Gear Review: Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set

I started out Backpacking with the GSI Outdoors Minimalist Stainless Steel Cookpot.  It's a super 16 oz minimalist system with no lid nor cup.  It's not a bad piece to have along but I quickly found myself wanting and needing a lot more out of my cookset.

My next purchase was the Stanley Adventure Camp Cookset and although its a serious step up and it will accompany me on many outdoor adventures, it probably won't be my last cookware purchase.

Right out of the gate what drew me to the Stanley system was it's larger volume [almost 2x my GSI], it's lid, and the very reasonable price [$24.99 @ Dicks].  Larger volume proved itself to be more of a necessity than a luxury after having re-hydrated a few freeze dried meals.  The GSI's capacity is certainly on par to fill the single serve Mountain House packets but the Stanley System's capacity allowed me to boil enough water at once to re-hydrate a meal with plenty of water left over for coffee or hot chocolate.

Another cool aspect of the added capacity is for the fact that a single boil can nearly fill up even a 1 Liter Nalgene.  I like all season camping and on those cold nights a Nalgene full of warm water in your sleeping bag can make a big difference in comfort.  The Stanley system can boil around 28 ounces at once making it a much better choice over the smaller capacity cooksets.  With my GSI Outdoors system I would have to boil water twice before being able to fill my Nalgene and head off to bed.  Now, I can boil once , fill my Nalgene nearly full, slip it into one of my extra wool socks and head off to dream land.

Just to get you in the know, the packaging is a bit deceiving.  At first glance it looks to be a cook pot with a lid and a handle but after closer inspection you'll be happily surprised to see that the package comes with not one but two nesting double wall cups.  I know it says that right on the label but if you are looking around quickly you might miss that fact.  And the cups come in at 10 oz each - actually just the right size for a cup of coffee that doesn't make you feel guilty about having a second one.

And the cups being double wall help keep that coffee, soup or hot chocolate warmer while protecting your hands from the heat. They're handle-less but comfortable to hang on to none the less.

Speaking of packaging, the whole setup is very compact when all put together and weighs in at a reasonably modest 13oz.  I like more than a few things about the packaging.  First off, even with both cups packed inside the cook pot there is additional space to store a small alcohol stove and 1-2 small fuel bottles.  Storing my entire cooking system in one package is ideal and this setup is really perfect for that.  And if you wanted to leave one cup out of the system, there is even more room inside for a cook stove windbreak and eating utensils.

One thing I will mention is that although it is possible to fit my MSR Pocket rocket quite comfortably into the Stanley system, the cook pot does not actually fit very well on it.  The diameter of the pot [around 3.25"] falls dangerously close to being too small to fit on the MSR Pocket Rocket tines.  Even with a perfectly level setup that I had on my last outing, my boil setup ended up tipping over when I turned my back on it.  Not good.  My next effort resulted in a successful boil but I had to pay very close attention to how I placed the pot on the burner and even had to hold the handle to keep it from tipping.

All in all I really do like this system, especially with my alcohol stove setup.  It fits perfectly on my cat food can stove and since my stove and small fuel bottles fit so well inside, this is going to be one of my staples on my future trips.

Check out my video below where I sum up all of the above.  Give me a thumbs up and leave a comment if you've got some other ideas on uses for the Stanley Cookset.

Remember - Take Nothing but pictures, Leave Nothing but Footprints and Waste Nothing but Time out on the trail.


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