made to last! The mesh bag is included and is used to store your cookware items. This cookware folds down to 6.7 x 5.5 inches. The pot sizes are Big Pot Size: 5.5 x 4.2 in, Small Pot Size: 4.7 x 4.2 in, Big Pan Size: 5.1 x 2.4 in, Small Pan Size: 4.5 x 4.2 in.

The folding handles on the pots are a nice extra, and the items are easy to clean, plus it is made from aluminum, making it quick to heat up, and the items are non-sticking.

If you decide to upgrade from this 4 piece set, to the 10 piece set, you will have a lot of other items that are included in the package, such as tableware, mini stove, dish wash, several tableware items, and 2 mesh bags. But the 4 piece package is perfect for just one or two people, or if you are saving space!

PROS:

  • 13 pieces
  • Items are made of aluminum
  • Money back guarantee

CONS:

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Handle covers can melt
  • No lid

Related: You will need a camping stove if you want to use this set of items. The Etekcity Portable Stove is about $11 and made of aluminum alloy and stainless steel. It fits right in your backpack and is easy to use!

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Nylon Setcoleman 3 piece set

Price: Approx. $10

Weight: 0.3 lb

Dimensions: 2.7 x 4.2 x 11.9 in

Specific features: 3 piece set held together by a metal ring, durable, light in weight, slim design

Best use: Camping and backpacking

Description: You will love the convenience of having the Coleman Nylon Set! This set includes two spoons, one of which is slotted, and a slotted spatula.

The three pieces are held together with a metal ring to keep them items together after they have been cleaned. The items are durable and made from nylon, plus they can be easily cleaned and put in a dishwasher once you are back home.

The three piece set is great for camping, backpacking and hiking, and makes serving easy! The red color is bright and easy to see. The items are not too long, and they are slim, making them easy to store in your backpack.

The light weight makes them virtually weightless, so bringing them, does not require much thought. Feel free to serve everyone soups, vegetables and more with this great three piece serving set! Users love the ease of use and the low price!

PROS:

  • Metal ring keeps all 3 pieces together
  • Made of nylon
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Nylon can peel
  • Feels cheap
  • Color may differ

Related: In order to wash your dishes you should get a basin that is easy to pack. The Coleman Folding Double Wash Basin can be folded down and it has handles. Under $10, this is a great little tub to have when you need to clean your dishes.

Check the price on Amazon

Wealers Camping BBQ Set Wealers Camping BBQ Set

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 2.1 lb

Dimensions: 1.8 x 8.7 x 13.6 in

Specific features: Cutting board, rice paddle, made of nylon, durable, strong

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: The Wealers Camping BBQ Set  comes with several pieces to enhance your cooking experience while outdoors. The seven cooking utensil items that are a part of this package include Scissors, Tongs, Cutting Board, Rice Paddle, Knife, Spatula, and Spoon.

You also get it all in a nice storage case that can be attached to your gear. It will hold all of the items perfectly! All of the pieces were approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are all durable and very strong, as they are made of stainless steel.

With all of the seven items included, you can make nearly any meal that your mind can imagine. You can easily cut vegetables on the cutting board, prepare rice, and cut up meats for a stir fry! The possibilities are endless with this seven piece kit!

Preparing food has really never been easier, when you are outdoors. If you are not backpacking or camping, you can use this to prepare dinner outdoors on a nice day!

PROS:

  • Comes in a cute carrying case
  • Can be used anywhere you need to cook
  • Compact and organized

CONS:

  • Some pieces can break
  • Cutting board is small
  • Spatula and tongs can scratch pans

Related: Who doesn’t want eggs with breakfast, especially while camping? The Stansport Egg Container for Camping and Travel will keep your eggs contained safely in the case. It locks up tight and prevents the eggs from moving around and breaking.

Check the price on Amazon

Docooler KettleDocooler kattle

Price: Approx. $15

Weight: 0.7 lb

Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.1 x 3.8 in

Specific features: Portable, made of aluminum, heats fast, scratch resistant, corrosion resistant

Best use: Backpacking, camping

Description: The Docooler Kettle is small and comes in a classic design, plus it is light in weight. Made of aluminum, it will heat your liquids quickly and is resistant against scratches and corrosion.

It comes with a mesh bag that you can use for storage, which makes it easier to carry, too. It can be used indoors when you are home, as well, making it a universal kettle.

It can be used over an open fire and you will not have to worry about the handle, as it is strong, and the lid locks in place. Many have recommended it for cross country journeys, too! People also loved it because they could cook their noodles in it, besides liquids!

Users love that it is small and virtually weightless, at under a pound. They love the design and the fact that it cleans up very easily. Another great factor about this outdoor kettle is that it cools down quickly, so you can pack up and go after your cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa!

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Corrosion and scratch resistant
  • Comes with storage bag

CONS:

  • Too small for some
  • Carrying bag is cheap

Related: If you use this kettle, you will need a stove. The Coleman Classic Propane Stove has Wind Block panels that will keep the fire from going out. It is made to be efficient and cook evening. Under $50, this is a handy item to have when camping.

Check the price on Amazon

Mallome Mess KitMallome Mess Kit

Price: Approx. $15

Weight: 0.7 lb

Dimensions: 3.8 x 6.3 x 6.6 in

Specific features: Easy to clean, collapses, lightweight, portable

Best use: Camping and hiking

Description: You will absolutely love the MalloMe Mess Kit because it comes with everything you need! The items are durable and strong, so they will last a long time. They are made from aluminum, so you will see that they heat up really quickly.

The 10 pieces are super easy to clean and store, as they collapse into each other, with smaller items fitting into the top area.

The 10 items included in this set are nonstick pot, 2 bowls (bpa free), pot cover, nonstick pan, spork (folds, stainless steel), soup spoon (bpa free), spatula (wooden), sponge for cleaning, drawstring pouch for storage, guide with 10 recipes called perfect marshmallow roasting and s’mores making.

With this mess kit, you can literally make any meal with ease! This high quality set will not disappoint! Users like the handle, which has a molding on it so you do not burn your hands.

You will love how easy it is to store everything, as it collapses. Clean up is a breeze, and the durable sack will clip right to your backpack, so you do not have to fit it in with your other gear!

PROS:

  • 10 piece set
  • Conducts heat fast
  • Easy to store and clean

CONS:

  • Sparks can fly
  • Handles can melt
  • Items scratch easily

Related: Make sure the water you obtain while backpacking is clean. The Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System will filter your water so you do not get any bacteria or germs in your water that could make you sick. At about $20, this set is small and can fit in your backpack easily.

Check the price on Amazon

GSI Outdoors Gourmet KitchenGSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen

Price: Approx. $200

Weight: 38.6 lb

Dimensions: 5.8 x 24.1 x 46.2 in

Specific features: Double sink, faucet, adjustable

Best use: Camping

Description: The GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen is easy to set up and will hold all of your cooking items and allow you space to prepare a great dinner! The gourmet kitchen is made of steel and includes a double sink and a pressurized faucet if you have a water hookup.

The cutting boards will come off of the table if you like, for easy cleaning. The great thing is that the legs are adjustable to your height!

Another great thing about the cutting boards is that they can be used as windscreens, as well as locking storage covers. This gourmet kitchen will not disappoint! You can use the top rack to store your items that hang, for easy use. The wire rack area is perfect for storing dishes after they have been washed!

If you choose to hook up the double sinks to water, you will need 2 Reliance 5 gallon Fold a Carriers, plus a universal air mattress foot pump. These items do not come with the gourmet kitchen, and will have to be purchased apart from it.

The kitchen also includes heat proof wire for cooking in 6 areas. This item is made in the United States, as well, so you will feel good about purchasing something made in your home country.

PROS:

  • Adjustable
  • Double sinks
  • Heat-proof wire

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Has a lot of parts

Related: The GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist Cookset is a great cook set to use with your new gourmet kitchen! The items are crush-proof, resistant to heat and won’t melt! There are folding handles so you can carry the items with ease.

Check the price on Amazon

JetBoil MinimoJetboil MiniMo

Price: Approx. $135

Weight: 1.3 lb

Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 4 in

Specific features: Push button ignition, simmer control, low spoon angle

Best use: Backpacking and hiking

Description: The Jetboil MiniMo has the great feature of simmer control, so you will not have to worry about your dinner over boiling! Another great feature is the push button ignition, allowing you to use the cooking system with ease!

For every 16 oz of liquid you want to boil, it will only take 2 minutes and 15 seconds! It also includes a insulating lid that you can drink through, plus a measuring cup to get those measurements right! The burner storage will sit sideways to reduce space in your pack.

When you purchase this item, there is a fuel canister stabilizer that comes with it. Some of the compatible accessories for this cooking system include Mini Mo sized coffee press, hanging kit, Pot support (with fuel canister stabilizer). The cooking system takes isobutane and propane as fuel and is made from aluminum, for quick heating.

It only comes in one size, but the features make it great. You will enjoy the lower spoon angle for reading straight from the cup! It is perfect for cooking with and eating from, which means you will not use as many dishes! That means less cleaning to do!

PROS:

  • Many colors to choose from
  • Made from high quality materials
  • Push button start

CONS:

  • Can stop working
  • Fabric around the canister can get dirty
  • Cleaning is difficult

Related: If you are going to use a pot to cook on this stove, consider getting the Jetboil Pot Support. It is made to support the pot on the stove. It locks and can be used with a 1.5 liter pot, and it weighs only 1.2 oz.

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

Having these items will ensure you get a great meal for you and your friends while backpacking and having fun outdoors. Many items are easy to store and light in weight, and can pack away easily. While you must be safe using some of these items, you are sure to have a great meal when using the items we mentioned above!

Cooking on a frying pan

Now that you are armed with some information about outdoor cooking gear, you can find some nice recipes and make them the next time you go backpacking!

If you found our article useful and you think that your friends should read it too, feel free to share it on social media. Also, we would also appreciate if you shared your thoughts on backpacking cooking gear, by leaving a comment in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca J. Crawford
Rebecca J. Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of Rebecca is ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy.

  • Nikita Sparks

    The jetboil looks really cool and is something that I need. Do you have any good recipes that I can cook with the jetboil?

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    There are so many recipes that you can use with the JetBoil! We recommend recipes with stews, soups, or those with meat and vegetable mixtures. You can also make burritos!

  • Robin Peterson

    All these items are perfectly match for team at least 5 or 6. Do you have any suggestion of products for a smaller team. May be 2 people?

  • Rebecca J. Crawford

    You can find smaller products at any camping store.

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