A Survival Cooking Pot

A great choice for a survival cooking pot.

A smallish portable survival cooking pot. You might use it while camping, backpacking, or maybe keeping in your 72 hour kit or emergency bag. Here are some qualifications, and recommendations.

There are some pretty nice portable cooking pots out there. They’re small enough to backpack or kit, use while camping, etc.., and will serve a variety of uses.

A survival cooking pot will enable:

  • heating the contents of a can of…
  • boiling water for safe drinking
  • pasteurizing water to rehydrate a freeze dried meal
  • suspending over a fire to cook (needs a bail handle for that)
  • set in hot coals to cook
  • hot coffee or tea (cowboy coffee?)

I would like this survival cooking pot to have the following features..

  • Bail for hanging, suspending, lifting
  • Handle or handles for pouring
  • Spout for easier pouring
  • Cover
  • Light weight
  • Size/Volume consideration (portable)

As a side note, did you know that one of the 5 C’s of survival (Dave Canterbury) is a ‘Container’? (as in, metal pot for purifying water or cooking). See article link below for the other C’s.

Portable Survival Cooking Pot

How small of a survival pot? Well, that depends.. Are you cooking for one person? Using it between two people? Does it need to fit well in a backpack? What do you intend to primarily use it for?

Typical sizes for a “small” cooking pot appear to range in volume 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)

When considering the volume of the cooking pot, factor in the water AND the food (for example if rehydrating freeze dried foods, etc.). Depends on the foods that you intend to cook too.

Best Features of a Survival Cooking Pot

Here’s what I’m looking for in a small cooking pot.


I prefer that it has a bail. This enables a few things. Including hanging or suspending the pot over a fire. Although you could just set in on a fire grate, or directly on the coals (watch out, it might burn your food!), I like the ability to suspend it. With a bail, you can adjust the height of suspension over the fire, which in turn affects the heating of the pot.

Secondly, and obviously, the bail is ideal for carrying a pot full of water, or whatever… It’s just easier that way.

Additionally, the bail makes it easier to lift off a stove burner. Less chance to burn your fingers too.

Handles for Pouring

Some of these small cooking pots have a foldout handle for lifting, gripping, or to use in unison with the bail for tipping the contents of the pot.

Pour Spout

They don’t all have a pour spout. But it’s a very nice feature to have. Example… pouring cowboy coffee into a mug.

A Cover

I can’t imagine a cooking pot, regardless of it’s size, without a cover. It keeps ‘stuff’ out, and it allows the contents to heat up quicker (this makes a significant difference).


Aluminum is very common (light weight). So is stainless steel (a bit heavier). Titanium is pricey, but pretty sweet due to it’s extreme lightweight characteristics.

Small Cooking Pots with all the features


Here’s a stainless steel ‘bush pot’ from Pathfinder. I call it one of the best survival cooking pots. It has all of the features mentioned above. They make a 64 ounce, shown below ( Height 5.25″, Diameter 5 3/4″, Capacity 8 cups). They also make a 120 ounce version (15 cups).

Pathfinder 64oz
(their storefront on amzn)

Pathfinder 120oz


If you’re looking for a bit smaller and lighter weight cooking pot (you might almost call it a mug), here’s an intriguing titanium 750ml small cooking pot from TOAKS. Capacity of 3 cups. Height 4 3/8″. Diameter 4 1/2″. Weight 3.9oz.

TOAKS Titanium 750ml

They also make one that’s just about 7 cups (54oz). Height 4 1/8″. Diameter 5 3/4″.

TOAKS Titanium 1600ml with Bail Handle
(view on amzn)

Looking for a cooking set rather than just a single smallish portable cooking pot? MSR is popular (among others)..

MSR on amzn

[ Read: 5 & 10 C’s of Survivability ]

[ Read: How Long To Boil Drinking Water ]

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