minimalist cookware

Looking for suggestions on light cooking gear, mostly heating water for coffee and freeze dried meals, dry soups,etc. Have a MSR rocket stove.

Primus Litech Tea Kettle
I picked up one of these on sale at REI a few years ago, and it works great. Well made, heats quickly and evenly. Boiling water in no time.

Just big enough for 1 good sized cup of joe at a time, but we refill and keep it humming to accommodate more.

pot and lid
I carry a 2 liter pot and lid - I think from an MSR kit. Very functional. The lid doubles as a frying pan and plate. When transporting, I load the pot up with stuff (usually foods and stuff), which bot saves space and provides some protection to the items inside it.

With this basics, I am generally able to go well beyond freeze dried foods for meals.

MSR Titan Tea Kettle

Just the right size for 2 cups of water for your freeze dried meal, plus a little left over for cocoa, which you then drink out of this little kettle. Lid is snug fit so lit stays on when you pour. This is the only piece of cookware I carry when solo backcountry hunting and it doubles as a cup very well–great little item.

I have a small teapot made by Coleman, similar to the Primus, that works well. It may be discontinued by now. The old standby Sierra cup can be used, too, but the lack of a lid probably makes it a lot less efficient for heating water. The upside is that you can mix your soup, coffee, or whatever in the same cup.

Lightweight stove
Check out the Jetboil system. I have the coffee press, the new pot and the original big mug. The fuel canister and stove fit perfect inside the mug, along with, the coffee press. It boils water fast and is very lightweight. I’ve used it for backpacking trips for 2 years and have no complaints. The only drawback is the canister doesn’t work well in cold temps (less than 32F). At that point, I switch to my MSR whisperlite.

Ditto the Jet Boil
Much more useful than I thought it would be and has the potential to be much lighter as a system due to less fuel being needed.

I read an article on line at one of the ultra-light back packing sites about efficiency of titanium cook ware. General gist was it transfers heat less efficiently than alumin(i)um and so the weight saving is lost after a few days due to the extra fuel needed. Anyone know any more about this?

ultralight backpacking website…
I’m a moderator on this site:

Search the forums there and you’ll find endless ways of doing what you want with ounces instead of pounds of gear. Many of us make our own stoves and cookware. Hope this helps!

Titanium Conductivity
You are correct, titanium does not conduct heat as readily as aluminum. I noticed this most often when using an alcohol stove where the heat is not that intense to begin with. Now when I camp with my alcohol stove I use a cheap aluminum pot and leave the expensive titanium at home. If you are cooking over a wood fire or a blow-torch type gas stove, the difference between titanium and aluminum may not be that noticeable.

Brunton MyTi folding spork
When this came out, I bought one ASAP. It fits inside my tiny Snow Peak cook kit along with the tiny stove, something the regular nonfolding spork did not do.

Yeah, I cut the handles down on my toothbrushes.

It’s not the weight–it’s the packability that matters.


I like my set and it works with the pocket rocket. I use a fold out triangular base under the fuel canister to keep the whole thing much more stable than the fuel canister alone.

Titanium definitely is less
conductive of heat than aluminum. This makes it nicer to drink, eat out of and food will stay warmer a bit longer. I’ve wondered about this difference for awhile now, and wonder what the reality actually is in cooking?

I like the Ti for sea kayaking, as it is inert in salt water and doesn’t get all chalky and corroded.

Ti plus & minus
On my alcohol stove, boil time for my titanum pot is considerably longer than a similarly sized aluminum pot. But since you go by the name of Salty, titanium or stainless steel is definitely for you. Aluminum may conduct heat better (important for quick boil times), but it is far more subject to salt water corrosion. Your point about easier drinking from a Ti pot is valid also, but I never drink straight from my cooking pot.

studies showed that aluminum cookware has been linked to altzimers. Heard it from my ex gf the clinical psychologist to-be so i think there must be some truth behind it.

my favorite set up
after 35 years of backpacking/paddle camping is

the MSR 0.85L tit. TITAN. I used the Snow Peak mini-solo for a couple of years but like the Titan better…when coupled with this:

its awesome. The link is for a Caldera Cone for a Snow Peak but they offer one specifically made for the MSR Titan. A friend just finished a thru-hike of the AT, so her Caldera Cone was used almost nightly for just under 6 months…she says nothing but good for it. In a way its the alcohol stove equivalent of the Jet Boil System.

In my own tests I boiled 2 cups of water using 15ml of Everclear in 5minutes. The Caldera Cone folds/unfolds completely flat for packing and not only enhances the efficiency but also acts as a superior wind screen and pot stand.

Also in my kitchen is a 1inch x 1inch green scrubber pad, a mini-bic, an MSR pot holder and my good in freezer bags to avoid any washing of dishes…its a simple system.

that is cool

not ultralight
For kayaking I’m not too concerned about weight but I like a pot that can take some abuse.

one if these provides lots of area to heat up a couple cups of water quickly and provides hard protection for storing items.

I heard about the altzimers/aluminum link years ago but keep hearing that it is suspected but unproven (wasnt that what they said about tabaco?) anyone know any more.

At least partly for this reason I like the Trangia Duosol pans

I’ve had a Trangia 27-7 with Duosol pans since 1991 and have used it a lot in some extreme conditions and its always been 100% reliable (except it almost blew away once in 40kt winds, remember to put a rock on top of it in future). It’s certainly possible to go lighter and I usually switch to an MSR for extreme cold. But for durability, reliability and functionality it is unbeatable.

Esbit stove

– Last Updated: May-23-07 12:23 PM EST –

Put a metal cup on top, you have a great little system.

Cheap, simple, light, compact. I love mine.

Cheesy as it may be, my old aluminum boy scout mess kit still does the job for a lot of light camp cooking, works well with the Esbit, or over a fire.

Alzheimer’s & Aluminum from NIH
Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements found in the environment. Therefore, human exposure to this metal is common and unavoidable. However, intake is relatively low because this element is highly insoluble in many of its naturally occurring forms. The significance of environmental contact with aluminum is further diminished by the fact that less than 1% of that taken into the body orally is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

The average human intake is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg per day. This intake comes primarily from foods, drinking water, and pharmaceuticals. Based on the maximum levels reported in drinking water, less than 1/4 of the total intake comes from water. Some common food additives contain aluminum. Due to certain additives, processed cheese and cornbread are two major contributors to high aluminum exposures in the American diet. With regard to pharmaceuticals, some common over-the-counter medications such as antacids and buffered aspirin contain aluminum to increase the daily intake significantly.

Over the last few years, there has been concern about the exposures resulting from leaching of aluminum from cookware and beverage cans. However, as a general rule, this contributes a relatively small amount to the total daily intake. Aluminum beverage cans are usually coated with a polymer to minimize such leaching. Leaching from aluminum cookware becomes potentially significant only when cooking highly basic or acidic foods. For example, in one study, tomato sauce cooked in aluminum pans was found to accumulate 3-6 mg aluminum per 100 g serving.

Certain aluminum compounds have been found to be an important component of the neurological damage characteristics of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Much research over the last decade has focused on the role of aluminum in the development of this disease. At this point, its role is still not clearly defined. Since AD is a chronic disease which may take a long time to develop, long-term exposure is the most important measure of intake. Long-term exposure is easiest to estimate for drinking water exposures. Epidemiological studies attempting to link AD with exposures in drinking water have been inconclusive and contradictory. Thus, the significance of increased aluminum intake with regard to onset of AD has not been determined.