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Having a good survival cooking kit is essential for the backpacker, prepper, or wild-camper that wants to have a hot meal outdoors. Having a good cooking kit gives you the ability to cook a hot meal and make a hot drink anywhere in the wilderness, whether that is in the forest or at the top of a mountain. They are also great to have around in case of a blackout where you may not be able to use your induction or electric kitchen cooker.
There are a few options to choose from when selecting a good survival cook kit but the main features to look out for are durability, quality, and functionality. It is important that your survival stove is built to last and endure tough situations as you will likely be using it in an outdoor or survival situation. Think about fuel type, whether you need a lightweight or high-capacity setup, and the situation you expect to use your cooking kit in – these factors will ultimately affect your final decision.
- 1 What is a Survival Cooking Kit?
- 2 Stove or Fire Cooking?
- 3 The Best Survival Gas and Wood Burning Stoves
- 4 Top 4 Survival Cooking Kits – Reviewed
- 4.1 Best Lightweight Campfire Cooking Kit: RoCreek Titanium 2-piece Cookware Kit
- 4.2 Best Campfire Cooking Kit for Groups: The Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set
- 4.3 Best Lightweight Stove-Top Survival Cooking Kit: Bisgear Outdoor Cookware Kit
- 4.4 Best All-in-One Quick-Boil Stove Set: Sabre Quick-Boil Camping Stove
- 5 Comparison Table
- 6 Conclusion
What is a Survival Cooking Kit?
A survival cooking kit should include at the minimum a set of durable pots and pans that can either be used on a portable gave stove or an open fire. A cooking kit that features utensils, cutlery, plates, extra pans, and a cleaning kit is an added bonus as you will have an all-in-one kit ready to go when the time comes to use it.
Your kit should pack down in a convenient bag or inside the pots themselves, this makes your cook kit easy to transport in a backpack or stow away in a cupboard for emergency situations. To complete your survival cooking pan set you will either need a gas stove or have the ability to make a fire to cook on. In this article, we have included some survival cooking kits for both gas and open fire cooking as well as Reviewed the best survival gas stove-top and the best foldable fire stove cooker (more on these later).
Stove or Fire Cooking?
The key to selecting the perfect survival cooking setup is to figure out whether you will be cooking over an open fire or using a compact gas stove. Both fuel styles have their advantages and disadvantages and you can find a cooking set up that supports gas cooking and cooking over a fire.
The main advantage of having a gas stove is being able to use it anywhere without relying on having a source of dry, usable firewood. There are a few problems associated with gas stoves though. Butane and propane gas can tend to freeze up during cold weather which makes cooking in cold temperatures a chore in the winter. You are also restricted to how much gas you have in your canisters – this is not ideal if you are in a long-term survival situation. This is not to say that a gas stove doesn’t have a place in survival armory though, as they will save you in treeless terrains and times where wood is too wet to catch a spark.
The main advantage of having a cooking kit for open fire cooking is space and weight saving. If you only have to carry your cooking kit without gas and a stovetop you will save a lot of space in your backpack for other survival essentials. Fires bring warmth, security, and the ability to cook to a campsite or survival situation, however, they are not always feasible. Wood can become scarce in open terrains and persistent rain can make creating a fire to cook on impossible. For these reasons relying on fire alone is not a wise survival decision. If you want to survive and thrive in the wild you should always aim to cook on a fire but have a contingency plan if making a fire isn’t possible.
A stove in our opinion is an essential piece of survival cooking equipment however it should only be used if a fire cannot be made (if you are in a survival situation). If you are camping for pleasure and recreation, then having a stove is an efficient and easy way to cook without making a fire and will allow you to cook quick meals and coffee on the trails. Fires are still the best way to survive and get closer to nature when you are out in the wilderness though, so if you do have the opportunity to cook on a fire, a meal cooked over a wood flame far beats a meal from a gas stove.
There is one stove invention that sits in between both gas stove cookers and open fire cooking. The foldable wood stove gives you the opportunity to cook over a wood fire while keeping the fire contained and small while directing the flame efficiently. A wood stove allows you to set a pan on a titanium frame while making a small wood fire underneath as a heat source to cook over. These contraptions are brilliant for both survival and recreational use. Most campsites accept them as they are safer than an open campfire and they are more efficient to cook over because the heat is directed on the base of the pan evenly.
The Best Survival Gas and Wood Burning Stoves
Best Gas Stove: Primus Gravity 3
The Primus Gravity 3 is a compact gas stovetop that is compatible with Primus and Camping Gaz style canisters. This stove is efficient and has a large burner that directs heat over the whole cook pot rather than a small area like most compact stovetops. This stovetop also sits on its own support frame on the ground (rather than directly on top of the gas canister), this makes it much more stable and wind-resistant.
This stove is incredibly efficient and I myself have used it for two weeks on a canoeing trip and only used half a small Primus gas canister. As long as you don’t unnecessarily crank it up to full heat your gas will last for a long time with no problems. If you expect to use your stove in winter conditions, we do recommend buying Primus’ winter gas to prevent your poor ignition as a result of freezing gas.
Best Foldable Wood Stove: Stadelhorn Titanium Foldable Wood Stove
The Stadelhorn Titanium Wood Stove is a foldable cooking application that uses wood as its heat source. This stove is super lightweight and takes up very little room in a backpack. Once unfolded and fully assembled, small pieces of wood are loaded into the hole in the underside of the stove and lit to create a small controlled fire. On the top of this stove is a small cross-section of titanium that will support a pot or pan stably above the flame.
This stove is designed to direct the heat from a small fire straight to the bottom of the pan which makes it extremely efficient. You are able to cook a meal with a small amount of wood, so it is ideal for areas where firewood is scarce or areas where open fires aren’t acceptable. The Stadelhorn Foldable Stove is a great piece of kit that allows you to use resources carefully in a super-efficient way, however, you are still restricted by the weather if you cannot access dry firewood.
Top 4 Survival Cooking Kits – Reviewed
Best Lightweight Campfire Cooking Kit: RoCreek Titanium 2-piece Cookware Kit
The RoCreek Titanium Cookware Kit is a high-quality 2-piece survival cooking kit that includes a boiling pot and a frying pan. It is an extremely simple system that can be used over an open flame, on a wood-burning stove or a gas stove. Being titanium, it is lightweight, strong, and durable which makes this ideal for bushcraft and survival situations. It comes with a mesh storage sack for all-in-one storage however it doesn’t contain any cooking utensils, but there is plenty of space inside the boiling pot for a 3-piece cutlery and utensil set.
Overall, this cook set is versatile and made from high-quality grade-1 titanium. If you are looking for a compact, simple, lightweight survival cooking kit for one or two people then the RoCreek system is a brilliant choice.
Best Campfire Cooking Kit for Groups: The Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set
Stanley has been making outdoor gear for many years and their products never disappoint, the Adventure Base Camp Cook Set sticks to that trend. This cook set comes with everything you need to support up to four people either on a gas stove or a campfire. The main pot and frying pan are made from 18/8 stainless steel. The main boiling pot features a vented lid for controlled enclosed cooking and steaming, while the frying pan has a multi-layer base for even heat distribution when cooking over an open flame.
This kit comes complete with a prep kit for pre-cooking food preparation as well as utensils, cutlery, and four bowls. The base camp kit even comes complete with an incorporated dish drying rack to make cleaning and drying easier after cooking. This cooking kit is as much about thriving as it is about surviving. If you want to cook in style outside for your family or friends, then this kit is for you.
Overall, the Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set is the ultimate outdoor kitchen for the survival-practising family or group looking for a little bit of luxury when camping in the great outdoors. It is a little bulky for your backpack and you certainly will not be hiking up a mountain with this kit, but if you are canoeing, over-landing, or camping from a car then this cook kit is ideal.
Best Lightweight Stove-Top Survival Cooking Kit: Bisgear Outdoor Cookware Kit
The Bisgear Outdoor Cookware Kit is a full survival cook set for use on a gas stove. This budget set comes with everything you need to cook with gas, including the stovetop. You get a lightweight frying pan, boiling pot, cutlery set, cooking utensils, and cleaning kit that packs away in a compact drawstring bag. This is the perfect kit for the backpacker that needs a complete cook set that doesn’t weigh too much or take up valuable space. The only additional purchase you will need for this kit is the gas to power the stove.
This lightweight cook set has everything you need to cook outside other than the gas canister. If you are on a budget and want a quality all-in-one gas cook set, then the Bisgear Outdoor Cookware Kit is ideal for you.
Best All-in-One Quick-Boil Stove Set: Sabre Quick-Boil Camping Stove
The Sabre Quick-Boil Stove by Primal Ridge is an all-in-one wind-proof application that is versatile and works well in almost every environment. It comes in a compact package that holds the boiling pot, gas, and stovetop in a simple zip-up nylon cinch bag. The boiling pot connects to the stove body for efficient heating of water and liquids for cooking food and the pot can disconnect to reveal a traditional stovetop for use with a frying pan or larger capacity pot. This compact stove and pot set was designed to accommodate one person’s hot water and hot food needs, so if you are the solo camper that is looking for an efficient application for camping and hiking then this is the stove for you.
If you are looking for a durable, space-saving system for solo use then the Sabre Quick-Boil by Primal Ridge is the perfect solution for you. This simple all-in-one survival cooking kit has everything that the solo hiker, survivalist, or wild-camper needs in a compact and lightweight package.
To conclude, make sure you select the right survival cooking kit for your specific needs and ensure that you buy the right cooking kit for open fire cooking or gas cooking. In a survival situation always try to be resourceful and create a fire for cooking, whether that is open or a fire inside a foldable wood stove. For situations where firewood is inaccessible or too wet always be prepared and have a lightweight gas stove on hand – this will save you from a cold night and a cold meal. Preparation is key with any outdoor hobby or endurance-based activity, so plan prepare, and above all, have fun.
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