Best Pots and Pans for Camping In 2018

No one likes having to scrounge up cookware from your kitchen every time you go camping. That's why it's useful to have a compact set of camping pots and pans that you can grab whenever you go on a trip, or better yet, store with your camping gear, so you're always ready to go.

G4Free Outdoor Camping Cookware Set

​The G4Free Outdoor Camping Cookware Set includes four pieces, including two sizes of pots and pans each. All four pots and pans fit into each other for a compact, portable set. The handles have a silicone tube cover to protect from heat. They fold around the pot or pan sides when not in use to save space.

​When fitted together, this camping pan set has space inside for additional items like seasoning, matches, or cleaning products. The entire set comes with and fits into a convenient mesh bag.

​All cookware are non-stick and made with FDA-approved anodized aluminium. The cookware conducts heat well. Servings are enough for one or two people.

PROS

  • Includes 2 non-stick pots and 2 non-stick pans
  • FDA-approved non-toxic anodized aluminum
  • Mesh bag for storage
  • All components pack into each other for easy storage

CONS

  • After time, some users saw flaking
  • Intense heat or open flame can cause the rubber handle to melt
MSR Quick 2 System

​The MSR Quick 2 System is a compact cooking set that includes a 1.5-liter pot, 2.5-liter pot, a strainer lid, two deep dish plates, two mugs, and a Talon pot handle. It's a complete set of hiking cookware made of ultra light, hard-anodized aluminum. The 1.5-liter pot is nonstick, while the larger size is uncoated to give users more choice and flexibility in their outdoor cooking.

​All the set's pieces fit into the anodized pot, which works well for boiling water or using as a washbasin for the other pieces. The Talon pot handle attaches folds over the other pieces to keep them secure. The plates and mugs are heat-resistant plastic.

PROS

  • Includes: 1.5L pot, 2.5L pot, removable talon handle, 2 deep dish plates, 2 mugs, and a strainer lid
  • Material is anodized aluminum
  • 1 nonstick (1.5L) and 1 uncoated pot (2.5L)
  • Deep dish plates hold 0.8L of water
  • Mugs are double-wall insulated and heat resistant with lids to prevent spills

CONS

  • Talon handle is small for the 2.5L pot and difficult to carry when full
  • Thin metal of the pans results in a hot spot in the center
  • Shared talon handle for two pots makes it difficult to move the pots if you use them at the same time
​GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Base Camper Cook Set

​The GSI Outdoors Camper Cook Set includes two differently sized pots, a frying pan, two strainer lids, a cutting board, and a stuff sack. These outdoor cooking pots hold approximately 5 quarts and 2 quarts. Locking, removable handles make the pots easy to handle while cooking, and easy to secure during travel.

​The strainer lids have a silicone ring to secure around the rim of the pots and are heat-resistant and crushproof. Including a cutting board is a nice touch that rounds out this camping cookware set. You can secure the entire set in a mesh stuff sack.

PROS

  • Includes 5 qt. pot, 2 qt. pot, frying pan, 2 strainer lids, cutting board, and a mesh sack
  • Strainer lids are durable, heat-resistant, and crushproof
  • Handles and gripper locks secure the set when it's packed
  • Mesh stuff sack fits the whole set

CONS

  • Bottom of the pots can blacken easily if placed too close to an open flame
  • Only includes one handle, which makes it difficult to use pots simultaneously
Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set

​The Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set contains eleven different pieces that fit neatly into each other. The entire set weigh only 1.5 pounds, making this set suitable for not only camping but hiking and backpacking. It includes a pot, frying pan, and tea kettle, along with some useful extras like a ladle, spatula, and even a cleaning sponge.

​Ultra light aluminum oxide makes up the pot, pan and tea kettle, which can withstand high temperatures even on the handles. This material conducts heat efficiently and is friction-resistant.

PROS

  • 11 pieces, including pot, frying pan, lids, tea kettle, ladle, serving spoon, spatula, bowl, cleaning sponge, and carry bag
  • 2 qt. pot with lid, 6.5" diameter and 3" depth
  • 1 qt. frying pan with 6.4" diameter and 1.25" depth
  • 1 qt. tea kettle
  • Light aluminum oxide with high heat and friction resistance
  • Teflon coating

CONS

  • Food tends to stick, even with the Teflon coating for some users
  • Some pieces, like the pan, can be hard to clean
  • Tea kettle lid is delicate and fell apart for some users
MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot

​The MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot is a versatile piece of outdoor cookware. This product is a single pot that comes in different sizes. Users can hand pick the size or sizes they need. You can get an Alpine Stowaway Pot in 475 ml, 775 ml, 1.1 liter and 1.6-liter sizes.

​Each pot comes with a hinged handle that easily lifts and folds over the pot lid to secure it in place. Alpine pots are made of stainless steel. If you decide to purchase multiple sizes, they can store inside each other for compact storage and packing. Other MSR products can also fit in these pots.

PROS

  • Durable stainless steel pot
  • Comes in 4 sizes: 475 ml, 775 ml, 1.1 liter (1100ml), 1.6 liter (1600ml)
  • Hinged handle folds over the lid for secure transport
  • Additional stowaway pots can be purchased and stored inside one another

CONS

  • Some users experienced discoloring in the steel
  • 475 ml and 775 ml tended to be smaller than users expected

Our Top  Pick

​The G4Free Outdoor Camping Cookware Set is my favorite out of this list due to its quality, flexibility, and great value. This set is the best camping cookware for those who simply need pots and pans, without any extra accessories.

​G4Free Cookware is light but doesn't sacrifice any useful features, like keeping handles for each pot and pan. This set uses anodized aluminum, which isn't the highest grade available but is enough to cook your food safely.

Do You Even Need Pots and Pans for Camping?​

​If you're reading this article, you might already understand the value of having a camping cookware set. But if not, I'll briefly go over some reasons why having a camping pan set is a good idea.

​Convenience

If you're an avid camper, or even if you're just getting into the camping world, chances are you've realized that packing takes a lot of energy. You've probably found yourself creating a mental catalog of everything you need.

​Keeping your camping gear together in one spot helps you spend less time preparing and more time getting out there. Owning a set of pots and pans designated for camping saves you the trouble of figuring out which pieces you need to bring.

​Weight

​Camping cookware is designed to be lightweight so that you don't need to carry any more pounds than necessary. If your campsite requires a long trek or even a short hike, you won't want to lug around a full-sized skillet from home.

​Space

​Outdoor cooking pots often fit into one another or are designed to let you fit other camping gear inside. When you need to pack everything into a backpack, conserving space becomes your top priority. Camping pots can help you out here.

​What to Look for in Hiking Cookware

Everyone camps differently, so not every set of camping pots and pans will suit every camper.

If you're not an experienced camper, or you're not sure what you need, start off small with a basic pot and pan. As you do more camping, you can always build up your set.

Some brands even create separate products that fit into one another for easy storage. This approach keeps you locked into one brand, but at least you know the option is out there.

You might need:

  • Skillet
  • Frying pan or griddle
  • Pot
  • Dutch oven
  • Strainers
  • Cutting board
  • Serving utensils

Don't forget to also pay close attention to the sizes of your potential cookware. Camping pots and pans tend to run small, so they fit into a tight pack.

​Lightweight but Durable Material

​The whole point of getting camping cookware is so that your pots and pans are light, but you want them to last more than a couple of trips too.

​Look for materials that are light, but also sturdy enough to last. Stainless steel is a popular choice, although it's not the lightest options. Manufacturers shave down the weight by using thin pans and only using steel where it's necessary.

​Aluminum is another common material for outdoor pots. You might see products advertised as using anodized aluminum. An anodized metal has a coating that strengthens the material. This coat results in a more durable, long-lasting pot than non-anodized varieties. Anodized aluminum is also corrosion-resistant and non-stick.

Another classification is "hard anodized" aluminum. This term means the pan has gone through a different anodizing process, which results in a thicker protective layer over the metal.

​Storage

​In the interest of being compact, hiking cookware usually contains features like foldable, removable handles. Multiple pots and pans can often fit inside one another to reduce the space they take up in a backpack.

​Many cookware sets also come with a bag or sack for easy storage. If your set has several parts, make sure you have a way to keep them secure while you're on the road.

​Additional Features

​Some pots and pans are non-stick or coated with Teflon, a useful option, but not one that everyone prefers. Uncoated pots and pans are also available.

To save space, some sets only include one removable handle that fits all of the pots and pans in a set. However, if you plan to cook with multiple pots and pans at once, you might look for a set that has individual handles on each pot.

​Ensuring you can comfortably use multiple pots at once is especially useful if you have multiple cooks in the (outdoor) kitchen.