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Off Piste: A Ride Across America, Part 4 of 5

A look at the camp cookware essentials we used every day on our recent ride

by Graham Hiemstra in Travel on 17 October 2013

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To really get a feel for a foreign place, completely immersing yourself is often the only option—and what better way to do so than camping, cooking and enjoying some local fare. When we weren't indulging in Louisiana boudin and Mississippi BBQ buffets of the likes we still dream about, we were searching for remote campsites to cook up baked beans and sausage ends—a Cabela's superstore special we'd prefer to forget. Regardless of our unimpressive culinary efforts, each meal was handled well thanks to the following modest range of utensils and camp cookware. For a better understanding of how we landed here at Part 4, look back on the bikes we rode, the gear we wore and the camping equipment we used in the first three parts documenting our 3,700 mile motorcycle ride across the country.

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Best Made Enamel Steel Utility Pot

A classic camp essential, the enamel pot is as good for reminiscing about childhood camping as it is for cooking up dinner. Best Made's Seamless & Steadfast Enamel Steel Utility Pot hits both the vintage aesthetic and raw cooking capability on the head. The medium-weight pot isn't the easiest to pack, but once it's along for the ride you'll have few worries—it's heavy duty, versatile, and responds well to cooking directly on the flame. To ensure the pot lasts a lifetime, the handle and lip—two places most likely to take abuse—are double-dipped in enamel. Find more info from Best Made.

MSR SuperFly Canister Stove

Compact, lightweight and sturdy, the handheld SuperFly Canister Stove made everything—from boiling water for coffee in just three minutes to heating up stew in the enamel pot—possible. By connecting directly to the fuel source, the miniature stove uses the canister as a base, making for a stable, low cooking surface. While some camp stoves come with multiple pages of instructions, the Seattle-made SuperFly is as intuitive as can be; with a single button ignition and glove-friendly flame control valve. Head to MSR online for more specs.

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Snow Peak Titanium French Press

While the Titanium French Press from Snow Peak definitely isn't the newest item on our list, there's no doubt to its necessity (we're documented coffee snobs here at CH). Aside from being surprisingly lightweight and durable, the titanium shell impressed with its capacity to handle an open flame. We quickly learned boiling water directly in the press and then adding grounds once at the desired temp was both convenient and saved dishes. In the end, the portable French press confirmed our suspicions; there's no better place to share a cup of coffee than in front of an early morning campfire. Visit Snow Peak for more details.

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West America Utility Utensil

In the same fashion as the West America + Woolrich Jacket, we opted to include the West America Utility Utensil simply because we found it useful. The nesting utensil set is hand-stamped from sheets of steel, and comes apart to offer a fork, knife, spoon and can-opener. All of which is big enough to handle even the heartiest meals. While the set can still be a bit cumbersome, if you've got room, it's worth its weight. Contact West America for more information on the limited edition one-off utensil.

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KA-BAR Hobo Knife

Our favorite design of all the camping equipment, the age-old design links three utensils together in the form of an old fashioned pocket knife. KA-BARr's Hobo Knife is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but study enough to cut even the toughest steak without the threat of bending. When folded up, the Hobo Knife fits nicely in a small, belt-loop compatible velcro pouch to keep it safe, sound and readily available. Find it from Best Made.

Lead image and second French press image by Hunter Hess, all others by Graham Hiemstra. Visit parts one through three to see our selection of motorcycles, riding gear and camping equipment.

Off Piste encourages exploration. With each feature we'll introduce the people, products and places that make life outside the city possible and life in the city more down to earth.

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