Camping is a great way to get out of the city and into nature, but it’s important to have the right campfire gear to make the most of your trip. One piece of gear that is often overlooked is the camping mess kit. The best camping mess kit will not only make cooking and eating more enjoyable, but it will also make packing and carrying your gear much easier.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what to look for when choosing the best cooking equipment and showcase some of the top options on the market. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge you need to find the perfect mess kit for your next camping trip.
Our Top 8 Best Camping Mess Kit Picks
If you are hurrying, please check out our list of the top 8 mess kits:
- Great for Group Campers: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper
- Perfect for Solo Campers: Boundless Voyage Titanium Canteen Mess Kit
- Couple Pick: MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set
- Stronger: Stanley Base Camp Cook Set
- Long life Pick: Snow Peak Multi Compact Cook Set
- Family Pick: Coleman Family Cooking Set
- Plastic Kit: Sea to Summit Delta Camp
- Compact Kit: Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Mess Kit
Weight and size
The weight and size of your camping cookware set should be a major consideration, as you’ll be carrying it with you on your trip. Look for a lightweight and compact set that won’t take up too much space in your backpack.
You’ll be carrying your mess kit with you on your trip, so it’s important to find a set that is lightweight and compact.
When looking at the weight of a camping cookware set, consider how much it weighs by itself and how much it weighs when it’s full of food and water. A lightweight set will be easier to carry and won’t weigh you down on the trail. Look for sets made from lightweight materials like titanium or aluminum.
The size of your camping utensils is also important. A compact set will take up less space in your backpack and will be easier to pack. Look for sets that have nesting pots and pans that stack together to save space.
When choosing a camping cookware, it’s important to consider the durability of the set. A good camping cookware should be able to withstand the rigors of camping. You’ll be using it in the outdoors, and it will be exposed to the elements, so it’s important to choose a set that is made from sturdy materials that can withstand wear and tear.
Look for sets made from sturdy materials like titanium, stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum. These materials are known for their durability and resistance to corrosion. They are also easy to clean, which is a plus when you’re camping in remote areas where running water is scarce.
Another aspect to consider is the quality of the construction and the design of the set. Look for sets that have well-sealed lids and tight-fitting pot and pan handles. These features will prevent heat loss and spills, and they will also prevent the heat from reaching the handle. This will make it safer and more comfortable to handle your cookware while cooking.
The material of a camping utensil set can have a big impact on its durability, ease of cleaning, and overall performance. Some of the most popular materials used in camping utensil set are stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium.
Stainless steel is a popular choice for camping utensils because it is durable and easy to clean. It also has a high resistance to rust, which makes it ideal for outdoor use. However, it can be quite heavy, which makes it less suitable for backpacking.
Another popular material for mess kits is hard-anodized aluminum. Aluminum mess kit is a lightweight and durable material that is resistant to scratches and dents. It is also non-stick, which makes it easy to clean.
Titanium is another lightweight and durable material that is often used in mess kits. It is corrosion-resistant and has a high strength-to-weight ratio, making it a great choice for camping. However, it is more expensive than the other materials mentioned.
When choosing a mess kit, it’s important to consider the cooking options that the set provides. Different sets will have different cookware and utensils, and it’s important to choose a set that has the right cookware for your needs.
Consider the type of cooking you’ll be doing on your trip. If you’ll be doing basic cooking like boiling water and heating up pre-made meals, a basic set with a pot and a pan will suffice.
However, if you’re planning on doing more advanced cooking like frying and baking, you’ll need a set that includes additional cookware like a frying pan or a griddle.
Finally, consider if the set includes utensils like tongs, spatulas, or a ladle that will make cooking and serving meals easier.
Number of people
When choosing a camping cookware mess kit, it’s important to consider the number of people you’ll be cooking for. The size of the set and the amount of cookware it includes will depend on how many people you’ll be feeding.
For one or two people, a basic set with a pot and a pan will suffice. However, if you’re cooking for a group, you’ll need a larger set with multiple pots and pans.
Look for a set that has the right size of cookware and utensils for the number of people, and that has the capacity to hold enough food and water for everyone. This will ensure that you have everything you need to feed everyone on your camping trip.
Number of pieces
The number of pieces in a mess kit can have a big impact on its versatility and functionality. A basic mess kit will typically include a pot, pan, and utensils, but some kits may also include additional pieces such as plates, bowls, or a coffee pot. To appropriately preserve leftover food, the bowls can also be stacked on top of one another.
When choosing a camping utensil set, it’s important to think about how many people you’ll be cooking for and how much food you’ll need to prepare. If you’re camping solo, a small mess kit with just a pot and pan may suffice.
However, if you’re camping with a group, a larger mess kit with more pieces may be necessary.
To sum up, when considering the number of pieces of a camping utensil set, think about the number of people you’ll be cooking for, the type of cooking you’ll be doing, and the kind of cookware you prefer to use.
Ease of cleaning
When choosing a camping cookware set, it’s important to consider the ease of cleaning the set. Cleaning your mess kit can be a hassle, especially when you’re camping in remote areas where running water is scarce.
Look for sets made from materials that are easy to clean, such as stainless steel or hard-anodized aluminum. These materials are less likely to stain or rust and are easy to wipe down. Also, look for sets that have non-stick surfaces, which will make cleaning even easier.
Consider the design of the set. Look for sets that have pots and pans with sloping sides, which will make it easier to scrape and wipe down the inside. Also, look for sets that have tight-fitting lids, which will prevent food from getting trapped in hard-to-reach places.
Another aspect to consider is if the set is dishwasher safe. This feature will make cleaning even more convenient if you have access to a dishwasher.
Overall, look for a set that is easy to clean, especially if you’ll be camping in remote areas where running water is scarce.
Reviews of the 8 Best Camping Mess Kits
Now that we’ve covered the key factors to consider when choosing a camping cookware set, let’s take a look at some of the top options on the market.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper
If you’re searching for the best backpacking mess kits for camping with family, then this is ideal mess kit. The pinnacle camper cookset weight only 3.63 lbs.
This GSI mess kit includes a pot, pan, insulated mugs, a strainer lid and stuff sack doubles. It’s made of hard-anodized aluminum, making it lightweight and durable. The pot and pan also have a non-stick coating, making it easy to clean.
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper is a comprehensive cooking and mess kit designed for camping and backpacking. It is a compact, nesting design that can be configured for 2 or 4 people.
The camping cookware mess kit is made of durable anodized aluminum and coated with Teflon Radiance non-stick technology, which ensures that the pots and pans are easy to clean. The spiral turned base grips stove/grill arms securely.
The dish set is made of durable Infinity Clear Polypropylene, which is designed to last for many adventures to come. The plates, bowls, and mugs are color-coded for each person.
The Pinnacle Camper features a non stick surface, smart design with a folding, removable handle that locks securely onto the exterior brackets of pots and pans.
In terms of performance, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper provides a complete solution for cooking. The non-stick cookware makes cooking and cleaning easy and efficient.
Boundless Voyage Titanium Canteen Mess Kits
This is one of the best backpacking mess kit that is perfect for solo campers. This mess kit includes one canteen and two cups, and one lid.
And the full mess kit weight of only 576g, making it extremely lightweight and easy to transport.
And this is my favorite backpacking mess kit for its versatility. The pot lid has 3 vent holes that can also be used as strainer holes.
And the titanium pot can be used as a hanging pot, it can be heated directly, which allows you to enjoy hot food in the outdoors.
Using the cooking pot you can boil water. The canteen’s wide mouth design makes it easier to fill, and its 1100ml capacity meets most of your needs.
Most mess kits are heavy weight, but its quite different. The canteen set is based on the canteen used by past military forces, giving it a vintage and rugged look. This makes this mess kit the equivalent of the swiss army knife of camping cooking.
This all-in-one cook system offers a wonderful camping and hiking experience, and its simple design makes it easy to cook and eat your food in the great outdoors.
It’s ideal for picnics, backpacking, camping, traveling, hiking, trekking and so on.
The lid’s vent holes can also be used as strainer holes, and the titanium pot can be heated directly, adding more functionality to the set.
One of the cons of the Boundless Voyage Titanium Canteen Mess Kit is that it is not non-stick, so it may require more oil or butter when cooking and may be harder to clean.
Additionally, it may not be suitable for large groups as it’s not large enough to feed more than 2 people.
MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set
If you’re looking for the best mess kits for camping, that is lightweight and compact, then the MSR Quick 2 system is perfect for you.
This camping cooking set is a lightweight and compact cookware set designed for two-person backpacking trips.
The set includes a 1.5L hard-anodized non-stick aluminum pot, a 2.5L hard-anodized aluminum pot, a strainer lid, 2 deep dish plates, 2 insulated mugs, and a removable pot handle.
This 2 person mess kit is packed in a compact size of 7.75 x 5 inches making it easy to pack and transport.
One of the standout features of the aluminum mess kits is their versatility. This camp kit has a smaller non-stick coated cooking pot for sauces and simmers, and a larger uncoated pot for boiling water and meal prep.
The strainer lid can be used to strain pasta or vegetables, making it a great option for a variety of meals.
The plates and mugs are color-coded, which makes it easy to keep track of your own dishes.
One of the pros of the MSR Quick 2 camping cooking set is that it is lightweight and compact.
The non-stick coating on the smaller pot makes cleaning a breeze, and the uncoated larger pot allows for better heat distribution. The deep-dish plates are also a nice touch, making it easy to enjoy a hot meal on the trail.
One of the cons of the MSR Quick 2 system is that the pots are not large enough to feed more than 2 people.
Additionally, the pot handle is not very heat-resistant and can get hot quickly, so care needs to be taken when handling it.
Stanley Base Camp Cook Set
This is one of the best backpacking mess kit that is made of high quality stainless steel. It’s a comprehensive and durable camping cookware set that includes 21 nested components.
This stainless steel mess kit added a 3.5L pot with a vented lid, a 7″ 3-ply frying pan, a cutting board, a spatula, a serving spoon, four 6″ plates, four 22oz bowls, four sporks, a dish drying rack, a heat-resistant trivet, and a locking bungee.
One of the standout features of this stainless steel mess kit is its toughness and durability.
The set is manufactured using 18/8 stainless steel, making it strong, scratch-proof, and rust-proof. This makes it easy to use and reliable for every trip without any maintenance other than washing.
The backpacking mess kit is also designed to save space and is perfect for small or large groups. The kit all nests together, and instructions are engraved in the lid, making it compact and easy to transport.
Stainless steel mess kit is a great option for camping, backpacking, and any other outdoor activities. Because of cleaning the Stanley Base Camp Set is also easy.
You can use cleaning sponge and warm water for a basic clean, and steel wool can be used for deeper cleans. This means you can spend more time adventuring, and less time cleaning.
Snow Peak Multi Compact Mess kits
If you are looking for the best mess kits that is durable, then the Snow Peak Multi Compact is perfect for you. This is a practical and versatile camping cookware set that is designed for efficient meal preparation on outdoor adventures.
The mess kits include large pot that have folding pot handle and lids for easy storage and transport.
The lids of the pots can also serve as plates and frying pans, adding more functionality to the set.
One of the standout features of the Snow Peak Multi Set is its multifunctional lids.
This stainless steel mess kit is perfect for outdoor dining and it’s minimalism.
The Snow Peak Multi Set is made using a historic manufacturing process, which ensures that the product is of the highest quality. The set is built to last and can withstand the rigors of outdoor cooking.
The minimal design is perfect for backpackers and hikers who want to pack light without compromising on functionality.
One of the cons of the Snow Peak Multi Camp Cooking Set is that it may not be suitable for large groups.
Additionally, the pots are not non-stick, so it may require more oil or butter when cooking and may be harder to clean.
Coleman Family Cook Set
The Coleman Cooking Set is one of the best mess kits for car camping. This kit includes a pot lid, pan, and utensils. It’s made of aluminum, making it lightweight and easy to clean. Both the pot and pan also have a non-stick coating, making it easy to clean.
This is one of the best mess kit that is ideal for preparing family meals on outdoor adventures. This compact mess kit includes a 10-inch frying pan, a 2.4-quart saucepan, and a 6.9-quart stockpot.
The set comes with 2 lids and a detachable textured handle that fit all cookware.
One of the most notable features of the Coleman Set is its tough commercial-grade steel construction. This material offers years of reliable use and can withstand the rigors of outdoor cooking.
The pans and accessories nest together for compact storage which makes it perfect for camping trips and outdoor activities.
One of the pros of the Coleman Set is that it has a versatile design. This compact mess kit includes different-sized frying pans, which can be used to make anything from fried eggs to a big pot of stew.
The detachable handle makes it easy to transport the cookware and it is also very easy to clean.
One of the cons of the Coleman Set is that it is quite heavy, which may be a challenge for backpackers or hikers who have to carry it for long distances.
Additionally, the cookware is not non-stick, so it may require more oil or butter when cooking and may be harder to clean.
Sea to Summit Delta Camp Backpacking Mess Kit
The Sea to Summit Delta Camp is a comprehensive camping mess kit designed for outdoor adventures. The six-piece set includes one plate, one bowl, one mug, one fork, one knife, and one spoon.
The set is made of food grade, cut-resistant polypropylene, making it safe for food contact and durable enough to withstand the rigors of outdoor use.
One of the standout features of the Sea to Summit Delta Camp is its lightweight and compact design. The set weighs only 10.6 ounces, making it easy to pack and transport.
The gusseted mesh pouch with drawstring closure allows for easy carry and air-drying.
The Sea to Summit Delta Camp is also easy to clean. It’s dishwasher safe, which makes it easy to maintain and keep hygienic. The set is also designed to be lightweight and easy to pack, which makes it perfect for backpackers and hikers.
One of the cons of the Sea to Summit Delta Camp is that it is not suitable for larger groups as it’s not large enough to feed more than 2 people. Additionally, the set is not insulated, which may make it less suitable for hot drinks.
Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit
This is one of the best mess kits for camping that is designed to be compact and versatile. The 6-piece stainless steel mess kits includes a stock pot, a frying pan, a BPA-free bowl, a mug, and a mesh bag. The entire set nestles inside the stock pot, making it easy to pack and transport.
One of the standout features of the camping cookware mess kit is its versatility. The stock pot can be taken apart, and the bottom can be used as a frying pan, while the lid turns into a separate frying pan with a locking, interchangeable handle.
This allows you to cook and enjoy a variety of meals on the trail. The included BPA-free plastic mess kit and mug are perfect for enjoying your meals.
Another great feature of the Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit is its durability. It is made of the highest quality materials, which makes it a reliable and long-lasting choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the cons of the Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit is that it is not non-stick, so it may require more oil or butter when cooking and may be harder to clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best camping mess kit?
A: When it comes to camping, having the right mess kit is essential for ensuring that you can prepare and enjoy meals while out in the wilderness. A good mess kit will depend on your specific needs and preferences, but there are a few key factors to consider when making your choice.
Here are the three most important things to consider when choosing a mess kit:
- Durability: Look for a kit that is made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of camping, such as aluminum or stainless steel.
- Size and weight: Consider how many people the kit will need to feed and how much space you have for packing.
- Ease of cleaning: The mess kit should be easy to clean, either by hand or in a dishwasher.
Q: What are the benefits of using a camping mess kit?
A: A mess kit offers several benefits, including:
- Convenience: A mess kit provides all of the necessary tools for meal preparation and eating in one compact package, making it easy to pack and transport.
- Versatility: Many mess kits include multiple pots, pans, and utensils, allowing you to prepare a variety of different meals.
- Saves space: Having a mess kit allows you to save space in your backpack by only having to carry one set of utensils and cookware.
Q: What should a camping mess kit include?
A: A mess kit should include the following items:
- Pots and pans: These are essential for cooking and preparing meals.
- Utensils: Knives, forks, and spoons are necessary for eating.
- Cups, plates, and bowls: These are needed for serving and eating meals.
- Additional items such as a backpacking stove, lighter, and cleaning supplies may also be included.
Q: How to clean camping mess kit?
A: Cleaning a kit can be done in a few easy steps:
- Rinse off any food debris with water and a mild soap.
- Scrub away any remaining food or stains with a soft brush or sponge.
- Rinse the kit thoroughly with clean water to remove any remaining soap.
- Dry the kit thoroughly before storing it.
Q: What are some recommended camping mess kits?
A: Here are three recommended camping mess kits:
Q: How long do camping mess kits typically last before needing to be replaced?
A: The lifespan of a mess kit will vary depending on the quality of the materials and how well it is maintained. Mess kits made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel or titanium can last for many years with proper care and maintenance.
Regular cleaning and proper storage will help prolong the life of a mess kit. Additionally, avoiding abrasive cleaning products or utensils, and not exposing the kit to high heat or open flame will also extend its life.
It’s important to inspect your mess kit before each trip, if you notice any signs of wear or damage, it may be time to replace it. On average, a well-maintained mess kit can last between 5-10 years, but it can last longer or shorter depending on the usage, care, and the quality of the kit.
Final thoughts for campers
In this guide, we’ve discussed the key factors to consider when choosing the best camping mess kit, including size and weight, material, and the number of pieces included. We’ve also highlighted some of the top options on the market.
To choose the best camping utensils, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. Whether you’re backpacking or car camping, there’s a camp mess kit out there that’s perfect for you.
In conclusion, with the right camp mess kit, you’ll be well-equipped to cook and eat on your next camping trip, and you’ll be able to keep your campsite clean and organized. Happy camping!
Additional resources for further research:
- 13 Best Camping Kettles
- 30 Best Camping Frying Pans
- 15 Best Camping Griddles
- Best Campfire Grill Grate
- 10 Best Campfire Tripod Grills
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