When choosing a cookware set for camping or backpacking, you need to consider five essential factors: cooking performance, weight, durability, ease of use and packability. You should also take into account the type of travel you prefer. If you’re more into car camping, you will probably want to choose the set with more amenities and features, such as the addition of cups, bowls, and plates. Backpackers, on the other hand, should focus on the weight of the cookware and look for a set that is compact and easy to pack.
Cooking performance is generally important for both backpackers and campers. You need to be sure that your set will boil water fast and minimize heat loss, but at the same time won’t burn your food, if you want to fry something.
The material the set is made of influences its durability, cooking performance, ease of cleaning and weight. Normally, manufacturers use either aluminum, titanium or stainless steel for camping cookware.
Aluminum is the most affordable lightweight option. It is also a good conductor of heat, which means faster cooking time. The downside of using regular aluminum cookware is that it’s not very durable. Those, who want a more long-lasting set can go for hard-anodized aluminum - it doesn’t dent or scratch too much, but it’s also more expensive.
Titanium is also very lightweight and durable. Titanium cookware normally has very thin walls, which allows it to heat quickly. The drawback is that this is the most expensive option.
Stainless steel is durable and scratch-resistant, but it can only be an option if weight is not of concern to you. Steel sets can withstand a lot of heavy use but are generally heavy.