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A great set of camping cookware brings the comfort of the kitchen to the campsite.
The GSI Bugaboo Camper Cookset is our top pick because it contains everything you need to cook a good meal out under the stars.
A journey into the wilderness affords an escape from the hustle, clutter, and worries of our busy modern lives. But just because a camping trip means leaving behind the myriad gadgets and appliances most of us use on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean your adventure has to be fraught with needless difficulties. With the right gear, time spent out in the field can be rustic yet still convenient when it comes to preparing food. In fact, with a good set of camping cookware, you can move beyond the basic need for nutrition and prepare meals that are truly tasty.
As happens with so many people who find themselves spending more and more time hiking and camping, I went through an evolutionary process with the gear I used. I started off with an older, heavier air mat and sleeping bag. My first tent was a cheap and flimsy model I found on eBay for the same price as a single tank of gas. My first boots were hand-me-downs.
I bought my first set of camping cookware for five or six bucks at an army surplus store. It was made of thin, stamped aluminum, and after only a few uses, the metal tarnished with exposure to moisture, the pot and pan discolored from the flame of the stove, and all of the components became so warped and dented that the set no longer fit together properly.
In retrospect, what was I to expect? You get what you pay for, to a degree. What might be a pleasant surprise to you, though, is how many high-quality camp cooking sets you can get for a modest price. There’s a lot of great camp cookware out there for between $20 and $30 that will last for years of use with proper care.
Here are our top picks for the best camping cookware you can buy:
Updated on 12/09/19 by Owen Burke: Added the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset as a lightweight option, and the Winterial 10-Piece Camping Set as a versatile option. Checked links, and updated copy and formatting.