Ultralight Summer Backpacking Cook Kit
Backcountry cooking is different for everyone. Some people like to cook real meals that require real cooking tools and others, like many of us at Outdoor Gear Geeks, prefer to forego the extra weight of a backcountry kitchen and cook as efficiently as possible and head to bed. At the end of a long day, we generally find ourselves too starving and too low on energy to do anything but boil water and rehydrate a meal. If you are like us, this could be the ultralight cook kit for you.
The kit starts with my Toaks Titanium 900ml D130mm Pot. Without a lid, this pot weighs only 2.7 oz (77g) and with the lid, it weighs 3.7 oz (104g). Our favorite feature about this pot is that it has a wider diameter at 5 1/8” compared to many other cooking pots out there. We like this for several reasons. The first is that you don’t need a long handle spoon to get to the bottom of it. The second is that we personally feel like a wider diameter makes my pot feel more stable on the BRS – 3000T stove that we use with it.
Stove | BRS-3000T
Speaking of the BRS-3000T, we have written about this before in our Father’s Day Gift Guide. We believe there really is great value in owning this stove as it fits the needs of casual and more serious backpackers. It weighs less than an ounce and burns almost as efficiently as some of the bigger named brands. At less than $16 dollars it’s a bargain for how well it functions. We don’t believe it would last quite as long as one of our favorite stoves the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe but for the budget minded backpacker, this is our pick. We love that it nests at the top of our pot with a cup, cloth, and fuel canister all neatly packed inside.
Cloth | General Microfiber (Cut Down)
The remainder of this kit is fairly simple. We like to keep a 1/2 or 1/4 sized microfiber cloth which is cut from a general purpose cloth that most people have in their home. We like microfiber because it absorbs and dries fast but a bandana or any lightweight fabric would do. Having a small cloth helps the contents nested inside from bouncing around on top of acting as a small way to clean your pot.
FUEL – MSR 110G ISOBUTANE
Not Generally Included in Kit Weight
For this kit, we include a 110g MSR Isobutane canister. We like MSR brand canisters, but Snow Peak and Jetboil also make excellent and reliable fuel. You can float the can a full pot of water and get a rough estimate of how much fuel is left based on how much it sinks. In our testing, MSR fuel has rated very well in both cold and high altitude performance.
OUTDOOR GEAR GEEKS NOTE: We are fortunate to have Sierra Trading Post stores near Denver, Colorado. If you have one of these near you, often times you can find MSR Isobutane Canisters at a fairly discounted price. Generally, isobutane is not easily bought online because shipping fuel is not easy for retailers. REI and most local sporting goods stores should have them in stock.
Lighter | Bic Mini
At the very bottom of our cook kit, we have a Bic Mini lighter which nests perfectly into the Sea to Summit X Mug collapsible mug. Bic lighters are just plain reliable and we love how the mini securely fits into the collapsed mug at the bottom of our pot. We recommend buying a 5 pack and carrying two.
Mug | Sea to Summit X Mug
Finally, our most luxurious item in this kit is the Sea to Summit X Mug. We don’t deem this to be an essential item at all. If you want to lighten your kit by 2.7 oz then eliminating the mug would be the place to start. We just prefer to drink our coffee out of something other than the pot we cooked last nights Ramen Bomb in. But to each their own. Some of our testers reported food smells and tastes absorbed by the cup if they used it for food so we would recommend keeping it to the liquids only and rinsing out after use.
Overall, we think this kit is really an effective and affordable ultralight cooking kit, good enough weekend warriors and more prolific backpackers. Could it be lighter? Definitely. Could you leave the X-Mug out and replace your lid with tin foil? Absolutely. But for us Outdoor Gear Geeks we will pack out a few extra ounces to sit by our campfire and sup out whiskey like fancy men and women of the outdoors.