12 Best Camping Mess Kits for Your Next Trip in the Wild in 2024

Reviewed by Jodelle Marx
Last updated:

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Short on time? Our pick for the best mess kit is the Stanley Basecamp Set for 4

This article is your guide to the best camping mess kits for cooking and eating in the wilderness.

I love to cook almost much as I love eating, and food is a hobby I’m passionate about. So for me, the best part of camping is cooking over a campfire. I’ve even earned the nickname “Camp Chef Master” in some circles (#humblebrag).

Even when you’re car camping with showers and running water, preparing a meal outdoors over an open flame or even a propane stove feels wonderfully primal. Not to mention, food simply tastes better when it’s bathed in wood smoke.

But having the right kitchen supplies with you while you’re camping is tricky. In the past, I‘ve filled a duffel bag with pots, pans, forks, and plates from my home kitchen, but it’s not the best move. 

Home kitchen supplies are bulky, heavy, and sometimes delicate. They’re cumbersome and take up a lot of room in the car. They’re also usually not built to be as durable in the wilderness.

That’s where having a good camping mess kit comes in. A good mess kit has everything you need and nothing extra. 

It packs up neatly and doesn’t weigh much, so you can quickly throw it into the car and set off for the wilderness. When you come home, you can easily stash it with your camping gear, so it’s ready to go the next time.

In this article, I’ve tracked down the best camping mess kits that fit these criteria, so you too can become “Camp Chef Master!” 

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

Camping Cook Set for Meals

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Look at Our Recommendations

#1 GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset

Best Family Camping Mess Kit

GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset

Our rating: 4.4/5
Price range: $$
Weight: 3 pounds
Best for: Families who love to share meals in the woods.

The best mess kits are comprehensive and don’t require you to make any additional purchases. And GSI Outdoors makes top-quality camping cookware, so you can’t go wrong with this brand. 

If you’re looking for the perfect camping mess kit for a family of four, then the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset has got you covered.

This complete GSI mess kit includes so much in a compact and lightweight package. You’ll get two lidded pots that use Teflon-coated aluminum, plus a Teflon frying pan, and a pot gripper. 

There are also four plates and four insulated mugs that include sip-it lids, and the plates and cups use BPA-free polypropylene. Each piece is also color-coded, so there’ll be no squabbling over plates or mixing up mugs. 

I first tasted wine by accident on a family camping trip. My family had a set of matching blue cups, and in the firelight, I couldn’t tell the difference between my water and my mother’s white wine. With the Bugaboo set, a mix-up like that will never happen.

The mugs also have a unique triangular design, which allows them to nest together inside the circular pot. 

The whole kit packs down easily into a convenient stuff bag, and the waterproof stuff sack also doubles as a washbasin to make clean-up a breeze.

At three pounds, this complete kit is one of the heavier ones on this list, but considering its size, that’s still relatively lightweight.

Apart from silverware, you’ll have everything you’ll need to prepare and eat camp meals with this mess kit. 


  • Color-coded pieces
  • Combines plastic and aluminum 
  • Multiple Teflon-coated pots


  • No silverware
  • Pricey

#2 Mastiff Gears Stainless Steel USGI Type Mess Kit

Best Camping Mess Kit for One Person

Mastiff Gears Stainless Steel USGI Type Mess Kit

Our rating: 4.8/5
Price range: $
Weight: 1.6 pounds
Best for: Solo campers who like to travel light and keep things simple.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from a family mess kit is this bare-bones Mastiff Gears Stainless Steel Mess Kit.

This compact little army kit is super convenient and portable for a single person. It comes with a high-quality stainless steel frying pan, a stainless steel plate that doubles as a pot lid, and stainless steel utensils—all of these pack up into a camouflage-print case.

And the plate not only does the double duty of locking onto the pan, but it also has two compartments. So, if you’re someone who doesn’t like your food to touch on your plate, this mess kit is for you.

Most mess kits that include utensils will give you a spork for convenience. However, the Mastiff Gears Kit provides a fork, a spoon, a butter knife, and chopsticks, which all fit into a small carry pouch.

Overall, the Mastiff Gears Kit is a simple, bare-bones, reliable mess kit. It doesn’t come with any extras, nor does it have a cooking pot or kettle for boiling water. 

However, it comes with everything a single person needs to prepare a small meal in the wilderness. Eating off a steel plate by the side of a campfire, you’ll feel like a 19th century adventurer.

This small mess kit would be best for solo backpacking trips and people who like to keep things simple and cook efficiently.


  • Super compact
  • It comes with a carry case
  • Comes with silverware


  • Barebones
  • No cup or kettle

#3 MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set

Best Camping Mess Kit for Two People

MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set

Our rating: 4.8/5
Price range: $$$
Weight: 1.75 pounds
Best for: Camping duos and romantic getaways.

MSR is another top brand when it comes to camping cookware, and the MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set is an ultralight mess kit that’s perfect for two people.

With this two-person mess kit, you get a pot set that includes two anodized aluminum non-stick pots and two that are polypropylene. You also get 12.5 ounce insulated mugs with lids and two deep-dish plates. 

What’s especially noteworthy about the plates is their design. With tall sides, they double as bowls. You could eat cereal and milk out of them in the morning and hamburgers off them in the evening.

The plates and mugs are also color-coded in either gray or red. So, you and your partner will never mix up whose cup is whose. 

Everything nests together inside the large pot and the whole set weighs less than two pounds. And this set is modular, so if you’d like to buy more MSR mugs separately, they can nest inside the pot alongside the two included cups.

While this 2-person mess kit is decidedly on the pricier end, it’s also extremely durable, thoughtfully designed, and high-quality.

The one thing that keeps this cooking set from being a complete set is that it doesn’t include silverware or utensils of any kind.


  • Light and compact
  • Two non-stick pots
  • Everything nests inside each other


  • It doesn’t include silverware
  • Pricey

#4 GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist

Best Backpacking Mess Kit

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist

Our rating: 4.8/5
Price range: $$
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Best for: Backwoods chefs.

When you’re backpacking, you want a mess kit that’s super lightweight but still includes as much as possible, so you can cut down on the gear you’re bringing on your back.

Once again, GSI Outdoors comes through with a top-quality complete set. The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist is the best lightweight backpacking mess kit for several reasons.

At just 1.3 pounds, this mess kit includes everything you’ll need to prepare, eat, and even wash up after a meal in the great outdoors. 

The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle camper mess kit includes an anodized aluminum non-stick pot with a crushproof nylon strainer lid. This means it won’t get squished inside your pack and you’ll easily be able to strain out pasta water with it.

As a bonus, the folding pot handle folds up over the lid to keep the whole package latched while you’re traveling. 

In the kit, you also get two insulated mugs with sip lids, two bowls that double as deep-dish plates, and two sporks with foldable handles. And everything is color-coded in blue and orange to prevent any mix-ups around the fire.

The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle mess kit is one of the few kits that includes cooking supplies, dinnerware, and utensils all in one kit, and it’s also one of the most lightweight kits. 

On top of all that, the stuff sack has welded seams to be leak-proof, so you can use it as a sink to wash up after eating. 

Washing dishes while camping can be a real pain, but a washbasin helps take the hassle out of clean-up.


  • Very Lightweight
  • Stuff sack doubles as a washbasin
  • Includes sporks


  • Pricey
  • Only one utensil per person

#5 Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit

Best Stainless Steel Mess Kit

Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit

Our rating: 4.2/5
Price range: $
Weight: 1.3 pounds
Best for: Efficient solo campers.

Stainless steel is a robust and long-lasting metal that’s also quite affordable. Stainless steel mess kits are a good choice of material when you’re looking for quality on a limited budget.

The Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit delivers just that. Coleman is a long-standing and trusted brand for camping equipment, and this dependable little mess kit provides the basics for a solo camper at a reasonable price.

The Coleman stainless steel mess kit includes a cooking pot and a frying pan, so you can boil water for coffee and fry up some eggs and bacon simultaneously. And each cookware item has a removable pot handle, making it easy to pack them into the included mesh bag.

You also get a BPA-free blue plastic bowl and cup. And while there are no fancy extras or cooking utensils, this little kit covers all the basics in a super-lightweight and affordable package. Everything packs away compactly into the mesh bag.

Be aware that stainless steel is not as tough as hard-anodized aluminum with a non-stick Teflon coating, so cookware might blacken over a fire and food may stick. Beceause of this, it’s better to only use this kit over a camp stove.  

And despite this, the Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit is an affordable kit that provides a single person with precisely what they need.


  • Includes frying pan and pot
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive


  • No utensils
  • Not the most durable

#6 Lixada Camping Titanium Cookware Set

Best Titanium Mess Kit

Lixada Camping Titanium Cookware Set

Our rating: 4.7/5
Price range: $$
Weight: 0.4 pounds
Best for: Backpackers and people who like to keep their camp kitchen simple.

Both stainless steel and titanium steel are durable and robust, but titanium is extremely lightweight compared to stainless.

The Lixada Camping Titanium Cookware Set showcases titanium’s feather-light properties by delivering a lidded 750 ml pot, a cup, and a folding spork that together weigh less than half a pound. This is by far one of the lightest weight mess kit on this list.

And the pot measures just 4.3 inches tall and has a four-inch diameter, so this mess kit will neither weigh you down nor take up much space in your gear pack.

Additionally, both the pot and the cup have collapsible side handles, and the pot also has a handle from which you can hang it over an open campfire.

Overall, the Lixada Camping Titanium Cookware set is a bare-bones mess kit that provides you with the three essentials you’ll need if you’re on a backwoods backpacking adventure. 

While you might not use it for cooking fancy or elaborate meals, you can make coffee, tea, oatmeal, or even stew with this pot set. Plus, everything nests nicely together inside the pot to keep things compact. 

One thing to watch out for is that the measurement markers on the pot are sometimes off, so you won’t want to go by those if you’re measuring out liquid. 


  • Very lightweight
  • Versatile design
  • Collapsible handles


  • No plates included
  • Small capacity

#7 MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Best Aluminum Mess Kit

MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Our rating: 4.5/5
Price range: $
Weight: 0.9 pounds
Best for: Cooking over a portable stove

Many camping mess kits use anodized aluminum. Anodizing is a process that changes the outer surface of aluminum into a smooth, durable, ultra-hard, non-stick finish. 

Unlike Teflon, anodized aluminum won’t ever chip or peel because the finish is part of the material itself rather than a coating. 

The MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit provides a lidded anodized aluminum pot, as well as an anodized aluminum frying pan. The pot is available in two sizes: one liter and three-liter.

The appeal of this set comes from everything it includes. In addition to the pot and pan, you’ll get a folding spork, a wooden spatula, a natural loofah sponge, a soup spoon, and two bowls. 

It has all the advantages of other aluminum mess kits while also delivering a bunch of handy extras. All these various supplies fit inside the pot, which then fits into a convenient drawstring stuff sack. 

This complete kit weighs less than a pound, and both sizes cost well under fifty dollars. So if you’re looking for a mess kit that provides everything you’ll need at an affordable price, this is it.


  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes a sponge and soup spoon


  • Very small
  • No cup

#8 Sea to Summit DeltaLight Camp Set 4.4

Best Plastic Mess Kit

Sea to Summit DeltaLight Camp Set 4.4

Our rating: 4.5/5
Price range: $
Weight: 1.4 pounds
Best for: Families looking for a hassle-free mealtime.

Not all mess kits include cookware, so the focus is more on dinnerware when we’re talking about plastic mess kits.

People don’t always associate plastic with high quality, but that’s not the case with the Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set. Sea to Summit uses a unique, glass-reinforced polypropylene for their insulated mugs and bowls. 

This material ensures that they’re super durable, lightweight, dishwasher, microwave-safe, and easy to clean.

This set comes with four lidded mugs and four bowls. The bowls’ design walks the line between a bowl and a deep-dish plate, making them versatile enough to cover almost every meal: from cereal and soup to salad with grilled salmon. 

The cups nest elegantly inside the bowls without taking up too much space, and everything fits into a convenient nylon and mesh bag. 

While this set lacks pots and pans, it’s compatible with Sea to Summit’s Alpha pots. So you could purchase those separately, and the Delta Camp Set can nest inside of them.


  • Glass-reinforced polypropylene
  • Cups have sip-lids
  • Lightweight


  • No pots included
  • No utensils

#9 Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4

Best Mess Kit for Open Fire

Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4

Our rating: 4.8/5
Price range: $$
Weight: 4.66 pounds
Best for: Family dinners around the campfire.

When you’re camping, there are several options for cooking your food. You can use a propane camp stove, an alcohol-fuel backpacking stove, or you can do it the old-fashioned way: over an open fire.

I prefer an open campfire over a camping stove. The heat is ever-changing and unpredictable, and the smoke constantly blows in your eyes. Often someone is feeding the fire, trying to keep it going, while you’re tending to pots and frying pans. 

But all of that volatility makes the experience fun and exciting. And the rewards are high: a primal sense of accomplishment and food that tastes rich and smokey.

If you want a full mess kit for cooking over an open campfire, then the Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4 is an excellent pick.

This set truly has it all: a stainless steel pot and frying pan with foldable handles, plus a BPA-free plastic spatula, serving spoon, cutting board, utensils, dish drying rack, as well as plates and bowls for four people. 

Because it includes so much, this kit is on the heavier side compared to other mess kits. But its four and half-pound weight is relatively light considering it’s practically an entire kitchen.

While this isn’t the cheapest set on the list, the price is quite reasonable when considering how complete this set is. 

You won’t have to purchase anything else, and with it, you’ll be able to prepare and serve elaborate gourmet meals over an open fire.


  • Includes cookware, plates, and spatula
  • Serves four
  • Everything nests together


  • Plates are small
  • Only one pot

#10 Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset 2.2

Best Heavy-Duty Camping Mess Kit

Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset 2.2

Our rating: 4.8/5
Price range: $$$
Weight: 1.9 pounds
Best for: Experienced and serious campers.

The best camping cookware mess kit should have a little bit of everything, and the Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset 2.2 fits that bill with a good combination of cookware and dinnerware. 

With this two-person mess kit, you get two different-sized anodized aluminum non-stick pots; a small and a large pot. Both pots have a strainer lid, so you can quickly cook two different types of pasta at once! 

Both pots also have silicone-rubber handles that are heat safe and fold over to lock the pot lid in place when you pack up your kit.

Additionally, the set includes two bowls and two insulated mugs. The bowls’ design allows them to double as deep-dish plates, making them versatile and able to cover you for a variety of different meals. 

The mugs have lids and are double-layered for extra insulation, and both the plates and the cups are color-coded to avoid any mix-ups. 

And Sea to Summit doesn’t just use regular polypropylene for their plasticware. Instead, they use glass-reinforced polypropylene, which is extremely durable and top-quality. 

The Alpha Cookset is admittedly a pricier set, but with Sea to Summit, you’re also paying for superior materials.


  • Uses glass-reinforced polypropylene
  • It comes with two pots that each have a strainer lid
  • Has both cookware and dinnerware


  • Pricey
  • No utensils

#11 KingCamp Stainless Steel Camping Mess Kit

Best Compact Mess Kit

KingCamp Stainless Steel Camping Mess Kit

Our rating: 4.6/5
Price range: $
Weight: 1.9 pounds
Best for: Trekkers who enjoy a hot meal after a long hike.

A compact mess kit is helpful for all types of campers, but especially backpackers. The KingCamp Stainless Steel Camping Mess Kit provides all the basics to cover you, and everything packs away neatly into a small drawstring bag.

This kit includes a steel pot, a frying pan, and two steel plates. It also has two sets of foldable cutlery and two collapsible silicone cups. The cups come with carabiners so you can hook them to your backpack. 

One thing to note is that the collapsible cups aren’t always the most stable, so it’s a bit of a trade-off for ultra-compact cups.

The pot and the frying pan also come with collapsible PVC handles that are burn-and-melt-resistant. This means you can use them on a camping stove or over an open fire.

The whole set weighs just 1.9 pounds and it’s incredibly affordable. So, not only is the cooking set compact, but it’s also lightweight and light on your wallet as well!


  • It comes with all the basics
  • Collapsible cups
  • Inexpensive


  • Lower-quality materials
  • Cups are small

#12 REDCAMP Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Best Budget Mess Kit

REDCAMP Camping Cookware Mess Kit

Our rating: 4.4/5
Price range: $
Weight: 0.6 pounds
Best for: Campers with limited funds and space.

There are several great mess kits on this list with bargain price tags, but none can compare to the Redcamp Camping Cookware Mess Kit

While some mess kits cost well over a hundred dollars, this one will run you less than twenty. Still, it doesn’t skimp on quality and offers quite a bit of bang for your buck.

For that super-low price, you’ll get two small anodized aluminum pots, each with collapsible handles. 

Nesting inside those pots is two bowls, a foldable spork, a cleaning sponge, and a tool card to help you pop bottle caps once you’re kicking back around the campfire. 

This whole kit weighs just over half a pound and packs up into a drawstring bag.

The pots are, admittedly, extremely small; the whole package is about the size of an iPhone. This means you won’t be able to prepare large portions, but it’s the trade-off for an incredibly affordable price and a light and compact size.


  • Super compact
  • Very affordable
  • It comes with a sponge


  • It doesn’t include plates
  • Food sticks easily

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Camping Mess Kit

What to Look for in Camping Mess Kits

What to Look for in Camping Mess Kits


The main advantage of buying a kit over cobbling together your own set of camping cookware is to pack everything into a light, compact package. 

So, one of the first things you should do when picking out a mess kit for yourself is to check out the kit’s weight. 

Some mess kits, such as the MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set, include many items while staying incredibly lightweight. 

Others, such as the Lixada Camping Titanium Cookware Set, weigh next to nothing and are tiny and bare bones. When looking at weight, be sure also to consider the kit’s size. 

How much does the kit include?

If you’re traveling light and solo, you might opt for a “just-the-basics” kit, like the Mastiff Gears Stainless Steel Mess Kit. You’ll likely be cooking uncomplicated, straightforward meals and you won’t want to add a lot of bulk to your pack.

On the other hand, you might be camping with a family of four, and want to get the most value for your money by making sure your kit includes everything you need to prepare a meal. 

In that case, you might opt for the Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4, which consists of a spatula and even a cutting board. Whatever your needs are, it’s a good idea to consider what will come in the cook set.


There’s a range of different materials for mess kits. 

Titanium steel mess kits are incredibly lightweight, while anodized aluminum mess kits have a super-hard non-stick surface. A stainless steel mess kit will be durable and economical. 

When choosing your mess kit, look at what materials go into it to help you decide which one is best for you.


The best mess kits for camping in the wilderness will include as much as possible while still being able to pack up small. 

If you’re looking for a backpacking mess kit, specifically, you’ll want a cooking set that’s not only lightweight but also physically small.

But if you’re car camping with a family, you’ll want a cook set that fits comfortably in your car but is also big enough to feed the family adequately. 

Types of Camping Mess Kits

There’s a lot of variation when it comes to mess kits. Here are the different types of kits you’re likely to come across. 

Types of Camping Mess Kits

Dinnerware kits

Some mess kits focus solely on dinnerware. This type of kit will include things like plates, cups, bowls, and silverware and will most likely use polypropylene plastic as a primary material. 

Cast iron pots and pans perform exceptionally well over an open flame because they regulate and retain heat, but they’re also extremely heavy.

However, if you’re car camping and already have a cast iron pan, a dinnerware-only set could be a great way to round out your camping gear without adding unnecessary camp cooking equipment.

Cookware kits

On the other hand, some kits consist mainly of pots and pans and don’t include plates, cups, bowls, or silverware. 

A cook set that provides a variety of cookware but no dinnerware could be a great supplemental purchase if you already have a set that covers all the basics, such as the MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit, but you’re looking to expand your cooking utensils. 

Or, you can purchase a dinnerware-only set, like the Sea to Summit Delta Camp Set, alongside a cookware-only set to create your own comprehensive mess kit.

Combination mess kits

Some mess kits include the best of both worlds: cookware and dinnerware. A mess kit like this will usually have some combination of pots and pans, alongside bowls and cups. 

The best mess kits should provide everything you’ll need, including utensils and even a cutting board or a cleaning sponge. 

However, many mess kits will skip out on utensils and offer up just the essentials: a cook pot and something to eat off of. This type of mess kit is the standard, and they’re great for anyone looking to simplify their camping gear.

Backpacking mess kits

Mess kits for backpacking differ from a standard mess kit in their size and weight. Any gear for backpacking will need to be especially small and lightweight. 

Backpacking mess kits tend to weigh around a pound and a half or less, and they’ll provide you with just the basics. For instance, you usually won’t get a whole pot set with a frying pan in a mess kit for backpacking. 

In addition to backpackers, a backpacking mess kit is an excellent choice for anyone who likes to travel light and take a more utilitarian approach to meal preparation. 

Looking for a tent to go with your camping mess kit? Check out our guides to the best 4-person tents, 6-person tents, 8-person tents, 10-person tents, 12-person tents, large camping tents, 3-room tents, instant tents, pop-up tents, inflatable tents, canvas tents, waterproof tents, insulated tents, winter tents, tents with stove jacks, tunnel tents, and cabin tents.

FAQs About Camping Mess Kits

FAQs About Camping Mess Kits

What should be in a mess kit?

Not all mess kits are the same. Some focus more on dinnerware, while others focus more on cookware. Some try to provide you with everything you could need, while others eliminate extras to offer just the basics in a lightweight and compact package.

Across all these variations, a camp mess kit, as opposed to a camping cookware kit, should be a good combination of supplies so that it entirely takes care of at least one aspect of your meal.

What does a mess kit weigh?

Most mess kits are feather-light, weighing less than two pounds so that they’re easily portable. However, some ultralight mess kits for backpacking weigh less than a pound.

What’s the best way to clean a mess kit?

When you’re out in the woods, it’s best to rinse your cooking supplies under a spigot or other water source directly after a meal. If you can, use a sponge with soap.

Many mess kits are dishwasher-safe, so when you get home from your camping trip, run it through the dishwasher to remove any residual grease grime. That way, it’ll be sparkling clean for your next adventure.

Can you boil water in a mess kit?

Whether or not you can boil water will depend on what your mess kit includes. If your mess kit has a kettle or even a small saucepan, then you’ll be able to boil water. 

If you have a plastic, dinnerware-only kit, or one that only includes a frying pan, then you won’t be able to use it to boil water.

Can you cook in a mess kit?

Again, this can vary depending on what type of mess kit you have, but for the most part, yes, you should be able to use your mess kit for cooking as well as for eating.

How much should I plan to spend on a camping mess kit?

On the high end, mess kits run between $100-$150, so if you’re looking for a top-quality, comprehensive camping mess kit, you should be prepared to spend around that much. 

That said, many budget mess kits will run you way less. Kits like this will likely include less equipment and may not use the most high-quality materials, but they will still serve you well. You can get a mess kit of this size and caliber for $20-$50.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Camping Mess Kit

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Camping Mess Kit

Out of all the excellent and varied choices, my pick for the best mess kit is the Stanley Basecamp Set for 4

This kit stands out amongst its competitors for its absolute completeness; it’s a cooking set and dinnerware set all in one. 

This stainless steel mess kit has a pot set with a cooking pot that has a strainer lid and a frying pan with a retractable handle. You’re covered for boiling water, making soup, sauteing vegetables, and frying up bacon between those two. 

But this cook set doesn’t just stop at pots and pans; it also provides you with a comprehensive dinnerware set. 

Many other mess kits come with a hybrid between a plate and a bowl to save space. While this is an economical solution, these bowls aren’t always the right size and shape. 

They can be too big to eat a packet of instant oatmeal (one of my favorite camping breakfasts), but a little cramped if you’re having a burger with potato wedges.

But the Stanley Basecamp set comes with four plates and four bowls, so you can have a bowl of cereal with eggs and bacon on the side if you like. 

Having separate plates and bowls allows for more versatility and more elaborate meals, and I’m an enthusiastic proponent of elaborate meals!

Many mess kits also don’t include silverware. Not only does the Stanley Basecamp come with four sporks, but it also consists of a spatula and a serving spoon. 

And that’s not all. This kit also comes with a cutting board and a rubber dish rack, so you can have an entire kitchen set-up during camp meals.

Finally, this cooking set comes with a lot of equipment, but everything nests together and packs up small. 

The whole thing weighs four and a half pounds, which is higher than average but still very lightweight when you consider that this includes everything you could ask for in a camp kitchen.


Elina Ansary

Elina Ansary

Growing up in Northern California, Elina camped often with her family. These days, she’s based in Upstate New York, working on building an off-grid studio space with her husband in the Catskills. These days, Elina visits artist residencies in locations around the world, including Amsterdam, Finland, Italy, and Australia, and has exhibited her work in galleries and museums in the US and abroad. When she isn’t writing and editing for The Atlas Heart, Elina is pursuing a Master’s degree in Visual Art at Cornell University and splits her time between Ithaca and Brooklyn.

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.


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