Food Related Gear For Solo Camping

As I was writing the solo food post, I found myself including my favorite gear.  Since I tend to wax rhapsodical on the subject of gear, I decided to tackle it separately.

Here’s what I take equipment-wise when I camp by myself.:

My beloved red Rubbermaid ice chest, which holds a few small things and a drink or two.  I bought it about 20 years ago when I was living at the Renaissance Faire site, and it’s still good.

My backpacking stove, which is an MSR Pocket Rocket.  It folds up smaller than my fist, fits inside my pot, and works without any fuss every time.  It boils water faster than my stove at home and weighs nothing.  It takes a short, round propane can which is enough for a weekend if I don’t make tea in the wind too many times (Bob.  That’s another story.)  Last fall I bought a tripod base for the can to stabilize it, but I haven’t tried it yet.

The MSR Stowaway Pot that I bought at the same time as the Pocket Rocket.  The handle clamps across the lid, so I can store the stove, matches, and bottle of soap in there.  It’s just the right size for food for one.

The insulated bowl and spoon come from the GSI Outdoors Dualist Ultralight Cookset.  If you camp alone they sell a solo set that’s similar.  The bowl is hard plastic with a neoprene ring for insulation, and has a lid.  It cleans up easily.  I’m not crazy about the spork thingy, so sometimes I just grab a regular spoon from home.  I’ve stabbed the crap out of myself trying to open and fold the spork.  The set comes with a pot that’s narrow and tall, which is ok.  I feel like it’s tippy, but everything is.  I burned the plastic coated handle, so I’m not nuts about that.  I’m actually pretty happy with this set, though.  The bowls/mugs fit in the pot nicely, and I can get my stove in.

My small serrated knife is something I bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  It’s the size of a dinner knife, and has a red plastic cover.  It’s good for cooking, but if I need a heavier duty knife I use my Swiss Army Knife, which is always in my purse.  If I was persnickety about taking too much, I could leave this little knife at home, but hey, can you really have too many knives?  I have a little cutting board from REI that’s just the right size for cutting a bagel in half or a bit of cheese into smaller bits of cheese.

The GSI Outdoors Halulite Ketalist Cookset is a new favorite goody of mine.  I bought it last year since the #1 thing I seem to cook while camping is water.  Tea, cocoa, hot chocolate pudding, or for a treat one of those packaged add water desserts all need boiling water, and this does it efficiently.  It’s also cuter than heck.  Is it too girly to base gear decisions on the cuteness factor?  I don’t care one little bit.

I’ve no idea who makes my insulated mug.  It’s a good one, and works as a mug.  It has a lid which keeps dust out and heat in.  It holds liquid.  ‘Nuff said.

Ok, clean-up.  I eat things that make gooey messes.  I know that’s something that gives people fits, but I’ve got it down.  I have a goodie I bought at REI called the GSI Outdoors Compact Scraper that makes short work of gooey messes.  It’s a rubber spatula without a handle, that’s hard on one side and rubber on the other.  When I’m done eating I scrape out the dirty item and lick the scraper off, or wipe it on a paper towel.  Then I put a small amount of water and a drop of Dr. Bronner’s soap in and wipe with a paper towel.  A few drops of water and a final wipe, and I’m done.  If I think about it, I clean off the scraper last, and I can get away with only using one paper towel.

That’s it if it’s just me.  Lots more stuff if others are with me.


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