Small Cooking Pot For Camping & Kit

Small Cooking Pot

A small cooking pot is a desirable and important item for camping or a kit (survival, backpack, bug out bag, 72 hour kit, etc..).

A compact camping cookware set or an individual small cooking pot will enable:

– heat up a can of…
– boiling water to rehydrate a freeze dried meal
– hot coffee or tea
– boiling water for drinking
– storage space within while backpacking
– clanking together to scare away that bear!

Tip: How Long To Boil Drinking Water

There are some pretty nice camping cookware sets with various nested pots within. They’re small enough to backpack or kit and will serve a variety of uses.

You might also simply acquire a small cooking pot which might be good enough for you.

Did you know that one of the 5 C’s of survival (Dave Canterbury) is a ‘container’?

5 & 10 C’s of Survivability


Small Cooking Pot – ALUMINUM

small aluminum cooking pot

It seems that most camping cookware and cooking pots are made of aluminum. An advantage is it’s light weight which is important if you’re carrying it with you. It’s also relatively inexpensive compared to other materials.

The following anodized aluminum mess kit appears to be most well reviewed on AMZ:

Camping Cookware Mess Kit


Small Cooking Pot – TITANIUM

Titanium Cooking Pot

They even make titanium cooking pots which are extremely light weight! Here’s a very popular pot & pan set that only weighs 6.5 ounces and will hold a volume of 37 and 9 ounces respectively: TOAKS Titanium Pot with Pan



stainless steel small cooking pot

Stainless Steel, although heavier, is a very durable material that’s great for a small cooking pot.

For example here’s a popular stainless steel cooking pot from MSR that holds nearly the same volume (38 ounces) as the titanium pot above.

However it does weigh 15.5 ounces (nearly a pound) compared to 6.5 ounces for the titanium set.

That said, maybe you would rather the rugged durability of stainless steel versus it’s weight factor.

MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot


Small Cooking Pot – How Small?

How small should it be? Well, are you cooking for one? Two?

Typical sizes for a “small” cooking pot appear to range as follows. Here are some approximations for several popular sizes to give you an idea of how much it will hold:

475 ml (~ 17 ounces)
775 ml (~ 27 ounces)
1.1 liter (~ 38 ounces)
1.6 liter (~ 56 ounces)

Bear in mind that if you’re adding water to something like Ramen Noodles or you’re redhydrating a freeze dried packet of Mountain House, you need to factor in the water AND the food.

Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles

I personally like the approximate 1 liter size for most situations. However you can certainly get away with less if you’re space and weight conscious. Depends on the foods that you intend to cook too.

Related articles:
Solo Stove Review
How To Cook Rice With 80% Less Fuel

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  1. A compact set that comes with two pots and a pan as well a simple fuel burner from Tangria (from Sweden) has been my favorite for a long time, perfect for camping trips and compact enough to pack on a bike. Look for Trangia Duossal.

    There are also a camping gas and multifuel burner accessories available.

    No affiliation, just a happy user :-)

    Got mine in Europe, but I think I’ve seen the products in US stores as well.

  2. Ken
    Great article, thinking about what we can add to an emergency bag for the bil as his b/day is coming up.

  3. I happen to use a couple of SS Cups that happen to fit snugly around the “fat boy” Bivvy bag, keeps them from making any noise at all, and have a Titanium ‘Spork’ wedged inside the mess.

    I use a Jetboil stove, it’s compact and easy to use, unfortunately ya have to carry fuel for it, but I only plan on using it in the GHB, so 3 days max usage. Cost is right around $100.00, but it also comes with a boil/cook container, they claim “the Flash brings two cups of water to a boil in only two minutes.” Fairly impressive to say the least.

    Flash Personal Cooking System

    I also got the Jetboil Stainless Steel Pot Support for around $12.95, well worth the added cost.

    I will admit I like the looks of those Titanium Small Cooking Pots, on my list now. Dang you Ken, you LOVE to spend my money… HAHAHAHA

    1. I have a cheap version of the stove like NRP has. Got 6 of them from amazon for less than $10 bucks each. The cheapest place I found to get the fuel was at wally world. Around $5 bucks. Like NRP said, these little stoves put out some HEAT!

    2. The Jetboil is an amazing little stove, I have used one and it performs as advertised, and also a bonus to me, it is made in my home state of NH! The only downside is the fuel canisters are not reusable. Not something I would think of for long term, but for a GHB bag, perfect.

  4. I have a number of liquid gas stoves. One of these, a WW2 surplus Coleman single burner comes nested inside of an aluminum pot. I’m told there were only about 5000 of these made before ww2 ended, and that the GIs never ditched them, they brought them home. I can see why. You have two pots, a stove, and everything you need right there. heavy yes. but these stoves were designed to burn anything flammable. Read where in Europe the GIs even used brandy in pinch. So pretty much any liquid fuel. I have backpack liquid fuel tanks than have had fuel in them for over 15 years, no leaks, riding around in the farm truck for many years. Just can’t get into the gaseous fuels like propane.

    1. Got one my father brought back from WWII. Growing up we used it quite often during camping trips It is now my third backup stove.

  5. I have a set of small cooking pots that nest together and fit in a backpack. I am not sure what they are. They were on sale at emergency essentials a while ago and look like the first two that were talked about in the article. I also have a flameless cooker where you put a pouch in the bottom, and in the top pot the water and meal. You latch on the cover and in 10 min or so you have your meal. It is the size of a small pot. I have yet to try either one. But I think something important besides being small and portable, would be a surface that you can clean by wiping it out or a quick rinse.

  6. I have a small MSR titanium cook set, came with quite a few pieces and plastic salt and pepper shakers, goes perfect with my little butane cook stove

  7. – in my GHB, I have a small stainless-steel pot from Aladdin; it came with a lid, which I carry with me, and two plastic cups that will store inside, which I don’t. I also have a no-name stainless steel cup I found at Walmart, which will slip over the bottom of the pot, and the same lid will fit it as well. Add a one-liter bottle, and a titanium spork, and the entire rig is light and useful.
    I like my Esbit stove I bought while in Germany, and find it good, but not very useful. Instead, I have a ‘penny’ stove and a pint of alcohol fuel for it, because Esbit fuel is a little bit hard to find and too expensive in this country. I can come up with alcohol relatively easily, and I can replace my penny stove pretty easily if need be.
    – Papa S.

  8. I just purchased a pair of stainless steel pots from the Pathfinder store. A bit expensive but I thought I owed them from all of the tips I’ve seen and heard from Dave Canterbury. As of yet, haven’t had the opportunity to try them yet.

    Any one else got in touch with their inner hobo ? I’ve made several pots from repurposed cans, mainly quart sized. I carry one in a surplus gas mask bag that works well for the woods if you just need a quick lunch. Coupla big nails for a pot platform, driving into ground, some fire wood and you are good to go. Pro tip: make sure to clean the pot well, those bottom edges are tough to clean out. I play it safe and just boil out some water to be sure of getting everything.

    Have had experience with the Swedish Trangia alcohol stoves (remember when those Swedish pots / skillet / stove combinations were < $10 each? I wish I would have bought more of them), but mainly for water heating. For me, takes too long to actually cook on one – heating up is great. Works well for ramen types of soups.

  9. Got a few. Stainless, aluminum and aluminum. Eh…
    Single walled ss for the water container which I left in the middle kingdom and found one with mNy other things… I think ww 2. Wrapped nicely in the attic of a house.
    Left it there and only my other half knows of it.
    If all fails, meat/wateva on sticks. And water, will figure that out when the time cOmes (got the ideas and tried some)

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