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What is the best mess kit for camping/survival?

23650 Views 45 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  bltjr1951
Like the title says, What's the best mess kit?

I have a Boy Scout style kit I purchased from Wal-Mart many moons ago which is steel with a copper plating on the bottom of the frying pan. While it works great and I have never had any real issues with it, I would like to know if there is anything better, more light weight, with more utensils. I am curious as to whether any are made that would incorporate a fork/knife/spoon combo in the package. I would like to have something that would carry everything I need in one compact unit.

What do you use, or what would you suggest?
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· Avid Indoorsman
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443 Posts
I'm using the old BSA style, too.
But the German and Swiss kits are rockers in their own right.

I have a partial kit like this one. The Swiss Trangia

Don't listen to what he says about the handle being hot because he doesn't know how to use it.
It's made for a knife or stick to work in the rings of the handle.
It has to contact the top of the pot.
You can also use the towel you're going to pack in it anyway.

The same is true for the larger pot. A knife of stick in the side ring stabilizes the handle.
I wonder what he thinks the ring is there for.
A padlock?

It will boil more water if your filling canteens to go.
That one and the German kit can be used as double boilers which can be nice.

The weakness is pan frying.
It's a little clumsy for meats and bread mixes.
The tripod hook is a little clumsy, too.
It always seems to be in the way.
I pried mine off and tucked it inside.
I've never needed it anyway. It's just there.

The BSA model gives me two more reflective surfaces.
A little work area for little stuff like screws in my glasses that I don't want falling into the leaves.
Better for opening pine cones.
I make up for the water volume with metal bottles as canteens.

I can make a compass out of the two BSA plates or pot with a magnet and a little water.

It depends on your needs.
They're both good kits.
The BSA just fits the mantra of multipurpose better for me.
 

· I hate everyone equally !
Joined
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1,270 Posts
I'm using the old BSA style, too.
But the German and Swiss kits are rockers in their own right.

I have a partial kit like this one. The Swiss Trangia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ELp4gLSuYs

Don't listen to what he says about the handle being hot because he doesn't know how to use it.
It's made for a knife or stick to work in the rings of the handle.
It has to contact the top of the pot.
You can also use the towel you're going to pack in it anyway.

The same is true for the larger pot. A knife of stick in the side ring stabilizes the handle.
I wonder what he thinks the ring is there for.
A padlock?

It will boil more water if your filling canteens to go.
That one and the German kit can be used as double boilers which can be nice.

The weakness is pan frying.
It's a little clumsy for meats and bread mixes.
The tripod hook is a little clumsy, too.
It always seems to be in the way.
I pried mine off and tucked it inside.
I've never needed it anyway. It's just there.

The BSA model gives me two more reflective surfaces.
A little work area for little stuff like screws in my glasses that I don't want falling into the leaves.
Better for opening pine cones.
I make up for the water volume with metal bottles as canteens.

I can make a compass out of the two BSA plates or pot with a magnet and a little water.

It depends on your needs.
They're both good kits.
The BSA just fits the mantra of multipurpose better for me.
Sweden and Switzerland are not the same country and are located in separate parts of Europe ( Sweden is in Scandinavia located about as north you can come in Europe and parts of it are located inside the polarcircle )

The messcit showed in the video is a oldstyle Swedish messkit ( The swiss messkit dont even looks like it )

:thumb:

:D:

Swedes invented it in the 1750s and modifed it to the 1920s and the Germans copied it and made a bad copy the Swiss made a even worse copy of it ( But we sold a couple of millions of it to Germany both before the war and during the war ) That rucksacks uniforms leathergoods and helmets ......and a cuople of biljon tons of iron ore of course
 

· Registered
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7 Posts
I just purchased a Optimus Terra Solo cook set. It weighs 7oz(pot, frying pan/lid combo) and is made of aluminum with hard anodizing so it's a bit safer to eat out of(if you are crazy about eating off of raw aluminum). It will easily fit an alcohol stove, bottle of alcohol and eating utensils if you choose to put them in there. I have no experience using it YET since I just received it, but I plan to get some pictures and a video of using it out with a couple different stoves. Anyway, here are some pics I took to give you an idea of size and such if you are curious.






 

· Registered
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69 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies. But I haven't seen anything that impresses me yet. I looked around the net before asking the question, and was hoping that somebody here would have a suggestion I haven't run across yet. Maybe I'll just stick with what I got for now.

I've actually got a real nice little butane stove as well as the BSA mess kit. I picked up a Brunton Raptor last year, and have been really impressed with it, though I still prefer cooking over an open fire. I've also got a compact roll up grill for use over a Dakota Fire Hole, and a good sized ceramic coated pot with lid and four nested bowls.

As you can imagine, all this stuff is rather bulky since it doesn't all fit together in one unit. I rarely use the large pot, in fact, I never take it with while hiking. It's only for when I camp close to my vehicle. But I could feasibly put a fuel can, my stove, and my eating utensils inside the pot, which will take up less space. It's just too large to put in a backpack.

Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions. I really appreciate it!
 

· Avid Indoorsman
Joined
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443 Posts
Sweden and Switzerland are not the same country and are located in separate parts of Europe ( Sweden is in Scandinavia located about as north you can come in Europe and parts of it are located inside the polarcircle )

The messcit showed in the video is a oldstyle Swedish messkit ( The swiss messkit dont even looks like it )

:thumb:

:D:

Swedes invented it in the 1750s and modifed it to the 1920s and the Germans copied it and made a bad copy the Swiss made a even worse copy of it ( But we sold a couple of millions of it to Germany both before the war and during the war ) That rucksacks uniforms leathergoods and helmets ......and a cuople of biljon tons of iron ore of course
They all look alike to me. :)

U B right.
The Swiss kit a good soup maker.

Give me a week.
I'll have them confused again and speaking Spanish.
 

· Genesis 1:29
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255 Posts
I don't usually camp alone, my camping bag only really has an aluminum kidney cup sitting around one of my canteens, I've cooked in it before and it wasn't an issue to clean.

Also, not sure if it has been mentioned as I only skimmed the text and looked at the pictures, but a lot of people seem 'worried' about cooking with aluminum, which is an unfounded fear.
 

· BASS
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2,405 Posts
If we are talking BOB cook kit you are going to hump for miles and maybe every day then your needs are light and duriable. Mine is a stainless steel Mirro with stuff sack. It works OK for one person but if you are with others it will not be able to provide all the needs. The pots are small and purifying all your drinkling water by boiling takes a long time. One big draw back is mine don't have bail wire handles so they can not be hung over an open fire.

Your needs may differ if you are not by yourself. In camp and possibly a long term camp you may want larger sized pots. I carry a two liter pot w/lid and a one liter pot w/lid. Both have bail wire handles. I also carry a teflon fry pan with a folding handle. The pots hold many small items in my pack. Packages of: soup; tea; sugar; salt & pepper; crackers; cheese; salami and many other food items. This way the space is put to use and when I take the pot out I have many of those items I want to eat or use.

If you plan to catch fish or harvest animals you certainly may want larger pots and a good non-stick fry pan. In a group of maybe four to six people or larger, pots and fry pans can be carried by various members of the group. I have seen groups of eight carry a full BSA patrol cook kit.

Only you can decide what your needs are or may be later. You should consider your needs may change and you don''t have the ability to re-supply. I know what works for me and I have winter camped in the Adirondacks in NY State. "Better to have and not need than to need and ........"!
 

· Just Country Folk
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179 Posts
My mess kit is stainless and is a nested pot sort of affair, bought it at Big 5 sports outlet store. I store a metal camping flatware set a cup and a dish towel in the kit. But I can see the need for a good Teflon coated fry pan too. I have stainless steel water bottles too which seem to hold up well when I boil water in them. F.G.
 

· Anarchist/Animist Primate
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5,770 Posts
I just use: 1 coffee can (1 lb.), 2 soup cans, and 3 tomato paste cans. I have one of those can openers that opens from the side, so no sharp edges, and you can use the removed top as a cover. I just poked a couple holes a put a wire through them.

I like these because they're good hard steel, no coatings, and best of all, they're free. I've experimented with them, and they work great. Keep it simple.

Though I must admit that I have been tempted by some of the titanium sets out there. :)
 

· BASS
Joined
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2,405 Posts
I would like to add this to my original post:

If you have a small mess kit it may work OK with small amounts of food. It is ceratinly workable for one person.

I have a friend who backpacks and she uses food cans all the time. Some are large juice cans and she has smaller ones that nest inside. She puts bail handles on them. She also has a pot lifter and hot hands, a good idea. They work very well and when she is done just recycles them and makes new ones.

I have a suggestion for you to consider. Buy a good quality Fizzbee. Not one of those cheap give-a way models. You now have a cutting board and a durible plate. They are easily cleaned and pack well.

As I mentioned in my earlier post. Cooking larger quantites of food or harvested animals is much easier than trying to cook a larger amount of food in small pots. If you harvest a deer and need to cook it to preserve it, large pots and fry pans are a big help. A large pot with a tight fitting lid becomes a food storage container. BASS
 
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