Hiking does not only rev up your body, it also provides a respite for the senses as you take in panoramic views and inhale fresh air quality straight from the environment. But while the trekking is fun, backcountry cooking on a pit stop proves to be more exhilarating and a hot meal, more energizing. But it’s no ordinary cooking though.
If like my friend Raul, you too take hiking as a way of relaxing, you would love to make it as comfortable as possible. Along with a good backpack, a sleeping bag that can keep you warm, delicious and wholesome food also definitely adds to the experience. Another reason you should not ignore what you eat during hiking is that your level of physical activity gets significantly increased.
Multi day hiking trips are often challenging and will test your physical abilities, So you have to be sure that you are eating enough carbohydrates for new energy, protein for helping your body to recover and, of course, drink water to prevent dehydration plus have planned meals to keep your body functioning normally.
However, learning to cook well while hiking isn’t the easiest thing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not very difficult to achieve a certain level of comfort even when cooking and eating outdoors.
You will need the best hiking cookware that can withstand challenges of backcountry cooking. While many recommend pricey cookware sets, we collate the top 3 frequently bought ones in the market at just around $50 or less.
Budget Friendly Cooking Solutions
Ready to eat freeze dried foods are common commodities for their effortless convenience on the trail. But nothing still compares to hot meals when refueling the body after a hike or in between. With this in mind, you will need the following budget-friendly cookware meant for hiking, backpacking, boating and other outdoor adventures.
1. Terra Hiker Camping Cookware
Designed for all types of hikers, this cookware set comes handy when pulling in nutrition into your body on the pitstop. Made of non-toxic hand-anodized aluminum, this 10-piece cookware set is the epitome of backcountry kitchen essentials catering to boiling water for hydrating and cooking food for nutrition in the great outdoors. It is handcrafted to withstand wear and tear, and designed with non-stick coating for even distribution of heat and ease of clean-up.
The Terra Hiker Camping Cookware includes 1L frying pan, 2L boiling pot, and 1L teapot with non-stick BPA-free plastic laddles. Pots can boil water at around 2 minutes which is quite fast considering how ravenous or thirsty a hiker may feel after a day’s trek on various challenging terrains and elevations. All cookware also comes with heat-resistant handles to prevent burning. Also, items can easily be folded and stacked safely then, stored in a mesh bag. At around 1.50lbs of total weight, this definitely one portable cookware set each hiker should have.
2. EcoCamp 14-Piece OUTDOOR GEAR Mess Kit
Another great find is the EcoCamp 14-Piece OUTDOOR GEAR Mess Kit. One of the manufacturers of the best hiking cookware in the market, EcoCamp always take environmental consciousness to heart when designing their products. Made of premium quality coated metal frame, it is designed to withstand open-flame or gas-fired cooking pits. Apart from its corrosion-resistant feature, cooking surface of this cookware set is also non-stick ensuring even distribution of heat and fast cooking time.
The EcoCamp 14-Piece OUTDOOR GEAR Mess Kit from EcoCamp comes with 1 pot with cover for boiling water and soup making, and a pan for frying food items. It also comes with 2 bowls, soup spoon, wooden spatula, 2 collapsible silicone cups, 2 stainless steel multi-tool, cutting mat, cleaning sponge, and nylon dunk bag to carry them safely. It alsocomes with an exclusive access to an e-book for convenient camp cooking. That’s having everything you need in one space.
3. Comfort Loft Open Flame Hiking Cookware
Some hikers and/or backpackers, however, enjoy the satisfaction in making their own open fire pit when cooking. This calls for an equally high-grade premium cookware like the Comfort Loft Open Flame Camping Cook Set #1. Cooking in open fire is a fast way to boil and cook your hiking meals as heat directed from burnt biomass materials can be more intense. Cookware like the one form ComfortLoft is designed with 18-8 premium grade stainless steel to withstand heavy use and resistance from wear-and-tear when used on open fire pits.
The set comes with a 1L frying pan, 1.5L pot and 1.1L sauce pan– all with heat-resistant foldable handles. It is no wonder why scouts and outdoor adventurers prefer this cookware set among others. It’s proven to be durable and resistant from wear-and-tear as well as cleaing up can be easy, too. With just a soap and sponge or perhaps, sand or steel wool, cleaning it up is quite easy. Definitely, this is one outdoor hiking cookware that everyone should have.
GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip
If you have tried several methods of brewing coffee while on a hiking trip and was not satisfied b the result, this GSI ultralight java drip will certainly make you smile, as it is without a doubt the best solution for solo use. It has been so designed that you will be able to clip it to any coffee mug or cup.
You can brew a delicious cup of coffee in very little time. Priced at less than $6, I would recommend to first experiment at home to figure out the right amount of coffee grounds you will need to get your desired strength. This will certainly be in your hiking backpack every time you go outdoors .once you test it.
Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set – 24oz Kettle with 2 Ceramic Cups
This lightweight, sturdy and rugged cookware can handle abuse quite a bit and is ideal for day hikes or shorter trips of a couple of days for which you do not need to vary your meal choices. You can easily use this to heat up your noodle, canned pasta or boiling water for your coffee. It’s a brilliant design, helps the handle to lock everything inside even when you are on move.
With a price less than $15 and a lifetime warranty, this is one outdoor cooking kit that should be in every hiker’s rucksack.
My recommendation is to use it with the Etekcity Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove(discussed below), as it sits perfectly inside when packed away.
Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove with Piezo Ignition
Made with Stainless steel and aluminum alloy, this is an extremely lightweight, compact, and durable camping stove that will take up very little space in your pack making it an excellent choice for long hikes and camping.
For the little money, it costs I’d recommend buying one or two of these before you think of more expensive name-brand options especially if you are a new hiker.
With this, you can boil 1.5 to 2 cups of water in under 5 minutes as the valve keeps the flame consistent even in high wind conditions. It can accommodate up to 7” diameter pots. Click here to read more details and feedback about it.
GSI Outdoors – Halulite Microdualist Cookset for Two
This possibly could be the best hiking cookware you will purchase especially if you are used to going outdoors with your partner or your special buddy. Being compact and lightweight this set is just absolutely perfect for two people. One of the features that I have tested and love is that I can fit even my ultralight stove and fuel can inside the nested cook set with ease. And yes, even then the entire package weighs lesser than 800 grams.
With this, you will have the ability to cook 1.5 quarts of liquid and enough capacity to cook for two or three freeze-dried meals instead of just one at a time. The bowls and cups take up no additional space and you can use the carrying pouch as a washbasin!
Though the price of this kit is little over $50, it is one of those hiking cookware or camping gear that is worth its price especially if you are used to going to the trips as couples. Check out the customer feedback here.
Carpathen Campfire Roasting Sticks for Marshmallow and Hot Dog
This is a nice addition to your hiking or camping gear especially if you are doing t with kids or in groups and other family members. The roasters are long enough so that you won’t get too hot roasting marshmallows or a hot dog. Actually, you can roast two marshmallows at once and people have found that it can easily handle standard hot dogs to monster bratwursts as well without breaking.
The different color indicators is a great feature so that you don’t get yours mixed up with other family members and friends. Each prong comes with a rubber cap as they are quite sharp.
The set of six roasters comes in a drawstring bag so they won’t get lost when not in use. And, yes you get a little bag of replacement caps also just in case you lose a couple of them. For more check out here.
Folding Campfire Cooking Grill Grate
This ultralight grill gate weighs the only 300g is about 7.48″X7.48″ and works perfectly with the small Camping Wood Stove. The weave of the grate is perfect, small openings so you will have no issues with food falling through the grate into your campfire. It’s just big enough to cook a piece of meat and a vegetable and fits perfectly in a backpack.
It’s made of good stainless steel and holds the heat well without wrapping. Most of the people who have used it, also mention that is easy to clean after use and can the accompanied mesh bag comes handy to store it. Check out more details here.
Camping Cooking Set Cookware Mess Kit Nonstick, Lightweight Pots, Pans with Mesh Set Bag
If you are someone who whether hiking or camping outdoors, does not make a compromise with the food you have and not interested in just ramens and canned pasta to fill your stomach, you will love this nonstick pots and pan cookware set.
The set has 10 pieces suitable for 2-3 adults and includes a nonstick pot, nonstick pan, pan cover, soup spoon, bamboo spoon, serving ladle, cleaning sponge, nylon travel bag and two BPA Free Bowls.
With this in your backpack, you will have no problem to fry your steak, make some good soup, or cook rice and boil hot coffee when you wish to. And yes you can fry your bacon and eggs on the pots too with no problem.
The impressive design makes it easy to pack everything up in a neat compact net bag that it comes in so that you don’t have any space problem.
Hiking Cookware For Everyone
When it comes to the best hiking cookware, these 3 options come highly recommdend– and they are all priced well below $50. That’s enough savings to channel your money to other hiking gears. This also goes to show that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to ensure geting just the right nutrition and hydration when hiking.
I hope by now you realize that if you know how to do it, you can afford to make delicious food even after 10 days of hard hiking in the forest. And you don’t need expensive items for it. You can cook lightweight, delicious and simple meals with minimal gears like a backpacking stove, fuel for it, a cooking pan and pot, a knife and a serving bowl with spoon and fork.