For several years now, I have been using the same cookset. Over the years, I have added a few things to it, but I haven’t changed it. Is it perfect? No, there is no such thing. But, my cookset can do just about anything I need it to do. I don’t have to choose what to pack for food or beverages based on my cookset, or change it based on how much cooking I have to do, or what fuel I am using. Nope, this set does it all.
Is it compact? Not particularly, but it does nest reasonably well. Is it lightweight? Maybe, if you’re a mule. But, I don’t need it to be. This set isn’t for a bug out bag, or a thru hike on the Appalachian Trail, this is for a day hike, or an extended stay camping trip.
My set consists of two principle parts, my cooking utensils, and my stove. Let’s start with the stove. First, the brand name that I bought it under is gone, but I have found that it is currently produced and sold on Amazon under the brand name RoryTory, for $11.99 as of this writing, so it is, at least, light weight on the wallet.
This is a take down, multi fuel wood gas stove. So how does it perform as a wood gas stove? Surprisingly well, actually. The burn chamber has enough air flow to burn efficiently, and the flame jets perform admirably. Though it was a windy day, you can see the jets doing their job here.
It also comes with a small tray that can be inserted into the top to burn solid fuel tablets, Esbit tablets and things like that. I didn’t have any of those, I don’t use them, but here is a shot of some fatwood chunks as facsimile solid fuel tablets.
Only the top piece is necessary to use it in this way.
Typically, I use gel fuel, chafing fuels, mostly, similar to Sterno, but cheaper…a little less hot, but it works. For these, I have found that the top piece sits very sturdily on the fule stove, and works fantastic.
It’s very sturdy, strong, and stable, so if you need to, you have no fear of using heavy, large pots and pans on this stove.
It all comes apart into 4 pieces that nest into a palm sized mesh bag. It is on the left in this photo.
I couldn’t be happier with this stove for regular outings. This stove gets a gold star when versatility and value are your primary considerations.
Next is my cook set. My cook set is a beast. I can cook anything. My whole set nests into itself into one, somewhat large sized package, that is a bit heavy, but bombproof. Cooking for one? No problem. Cooking for 3? No problem. Cooking steak? No problem. Cooking Hamburger Helper? No problem. This set’s got you covered. Bring anything, you can cook it, or brew it, or bake it.
Here it is, all laid out into it’s components. I have two large aluminum pots with bail handles, a stainless steel fry pan with folding handles, and a kettle, plus utensils and spices…and a bit of tinfoil for whatever is required.
The spice kit is new, everything else I’ve been running for years. It all nests into one package. What you see here is the following;
GSI Ketalist in Stainless Steel
Mountain ranger Military Surplus cook kit
Altoid Spice Kit from Townsends
Primula Single Serve Coffee Brew Buddy
An original Leatherman PST
Opinel #8, which I use as my eating knife and ferro rod striker
Toaks Titanium Folding Knife and Spoon which I keep in the small leather pouch shown
All of this nests together, like so;
Fork and spoon go into the leather pouch, and the Opinel, Leatherman, and spice kit all go into the GSI Ketalist.
Coffee filter goes on the top.
The cover goes on my ketalist with all that inside. The cover fits tightly, and the ketalist goes into it’s neoprene bag.
The two pots nest one into the other, and the ketalist fits inside the pots.
The fry pan goes over the whole thing, and the folding handles lock it into place, keeping everything tight and secure. (Here I left a bit of the bandana sticking out in the picture before I noticed.) The bandana helps to stop rattling, and comes in handy for wiping pots and pans, or using to keep debris out of your water when collecting it.
The whole kit fits snugly into the largest Badger Claw Leatherworks kit bag.
Plenty of room left for a stove, or food, or whatever else you need to put in there.
I generally pack my stove, my bush cup, and a gel stove in the top with no trouble.
All in all, this kit has served me well over the years. I love it. There are two “upgrades” I intend to make.
The first is something I consider a flaw in the kit. The folding Toaks spoon and fork are very compact and fit perfectly in the kit. There is nothing wrong with them, but I find them a bit fiddly. Doing things like stirring a pot of stew is not the folding spoon’s strength…you are constantly finding the handle coming loose and you have to fix it. It wasn’t really designed to be a pot stirrer, of course…but in my book, that is still a flaw. I am going to replace the folding spoon and fork with a single piece titanium spoon and fork. Compact, but solid.
Does that mean the Toaks folding utensils are no good? Not at all. I think they are excellent value for what they are…but they are more for hikers, I think, than bushcrafters and campers. They are made to be compact, lightweight eating utensils, not cooking utensils, which I require.
The other upgrade I intend to make is getting a Firebox Nano Titanium stove, with the new X-case. I think that the Firebox Nano can do most things that my Rory Tory stove can do, but in a far, far more compact and lightweight package. It costs 6 times as much as my amazing Rory Tory stove, though, and it is not wood gas burning, just a regular wood burning stove. I have no regrets on the Rory Tory, and for it’s price, I would buy it again in a heartbeat, even if I already had the nano. For $12, that makes it a must have in my opinion.
All in all, it’s a damn fine kit. Not for the ultralight types, this is for the smoothin it in the woods types, the kind of folks who don’t mind packing a little extra weight to have a lot more capability.