Any old pot will do for boiling water or rehydrating noodles. But if you’re interested in preparing a full- fledged meal on the trail, you need a cook set that can handle it. And short of bringing along your pans from home, the Optimus Terra HE is the one for you. With three hard-anodized aluminum vessels, including a large uncoated 1.75-liter pot with integrated heat exchanger, you’ll be simmering and frying meals up faster than a contestant on Iron Chef.
The non-stick 1.7-liter pot and 8.5-inch fry pan come clean easily with just a paper towel or nylon sponge (even sticky cheese is no match), but avoid metal utensils or they’ll scratch the nonstick surface. The set doesn’t come with lids but the fry pan fits onto both pots as a substitute. $60; 1 lb. 7 oz.; optimusstoves.com