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#123333 - 02/10/08 10:51 PM Camp Cook Ware Opinions
Blitz Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 535
Loc: MA
Stainless, Aluminum, or Titanium??

What's your opinion?

I did a search but couldn't find a relevant thread.

All replies are welcome.



#123339 - 02/10/08 11:02 PM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Blitz]
jshannon Offline

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
I use aluminum because it's light and cheap.

#123341 - 02/10/08 11:06 PM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Blitz]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6788
Loc: southern Cal
Depends upon your situation. If car camping, weight is irrelevant, so stainless is quite adequate and probably the cheapest.

If backpacking or any other situation in which weight is significant, you will choose between titanium and aluminum, Light weight aluminum is very close to titanium in weight and much cheaper, but titanium is very strong and light. Thin aluminum will dent on you. I have worn out an aluminum cook set, but it took thirty-five years of regular use (the surviving pot waters my doggie in retirement). I still use an army mountain cook set, made in 1951, for large groups (four or more) - two two liter kettles and a stainless lid/fry pan. My favorite for solo or for two is a Trangia 28 cook set - 0.7 liter bowl with lid/fry pan - light and cheap. I am working titanium into the rotation. I splurged on a peak 700 cup which nestles around my water bottle. I carry it routinely on day hikes and can use to boil water and cook if delayed.

There are many fine cook sets on the market, with many features. Many hikers favor the Wally world grease pot and aluminum mugs.
Geezer in Chief

#123343 - 02/10/08 11:14 PM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: ]
Blitz Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 535
Loc: MA
I'm looking at camping use, preferably long term use.

#123345 - 02/10/08 11:23 PM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: hikermor]
Blitz Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 535
Loc: MA
Thanks Hikermor,

I'm leaning towards the titanium because of the weight, just don't know enough about it. I already have some stainless but it's heavy. I'm thinking what I need for a BOB as well as camping. Thanks for your input. I appreciate it


#123352 - 02/10/08 11:49 PM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Blitz]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Has anyone done any time-testing on cooking in those various metals on an alcohol stove? It seems that I faintly remember something from long ago saying that aluminum was the best cookware for Sterno and other alcohol fuels. Any thoughts?


#123360 - 02/11/08 12:50 AM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Susan]
Blitz Offline
Gear Junkie

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 535
Loc: MA
I would be looking at burning over a wood fire/stove direct flame for long term 2 weeks or more.



#123366 - 02/11/08 01:35 AM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Blitz]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2741
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Okay, since you asked, here's what I've learned over the years, in no particular order:

- aluminum is the most efficient at heat transfer; it will boil water a bit faster, and make best use of a modest heat source (alcohol/Sterno)
- aluminum pots will "hiss" rather loudly as they boil water
- plain aluminum pots noticeably change the flavour of food and drink, though you do get used to it
- aluminum is very good regarding weight and durability for a given volume
- do not try to drink from a hot aluminum pot/cup; you will give yourself a nasty burn/scald
- if I was using aluminum a lot, I would pay the extra money for the new anodized versions

Stainless Steel:
- stainless steel has rather poor heat conductivity compared to aluminum
- it's easier to clean
- poor heat conductivity has a bright side: you can drink directly from a hot pot that's 3/4 full without burning your lips; and it's slightly more forgiving in terms of scorching your supper
- lightweight stainless steel pots/cups are readily available these days; the weight penalty compared to aluminum is less than it used to be
- stainless steel is available everywhere, including discount stores and secondhand stores, for cheap

- wins on weight, hands down
- very bloody expensive
- might be best choice if you're boiling tea at Everest base camp

Personally, I have pretty much settled on stainless steel for utility, durability and cost. But I'm open to beguiling suggestions from catalogues. :-)

Edited by dougwalkabout (02/11/08 01:43 AM)

#123369 - 02/11/08 02:03 AM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: Blitz]
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I have used aluminum most of my life, and had some problems with food burning to the bottom of aluminum pans. I have also heard of a problem with long term use of aluminum making you a little goofy. I don't think that I am all that goofy tho, so who knows...

#123378 - 02/11/08 04:08 AM Re: Camp Cook Ware Opinions [Re: OldBaldGuy]

I bought the GSI Bugaboo set and it's been great so far. It's aluminum with a non stick coating. It likes all my camp stoves fine and works great over open flame or coals. The outsides are painted so wiping any soot off is fairly easy.

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