Choosing The Best Camping Utensils

Adequate camping utensils to meet the eating and cooking needs of your party can make a world of difference after an exhausting day of exploring Glacier National Park

Advances in backpacking technology provide campers with a multitude of camp cookware options, ranging from cheap to absurdly expensive.

Before you get ripped off in an online store (never purchase from a local camping store, they’re way overpriced), certain factors must be taken into consideration to determine the appropriate camping cookware and utensils for your vacation.

  1. Party size – The more people at your campground, the more utensils you’ll need and the more people you’ll be cooking for
  2. Where will you be camping? – For those exploring the backcountry, you’re going to want lightweight camping utensils and cookware. If you’re just car camping, cookware weight is irrelevant
  3. Duration of camping – If this is just a weekend trip, dinky plastic utensils will work fine. For those who camp often or are planning a longer vacation, it’s wise to invest the few extra dollars on better quality cookware

Camping Utensil Materials


The only real distinguishing factor in outdoor cooking equipment is material. Which kind of cookware material you purchase is dependent on how you plan to spend your vacation, monetary restrictions, and plain old personal preference.

Below are the pros and cons of each camping utensil and cookware material, listed from most expensive to cheapest:

  • Titanium – Because titanium is the lightest of all camp cookware, it’s the most expensive. Additionally, it’s the most durable of any material. If you plan on backpacking through Glacier National Park, titanium cookware is the best to suit your needs. Downside is that it doesn’t cook evenly.
  • Stainless Steel – Heavier than titanium, while being more expensive and heavier than aluminum, stainless steel cookware should be avoided.
  • Aluminum – A good alternative for those not wishing to spend exorbitant amounts of cash on titanium camping utensils. Lightweight, cheap, conducts heat well—what’s not to like about aluminum cookware? Oh, yeah—they’re easily dented
  • Plastic – Lightweight and cheap. I would never bring into the backcountry though because the last thing I want is to discover my fork broke and be without one in the wilderness. Also, plastic can retain the smell of food, so be extra cautious when using since Glacier National Park is grizzly bear habitat

What Utensils & Cookware You Need

Again, the number of people in your party and what you plan on eating will determine what cookware utensils you need. Personally, I bring a titanium spork and knife with a aluminum pot.

Some campers swear by pot lifters–for me, I’ve never found it necessary. Just extra weight and money. Instead, be creative and use a shirt to remove the pot from the stove.

Film Canisters For Spices

Just because you’re vacationing in a US National Park doesn’t mean you have to rough it with food. I always bring empty film canisters full of spices. Essentials in my mind are:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder

While I’d never recommend bringing all the above into Glacier National Park’s backcountry, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a little salt and pepper in the wilderness. It can make a world of difference.

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