Whether you’re car camping or hiking, this guide to camping cookware will provide you with a great starting point for your culinary camping journey.
For this list we've considered 25 different cooking sets and items. See the full list below.
Take a look at the comparison table below before moving on, it might help you make a quick decision based on the most important specs.
Stanley Adventure Base Camp
4.66 lb / 2.11 kg
Lodge Dutch Oven Combo
Best for Cast Iron Cooking
13.62 lb / 6.18 kg
STANSPORT Heavy Duty
Best Heavy Duty Cookware
8.55 lb / 3.87 kg
Up to 5
GSI Pinnacle Camper
Best Premium Set
3.63 lb / 1.65 kg
Best for Car Camping
1.5 lb / 0.68 kg
TOAKS Titanium Pot
Good for Backpacking
1 x pot
1 x lead
MalloMe Mess Kit
1.75 lb / 0.79 kg
Bisgear Cookware Stove
1.46 lb / 0.66 kg
The best feature of the Stanly Adventure Base Camp Kit is that it’s got everything you could possibly need from prep to clean-up.
All 19 pieces can be packed into the 3.5 L pot, providing a compact and easy stowage.
These include a stainless steel pot and pan, which can be used over wood fire, as well as four sets of eating utensils and a drying rack.
The kit in its entirety is too heavy for backpacking, but is great for car or RV camping. If you’re looking for something compact yet comprehensive, this is probably the kit for you.
The Lodge Dutch Oven Combo Cooker comprises two pieces, including a deep skillet and a shallow one, which can be combined to form a Dutch Oven.
Both pieces are seasoned, meaning you won’t be scrubbing away blackened food when you could be enjoying the sunset.
The pieces can be used for various cooking methods, including; deep frying, sautéing, braising, or grilling.
These skillets are cast iron, which means they’ll last long, but it also makes them pretty heavy – we wouldn’t recommend taking them on a backpacking trip!
This STANSPORT cookware set provides you with an extensive range of pots – you can either use them all at once, or swap them out depending on how many people you’ll be camping with.
Either way, you’ll never need to buy another pot after this. Each pot is made of 18/10 stainless steel and bottom-clad in triple-ply 0.2 mm aluminum.
The pots nestle into one another, making the whole set easy to transport, and they can even be taken backpacking.
The GSI Pinnacle Camper is the crowd favorite.. Like the Stanley Adventure Base Camp set, this cookware set kind of has it all and then some – this set even comes with insulated mugs.
The whole kit can be configured for four people to use in a car or caravan camping, or for two people backpacking.
However, GSI Pinnacle is pretty expensive, so it’s built to last for years to come. But if you’re only looking to use it once or twice, you might consider a cheaper alternative.
The Winterial Camping Cookware set is pretty lightweight, so you can use it for backpacking and solo camping trips.
However, the eleven piece set only includes one bowl and no spork, so you will have to buy some extras to be fully prepared for a camping trip.
The pots and the pan are made of aluminum and coated with Teflon so that they can be used either over an open fire or on a stove.
This TOAKS pot is made from Grade 1 or 2 titanium and is super light, making it perfect for ultralight backpacking.
The size of this pot means it’s great for big campfire meals, and you can easily boil two cups of water in it without worrying about water boiling over.
Other pieces of TOAKS camping cookware can be stored in the pot when not in use, like the 375 or 450 ml cups, alongside the TOAKS small wood stove and 4 oz gas canister.
If you’re going for a minimalist cooking approach, this might be the item for you.
The MalloMe kit is pretty cheap considering you’ll get ten pieces worth of cookware.
The kit includes a cleaning sponge and mesh bag, and at only 1.75 lb it is rather light.
It’s generally considered the best low-budget cookware set, but if you’re looking for something that lasts longer and is more user-friendly, you might consider investing in a more durable kit.
The 16-piece Bisgear set has everything you think you’d need, as well as a few things you didn’t even consider, perhaps.
Unlike other sets, this cookware includes a fork, knife, spoon and spork. Not only that, but you get a stove too, so this is one of the most comprehensive starter sets out there.
The pot and pan are made of anodized aluminum, making them non-sticky and quite lightweight, although it should be mentioned that the items aren’t dishwasher safe.
The set is also super cheap, but not all of the equipment is necessary, and there are often problems with the stove, so you could consider getting a less extensive set with better quality items.
Buying the right cookware set really depends on the kind of camping you’d like to do, and how often you’ll be using the set.
Car Camping Cookware
If you’ll be car camping, and are willing to invest in some high quality items, we’d suggest going for the Stanley kit – it’s an extensive set which you can either use in its entirety, or as separate items, depending on the kind of camping you’re looking to do.
The GSI Pinnacle is rated a premium product, but comes at a premium price, and doesn’t offer too much more than the Stanley kit.
The Lodge Dutch Oven kit is extremely heavy, although if you prefer cast iron over any other material then it might be the one for you.
The STANSPORT set is the heaviest, but can feed the most people and might be a better option, if you’re making more advanced meals that need lots of pots. However, only having one handle for all the pots could be a disadvantage.
Backpacking and Hiking Cookware
On the other hand, if you need cookware for backpacking, you might consider some of the lighter sets.
One option is to take a minimalistic approach and purchase the TOAKS pot and a spork – this would be perfect for one- or two-person hiking.
If you think you need some more gear, then buying a complete set might be better. While compact and light enough for backpacking, the Winterial kit is lacking some essential items and is generally considered to be a bit pricey.
The MalloMe and Bisgear sets come in at a lower price, but if you’re buying for the long run then we’d suggest spending a bit more money and get kits that will last longer.
When purchasing a new cookware kit, the most important thing to go for is durability and quality. Easy cleaning is also a huge plus. Have a look at some of the factors for consideration when making your decision.
If you’re car or RV camping, then weight isn’t such an issue, and you can buy thicker, more durable pots and pans. You can also include a few extra items, like a cutting board, drying rack and some cleaning equipment to make the whole experience nicer.
However, if you need cookware for backpacking or hiking, you’ll need something lightweight and you probably won’t get as much value out of all the extra pieces. When it comes to carrying your own gear, low weight is key.
How many people you’ll be cooking for totally impacts how much capacity you’ll need. If you’re car camping with a large group of people, then you’ll be able to buy a sturdy, large, pot or pan for bulk cooking.
If you’re going hiking, it might be better to have multiple pieces of smaller, lighter equipment. If it’s just for one- or two-person camping, then you can half the size.
If this is just a once-off camping trip for you, then you probably don’t want to invest a huge amount of money in your cooking equipment. In this case, it’s probably best to try find something secondhand or go for a value for money starter kit.
However, if you love the outdoors and plan to use your cookware for a long time, you’ll want to spend those extra bucks on getting something sturdy and of higher quality.
Pots and pans can be made of various materials which impact their weight and durability.
These can be anodized aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron.
Either way, you’ll want something non-sticky for easy cleaning.
The material of the bowls and /utensils also makes a difference – some people prefer stainless steel, others don’t mind plastic. If you do go with plastic, BPA free options are probably best.
List of materials:
Your budget obviously has a role in all this. Camping costs can add up pretty easily, and we understand that spending over $100 on cookware can seem ridiculous. This only makes sense when you are not getting a one-off set, but plan for a long run.
Getting cheap sets might seem like a good idea, but you will end up replacing them frequently, so the savings won’t be as good as they might seem.
Camping gear, like anything, can range from simple to complex. If you’re really into gear, there are many additions you can purchase for your cookware set, like various grip handles, collapsible sinks or gas stove regulators. And if you can’t do without your morning coffee, there is a range of camping coffee makers out there. Keeping it simple is also pretty easy – it’s really up to you.
At the end of the day, it’s your camping trip, and you should customize your cookware to suit your kind of camping.
With all the products out there, shopping for even the simplest camping gear can be overwhelming, but with this guide you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best cookware for your trip.
List of accessories