For a number of years I thought that real Scouts only used real Scout mess kits. The standard issue military type clam shell mess kit has a long tradition in Scouting but, compared to the alternatives available out there it is woefully inadequate.
There are lots of gadgety, expensive, highly touted modern specialty cooking and serving ware being manufactured for campers but I like cheap, light, and practical Scout mess kits assembled from easily available components.
Here’s some evolved alternatives ranked by price. It’s likely that anyone could put together a Scout mess kit for little or no cost.
|Why carry a fork AND a spoon when a spoon will do? Any common plastic spoon (I do like Lexan spoons – they are cheap, light and indestructible) will do. You don’t need a special eating knife if your’e carrying a pocket knife.|
|$||$$||$$$||Free (or nearly so)|
|Light My Fire Spork||Lexan Camping Utensil Set||Optimus Titanium Spork||‘Disposable’ plastic spoons|
|My Choice is a food storage container with a lid, there are specialty camping bowls and kits, but I prefer the lighter, less costly alternatives.|
|Square 2-Cup Food Storage Container||Bowl with Lid||Light My Fire Outdoor Meal Kit||A disposable take-out container|
|A 1-2 quart aluminum pot with a lid is my choice, Scouts should be cooking with a patrol, and when we are backpacking it doesn’t make much sense to have every individual carry their own pot.|
|Open Country 2 Quart Aluminum Covered Kettle||Stainless Steel 2-Person Cook Set
(buy one and share with your friends)
|Ultralight Titanium Cooking Pot||An old saucepan can be repurposed into a camping pot. (you can always cut off a handle or add a tinfoil lid if need be)|
|An insulated mug does double duty as a bowl and will keep food warm unlike the flimsy plastic cup in most mess kits|
|Insulated Infinity Mug||Insulated Stainless Steel Mug||Delta Mug||Every household probably has at least several insulated mugs hiding in a cabinet somewhere.|
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