Backpacking Essentials – Cooking Systems and Cooking Gear

Throughout my childhood and early years as an adult I have spent a lot of time in the backcountry, and i’ve cooked a lot of “backpacking meals”. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a Blacklite Cooking set from MSR when I was 14 years old, and still have that set today. My wife and I use that Blacklite set in our car camping kit now, and it’s one of the best backpacking items i’ve purchased. 
There are so many different types of cooking systems out there, that choosing one over another can be difficult. GSI Outdoors, MSR, Snow Peak, Frybake, and so many others have been making high quality cooking gear for many years. They are all good, and all have pros and cons. 
When I started studying Outdoor Recreation Management at Utah Valley University, I was introduced to the Frybake. My backcountry cooking experience had been changed forever! 
Having a good cooking system in the backcountry is all about simplicity, ease of use, light weight, and budget friendly. My current system is a GSI Pinnacle Soloist for boiling water and will soon get my hands on an Alpine sized Frybake. It makes putting together a meal so simple and enjoying my food faster. 
When you are looking for a cooking system, find something in your price range. You absolutely do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on titanium pots and pans to enjoy a good mean in the backcountry. Go to REI or a backpacking equipment store, and find something that works well for you. A great option for the price as it’s all inclusive is the Jet Boil Products. Jet Boil is a great company making high quality gear that works well for the beginner backpacker. Really, just find what works well for you and go with it. As long as it gives you a good meal in the end, the investment was worth it!


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