“ Camping Equipment „
A little while ago now I went camping... and as I had very firm reservations before going I was really surprised when I actually enjoyed myself! A lot of my enjoyment has to be credited to the various home comforts I took with me - my boyfriend even commented that we could have enjoyed a week abroad for the amount of money I'd spent on "vital camping accessories." As our friends had managed to borrow a rather hi tech cooking stove (seriously, it was harder to operate than my oven at home) I offered to provide the cookery utensils that we'd need to use it. I ended up purchasing a Campingaz 5 Piece Trekking Cook Kit which was in the sale for just £9.99 at an outdoors shop in my local town.
The cooking set actually consists of five individual item; two pots, a frying pan, a lid and a handle. I did actually find this somewhat deceptive as when I read "5 Piece Trekking Cook Kit" I did imagine there to be five individual pans but you only actually get three in the set itself. The larger pot has a diameter of 17cm while the smaller pot has a diameter of 14cm and the frying pan has a diameter of 18cm. The lid has a diameter of 16cm meaning it can be used with either of the pots and the handle can be attached to the other items quite easily by clipping it on and off. Obviously it does limit you to only using one pot / pan at a time though. The box it came in measured 19cm by 11cm and the overall weight is just 590g.
During our camping trip we used the cooking kit several times, the first night we had a pasta dish and the larger pot held two large Dolmeo jars of pasta sauce, a tin of tomatoes and about four chopped up peppers quite easily. The smaller pot just about held enough pasta for four hungry people but we could probably have done with a larger pot for the pasta as well... someone in the kitchen clearly didn't plan their cooking very well! We used the frying pan for our mini fry up the next morning and it worked well although it isn't non stick and we forgot to take any cooking oil with us so it wasn't ideal! When we returned home we washed all the items in hot soapy water and they looked as good as new!
The two downsides that we found are firstly that the handle does heat up if placed on the pan for more than a couple of minutes so you do need to be careful and secondly that the frying pan isn't non stick as already mentioned. The set looses a star for that but apart from that I can't really fault the set. Obviously you can get around both of these by simply using a towel to touch the handle (or they could replace it with a plastic handle) and secondly by buying a non stick frying pan that would probably cost you more! For something that we're probably going to be using about once a year in the future I really don't think the negatives outweigh the positives here so I'd certainly recommend the Campingaz set.
If you're looking to purchase a Campingaz 5 Piece Trekking Cook Kit then you'll find them online at different price points, the cheapest I managed to find it today was at www.aktiv8.com where it'll set you back just £12.50 with free delivery. I'd say it's ideal for one or two people really, we probably could have done with some slightly larger pans considering there were four of us but we coped just fine. As it's so lightweight it's really easy to carry and it comes with a strap meaning it can be stored compactly too. I'd say it was worth the £9.99 I paid for it as it did the job just fine and we'll certainly re-use it again... now I'm no longer a camping virgin I can't wait to get back out there into the wild... well maybe!
Thanks for reading.
Last weekend we went camping in Wales, only a short two night jaunt but as we'd brought two of the kids (and Mark's mum!) we knew we'd have to do at least a small amount of cooking rather than eating out and snacking as we usually do when it's just us two. A lot of Mark's camping stuff had been ruined during our very snowy house move in December so we nipped into Argos for some last minute bits and pieces the day before we headed off, coming away with this five-piece cooking set from Campingaz.
Just because it's called a '5 piece' does not in this instance mean it has five useful cooking pieces, two of these 'pieces' are in fact a lid and a handle - you only get two saucepans and a frying pan in the set. Which isn't great as I'd been expecting five pans, although Mark was aware of what he was buying so I assume you need to know your camping terminology to understand how they've got the brass neck to class a handle as a 'piece'. Gah.
Anyway, the saucepans are of a decent size. You get a 14cm and a 17cm pan, both of which have high sides which means you can cook enough to keep the whole family fed at once. To give you an idea of size, on the last night Mark cooked a fry-up and in the largest pan he emptied two tins of beans and a tin of chopped tomatoes - there would have been room for another tin of something too, although to be honest that was quite enough beans shared around considering we had to share a tent! The smaller pan would have probably held what we cooked, although I'm sure there would have been more splashed onto the cooker top if we'd tried to squeeze it all in instead of using the big one.
The frying pan's a bit naff; it cooked the bacon and sausage nicely (well, I don't *do* fried sausage so I'll have to take everyone elses word for that) but the lack of non-stick coating meant the bacon did stick quite badly. I washed up as Mark had cooked (and his mum doesn't like to help...) and really struggled to get the frying pan clean despite lots of scalding hot water and a Brillo pad! The bits of bacon fat that had stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan were rock solid and this was only around twenty minutes after the food had been cooked - it was a nighmare and I swore I'd never offer to wash up while we were camping again!
The handle I mentioned earlier, I don't really get it. None of these pans have handles you see, what you get in the pack is a single handle which you have to clip onto each pan in turn when you want to lift or move them. Which is great until you lose the bloody thing. This is obviously a space-saving feature designed for more experienced campers (and trekkers, as the name would suggest) but I personally would have preferred a proper handle on each individual pan for ease of use.
Talking of space-saving features, when you first purchase this pan set it comes neatly packaged in a drawstring mesh bag - which I promptly removed because my nails kept getting stuck in it. There's a hanging strap provided which simply wraps around the whole set (once you've placed them all inside one another with the frying pan on top as a lid) so you can move them out of the way between cooking cycles. Everything is made of aluminium so it's a very lightweight cooking set, again something that would be more useful to a trekker than a family like us who are simply driving to the campsite and staying in one place.
For the £12 we paid I'm happy. The pans work well, heating food through evenly without any 'burn marks' which can appear out of the blue on camping pans - I've already discussed my disappointment with the frying pan but for such a cheaply priced set I don't think I can really moan too much about a bit of stuck bacon fat. If I were the sort of camper who likes to cook three meals a day on the site I'd want something a bit more substantial to use, but to be honest for the odd bacon butty or tin of soup these are more than adequate.
I have bought a number of the Campingaz products over the years as I have slowly built up my range of camping accessories and I have always found that Campingaz products are of good quality. This was the main reason I went for this particular set of cooking equipment.
So, this is a 5 piece kit which comprises of 2 pots with a diameter of 17cm and another smaller one which is 14cm in diameter. There is a pan which is 18cm in diameter and there is 1 lid, 1 handle and a storage strap. When I am not using the equipment the pots and pans slot together, in a Russian doll fashion, and the storage strap keeps them all held together.
This camping set is lightweight which makes it great if you are having to lump your camping gear around. The total weight is 590g. They are fairly compact so don't take up much space when I load up the car. The kit is about 20cm height once assembled.
I have used them on several camping trips mainly for cooking things like beans, frying bacon and sausages and making the odd pasta dish. I have found that the pots were large enough to cook a modest portion of past for around 4 people. I have always found that they are very easy to clean after I have used them and have found the aluminum that they are made from is very durable.
I picked this set up for around £12 online and I have more than got my money's worth out of them. These are another Campingaz product which hasn't let me down.
Without having properly tried out Campingaz's products before, despite having recently purchased two of their single man air-beds (reviewed earlier), to add to our camping equipment catalogue we went ahead and bought one of their '5 piece Trekking Cook Kit's'. We purchased the kit on the grounds that if it didn't turn out to be a collection of good quality items, we would only have lost the small price of £9.99 we paid!
If you're thinking of camping for more than one night, it's best that you cook a decent meal every now and then rather than snacking the whole time, filling your belly with un-nutritious produce! - and for that, you need good quality, durable cooking equipment. With this set you get:
- A frying pan (...for the morning fry-up).
- A saucepan (...with a lid to contain vital heat and steam).
- Two cups and two plates (...all of decent size for serving up meals).
- Detachable handles for the pans (...so that the metal of the handle stays cool away from the flame).
First off you need to remember that there are no pieces of cutlery in the set, which must be purchased separately. I find this quite irritating as the 'set' doesn't contain all vital elements, however at a little under a tenner you can't exactly complain.
The quality of the equipment with which you are supplied is good. The pans and pan lid (all made from relatively thick aluminium) heat well on a low flame, spreading warmth equally across the base of the apparatus. Dropping any of the bigger items WILL cause them to dent and scratch which is quite a big disadvantage when you consider the chances of that happening on a rugged camp site filled with tired, drunk human-beings! Though this is a negative point, it is all inherent in the material of the pieces and so it can be forgiven.
I found that carbon collected quickly on the base of the pieces even from a 'clean' flame, but I doubt this argues anything against this particular product - more against the society we live in. In any case, the pans can be cleaned very efficiently, and there are only a few crevices pieces of dirt and carbon can hide in. When removed from their packaging, the pans all look very posh and sparkly, it's not until you start using the things that you realise this isn't the case all of the time!
The cups and plates (...made from a low-grade plastic - as anticipated) are of a reasonable size. They are definitely fitting with the set and can be put to good use, though I advise purchasing separate ones along with your cutlery - oh, and definitely don't go for cheap plastic knives and forks which snap off in your food!
The cups are bigger in retrospect to the plates and can store a decent amount of liquid, be it hot coffee or the kiddies orange squash. They don't however seem to hold in the heat of a hot drink very well at all, so watch your hands.
I think the durability of the whole set is on average good. Obviously this is going to be different for the plastic and aluminium items, but they all hold out well and seem to be the type to last a decent while. I think at £10, you really can't complain. Sets like these are keeping the tradition of camping alive and really do pave an affordable path to summer fun.
As explained in previous reviews my partner is a keen fisherman and has been a member of the local pike club since last year. Alot of his trips involve camping something which our whole family can join in on, i never liked camping nor did i think i could do it with two small children but it turns out some of the locks we go to are beautiful and the girls really love going.
I need my camping trips to be home from home as much as possible, where as my partner is more than happy to slum it. Cooking is made simple and we do have a small campingaz single ring stove its good enough for us but the pots we used were bought from poundland and these felt to bits quiet quickly however being a pound i cant complain. I decided after looking around on ebay and seeing the campingaz trekking set that i wanted to buy it because campoingaz is apparently a good camping brand.
The campingaz trekking kits is very reasonably priced. I bought the set from ebay for £11.99. The same sets can be found in go outdoor store and millets out centre.
Campingaz trekking kit is a five piece cookware set it contains two saucepan, one lid for the pans, a handle and a strap for wrapping around the set to keep it altogether. The items in the set are all aluminium and for storage each item fits into each other making it easy to carry and the strap goes round the set to hold it in place. Because the set is made from aluminium its really lightweight, the set all together weighs 600g.
The pans from the set is ideal for cooking beans, scrambled egg, cans of soup etc , they are quite deep and one has a diameter of 14 cm the slightly bigger one has 17cm diameter. The pans don't have a handle attached , its a leaver type handle that you have to manually grip the pans with. I don't like the handle set up. I always have the fear that the leaver handle could slip and ill drop the pan because it doesn't feel so stable when removing the pot from the stove. The handle is also made from metal and if on the pot for only a few minutes it to get very hot.
The good thing is that the pans heats up very quickly because of the thin aluminium metal.
The frying pan is ok to use and i can cook a couple of sausages and slices of bacon all at once. The pan diameter is 18 cm. The same leaver handle that clips or should i say grips on under the lip of the pan is used for the frying pan to so safe safty fears with this also.
The pan lid is a strange one. It is also aluminium metal with only a small hoop at the top so again you have to use the leaver handle to remove the lid when hot. It is strange in the sense that it only has a diameter of 16cm and fits inside the frying pan , over the top of one of the pans and does not fit the other saying that i don't use it anyways but is still a tad strange.
Cooking with the set is quick and easy. In the pans i can boil pans of water super quick around four minutes on full heat of the stove that almost quicker than my kettle. We used a metal for and spoon when using the this set and its ended up scratched to bits. Cleaning the pans are easy to do also with just a quick rinse in water when camping and a hot soap scrub when we get home ready for the next use.
I enjoyed using this set and love the way it all goes into each other for storage. The set is very reasonably priced but i feel no thought has gone into the set i.e the safety issues with the handle and the fact it too get hot could cause a nasty burn.
I actually would not recommend this set even though its usable , i think there is better and safer sets available and i plan to replace this campingaz trekking set as soon.
Having recently went on a 'fun-filled' family camping trip, we over-packed in every department imaginable, apart from, that is - the cooking. In all the 'excitement' we forgot to bring our travel cook set, and didn't realize until we'd arrived and set-up camp.
Luckily for us, there was a friendly elderly couple on the camp site also who kindly let us lend theirs. It was a set by Campingaz - a brand that we are quite familiar with, and within the cook kit contained 5 pieces of travel cook ware. These pieces included 2 pots, with a diameter of 14cm and the larger had 17cm, 1 pan with a diameter of 18cm, 1 lid with a diameter of 16cm, 1 handle and a storage strap.
In traveling amongst a family of 8, the set didn't quite meet the demands of the quantities, and is probably better suited perhaps to 1 or 2 people. The set is however of high quality design, made from aluminum, the trekking kit is lightweight and compact for easy storage and the added strap makes for easier traveling.
When packed the size of the kit is around 19 cm in height and 11 cm in length and weights approximately 600g. When our next camp trip approached, we decided to purchase 3 of the Campinaz cooking sets from our local camp store, who gave us a special deal of just £25 (for the three). Usually the item retails in the region of around £12 elsewhere, so we had a bargain.
Overall, yes I would recommend the Campingaz 5 piece trekking cook kit, but only if you were feeding relatively small numbers or well...if you plan on hardly eating throughout your trip. If not, just do as we did and buy a few sets! On a high note - the set is high in quality, lightweight, easily carried and stored - making it especially ideal for camping trips, or any other type of traveling/outdoor activities for that matter. We purchased ours about a year ago, and having used them many, many times since, you can be sure we'll continue to use them in the future trips to come!
****Why a specific camping cooking kit?****
As most of you are probably aware when camping it is imperative to travel light and use things that take up little space. When I go camping I try and eat out as much as possible, after all you are on holiday right?, but there are nights when I just can't be bothered to venture out, especially after a busy day cycling, rambling or just milling about a town somewhere. Despite not having the get and go to get out you do have to replenish the calories somehow. Then there's breakfast, the most important meal of the day according to some, and whilst cereal suffices at home the lack of a fridge, and hence milk, in a tent means that tinned foods are the order of the day, and whilst I do like baked beans and spaghetti straight out of the tin there are some tinned items that need to be heated up.
However much I dislike cooking whilst camping it is a necessity and it is important to have the right kit. Camping gaz cookers are low powered and there is no way you are going to get enough heat in a normal kitchen saucepan. Kitchen saucepans are also heavy and take up a lot of room, therefore totally unsuitable for camping in my opinion.
Specific camping cook sets need to be lightweight, easily stored, good heat conductors and easily cleaned. It was these features that I was looking for when buying a camping cooking kit from a local outdoor pursuits shop.
****The cooking kit****
Whilst the lid has "campster" written on it this kit is actually unbranded, which I find strange. I have put the Campster name in several search engines and can't find out what the actual brand is. Some consumer websites say that it is 'standard manufacturer' that sells to all retail outlets and allows them to package the product as they see fit. I am unsure how true this is but it does seem unlikely to me. Despite this the kit does seem to be widely available.
****Included in the kit****
The kit consists of:
i) A saucepan complete with lid
ii) Two small plates
iii) Two cups
iv) A frying pan
v) A net carry bag
I find it strange that the kit contains two cups but no kettle. I appreciate that water can be boiled in the saucepan but there is no pouring crease in the lip of the saucepan so pouring it would be a dangerous and messy affair. It is a shame that there is no kettle included, but given the price of the kit and the storage space available I guess it is just not feasible.
In my opinion it is the stacking/storage system that makes this kit so good and something that all campers with limited space should have.
The plates are stacked in the frying pan, the cups are put inside the saucepan which in turn is stacked inside the plates. The lid is then put on the saucepan and the hinged handles clip over to secure. The whole lot is then put in to the net bag supplied keeping everything together. It is simple and it works. Genius.
One thing I should point out is that everything is a tight fit so it will only go together in one way. Should any part of the kit get bent or disfigured then the stacking/storage feature is likely to fail.
At just over 600g this kit is very lightweight making it ideal for backpacking and those that wish to travel light or have limited space. However, with a lack of weight compromises have been made in the quality of the materials used, as explained below.
****Quality and durability****
The metal used is thin aluminium and can be manipulated very easily using bear hands and a bit of brut strength. The items are not made out of the best quality metal but compromises have to be made especially when you consider that the items need to be light weight, the metal needs to be thin so it heats up quickly (those of you that have cooked using camping gaz cookers will know that "good" quality pans take an age to heat and more often than not the cooker does not give enough power to heat them up) and there are cost implications, i.e. you don't get good quality metal for the small price charged for the set.
All items in the kit are made out of the same thin metal and whilst this works for the frying pan and the saucepan it is not very suitable for the cups or plates, which tend to get too hot to handle (as detailed below).
As a result of the thickness used the kit needs to be treated with a bit of care to make sure that none of it gets ruined. It won't take too much of a knock, or a drop on a hard surface of something heavy put on top of an item for it to bend out of shape.
Whilst you may think that a disfigured saucepan or plate won't make much difference you have to remember that the stacking/storage system is tight and any disfigured items are likely to render the stacking/storage system virtually useless.
The kit comes in a net bag to keep it all together and whilst the label may state "protective" it does not protect the kit to a great extent. Sure it keeps it clean and keeps the dust off but it will not stop the kit from being disfigured if dropped or something heavy is placed on it. I would highly recommend putting the kit in a decent plastic storage box, or something similar, to prolong the life of it. It is a shame that the kit does not come in a heavy duty protective case but I guess this would not only push the cost of the kit up but it also increases the weight and the amount to carry around which is not ideal for those travelling light.
The pieces in this kit are prone to scratching, which ultimately leads to food sticking to them during the cooking process. To prevent this I always use wooden cooking utensils and never ever use metal spoons, forks or knives etc. When cleaning the items I use anti scratch scourers and I find these do not mark or scratch the items. I appreciate that these are a bit more expensive than the average scourer but they are definitely worth the extra. If I come across something that just won't budge then I'll soak it for as long as it takes to remove it without reverting to abrasive cleaning items. If you scratch an item you may as well just throw it away as the life deteriorates to such an extent it is pretty much useless.
This kit is brushed silver in colour and looks quite cheap and nasty. It is definitely not the prettiest of things I have ever seen but then does it really need to be? It doesn't look modern, retro or trendy and you definitely won't be the talking point of the campsite by your fellow campers (well not for using it in any case) but then it doesn't really matter as what it lacks in looks it makes up for other areas.
The saucepan holds just over 2 litres of water, which I find is more than enough, even for two. Whilst this may not seem a great quantity you have to remember that camping meals generally consist of tinned foods (that I cook in the frying pan) or pasta/rice, which is cooked in a few minutes as opposed to boiling potatoes that take ages, especially on a camping stove.
On the outside of the saucepan there are several water level marks. Personally I can't see the use in these since I never use a specific amount of water when cooking whilst camping. I use the least I can get away with (so boiling times are reduced) and top it up as and when necessary. I can only guess that most people are like me in this technique, but the marks are there for those that wish to be a bit more methodical and exact.
On the saucepan there are two thick plastic handles to pick it up with. Whilst the handles get warm during the cooking process I have never got them to the point where they are too hot to be picked up using bear hands. Even after boiling water for several minutes the handles have remained cool enough to hold. This is a great positive for this product, and it is a shame the same can't be said for other items in this kit.
The handles are hinged which allows them to secure the lid and create less space. The hinges are tough and durable and still as stiff today as they were when I bought the kit just over a year and a half ago. I have total confidence in the handles and wholly trust that they will not suddenly fail when lifting a saucepan of boiling water, which may result in a nasty injury. The strength of these hinges is another positive for this kit.
****The frying pan****
The frying pan is a little over 8 inches in diameter, i.e. just big enough to allow the plates to fit inside them. The frying pan is not that large so don't expect to be able to a full fry up for two, or even one person, but it is more than big enough to deal with a couple of sausages, a couple of rashers of bacon and a couple of mushrooms.
Like everything in this kit the frying pan is a great heat conductor and warms up very quickly. The coating is not non-stick and I would always recommend using a little oil for frying, even when dealing with really fatty foods otherwise you're going to have problems with sticking.
The frying pan has a heavy duty and hinged metal handle that enables you to pick up the frying pan and move it around whilst cooking. I find the handle gets warm during the cooking process but it never gets too hot to handle with a bare hand. This is a major positive of this product. In addition, the hinge is very strong and durable and I have no worries or concerns that it is suddenly going to give up the ghost. The hinge is as tight today as it was when I bought the kit just over a year and a half ago.
Whilst the plates are quite small, (approx 8 inches in diameter), and shallow (approx 1.5 inches deep) I find they are more than adequate to hold what I want them to including tinned chilli, tinned beans and the like. Whilst they will deal with most foods I wouldn't use them for really 'saucy' items or soup as they just aren't deep enough.
My main criticism with the plates is the fact that they are great heat conductors and heat up too much too quickly. This makes resting a plate with hot food on bare skin unbearable, which is a pain in hot weather when all you want to wear is a small pair of shorts.
The cups may look small but they hold a surprising amount of liquid, which is a definite positive. However, as the entire cup is made out of thin metal the handle gets very hot very quickly and within a matter of seconds of pouring the boiling water the handle gets unbearably hot, which is a big problem. There are a few ways of overcoming this such as wearing asbestos gloves (not really an option in summer), waiting for the water to cool down (but then you have to endure a cold coffee/tea hence defeating the objective) etc. I have found a folded piece of kitchen roll to be more than adequate but it looks strange and is something that you shouldn't have to do.
This is a big design flaw and the manufacturers should have opted for thicker metal handles since these would not conduct the heat so quickly, or used plastic but I guess using the same thin metal used in the rest of the kit helps keep the costs down and makes them easier to make.
****Availability and price****
This kit is available from loads of online and offline retailers. Go in to any camping shop, fishing tackle shop (long stay anglers need cooking equipment too), large sport shop (such as JJB) or outdoor pursuits shop and you are bound to find this kit on a shelf somewhere so there should be no issues whatsoever in sourcing this kit.
I paid £8.99 for this kit from a local (and notoriously expensive) camping shop but a quick online search and I note that it can be bought for £9.99, so the price is pretty uniform from all retailers.
****Summary and conclusion****
iii) The stacking/storage solution is genius and saves on space
iv) Ideal for back packers and those who wish to travel light
v) The saucepan and frying pan are great heat conductors making them ideal for low vi) powered camping gaz stoves
vii) The hinged handles on the frying pan and saucepan never got too hot to handle
i) Made out of thin metal that is not that heavy duty or durable
ii) Susceptible to damage if dropped, mistreated or has something heavy put on it
iii) The plates and cups get very hot very quickly
iv) There is no kettle included and the saucepan doesn't have a pouring spout
v) The 'protective' bag is no that protective
i) Looks cheap and nasty
ii) All items will scratch if metal utensils are used
Considering the price and the contents of the kit it represents great value for money. It is lightweight, stackable and takes up little room and great heat conductors making them ideal for low powered gas cookers. I would not recommend using powerful petrol burners since these would wreck the items. Personally I think the metal is a bit too conductive since the plates get very warm very quickly and the handles of the cups get unbearably hot.
The quality of aluminium used is not the best and nothing is non-stick but provided you look after the items in the kit, don't use metal utensils or use a too powerful cooker then this kit should last you a long time.
There are other alternatives available from a whole range of manufacturers, such as Gelert, Vango and the like, and whilst there are differences (some contain a kettle, some are non-stick etc.) they pretty much do the same thing. Some kits are very expensive, especially the non-stick variety, but are these really needed in a camping field? I guess it depends on the sort of meals you eat whilst camping, but I have little use for non-stick.
If you are after a cheap, lightweight cooking set that takes up little room then I can highly recommend this. Sure you have to look after it but provided you do you won't have any problems at all.
Kit includes aluminum lightweight pots: 2 pots (Diameter:14 cm / 17 cm), 1 pan (Diameter: 18 cm), 1 lid (Diameter: 16 cm), 1 handle, 1 Storage strap.