Making our backpacking more efficient as a couple is an ongoing learning curve for Joan and me.
That means thinking beyond grams and thinking of the system as a whole. The most prominent example of this concept is carrying a “heavy” free-standing tent. Though heavy by ultralight standards, that equals ~1 lb for Joan and ~2 lbs for me if you split it up. Additionally, the tent sets up quickly and stably in the desert sand. It helps prevent spirited discussions when we find ourselves at the end of a long backpacking day with sleet and darkness moving in quickly.
Or packing a sub-3oz Luci Ligh “candle lantern” because hanging out in a tent together during winter gets dreary when the two of you illuminate everything by the cold light of an LED headlamp.
And add to that a slightly heavier cookpot for two.
I’ve long used the classic grease pot as our two-person pot of choice for boiling enough water for two meals, a hot water bottle during the colder winter nights, and the all-important rum and cider nightcap we enjoy after a full day of backpacking.
However, where this pot works fine for solo use during colder weather or larger thru-hiker-style meals, it is not as adequate for decanting water into a water bottle as quickly. My bandanna scrap did not work well with the full two-person pot vs. enough water for personal use.
And, well, after a few years of use, the pot became banged up, dented, and did not quite sit on the stove as well.
Joan, in particular, hinted rather strongly that maybe I need to replace this pot for two-person use? 🙂
So I researched pots.
I did not want something too heavy, expensive, and cumbersome to use, yet still large enough to use for two-person meals at roughly one liter in size. I did not want to use a different pot grip as it is another piece of gear I’d instead not regularly pack.
After some searching, I found a $10 and a just over 5 oz solution – The Bene Casa grease pot.
If the classic grease post weighs in at just under 4 oz, the Bene Casa weighs just under 5.25 oz.
And what do you gain for the one oz+ weight penalty? A lot more functionality for two!
As you can see, the Bene Casa pot has a longer, more cylinder-like shape. It fits a 230 gram (8 oz) canister that we like to use for two people, a standard sub-3oz stove with a mini-Bic lighter, and all fit neatly into a one-gallon Zip Loc bag.
But the best features are the handle that makes for easy pours once you boil the water (I’d still use a glove or bandana to grab the handle), the spout that further assists with easy water pours, and the shape fits on the burner neatly.
UPDATE – And it makes a great three-season drinking mug, too!
I suggest a modification once you remove the strainer – Simply unscrew and reverse the pot lit, so it fits on the pot a bit more secure.
Without the strainer, the pot lid does not fit on the pot as easily.
As with all aluminum cookware, the pot dents easily without care, But for $10 and 5 oz, the pot makes an excellent solution for a two-person cookpot. Efficiently heat water and make your evening nightcaps! Far better than a 13 oz and $50 solution and less expensive than a similar $40 titanium solution.
Overall: The Bene Casa grease pot makes an excellent cookpot for two. Aluminum may dent easier than titanium, but it conducts heat better, and at $10 and 5 oz, it’s a great deal that happens to work well. We’ll use this pot for years or until Joan tells me to replace it. 😉
Disclosure – We paid for this pot with our funds.
Thanks Paul, always looking for practical (and inexpensive) gear ideas. This is marked as a 1 Qt pot (on the packaging through the Amazon link) – do you find it tops out at 1L or at something below that? Calculating the interior space from the specs seems like it would be larger than 1L.
1000ml of water goes to where the strainer would rest or just below the spout.
You mentions the new grease pot fits the burner head of your stove better. Are you saying the wider pot would/could slide off the burner easier than a short/wide pot?
Seems more efficient and, yes, less likely to fall off.
I see that there are similar grease pots on Amazon that are stainless steel. Did you consider stainless for its durability or did you think it would weigh too much?
Stainless steel makes for durable material. But a bit on the heavy side for most backpacking.