Today’s state-of-the art backpacking cookpots are made of titanium and come in a range of sizes, from 375 mL cups to 1.6 L pots. Obtaining one of these exceptionally strong metal cylinders will cost you about $50.
Or you could buy something that is lighter (by an ounce or more!) and a better heat conductor for less than $10.
The humble Stanco Grease Strainer was not designed for backpacking, but as ultralighters have discovered, it works as well as anything devised by the outdoor industry. It comfortably fits one very hungry person’s meal and can accommodate dinner for two in a pinch.
After removing the strainer and the handle-knob from the lid, you have a 1.2 L cookpot that weighs a mere 3.1 oz. It’s wider than it is deep, which means it heats efficiently; it isn’t liable to topple when balanced on top of a stove and fuel canister; you don’t need a long-handled spoon to eat dinner straight from the pot; and your stove and fuel will fit inside for convenient storage.
Yes, aluminum is softer than titanium, which means the Grease Strainer might dent and bend. But who cares? I’ve carried mine for 1800 miles and only seriously bent it once. After about 20 seconds of reshaping, I was back to cooking dinner. Other than a couple titanium spoon-inflicted scratches, it’s still good as new.
The Grease Strainer doesn’t have handles. This is not a problem. Handles are useless. Buffs, gloves, fleeces, bandanas, and literally any other item of clothing can be used to handle it when hot. Plus, you can make yourself a pot cozy, which also serves as a set-it-and-forget it cooking method.
Volume: 1.2 liters
Weight: 3.1 oz (with strainer and knob on lid removed)