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Gear Guide Cookware Buying Guide, OutdoorPlaces.Com



 OutdoorPlaces.Com Cookware Buying Gear Guide


 Picking The Right Cookware


  • Put soap on the outside of your pots.  Only does this if you are car camping and cooking over a fire.  Introducing this much soap in the backcountry would not be following Leave No Trace ethics.  By putting dishwashing soap on the outside of your pot (make sure you donít get inside) makes for easy cleaning of the soot that will accumulate on the outside.  Just take a small amount and put a thin layer on the bottom and sides of the pan.  Make sure also you donít get any on the handles.

  • Make a small cooking and cleaning kit to pack in with your cookware.  Your cooking and cleaning kit should include a small pot holder, a can opener, cheesecloth packed in a Ziploc bag, a very small scrub pad, a small sample sized bottle of a unscented, bio-degradable, low-phosphate dish cleaner, and a small sponge.  Use the potholder to pack around your stove or two pots that might be banging around making noise and driving you nuts.  Make sure you get a quality can opener that is small and durable.  To make a small scrub pad, take a standard pad that you can buy in the supermarket and cut off a 2Ē X 2Ē piece.  Do the same for a sponge.  You can take an old travel size shampoo bottle to store your dishwashing soap.  Make sure to pack your scrub pad, sponge and soap in a Ziploc bag.  Consider sealing your small bottle of soap with wax before going on a trip.  These bottles tend to leak as the soap doesnít allow for a good seal, and can make quite a mess.  You can use the wax from a survival candle to reseal the bottle in the field.  When in the backcountry, you can use the cheesecloth to strain any food bits out of your gray water.  Shake out the food bits into your waste bag and keep your cheesecloth stored separate from your scrubbing gear.

  • Use sand or ashes to scrub your pot.  Ashes and sand have been used for centuries as a cleaning agent.  Take a small amount of clean dry sand and scrub away with a cloth.  Unless you have a really sticky mess, the results may surprise you.

  • Use heat and water to clean your pots.  If you have scooped out that stew and everyone is eating, fill the pot with water, put a lid on it and bring it to a boil.  As soon as it is boiling turn the heat off and let the pan soak.  Water is a powerful solvent and when combined with heat and steam can power off even the nastiest mess.  Use the same pot of hot water to wash your plates and other dishes.

  • Consider not using soap for cleaning.  If your traveling less than five days and you are in the backcountry, consider forging soap altogether.  Hot water can keep the pots clean during this time.

  • As soon as you get off the trail and back at home, properly clean your cookware set and allow it to thoroughly dry before storage.  Nothing is worse than finding a crusty cooking kit after a long day of hiking.