- A great set of camping cookware lets you prepare quality meals while car camping or in the backcountry.
- The best camp set should have pots, pans, plates, utensils, and storage containers, all built to last.
- Our top pick, the GSI Bugaboo Camper Cookset, has cooking gear for four plus mugs and is easy to clean.
At the very least, you need a camping stove, a reliable pot or two, and a plate or bowl. But the more gourmet among us would appreciate some kind of sauté pan, potentially also a mug for morning coffee or a kettle for boiling water.
With a good set of camping cookware, you can move beyond the basic need for nutrition and prepare meals that are truly tasty — and may even resemble what you’d whip up at home.
As happens with so many who find themselves spending more time hiking and camping, I went through an evolutionary process with the gear I use. For cookware, I bought my first set for five or six dollars at an army surplus store. It was made of thin, stamped aluminum, and after only a few uses, the metal tarnished with exposure to moisture, the pot and pan discolored from the flame of the stove, and all the components became so warped and dented that the set no longer fit together properly.
In retrospect, I got what I paid for. And I wish I had known how many high-quality camp cooking sets you can get for a modest price. There is plenty of great camp cookware available between $20 and $30 that are designed to last for years of use with proper care.
Here is the best camping cookware: