Regret is a common feeling when you’re setting up camp in the woods for the weekend. There’s the regret that comes from weighing down your pack with books and games you were never going to read or play, and the extra-poignant regret of missing something crucial—like a lighter, or your camp stove. These lightweight and compact mess kits and utensils are the perfect solution for ensuring you can comfortably enjoy a woodland feast when you’re off the grid. Just don’t forget to pack food.
A human-creature comfort. Amazon
If you’re using a camp grill over a small and controlled fire or a portable camp stove for your meals, this comprehensive mess kit is an affordable asset. Heat a stew in the 1-liter pot (you can also choose a kit with a 2-liter pot) or fry up some griddle cakes for a hearty breakfast in the pan. A stainless steel spork, pot lid, plastic serving spoon, wooden spoon, two BPA-free plastic bowls and a loofah complete the set, and everything fits compactly into a carrying bag for easy transport.
A pail for the trail. Amazon
If you already have a camp stove, Lixada’s 3-piece titanium cookware set is an excellent choice for backpacking. A convenient bail handle on the larger 750-milliliter pot allows you to hang it over your flame, and both the large pot and the smaller 450-millimeter cup (about 15 ounces) have side handles that make them easier to grip. All items come with their own mesh bag, including the collapsible spork. Titanium is a strong and light metal, and when packed together your set will have a diameter of just 4 inches at the base, with a height of 4.3 inches (not including any minor protrusion from the foldable handles).
You say spork, they say foon. Amazon
If your trailside meal plan includes lots of dehydrated or freeze-dried meals prepared with boiling water, this kettle set is ideal. A wide-bottomed kettle can boil water more quickly than a taller pot, and the 1-liter stainless steel kettle weighs less than a pound. The set includes an insulated mug and bowl to keep your food hotter longer when you’re re-fueling on a chilly day. It also comes with what the manufacturer calls a “foon” (fork and spoon combo otherwise known as a spork) and the kettle can be used for extra storage to save more room in your pack.
Have flavor beyond salt. Amazon
This comprehensive utensil set weighs about two pounds, so it’s probably not the best choice for backpackers spending weeks on the trail. However, if you’re just out for a day or two, you’ll have everything you need to feed up to four hungry campers as well—if not better–than they eat at home. Whisk up the perfect omelettes or cut up veggies and steak with the utility knife on the portable cutting board.