Item #20: World Famous cook set

During a recent vacation, I was using this set of pots and pans and was reminded of its vintage. This set is now 25 years old, having been purchased in 1992 at the inauspicious start of my hiking and outdoor hobby. Back then, I had grand aspirations of travelling the world, getting back to nature and living from my backpack. It might have been something that a small part of my heart wanted, but my head, stomach and feet all objected to. After 25 years, the heart still wins occasionally, because there I was in the woods again a few weeks ago, chilled and damp but happy.

I first used this set on my very first solo hike (story to follow), as well as much longer trips – Tofino, Waterton Lakes, Smith Rock, even to Alaska and back. It’s odd that it has lasted this long, as it was an inexpensive and novice kit purchase. I’m sure the cook set was originally to be a temporary thing until I joined the ranks of true backpackers and converted to the usual small and light and hard-to-use stuff favoured by mountaineers and climbers. Again, the head and stomach ruled, and I’ve stuck with the sturdy but bulky set ever since.

The full set – 3 pots, with 2 lids that double as pans, and a strainer/splatter cover, plus the grapple-grommet handle.

Its durability and utility has proven itself time and again, and it will remain a useful part of my outdoor kit, at least until I lose the “grapple-grommet” handle. Remarkably, a version of this set is still available (sadly, no more). I may pick up another one as a back-up – clearly, these are built to last.

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