Cooking is a very important and necessary thing we all have to do if we plan on hiking for a while. There’s a lot of equipment and foods you’re going to need in order to have a successful trail cooking experience. That being said, there are some things you’ll need to be careful about bringing before you come. These items may work for some hikers and campers out there, but you might want to really take some things into consideration before you pack them along.
Ridiculously Heavy Multi-Tools
Any tool, or tools, that when put together are still lighter than a heavy multi-tool, is always the better option. A multi-tool might be practical when it comes to cooking in the outdoors, but you might find it to be completely unnecessary, expensive, and weighing down your back. You don’t use a multi-tool to eat at home, do you? As long as you can open your food packages (many of which you can open with your bare hands), then all you need is a good ol’ fork, spoon, or a spork!
A Pizza Maker Kit
This might be a fun idea for a camping trip where you can fit it all in your car, but even then, a pizza kit is rather unnecessary. It contains a lot of tools that are a pain to bring along. If you want to make pizza, it’s easy to do so in a dutch oven or even a pan.
Canned Foods or Boxes
Canned foods will be okay for a weekend trip, but if you’re doing a thru-hike, leave them at home. They are heavy and don’t even provide that much food. Additionally, if you’re thinking of bringing the boxes that your mixes come in, then think again. Take everything out of boxes to make more room and compact things better.
A Large Plastic Egg Container
Eggs already come in a free carton at the grocery store, so there’s no need to buy one of these. Also, cardboard egg cartons can be a great firestarter.
A Stove You’re Unsure About
If you know how to build a fire in the backcountry or a camp site, then putting money down on a cooking stove you’re not sure about can be a really big waste of money. Do your research on stoves before you purchase one, and see if you can test it out before committing to it. Know which stove suits your hiking needs better. Something might look good in the store, but ultimately, it might not be for you.
They’re cool. They work. (Most of the time). So do a box of matches. Stick with what you know.
It might sound like a good idea. A way to protect your pans for the long term. However, if you care so much about a pan getting a little bit worn out, then maybe cooking in the backcountry isn’t for you. While getting an item like this can help, it’s more important how you handle your cookware while out on the trail. It’s like buying shoe protectant. It definitely helps make your shoes shine, but if you plan on going in the mud with them, don’t have high expectations.
A Fold-Up Stainless Steel Utensil Set
You do not need to have four forks, four butter knives, two steak knives, a teaspoon, a corkscrew, and all this other stuff. Even if it does fold up into a portable canvas bag, it’s really anything but portable. You won’t need these many utensils at all while you’re on the trail, or even while you’re camping. Ditch this idea from the get go.
Okay, pan scrapers are pretty cool and can in fact be handy. But, if you wouldn’t use one at home, then there’s really no need to use it on the trail. As long as you put some oil or cooking spray (which is an essential hiking or camping item), then you will find that food won’t really stick to the pan, anyway.
You might think it’s a good idea to bring backups, but it can actually be something you regret. Calculate how much food and water you’re going to need for the length of your trip, and don’t pack a morsel more.
A Campfire Log Holder
This might be a good tool for the newbies out there, but it’s really not necessary. There are many ways to make a campfire, and even though making a teepee style is one of them, you’ll certainly be able to do it without a tool like the log holder.
Like with any backpacking gear, it’s important to really think about what you’re buying before you get it. All your gear and food items will be with you either until you eat it, or until you get back home. Consider what’s necessary, and you’ll be thankful later on. As always with backpacking, less is more!