Back in my Boy Scout days, it was all about eating freeze dried food while hiking through New England. Then the Army ruined me with those shitty MRE’s. After my time in the military, it was back to better freeze dried food for kayaking expeditions. Now I’m an Overlander. And weight just isn’t a factor. If it’ll fit in my Toyota Tundra, you better believe that 5.7 liter V8 will haul it to our destination. So my cooking needs have evolved through this transition. Gone are the titanium sporks and pocket sized micro-stoves. I now have a 12 volt fridge and a 20,000 Btu 2 burner stove. So a more robust cook set was in order. I recently tried the Adventure Base Camp Cook Set from Stanley.

Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set | For the adventurous epicurean

This set uses high quality, heavy grade 18/8 Stainless Steel for the 3.5 Liter pot and 7.25″ 3-ply frying pan. Also included are basic table settings for four hungry campers. And a few additional handy items like a drying rack for the plates plus a silicone oven mitt. Although I understand why Stanley chose to include four plastic sporks, I’m really not a fan. One night we grilled 2″ thick fillets. Can’t spork a fillet…So we broke out some real knives and forks. The 3.5L pot is perfect for stew, soup or boiling water for pasta. The lid even has a built in strainer when spaghetti is on the dinner menu.

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The 3-ply frying pan has a thick stainless base to help provide even heat to cook the contents. The folding handle proved to be sturdy enough for the task and the heat was very uniform at all burner settings. Although 7.25″ is a bit small when considering feeding a family of 4, it worked very well for two of us. Also of note, the frying pan is old school without a nonstick coating. Better for your health, but you need to liberally coat the pan if you don’t want to be chiseling food from it. This set is well engineered and everything neatly nests into the 3.5L pot. There’s even a graphic representation of how everything fits into the pot printed on the inside of the lid. Because we sometimes struggle to remember how things go back together.

Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cook Set | For the adventurous epicurean

Adventure Base Camp Cook Set Details:

  • Weight: 5.60

  • Dimensions: 11.06L x 6.10W x 10.90H in

  • Dishwasher Safe

  • 18/8 Stainless Steel

  • Nesting system

  • Locking frying pan handle

  • BPA-free

  • Set includes: [1] 3.7Qt / 3.5L pot, [1] vented lid, [1] 7.25in diameter 3ply frying pan, [1] cutting board, [1] spatula with extending handle, [1] serving spoon with extending handle, [4] 6in plates, [4] 22oz bowls, [4] sporks, [1] dish drying rack, [1] heat resistant trivet, [1] locking bungee

  • MSRP $80

My $.02:

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The plastic 6″ plates, sporks and bowls will do the trick for the weekend warrior. But for the hardcore Overlander who plans to use this kit for weeks at a time, I recommend supplementing larger plates and a full set of silverware. The plate drying rack is kinda gimmicky but the engineers had some extra space within the package so they used it. I always towel dry and put everything away when cleaning up anyhow. The Adventure Base Camp Cook Set is right in-between backpacking and Overlanding. Too heavy to carry on your back and not quite large enough for a week or two in the Tundra. I feel this set would be the perfect choice for a family of four car camping for a long weekend.

About the Author:

Erik Meisner served in Attack Company, 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment as a rifle team leader with deployments to the Middle East, Central America and Asia. He’s a licensed pilot, SCUBA diver and enjoys Alpine skiing, shooting, Overland camping, boating, sea kayaking, traveling and golf. Growing up in a military family, Erik had the pleasure to live and ski all over North America and Europe. Now residing in beautiful Northern Michigan with his wife and 2 sons they continue to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.