How many times have you come back from a trip and unloaded the bike’s luggage and looked at your cooking gear and realized once again you never really used it much, or maybe not at all?
Cooking gear takes up a lot of space in your panniers, cylindrical pots aren’t always the easiest to pack, can get squashed in a drop, and take up voluminous space for the minimal return of use and can be one trick ponies.
The goal is to have useful cooking gear that is more versatile and takes up less space, consider the flat packing options
Is Ikea onto something with flat packing, could the same be done for ADVriders? Yes!
Here are few options to reduce packed volume but still get the job done, none of it is sponsored so speak up if you approve or disapprove and why – All shown below can be found online with a little searching if I haven’t added a link
What can the inmates come up with?
This is about as minimal as it gets, two flat-pack pieces that screw together and are just over 24″ long combined, great for cooking steaks or veggies over a campfire and only $23
A spoon/ fork combination that can be used separately or clicked together if I’m being lazy and eating a Mountain House meal in one of those deep bags
…and now what can the internet offer, in the way of flat-pack camp cooking gear?
P51 can opener, this is the bigger version of the P38, cost a buck or two and just worth having in the pack
Sea to Summit X gear, I use the X-pot 1.4L, just got a new one as I wore the old one out! Steel bottom, rubber sides that concertina down. There are lots of variations of their X gear, good option to reduce size and weight
Make sure your flame doesn’t go around the sides, obviously
Another Sea to Summit product, the X-pan, just 8″ across, and the X-pot fits in it perfectly.
For a plate I chose an MSR Mountain plate for a few reasons, it nested with the Sea to Summit gear, their plate didn’t!
Also if need be I can use it on a fire or with a stove as an additional place to cook, and it was only $9
A good knife is always useful, but if you cross borders it could get confiscated, so finding one that I could use for cooking but is also strong enough to baton (split) wood, you could use a folding knife but a single blade is a lot stronger.
The two conditions were to be able to fit it inside my cooking gear and also be able to carry it on my belt if I wanted.
I found a Schrade SCHF57, and it does all the above with ease
On my fork leg, I strap a folding saw, for wood for fires for use with the next two pieces –
Collapsable stainless steel wood stove, these come in various sizes and prices, I have the one that will work best with my pots, its 4.7″/ 12cm square
and it fits in the pan, also stops it all rattling
If I need extra flat space to cook over a fire, a wire mesh is a good option, takes virtually no space, make one or buy one or cut down one from an old grill.
I found this folding one that’s good to straddle a couple of rocks by a fire, combined with the adjustafork might be all you need
I also carry an ultralight titanium stove, just in case there is a fire ban. A quick check online before heading to a new area will let you know if there is a ban in place, and to stop by a camping store and grab a can of gas related to the amount of time I’ll be in that area.
Gas cans come in three sizes usually the smallest is all I need as a last resort option. These are not always easy to find in remote areas of Latin America, hence having equipment to burn wood so to not eat cold food! *Coke can for size reference
All that combined comes in a little over 3lbs
…and it only takes up 112 cubic inches vs 150 cubic inches, for a standard-sized pot that can do little more than boil some water.
Cooking options are obviously far greater and at 8x8x1.75″ is a lot easier to pack.
If you need to carry extra water, consider an additional second hydration bladder over a Nalgene bottle, a much bigger volume, and a fraction of the size when not in use.
What do you use for a small camping efficient cooking kit, show us your setups in the comments?