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Camping & Hiking

2017 camp kitchen essentials turn up the heat

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Outdoors eatin’ gets busy with this year’s crop of faster, lighter and more efficient cooksets for groups.

Whether you’re trekking along the trail or staying close to your car, the line up of 2017 camp kitchen tools and accessories are lighter, more compact, and cut down on prep time all while bringing out more flavor in your favorite backcountry recipes.

Freeze-dried to feasts
Today’s campers want versatile equipment that will serve them in any outdoor pursuit, alone or (especially) with a group. “Products must have the ability to cook more than one way,” said Ryan Neeley, marketing manager at Camp Chef. “Just because you’re away from home, you don’t want to be stuck boiling water. Grilling, baking, frying and more are all options with one single cooking system today.”

Down to a science
Stoves are getting smaller and lighter, yet burning hotter and with better control, a trend attributable to complex research and development efforts. “We’ve been making use of 3D printing, including printing metal parts that let us build and test many more prototype iterations in a design cycle,” said Adam Wilcox, an engineer with Jetboil. “We’ve also made greater use of computational fluid dynamics simulations that have helped us optimize the design of our burners and valves.”

The Eureka! Gonzo Grill (MSRP $190) is a compact and adaptable cook system where a cast iron griddle top reverses to a grill surface. With a regulated simmer control and a JetLink port, campers can add additional Eureka! and Jetboil stoves to feed a crowd.

Photo courtesy of Eureka!

MSR slims down an icon with the PocketRocket 2 (MSRP $45), which is lighter (by 2.5 ounces) and 20 percent more compact than its predecessor, while accommodating the small cups used by minimalist and long-distance hikers.

Photo courtesy of MSR.

Look for the new 13 ³/8-inch Chef’s Knife (MSRP $40) from French cutlery specialist Opinel, featuring a 3mm thick, half-tang Swedish steel blade. “Our chef’s knife is equally at home in the kitchen and the camp kitchen due to its light weight and durability,” said Alex Delecroix, U.S. brand manager.

Photo courtesy of Opinel

UCO’s SweetFire is a strikeable firestarter made from a sugarcane byproduct called bagasse. The match head ignites easily and the firestarter burns or more than seven minutes. (MSRP $6 for box of 20).

Photo courtesy of UCO.

GSI Outdoors’ new gourmet stainless steel fry pan, the Glacier Stainless nonstick 8- and 10-inch (MSRP $30/$35), feature durable laser-etched nonstick surfaces for superior food release and clean-up. Stainless steel exteriors surround heavy gauge, clad-aluminum cores for quick heating and even output.

Stanley is introducing a new line of vacuum bottles called the Master Series that adds a double-layer barrier to standard double-wall vacuum insulation, giving four layers of protection from all types of energy transfer. It’s available in three sizes (MSRP $35-$65).

This story first appeared in the Day 2 issue of Outdoor Retailer Daily.