The 13 Best Backpacking Cookware for 2022

Here is a guide to the best ultralight backpacking cookware and pots.

Updated on March 1st, 2022
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Choosing your backpacking cookware can be daunting. Are you going for titanium, aluminum, or stainless steel? A single pot, pan, kettle or cook set? Weight and packability is of course an important factor, too. 

First we'll dive into the list we compiled and tested of the best backpacking cookware available in 2022.

After that we guide you through the types of cookware, cookware materials, and other things to consider. We also cover how to wash your cookware and how to prevent food from sticking and burning to the bottom of your pot.

Brand & Model Type Capacity Weight Price Material Serves
Evernew Titanium Pasta Pot Single Pot 750ml 3.4oz $75.50 Titanium 1
Vargo BOT Single Pot 750ml 4.8oz $54.95 Titanium 1
MSR Titan Kettle Single Pot 850ml 4.2oz $69.95 Titanium 1
Toaks Titanium Single Pot 750ml 3.6oz $34.95 Titanium 1
Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium Single Pot 700ml 4.8oz $44.95 Titanium 1
GSI Outdoors Halulite pot Single Pot 1100ml 8.6oz $31.95 Anodized aluminum 2
Olicamp XTS Single Pot 1000ml 6.7oz $29.95 Anodized aluminum 1
MSR Trail Pot Single Pot 1300ml 7.2oz $34.95 Anodized aluminum pot, plastic lid 2
Sea to Summit Alpha Pot Single Pot 1200ml 6.6oz $42.95 Anodized aluminum 2
Vargo Titanium Ti-Boiler 2 piece set Pot 900ml, pan 400 ml 6.6oz $69.95 Titanium 2
Toaks Titanium Set 2 piece set Pot 1100ml, pan 280ml 5.6oz $48.95 Titanium 2
SOTO Amicus Cookset Combo 2-piece set with stove Large pot 1000 ml, small pot 500 ml 11.2oz $44.95 Aluminum 2
G4Free 2 Piece 2 piece set Large pot 1200 ml, small pot 600 ml 8.5oz $15.99 Anodized Aluminum 2

Best Backpacking Cookware

Best Single Pots

titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Evernew Titanium Pasta Pot

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 750 ml

Weight: 3.4 oz

Price: $75.50

Material: Titanium

Serves: One

Why we like it: The lightest pot on our list while still giving you a generous amount of volume

Super light weight, compact and strong pot. To my knowledge, the Evernew Pasta Pot is the lightest pot on the market with this much capacity. On top of being feather light, the lid has a built-in strainer handy for letting steam out and straining your favorite noodles. Complete with graduated measurements and rubberized coated handles. It is an exceptionally well-made pot and feels solid in your hand. It comes complete with graduated measurements in both milliliters and ounces. The ounce measurements are marked as 10 and 15 ounces instead of 8 ounces (1 cup) and 12 ounces (1.5 cups), which are the volumes you typically use for backpacking meals. Rubber-coated handles provide extra grip and let you move the pot when it is hot. When you are done cooking, the fuel canister and a pocket stove fit nicely inside the pot. 

Available at Amazon


titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Vargo BOT 700ml

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 700 ml

Weight: 4.8 oz

Price: $54.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: One

Why we like it: Screw lid makes this ultralight pot ultra-versatile for both hot and cold meal prep.

Vargo coined the name "BOT" as a shortened nickname for Bottle Pot. What makes this piece of titanium so awesome is that it functions effectively as both a bottle and a pot. The BOT comes equipped with a watertight screw-top lid for an easy access drink on the trail. It also excels at cold-soaking thanks to this leak-proof lid. It’s one of the few pots that let you cook one meal and cold-soak the next. Once at camp, the lid doubles as a cooking lid for boiling or simmering. You do have to be careful threading the pot so it's not misaligned. The lid also sometimes sticks due to pressure changes from hiking or sealing hot food inside the pot. Just use something slim like a credit card and slide it between the lid and the pot to break the seal. The pot includes graduated measurements and foldaway handles (700ml version). It's also big enough to hold a small gas cylinder, a stove, and a lighter or matches.

Available at Amazon


titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

MSR Titan Kettle

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 850 ml

Weight: 4.2 oz

Price: $69.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: One

Why we like it: Drip-free spout, minimal weight, and larger capacity make cooking with the Titan a breeze.

Just a few fractions of an ounce heavier than the Evernew, the MSR Titan Kettle is another great ultralight backpacking pot with a little bit more cooking capacity. It's a sturdy pot with handles that provide a solid grip especially when the pot is full. A unique feature is that the lid fits tightly... and with a drip-free spout, it makes it easy to pour hot water without any mess or endangering your hands. The top-lid handle is insulated, making it easy to lift off the lid when cooking. The side handles are not, though. You literally can stick it in the fire and not worry about melting the handles. Our biggest gripe with the Titan Kettle is its height. The kettle is a tad too short to fit some fuel canisters. The canisters slide nicely into the pot, but you can’t use the lid.

Available at Amazon


titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Toaks Titanium

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 750 ml

Weight: 3.6 oz

Price: $34.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: One

Why we like it: The Toaks combination of durability, weight, features, and price makes it the overall best pot on our list.

The Toaks Titanium is an outstanding value. It is a well-made pot for a fraction of the price (under $40!) of other pots. It's a lightweight pot, weighing in just under 4 ounces. Because it is so light and thin, you do have to treat it gently. It can get crushed or dented easily. Depending on the damage, you may not be able to attach the lid securely. The pot comes with a lockable lid grip, which means the triangle at the top will stand freely without falling - making it easy to take on and off while in use. Comes with a nice stuff sack, foldaway handles, steam holes, internal gradation. No rubber coatings either so you don't have to worry about melting them off. The 750ml version is the perfect size for a small fuel canister, pocket stove, matches/lighter, and even a collapsible mug that you can store at the top instead of the lid.

Available at Amazon


titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 700 ml

Weight: 4.8 oz

Price: $44.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: One

Why we like it: The most durable titanium pot on our list, packed with features other lighter models lack.

The Snow Peak Titanium Trek 700 achieves the perfect balance between weight and usability. The pot is lightweight, weighing just under 5 ounces, but it doesn't scrimp on features. The Trek 700 has a lid with a drain hole/strainer so you can boil up some ramen and pour off the water without losing your noodles. The 700ml vessel is the perfect size for one or two people. It holds plenty of water and can double as a storage container for your canister, stove, and more. It's roomy enough for a Jetboil press. Even the Jetboil lid fits it if you don't like the stock titanium lid. One gripe ... the cover sits flush but does not snap into the pot. If you are not careful, it may fall off when you are daring water. It also may come off inside your back, spilling all your cooking contents.

Available at Amazon


GSI Outdoors Halulite pot

GSI Outdoors Halulite pot

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 1100 ml

Weight: 8.6 oz

Price: $31.95

Material: Anodized aluminum

Serves: Two

Why we like it: The sturdy handle and larger size make this ideal for cooking more labor-intensive meals.

The standout feature of the GSI Halulite pot is the locking handle. This keeps the pot from popping open in your pack and makes it super sturdy to carry around camp when full. At 1.1 liters in size, it can fit an 8-ounce fuel canister, a small stove, and even a windscreen. The tall and narrow design makes it hard to reach the bottom with a regular spork. If you eat out of the pot make sure to pack a longer utensil. The anodized aluminum keeps the cost of this pot down and conducts heat more evenly than titanium.

Available at Amazon


Olicamp XTS

Olicamp XTS

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 1000 ml

Weight: 6.7 oz

Price: $29.95

Material: Anodized aluminum

Serves: One

Why we like it: For hikers looking for the fastest way to boil water the Olicamp XTS delivers.

The Olicamp XTS’s most impressive feature is the built-in heat transfer system on the bottom of the pot. This reduces your boil time by up to 40% saving time and fuel. Great for rehydrating freeze-dried meals. By prioritizing a fast boil it doesn’t perform as well if you’re trying to cook slow and low. The 1-liter anodized aluminum pot easily fits an 8-ounce fuel canister along with a small stove. While slightly heavier than other models we reviewed, the need for less fuel can balance out the weight difference. Plus, the inexpensive price point makes this a great value pot.

Available at Amazon


MSR Trail Pot

MSR Trail Pot

Type: Single Pot

Capacity: 1300 ml

Weight: 7.2 oz

Price: $34.95

Material: Anodized aluminum pot, plastic lid

Serves: Two

Why we like it: The largest single pot on our list is a great option when cooking for two

At 1.3 liters the MSR Trail Pot is a nice size for backpackers cooking for two. The clear plastic strainer lid lets you watch while your meal cooks or water boils instead of needing to lift the lid to monitor. The handle locks over the lid when closed keeping the contents securely inside. It’s made of aluminum keeping the cost lower and providing better heat distribution. The larger size means it fits a stove and cooking utensils inside without a problem.

Available at REI


Sea to Summit Alpha Pot

Sea to Summit Alpha Pot - 1.2 Liters

Type: Single pot

Capacity: 1200 ml

Weight: 6.6 oz

Price: $42.95

Material: Anodized aluminum

Serves: Two

Why we like it: A well-designed, lightweight option for two that doesn’t lack on features.

The Sea to Summit Alpha Pot boasts an impressive 1.2-liter capacity at just 6.6 ounces. It is also packed with features like a strainer, etched in measuring marks, and silicone grips. The pivoting handle secures the lid in place when stored and provides a sturdy grip while cooking. The size makes it just big enough to cook for two has plenty of room to store your stove and fuel inside. Like all pots with silicon grips, they are prone to melting if cooking over a fire or very high heat.

Available at Amazon

cookware models we testedDifferent models and sizes of backpacking cookware.


Best 2 Piece Sets

titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Vargo Titanium Ti-Boiler

Type: 2 piece set

Capacity: Pot 900ml, pan 400 ml

Weight: 6.6 oz

Price: $69.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: Two

Why we like it: Backcountry chefs take notice, this set offers the most versatile cooking experience on our list.

Vargo Titanium Ti-Boiler is a two-piece cooking kit with a larger pot and a lid that functions as a small pan. The Ti-Boiler lid is uniquely designed to nest on top of the mug. It can be used as a double boiler allowing you to get creative with your food. You can boil water below in the cup for pasta and heat your sauce on top in the pan). The lid can also be used separately as a pan, which is handy if you want to cook something quickly. The cup and lid fit snugly and have a sleek and seamless ultralight titanium construction. Both the pot and the lid/pan have foldaway handles without any rubber insulation.

Available at Amazon


titanium cookware - ultralight backpacking pot

Toaks Titanium Set

Type: 2 piece set

Capacity: Pot 1100ml, pan 280ml

Weight: 5.6 oz

Price: $48.95

Material: Titanium

Serves: Two

Why we like it: The lightest 2-piece cook set on our list is a standout option for two people.

The Toaks Titanium 2-piece cook set is a great mid-size ultralight backpacking cookware set for backcountry cooking. Like most of Toak’s products, the pot and pan set is made with high-quality titanium and a rock-solid construction. The cook set strikes a nice balance between capacity and weight. It offers a little more volume than a standalone pot without adding too much extra weight. Unlike the other two-piece cook sets on our list, the Toaks Titanium cannot be used as a double boiler. You can use the pot and pan separately, but not together since they do not nest in that orientation. Both the pot and the pan have metal foldaway handles that are not insulated.

Available at Amazon


SOTO Amicus Cookset Combo

SOTO Amicus Cookset Combo

Type: 2-piece set with stove

Capacity: Large pot 1000 ml, small pot 500 ml

Weight: 11.2 oz

Price: $44.95

Material: Aluminum

Serves: Two

Why we like it: A inexpensive all-in-one package for those looking to upgrade and shed weight from their camp kitchen.

If you want a handy ultralight bundle the SOTO Amicus Cookset Combo has you covered. It even comes with a small pocket rocket-style stove with a push-button ignitor and simmer control. The two aluminum pots are basic but fully functional. The smaller pot works great as a cup. It serves as the lid for the larger pot, a drawback if you want to use the small pot as a cup while cooking. For less than $50 for the entire set, this is a bargain for those looking to upgrade a camp kitchen in one go.

Available at REI


G4Free 2 Piece

G4Free 2 Piece

Type: 2 piece set

Capacity: Large pot 1200 ml, small pot 600 ml

Weight: 8.5 oz

Price: $15.99

Material: Anodized Aluminum

Serves: Two

Why we like it: Best value lightweight pots for those wanting to shave weight off their packs without denting their wallets.

If budget is your ultimate concern G4Free has your back with two pots for less than the cost of one. With a 1.2 liter and .6 liter capacity, you’ll have plenty of room to cook for two people. Durability is a concern with the G4Free. The silicon-coated handles can melt over high heat and the non-stick coating scratches easily. But for weekend trips, light use, or those looking to make the jump to ultralight without a big price tag the G4Free does the job.

Available at Amazon

cooking ramen in Toaks Titanium potCooking ramen in a Toaks Titanium pot.

Types of Cookware

There are several types of cookware options for backpackers. There is no right or wrong choice. What you pick to throw in your pack depends on what you plan to eat on your trip.

illustration of different types of backpacking cookware

A. Kettle: If you are only boiling water, then you should consider a kettle. Just like your household teapot, a backpacking kettle is designed to boil water rapidly and pour it without spilling into another vessel. It has a wide base, a small pout, and a lid to help hold in heat. They tend to be relatively small in size holding 1.5L or less of water. Kettle’s heat water quickly but they can be bulky to pack and difficult to clean.

msr titan kettlePouring boiling water out of the MSR Titan Kettle.

B. Pot (Cup): You also can choose a pot, which people also call a pot. A backpacking cook pot looks more like an oversized mug than a typical kitchen pot. Most people heat water in their pot, but you also can use it to simmer food that needs some cooking time. It has a wide opening at the top so you can eat from it and then easily clean it. Best of all, many pots are big enough to hold your fuel canister. Being able to nest the two together can save some significant space in your pack.

hiker drinking from pot

C. Pan: Pans are great if you are frying or sauteing food, but they are not as versatile as a pot/cup. Because they are flat and wide, you can't boil a lot of water in them. They also are usually heavy to carry and take up a lot of room in your pack.

D. Cookset: There are a ton of multi-piece cooksets on the market, but we did not include the larger kits in this roundup. Many of those kits are too heavy for backpacking and are really meant for camping. Some of our pot choices may have multiple parts like a lid or a cup, but these items add value to the pot without adding too much weight.

boiling water in the Toaks Titanium


Cookware Materials

Just like the pots in your kitchen, backpacking cookware is available in a variety of different metals. Some are heavy, some are light. Some are cheap and some are expensive. Below we breakdown the materials most commonly used for backcountry cooking:

TITANIUM: LIGHTWEIGHT, STRONG, FUEL EFFICIENT AND EXPENSIVE

Titanium cookware is the most popular for ultralight backpacking and my personal favorite. As a raw material, is one of the lightest of all the material options. Despite being super light, it is extremely strong (on par with steel) and is known for being highly corrosion-resistant.

backpacking cookware setupVargo Bot

Because the material is so thin, it can transfer heat efficiently without using too much fuel. This efficient heat transfer makes titanium perfect for boiling water, but it is not ideal for "slow-cooking" as it tends to distribute heat unevenly. You can burn your food before you even realize it. Titanium’s other Achilles heel is its cost. Titanium cookware tends to be the more expensive option.

In general, titanium is considered safe for cooking. It's non-porous and does not tend to leach. It also does not corrode and is durable so you don't have to worry about it flaking off into your food.

hiker testing the GSI outdoors mug

ALUMINUM: USUALLY LARGER AND LIGHTER BUT LESS DURABLE

Anodized Aluminum is actually *slightly* lighter than titanium. It is the best for actual cooking as it distributes heat evenly across the cooking surface. This even distribution is why anodized aluminum is the first choice among household pots and pans. It is the least durable option though and can require a little more maintenance, especially if it has a non-stick surface.

Aluminum pots typically are larger than titanium which is important if you need to heat water or simmer food for a group. There’s also concern that aluminum may leach out into the food. This only happens when the pot is not anodized. Anodizing hardens the cookware and makes it more durable. It also makes it non-reactive so it will not leach into foods.

olicamp xts

STAINLESS STEEL: AFFORDABLE AND DURABLE, BUT HEAVY

The strongest and heaviest option for cookware. Steel is able to take a beating with minimal, or no, scratching. It’s also the most affordable material with some pots costing less than $10.

There is little to no evidence that stainless steel is harmful for cooking. It does contain elements like iron, nickel and chromium that can leach into your food. The amount that can leach into your food is minuscule unless you damage the cooking vessel. Wash it gently with water and a mild soap if possible. Don't use abrasive steel wool or harsh chemicals and you'll be fine.

hikers using backpacking cookware in the snow

 NON-STICK COATINGS: NOT DURABLE, POTENTIALLY UNSAFE

Some pots add a non-stick coating like Teflon to prevent food from sticking to the inside of the cooking vessel. It also makes it easier to clean. As convenient as it is, we recommend avoiding any non-stick coatings. They shorten the life-span of the pot. Your pot can be perfect on the outside, but once the non-stick coating starts to flake, you need to throw away the pot.

There’s also the question of safety as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA used to make the non-stick layer is a suspected carcinogen. Mot manufacturers, though, no longer use this chemical.

CAST IRON: NO WAY!

This is not the 1800's. Don’t bring it any cast iron cookware. It is way too heavy. Save your cast iron for car camping or van life.

Hiker holding Toaks titanium pot


Cookware Considerations

considerations for buying backpacking cookware titanium pots

CAPACITY/ VOLUME: 600 ML MINIMUM

Pot size is measured in millilitres (ml) or liters. Just to give you a sense of millilitres - a 12-oz Coca Cola bottle is about 350 ml. Therefore, a 700 ml pot is about the size of two bottles of Coca-Cola (24 oz). I recommend a minimum pot capacity of 600 ml. This will give you enough to boil water for a simple backpacking meal - a dehydrated or freeze-dried meal, a cup of noodles, etc. Unless you are backpacking with a partner, anything above 1,000 ml (or 1 liter) will be extra weight and too clunky to carry around.

Don’t go too small, especially if you want to use your pot as a storage container. Most 750ml pots are big enough to hold your fuel canister, a pocket stove, a lighter and even a cleaning sponge. If this is important to you, you may want to bring your cooking gear when shopping for a pot or read reviews that talk about what can fit inside a specific pot.

opening single potOlicamp XTS

LIDS: MUST FIT SNUGLY

A well-designed lid should fit your pot snugly both for cooking and so you don't lose it on the trail. A snug lid also lets you store items inside the pot and not worry about them falling out into your pack. Keep in mind that the lid will be hot most of the time you want to lift it. Therefore, a small knob or tassel to easily lift it is essential. If you are a pasta or ramen fan, a lid with a built-in strainer can be a helpful feature to have as well.

strainer on titanium pot
A strainer built into the lid is a great option if you're going to cook noodles or pasta.

HANDLES: EASY TO FOLD AND RUGGED

Most backpacking pots have hinged handles that fold away when not in use. Make sure these hinge and swing without much resistance. Also, make sure they are rugged as you will be using them when you remove the pot off of your stove or pour out the hot water.

These metal handles will get hot on the stove. Some pots add rubber coatings to prevent you from burning your fingers, but they can melt off and are not practical for any kind of fire use. Look for cookware with bare-metal handles and grab a small cloth (bandanna, towel, sock, etc) to hold the handles when they are hot.

gradients on titanium pots cookwareMeasurements, retractable handles and a snug lid are must-haves.

MEASUREMENT GRADIENTS: ETCHED INSTEAD OF PAINTED

Little tick marks on the inside of your pot can be super helpful to quickly eyeball measurements for cooking. I wouldn't buy a pot without them. Measuring a little more accurately can prevent your noodles from turning into a watery sludge... or, on the contrary, a dry and crunchy paste. Try to find gradient lines that etched into the pot itself and not painted. Lines that are painted eventually wash off, leaving you to guess where you should fill your water.

measuring gradient close up

WEIGHT: UNDER 5 OZ  FOR A SINGLE POT

Your target weight will vary based on the materials you choose for your pot. In general, the lighter, the better as long as you are not compromising quality.

  • Titanium: The average titanium pot weighs around 3-4 ounces and holds 650ml. They are among the lightest pots you can purchase. It helps that most titanium pots are on the smaller size, with a capacity of 1L or less.
  • Aluminum: Aluminum pots tend to be bigger and, and, as a result, heavier to carry around. The typical aluminum pot holds 1L and weighs about 8 to 9 ounces. Aluminum is soft and dents easily, so you don't want to go so light that your pot is easily damaged.
  • Stainless steel: Much heavier than their aluminum or titanium counterparts. A 1.5L stainless steel pot weighs a whopping 20-ounces. Most stainless steel cookware is sold in sets and is meant for car camping or short distance backpacking where weight is not a concern.

hiker cooking

PACKABILITY

When thinking about packability, there are two primary concerns. The first is the overall shape of the pot and how it fits into your pack. Small, compact pots are the best. Larger, flatter pans are more awkward to pack. The second is if your fuel canister and stove can fit inside. This not only saves space but makes it easy to organize your camp kitchen in one handy spot.

detaching 2 piece setSOTO Amicus Cookset

PRICE

Material is the biggest factor when it comes to price. Titanium is light but expensive. Stainless steel is heavy but inexpensive. Aluminum falls somewhere in the middle. Features also can add to the price. Simple, single pots are generally less expensive than multi-pot sets or single pots with all the bells and whistles.

DURABILITY

Durability is crucial for any gear taken into the backcountry, pots are no exception. Stainless steel is almost impossible to dent or scratch. But it is heavy. Titanium is much lighter while still being very strong, though it comes at a higher price. Most aluminum pots come with a non-stick coating, which is easily scratched by metal utensils and abrasive cleaners.

hiker eating from pot

HEAT DISTRIBUTION

Even heat distribution is key if you want to do more cooking than just boiling water. Aluminum distributes heat the most evenly. Titanium and stainless steel are prone to hotspots and distribute heat less evenly.

pouring into pot

HEAT CONDUCTION AND FUEL EFFICIENCY

Aluminum is the best conductor of heat, making it the most efficient. If you want maximum conduction and efficiency look for features like metal heat sinks on the bottom of pots. This extra material more evenly distributes the heat and gets water up to a boil faster, saving you fuel.

NON-STICK COATING

Non-stick coatings give your pot extra protection against food sticking and burning. Teflon is the most common coating but it is very easily scratched. When scratched the coating will flake off. There are concerns that these flakes are toxic to ingest. Ceramic coatings are relatively new on backcountry pots. They are becoming increasingly popular because they are more durable and non-toxic.

Vargo Bot pot's screw on lid


How to Wash your Cookware

Here are three common ways to clean your pot while outdoors. Which one you choose depends upon how dirty your pot is and how much effort you want to put into cleaning. Remember to always follow LNT principles while cleaning in the backcountry.

  • METHOD 1 👅: You can follow the ultralight backpacker’s simple approach. Just lick your pot clean and dry it with a t-shirt. When in town, take the time to clean it properly with warm water and soap.
  • METHOD 2 🌲: Take advantage of natural cleaning agents by adding a splash of water to your pot and scrubbing it with your finger or pine needles. Make sure to broadcast the water by spreading it over a large area away from your camp and water sources. Follow up by air drying it or wiping it dry with a towel or shirt.
  • METHOD 3 🧼: If your pot is really dirty, you may have to wash it with soap and water. Always wash dishes away from water sources to avoid contaminating them with residual food. Use biodegradable soap and broadcast the water away from your camp and any water source. Dry the pot with a camp towel before packing it away.

Toaks titanium cookware set

HOW TO CLEAN A BURNT POT

Uh-oh, you’ve managed to burn food to the bottom of your pot. Never fear, here are two methods to help get your pot clean.

If you have a pot without a non-stick coating you can roll up your sleeves and give it some elbow grease. Use an abrasive scrubber or pot scraper to remove the burnt food. You can also use sand and small rocks as a scrubber in a pinch.

For non-stick pans, you need to be more delicate to avoid scratching the coating. Boiling water in the pot first will soften the burnt food. Then use a small piece of dishcloth to remove. If you’ve really burnt the food on you may need to repeat these steps a few times to get your pot clean.

Hiker cooking with a Vargo potVargo Titanium Ti-Lite 750 Mug


How to prevent food from sticking and burning the bottom of your pot

If you’ve cooked over a backpacking stove you know sticking and burning food on the bottom of your pot is a real challenge. Here are a few tips.

POT COZY

Using a homemade pot cozy insulates your pot, allowing food to stay warmer longer and rehydrate better. This saves you from cooking over an open flame, preventing food from burning and sticking. It also saves on fuel because the cooking time is less.

TYPE OF STOVE

If you need to cook over your stove look for a stove that has flame or simmer control. This allows you to lower the heat while cooking to prevent burning.

Hiker cooking with Vargo Bot Pot

TYPE OF POT

As the name implies, a pot with a non-stick coating will prevent burning better than a pot without it. Teflon is a common non-stick material but is easy to scratch and comes with health questions. Recently, non-toxic ceramic coatings have become much more available on backcountry pots.

COOKING TECHNIQUES

The most tried and true way to keep food from burning is constantly stirring your food while it's cooking. If you find stirring too tiring after a long day on the trail, another hiker hack is to make your food soupier by adding more water. This affects the texture and flavor but does make it harder for food to stick. If camping with a crew, chances are you have a spare pot. Voilà double boiler. While it takes more time, water, and fuel this method will make you look like a true backcountry chef.


📸 Some photos in this post were taken by Ross Enlow (@rossaenlow)

Justin Sprecher photo

About Justin Sprecher

By Justin Sprecher (aka "Semisweet"): Semisweet is a Wisconsin-based thru-hiker, adventurer and digital storyteller.

He's thru-hiked the Pacific Northwest Trail, LASHed the Great Divide Trail and Arizona Trail, and sectioned hiked large parts of the Continental Divide Trail, amongst others.

About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Stoveless Backpacking Meals
  • 650-Calorie Fuel
  • No Cooking
  • No Cleaning