Solo camping cook kit

After looking at the gear we liked in 2023, I received a surprising interest in the solo cook set we put together for Joan’s trips to see friends, and it even got used as a loaner kit for people camping and needing gear in a pinch.

This kit costs ~$125 (including two containers of fuel), is easily portable, and is perfect for a quick trip of a night or two. Joan used it in between backpacking trips or on the way to backpacking.

I thought I’d share this kit that fits into a duffle bag and works well for its intended purpose.

One burner propane stove These stoves put out a lot of heat, simmer, work in cold temps, and aren’t expensive.

Propane fuel has increased in price in recent years but is readily available in many places. Check your local areas for how to recycle. Some campgrounds offer a place to dispose of canisters for recycling.

Propane fuel, 1 lb x2 We like two of these tanks in the duffle bag in case one runs out and is immediately replaced afterward. $14 for two
Cleaning kit Paper towel, green scrubby, dish soap, For cleaning and drying.  

Varies, up to $15

Practically, I feel most people have these items in their homes except for the ditty bag and the small plastic bottle. You can get five bottles for $9 and easily use them for other things (like Dr. Bronners). You can also buy mesh bags for $6. We repurposed ours for “free” from a rainjacket.

Stanley Adventure The Nesting Two Cup Cookset
We have used the two-person version of this set for over five years for camping trips and made many rounds of hot drinks and ate many meals out of the green bowls.

The solo one is equally handy with two small serving bowls/cups, two small spoons (you probably can get rid of them), and a pot perfect for cooking and making water for hot drinks.

Discount store 6″ frying pan Discount store utensils and pans often make better and cheaper than camping-specific gear.

For a couple of eggs or sauteing enough veggies for one person, this 6″ pan worked well.

Spatula Same concept as above! $3
Can opener It lives in the ditty bag, and Joan finds it easier to use than my P51 can opener! $7
Solo dining kit With a plate, bowl, mug, knife, fork, and spoon, perfect for one person. Use the spoon to cook with, too. $11
BIC Multipurpose lighter Joan finds this lighter safer and easier to use with the stove than a “regular” lighter. $7
Ziploc bags Gallon and quart size. Applicable for different things when cooking, placing food in a cooler, etc. In kitchen
Duffle bag All fits in the small duffle bag. $17
Optional  – Insulated Mug With the included mug and cups, you don’t need this, but it is convenient for cooler nights, I find. You may already have one; if not, you can buy one at a grocery store for ~$10 or less. $10 or at home

Total price –  ~$125, including fuel. Add another $10 if you need the mug. Subtract $5 if you don’t mind using a smaller lighter.

For a bit over $100, you have a compact and valuable solo camping kit that fits many different niches, can “live” in your gear closet without taking up too much room, can grab quickly when needed for a trip, easily fits in the trunk, and you’ll have it for many years to come.

Overall, I think it’s a piece of kit that’s very useful for any outdoors person.

Jan camped with Joan. Joan made use of the truck and our perma-camping kit in general. The two-person kit stayed at home. PCO Joan.


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6 months ago

If the disposable steel fuel bottles are an issue for you, get a valve adapter so you can refill the 1-pound bottles from your 16-pound tank. I’ve done if for years. Just be sure to check that the refilled bottle isn’t leaking, which happens every once in a while.