Inexpensive Cookware To Help The Kayak Camper Up Their Cooking Game

When you are kayak camping, space and weight are limiting factors when it comes to the gear you carry.  It is for that reason alone that many of us want to minimize the gear we take with us and just make do with as little as possible. When it comes to cookware, there are many space saving products available that offer a lot of capability, but a lot of it either comes with a high price tag, or is reasonably priced but with questionable quality.

We have put together a list of space saving camping cook gear that not only is reasonably priced, but is of good quality that we think will appeal to both the minimalist and the “Glamper”.  We tested all of the gear in the field and explain why we like each of them

Camp Chef  3/4 Quart Dutch Oven:  $17.99




A Dutch Oven in a kayak? We say yes. At only a little over 6 inches wide and a weight of 3.8 lbs., it does’t take up much space and gives you a lot of capability. We think it will appeal to the minimalist because it is “old school” simple. Will appeal to the “Glamper” because it is the one pot that you can do almost anything with and all you need to add to make it work is coals from a fire.

Why we like it: No stove? No problem.  Need to boil water? Check! Want to make a stew? Check!. Want to bake a cobbler? It can do that too. It’s virtually indestructible and can be used for almost any type of cooking. You are only limited by your cooking ability. Yes, it weighs almost 4 lbs. but it does not take up much space.


Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set:  $11.77


Made of stainless steel, it won’t rust and has a 24 oz. capacity. Two 10 oz. nesting cups are conveniently stored inside allowing the the camper to have both a drinking  and eating cup. Has a folding handle and vented lid which allows you to use it on a stove or fire.


Why we like it: You can cook, boil water and heat things up and if you are a minimalist, that is all you need to enjoy eating in the great outdoors.  It’s small, light weight and easy to store.  Having a drinking and eating cup is nice. It’s great for the camper that just needs to boil water for their freeze dried dinner, heat up a can of beans or even make a fish soup. Comes with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee.


Ozark Trail Camp Cook Set:  $14.88



In the past, a lot of the gear from Ozark Trail was always low quality when compared to other brands. In many instances that is still the case, but in this one, OT has really stepped up their game. The quality of this set is on par with other name brands. It comes with a 2 qt. non stick pot, two insulated bowls with lids, two sporks and a carrying case which can also be used  to wash your dishes.

Why we like it:  Has enough capacity for two people. Is small and portable. The bowls are insulated which means you wont burn your hands when they are filled with hot food. The lid strainer is convenient. Because of the larger size, you can actually “cook” in this pot. We made an Irish stew. You can use it to cook over a campfire or a stove. The nonstick surface makes it easy to clean up and the carrying case can be used as a wash tub. You can use it for everything from boiling water to making fresh soups and stews.

Coleman 9.5 inch Frying Pan: $9.99 



If you are carrying fresh foods on your trip, sometimes there is no substitute for a frying pan. The folding handle makes it easy to store and the non-stick surface makes it easy to clean.

Why we like it: It’s lightweight, durable, has a nonstick surface and is easy to store and clean. Because of it’s light weight and thin metal, it takes a little practice to get used to cooking with it.  It works great over a campfire and with a little practice, will have you turning out your morning bacon and eggs like a pro.


Stanley 32 oz. Coffee Press: $22.99

There’s nothing better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning at camp. This stainless steel coffee press holds a quart of water and keeps your coffee hot. It filters out all of the grounds and makes great coffee.  If you remove the press, it could double as a cooking cup.

Why we like it: This is the most expensive item on our list, but it’s worth it. This by far makes the best coffee of any camp coffee maker we have ever tried. It’s fast, just heat up your water, pour in your coffee and give it a stir. The longer it sits, the stronger it gets. Insert the press and you have cafe quality coffee at your campsite. It allows you to minimize your gear by being both a coffee maker and a cooking cup. Like all Stanley products, comes with a satisfaction guaranteed lifetime warranty.


Foxelli Camping Stove: $9.97




This is a great little stove that’s small enough to fit in your pocket but puts out  enough heat to boil a liter of water in about 4.5 minutes. It’s compatible with  most Butane/Propane fuel canisters and has it’s own ignition system. The flame is adjustable allowing you to adjust the heat to whatever level you need. We used it with both the Stanley and Ozark Trail cookware and it performed perfectly.

Why we like it: It’s dependable, durable and puts out a lot of heat in a very small package. Works great with most camp cookware and though the cooking platform is small, it is stable and had no problem holding the OT 2 qt. pot.


Sterno Single Burner Folding Stove: $11.94

Sterno Cooking Fuel: $6.99

Small and portable, the Sterno Stove is a simple lightweight cooking system that has been around for a very long time. The stove shields the flame from wind and in our field test, was able to boil a liter of water in about 12 minutes. (You must have lid on pot)Not the fastest or most efficient stove on the market, but it works.

Why we like it:  It is a simple stove that is easy to carry, cheap to fuel and in a pinch, you can make your own fuel canisters. (Stuff the empty cans with cotton balls and pour in alcohol.) It burns clean and does not leave a residue on your cookware. What we really like is you can use it to keep your coffee hot and your beans warm. Use it in conjunction with a gas stove and you have the ability to cook multiple dishes and keep them hot.


We have tested all of these products in the field and believe they will serve  the paddler who likes to camp once in a while very well. Combine a few of these items together and you have a lot of capability at a minimal price. Excluding the fuel, you can have all of these items for under $100.00.

Find your headwaters,



















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