When choosing camping dishes, consider the size of the camping party, the weight the team members can carry, the availability of soap and cleaning agents and the type of material. Those traveling in larger groups require more cookware. Campers looking for a few basics should consider buying equipment in individual pieces to reduce excess weight.
Aluminum pots, pans and utensils are lightweight and inexpensive, say authors at REI. Aluminum is also relatively durable and conducts heat. It is ideal for simmering food but can break down when exposed to acid. Stainless steel does not scratch as easily as aluminum but is heavier. Titanium is lighter than both but is more expensive and does not heat food evenly. Cast iron cookware is very heavy and is not recommended for backpacking. Plastic is lightweight and nonabrasive but is better for storage than cooking.
At a minimum, have utensils, supplies for carrying hot pots and pans and lids. Pots should hold at least 1 pint of water for each camper, according to REI. Some cookware comes with accessories like towels, mugs and plates. Campers not carrying their materials may want to bring spatulas, whisks and measuring cups, along with a French press coffee maker and small Dutch oven.