Saturday, 28 January 2012

A complete, functional, durable and inexpensive camp kitchen in just 265 grams

Making your pack, or saddlebag lighter is not always about departing with hard earned cash. With a combination of items l already owned I now have what I would consider an ideal, durable yet ultra-light cookset. No individual item cost more than NZD$12.00 although I have owned most it for some years assembled in different and heavier configurations. This setup has neither expensive titanium nor any gimmicky plastic components.


It may well be possible to get this to sub-250g. It should be possible to save at least another 10g on a lighter lid - the Milo tin was surprisingly thick and durable.


My ultralight, yet fully functional and durable cooking setup:


Item Brand My scales
1 litre anodised aluminium billy Old and has no labels 117g
Plastic smiley mug Generic MIC from the Red Shed 30g
Pot lid DIY (from large Milo tin) 30g
Ghetto Beer Can Stove DIY (from two aluminium beer cans) 11g
No6 wire pot stand DIY (some orange paint to prevent losing in grass etc) 13g
Fire-steels Light My Fire 26g
Anodised aluminium spoon Sea to Summit 14g
Knife Victorinox (+ inner tube sheath) 18g + 8g
Total weighed together (2g lighter due rounding) 265g



The 1 litre billy came with a second billy of soup bowl dimensions that could be stacked above it to provide a fuel efficient lid. I did not find the dimensions of that billy useful, and it made a terrible mug. From the base of a Milo tin, some plastic tubing and some wire came the 30g lid. Amazingly, the rim from the tin lid fits perfectly around the edge of the billy. I think It should be possible to make an equivalent lid for less than 20g if only I could find the right bits… With the lid removed, you can see the mug, pot-stand, ghetto stove and fire steels contained within. With the fire steels I do not have to worry about wet matches, or broken cigarette lighter flints ever again.. yay! To complete the kit, the cutlery. A Sea-to-Summit spoon and a Victorinox steak knife that will easily slice through vegetables, cable-ties or anything else I may need a knife for.


All packs together except for the full length cutleryAnd all together it weighs in at just 265g


To think I used to carry a very good, but unfortunately heavy MSR Billy set that was 379g without cutlery, cooker, lighting equipment or a mug!! The lid/frypan 135g and pot-lifter 45g made the whole set if carried a whopping 559g!!


  1. Hi Craig
    Interested in what you used to make the red lid handle & how it is secured to the Milo lid?

  2. Two small drill holes and a piece of wire. The red casing is only on exterior and was a piece of stretchy tubing for stretching when I had a prior injury.

    Unfortunately the Milo Tin been made od well, tin it was a bit too prone to rusting. Something same size in aluminium would be good, but the milo tin was perfect size.