GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist Ultralight Cookset Review

I’ve had this Cookset for several years and have used it more than a few times during car camp and backpacking trips.

All packed up

All packed up

The whole kit nests within a carry kit / wash basket. The 1.8 liter pot is home two 2 food bowls, 2 insulated “mugs” and 2 folding sporks. The lid is little holes which enables you to drain water if you’re making pasta(hold the lid though, otherwise you end up with dirty pasta.) This was designed for 2 people, hence “Dualist”, but I think it could be used by 4 people provided the other 2 have some kind of spork, fork or chopsticks. Continue reading

Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset Review


What a great two person cookset for the backpacker who likes to spend a little extra time to cook up better food than your basic rehydration.

Apart from these, I also own the trek combo pot set (basically the trek 900 nested in the trek 1400), and while that set is nice because the hybrid summit also nests inside, the trek combo lacks a little in diameter. This isn’t a problem for stews, but it’s a bit of a problem for breakfast since the larger pan is still too small to place whole slices of spam in it. Continue reading

Snow Peak Mini Solo Hybrid Summit Cookset Review


In the last 3 years now, I’ve amassed so many stoves, pots, pans, cups, and other assorted backpacking cooking paraphernalia, and experimented with all of them both at home and on well over 30 backpacking trips and maybe 6 or 7 car camping trips that I’m starting to get pretty good at knowing what is needed for different types of trips, what’s overkill, and what’s not enough.  Continue reading

Light My Fire Titanium Spork Review


This is a great utensil.

I’m not a huge fan of the uber popular spark for backpacking. I’d rather a fork be a fork and a spoon be a spoon. But I also never really need to use both at the same time.

This utensil has both, and a small serrated edge on the fork for some simple cutting, and is super light. Apart from it being a little long, I’m really happy with it and hope to get years of use out of it.

Optimus Terra Weekend HE .95L Pot Review



When I originally purchased this hard anodized single person cookset with heat exchanger, I was reasonably impressed but struggled to figure out a good way to use it (Edit:  It shaved about 30 seconds off water boiling time compared to my Snow Peak Trek 900, if I used the right stove and windscreen combination, competitive with JetBoil times, thus saving fuel).  But it’s become, over time, my preferred set when solo backpacking where I plan to do light cooking. Continue reading

GSI Halulite Tea Kettle, 32oz Review

GSI Outdoors Halulite Tea Kettle

After spending time this weekend with this little kettle, it’s clear that kettles are pretty critical for car camping. You need the for tea or coffee or soup/instant noodles or to warm a bucket of water for cleaning…. Can you survive without one on a car camping trip? sure. Would you want to? Heeeeeck no. The compact nature of this unit makes it a little more convenient to pack, but what I’ve learned this trip is, if you’re running really low on space and need to go uber compact, take this kettle. If you can load up the car and afford to take a larger kettle, do so. a kettle is worth the space and weight cost. Continue reading

Coleman Aluminum Mess Kit Review

Coleman 5-piece Aluminum Mess Kit

Old school mess kits like the one I had when I was a kid. It’s a great little setup, and the only two problems have always been: the pan handle is not strong enough to hold the pan when there’s any significant amount of food cooking, bending so easily as to be almost useless. And the cup is pitifully small. But the cooking kettle with top? That piece is awesome, and the plate works just fine. Continue reading