Become the Alpha Cook in Your Backcountry Kitchen Crew

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BY SEA TO SUMMIT

Who doesn’t like a hearty meal at the end of a long backpacking day? Nobody, right? Yet for many outdoor enthusiasts, an evening meal has come to mean boiling water and adding it to a bag of freeze-dried food. Not that there’s anything wrong with the occasional freeze-dried meal; but they contain a lot of sodium, they are expensive, and they can take agonizingly long to reconstitute, especially at altitude. And, perhaps the biggest factor – they rob you of the romance of preparing a meal out in the backcountry.

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Image by: Madelaine Afshar

Some backpackers respond that they would cook more open-air meals, but they are concerned that measuring, cutting, pouring, straining, storing leftovers and so on requires carrying extra gear. If you’ve read our Camp Cuisine blog post, you’ll know that ‘extra gear’ can be replaced with ‘the right gear and a little ingenuity’.

But – there’s another factor. At a recent cook-out organized by Sea to Summit, here are some comments we heard from would-be gourmets about their existing gear:

“I’ve tried using pot lifters, but they actually bend the rim of the pot”
“I like the weight of my titanium cook set, but I just get a hot spot in the middle of the pot base”
“My current pot is just too tall and too narrow to really cook in”
“The wobbly handle on my pot sketches me out when it is full of hot food”

Clearly, a need exists for a better set of outdoor cookware.

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