Fast food: Stove boil times and cookware stow sizes shrink for the backcountry

See whats new in camping stoves and cookware for 2014.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

Outdoor cooks are savoring their adventures, rather than focusing on how to fuel them.

The idea for the backcountry kitchen is smaller, lighter and faster. While this is nothing new for outdoor cookware, what has changed is the camper’s motivation. Outdoor enthusiasts are taking shorter weekend trips, focusing on ease and simplicity at mealtime rather than elaborate meals with long setup and breakdown times. They demand cookware that earns its place in their pack by going the extra mile without hogging space.

JetBoiltargets speed and flexibility with its new Joule Group Cooking System (MSRP $160), claiming it’s “the fastest cooking system on the planet,” bringing a liter of water to boil in 2 minutes and 40 seconds. While it heats up fast, it has a simmer control for fine-tuned cooking and steady heat output in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. All that power stores neatly in its 2.5 liter FluxRing cooking vessel. For adventurers who spend time in extreme climates, the Alpinist version (MSRP $200) includes a windscreen and hanging kit.

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After striking success in the backcountry kitchen with its wood-powered technology last year, BioLite turns its attention to efficient cookware that goes the extra mile. The KettlePot(MSRP $50) has an L-shaped handle for easy gripping, and satisfies campers’ dual kitchen needs by cooking like a pot and pouring like a kettle. After quick a nighttime meal of instant noodles, campers feeling sluggish at sunrise can give the pot a rinse and brew some tea for their morning caffeine jolt. The KettlePot works as a carrying case for last year’s twig-fueled CampStove. Packed together, they have a volume of 1.75 liters.

StovesCookware_BioLite_KettlePot

GSIhas combined dual function and user-friendly form with its Haulite pots. Lids include colander holes and a heat-resistant thumb pad to facilitate easy pouring (MSRPs $36-$45). They’re also super light — the larger 4.7-liter pot weighs in at 1 pound 8 ounces.

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Beyond stove systems and cookware, brands are focusing on taking their mess kits further. Industrial Revolution debuts the MealKit 2.0 by Light My Fire (MSRP $28), which includes a lid that serves a plate, a second plate that serves as a bowl and a cutting board that works as a strainer. The kit also includes the SnapBox and SnapOval snap-lid waterproof containers, the collapsible Pack-up-Cup and every camper���s favorite multi-purpose tool, a spork.

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MSR, too, turns its attention to resourceful dining kits, paying particular attention to how components pack and stow. Its 2-Person Mess Kit (MSRP $35) offers efficient dining for two, because who camps alone? The kit combines bowls and cups from its Trial Lite Duo System with two folding sporks, which fit neatly inside last year’s Trail Lite Duo Cookset. MSR also unveils updates to its Alpine stainless steel bowls (MSRP $7.95), which were redesigned for better nesting and stowing. The bowls remain popular for their lightweight, dent-resistant ruggedness and multi-usefulness — they work as an eating dish, mixing bowl or a small cooking pot.

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--Leia Larsen

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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to ...read more