One thing that doesn’t really come to mind when you think about survival is dishes, but if you keep reading I’m going to tell you about some of the best survival cookware gear that is going to make a tremendous difference for long-term survival.
There is a lot you can eat without dishes, your meats, fish, nuts, berries…etc. But any rice, beans, grains, steamed veggies, eggs, , or if you just want to have an organized meal where you can mix and or incorporate some foods you’ve found in the surrounding area then you’ll need some dishes to do that. So cookware is actually very essentially to long-term survival. It is why some of our ancestors first inventions were cookware out of clay, iron and other materials.
1. Survival Cookware: The Basic Survival Mess Kit
When I was a scout everyone always had a small mess kit with them when they went hiking. If you don’t know what a mess kit is, it is a small compactable set of dishes. You often see them in war movies, anyone doing some serious backpacking is going to have one.
They work great in survival situations because they are made of an aluminum or steel so you can cook on them, they are lightweight, and don’t take up much space. Also, don’t ever buy any plastic mess kits. I see these popping up on the market and think “WTH???” They’re cheap, you can’t cook on them, can’t heat water in them, and just like plastic Tupperware it warps in the heat then you can’t compact them. A plastic mess kit is a stupid product altogether.
Let me lay out a couple options of all the cookware you’ll need for a long term survival camp.
Odoland 16pcs Mess Kit With Folding Camping Stove
This mess kit can support 2 people. It has a small compact design that stacks perfectly fitting everything into a nice tight space.
Here are the following 16 pcs:
- 1 pot
- 1 fry pan
- 0.8L Kettle
- 1 foldable camp stove
- 2x 230ml stainless steel cups with silicone protectors
- 2x 16cm stainless steel plates
- 2 sets of foldable dinner cutleries (2x forks, 2x knives, 2x spoons & 2 storage bags)
- 1 cleaning cloth
- 1 carrying bag
Another great feature is the compact camp stove. In a survival situation you may not want to start a fire that draws attention to you. It doesn’t come with a tank so you’ll need to have a tank to screw onto the stove.
Gas One makes a nice convenient small tank which I like for its compactness but I don’t like the fact that they are disposable and not refillable. However, in a apocalyptic situation you might not be as dependent on gas and may be making most your fires from dead wood.
Luckily, GasOne makes another type of canister that is refillable but is not as compact. The GasOne GS-8100 tank will be able to meet your needs. Plus, it has an adapter that you can fill it with propane instead of butane if you like.
Wood Burning Camping Stoves
I thought it might be worth mentioning wood burning camping stoves. If you don’t like the idea of being dependent on gas or carrying it around, but you still like the idea that you don’t always want to start fires that would draw unwanted attention then you might want to consider a small wood burning camp stove.
These stoves give you a couple of advantages over using a traditional fire.
- They produce very little smoke. Smoke is the the result of an incomplete reaction, carbons that have burned to become CO2.
- They use less wood. Because they burn wood more thoroughly you’ll use less wood.
Survival disadvantages of this item is it is another item that takes up space and it does take time to feed the fire.
There is also a company called Biolite that makes small wood burning stoves that use the heat to power a fan for creating a better burn and they generate a very very small amount of electricity like 3 watts per hour to a 13 watt hour battery but that could charger your phone. Not much of anything else.
Laken Stainless Steel Mess Kit
The Laken Stainless Steel Mess Kit is a basic survival mess kit having all the necessities but it is nothing special and I’ll only recommend purchasing this if it is found a good price and your on a budget.
It comes with the following:
- Neoprene Cover
- Laken premium stainless steel mess kit designed for campfire cooking
- Includes cook pot, plate, 2 cutlery set, polyamide handle and 2 mugs. Bowl capacity 57oz, Diameter 8 Inches, Cup – 10oz
- Set for 2 people, ideal for camping, scout, kids
- Stacks and stores in compact case
Wheeler Stainless Steel Tableware
Another option that is a little better quality is the wheeler stainless steel tableware collection. What does it include?
- Made of premium grade stainless steel BPA free
- 2 Cup 10 Ounces, 2 Plates 8.5 inches, n2Bowls 6 inches, 2Cutlery 7 inches (Knives, spoons and fork)
Here is a video presentation of the mess kit.
MalloMe Mess Kit
Another option that doesn’t provide as many utensils but is very compact is the MalloMe Mess Kit.
Or the brand Gear4U makes an has a design that is almost identical but comes with more items needed for comfort.
Stanley Base Camp Cook Set of 4
Another option I love and personally own specifically because of its compactness and for design for a family of 4 is the Stanley Base Camp Cook Set of 4.
Here are some of the benefits:
- 21 NESTED COMPONENTS: (1) 3 5L pot, vented lid, (1) 7″ 3-ply frying pan, (1) cutting board, (1) spatula, (1) serving spoon, (4) 6″ plates, (4) 22oz bowls, (4) sporks, (1) dish drying rack, (1) heat resistant trivet, (1) locking bungee
- TOUGH AND DURABLE: Manufactured using 18/8 stainless steel this cooking set is strong, scratch proof and rustproof
- Lifetime warranty
- 21 pieces compact down into one small space
2. Survival Cookware: Swivel Grill
The above recommendations should work for about everyone. But they are designed for to meet the basic needs and to have on your person.
Small meals can be cooked in them but survival for some is going to be like a long camping trip.
One tool that is great at allowing you to cook larger portions on top of a campfire yet doesn’t take up a lot of space is a swivel grill. Texsport makes a smaller compact inexpensive swivel grill with great reviews.
3. Survival Cookware: Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens are thick heavy pots which helps to retain and distribute heat evenly making it great for cooking stews, braises, and works especially well when needing to sear and cook meats.
They are sold in various different quart sizes and you’ll want to purchase the ones designed for camping that have a lid handle.
Personally, I like a 7 piece Dutch Oven set sold on amazon.
4. Surival Cookware: Solar Cookers
Solar cookers are expensive but if you have the money and are serious about survival I believe it is a great item to help you conserve energy and save time.
If you’ve ever camped in the same area for a week or two you’ll start to notice all the dead wood in your surrounding area has been used up. Especially, if you live in a dryer climate that doesn’t have a lot of trees. So if you had a tool that would help you use less firewood to cook your food I’d place a high value on that tool.
Plus, there may be times where you don’t want the smoke of a fire to draw attention to others.
Also if you’ve ever had to cook in the heat of the day. It isn’t very fun being by a fire in a 100 degree weather. It causes you to burn a lot of calories and water that you need to conserve.
A solar cooker eliminates all those problems. There is only one brand that makes any dependable worthwhile solar cookers that I’m aware of, that is GoSun. They are costly but it is worth it to avoid problems such as
- cooking in the heat of the day
- drawing the wrong attention
- conserving on fuel for fire
To my knowledge GoSun has three different produtcts.
The first is a small compactable cooker.
It is said to be able to cook some meals in as little as 20 minutes. This tool is very capable at harnessing the heat of the sun.
This 2nd product by GoSun Fusion is a hybrid of the first product above. It is both a solar oven and and electric grill. So you can both cook in the heat of the day or if you have an electrical source you can cook at night.
This is also much larger than the smaller GoSun Portable stove, coming in at 14 lbs with dimensions of 30.3 x 13.5 x 13 inches you can cook a lot more food in this device.
- It comes with a table made of aluminum and tempered glass. This makes the table both light weight, but strong. It has a built in 60 watt solar panel, which doesn’t generate a lot of electricity 60 watts an hour is just enough to run a 60 watt light bulb.
However, the devices it powers are highly energy efficient. Plus, it comes with a battery bank that is able to store 144 Watt hours, so you’ll be able to store some of that power when these devices are not being used.
The tempered glass protects the solar panels allowing you to cut on it, and use it like a kitchen work space.
- It comes with the GoSun Fusion Solar Oven hybrid, so you can cook your food during the day and at night.
- It has a chill solar power cooler so you will not be dependent on ice to keep food that you want to stay chilled.
- It also comes with a 144 watt hour battery bank adapter with 3 usb ports and a 15 amp car adapter so you provide power to your cooler and to charge other items.
Click here to go to amazon. There several videos available to view about this product.
The options presented above will work great to help you have all the necessary cookware you need to establish a long term camp.
These items will help you to conserve food, energy, and keep unwanted attention away.
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Want to know some foods that are great to take in your pack with your mess kits? Freeze dried foods, trail mix, high calorie energy bars. Anything that takes up little space and offers lots of energy. Here’s a separate article written about best food bars for your bug-out bag.