Cooking gear essentials
I have been asked many times about how I pack my cooking gear for long Overland trips so I thought I would share this with you. I have used this set up for around 29 years now and for me this is the perfect package.
The first photo shows the complete set up all neatly packed away. I use a set of army mess tins as the main package, they are light and durable and fit neatly in my panniers.
Inside you will find the next most important part of the kit, my Kettle. Can’t do without my coffee, in this case this is an old Trangia Kettle but we sell a very similar, and somewhat smarter Optimus Terra Kettle which is the same size and is an excellent piece of kit.
Inside the Kettle it gets a little more interesting. I pack a small plastic bottle of washing up liquid, a cut down sponge and inside the black bag is my stove. On this trip I’m using a gas stove, it’s an Optimus Crux Lite stove with an Optimus piezo igniter. Both of these are great quality and come in at a very competitive price.
I tried two types of gas on this adventure, the Optimus gas canister and a cheaper butane set up with an adapter I sourced from China to convert the cheap canister to screw thread fitment. The cheaper canister has been great in warmer conditions but has struggled when it is cold, this is due to the pure butane gas which has trouble vapourising in the cold. The Optimus gas, which is a propane/ butane mix works well in all but the most freezing of temperatures.
In the pack you will also see a teaspoon and an olive fork, these along with my Swiss Army knife have served me well in everything I have done over the years.
I have used this set up in everything from the current European Adventure, desert riding in West Africa, to high altitude mountaineering in the Himalayas, Peruvian mountains and jungle to winter ice climbing in Scotland, one adjustment I do make when it’s really cold, I substitute the gas stove for a petrol stove, I use an MSR Whisperlite which has served me well for nearly 3 decades, there are a few options on the market at present, it just depends on what you are looking for, the gas system is the easiest and cleanest but that depends upon your intended use.
I hope you like the set up, it’s personal to me and has been developed to cope with pretty much every situation I could throw at it. It’s not really that expensive when you consider the service it has given. Next year this kit will be 30 years old and to be honest it’s as good as the day I put it together.
If you are interested I can assemble a set up like this for you, it’s compact, durable and a very capable set up that will not let you down. It packs well and doesn’t damage anything around it.
On my current adventure I have dropped the bike on its side off road several times on huge rocks with the full force of the bike being put on the pack, the mess tins have become a little distorted but still perform well and have protected the contents incredibly well. The rubber band holding it all together is a section of old inner tube.
Check it out, this is as good as it gets.
Regards Max Jowett