The Pros And Cons Of Cast-Iron Cookware For Camping

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When I was homeless in England, I got by mainly by living off of other people's trash. I lived in a home-made shelter in make-shift campgrounds a mile outside of the city of Bath. I used many different kind of cookware, including cast-iron cookware for camping. I even found a cast-iron skillet still in its box with a warranty in someone's trash. I still remember the thrill of discovery.

The Advantages

The main advantage of cast-iron cookware for camping is that it's very durable and doesn't topple over in a stiff wind (which we got a lot of in England). It also spreads heat out evenly and so you don’t have burnt food on the bottom and ice-cold sludge on the top. Another advantage is that cast-iron cookware for camping is fireproof. This is very important, because fire and hot coals are all you have to cook with. It's surprising how many people forget this.

Another tremendous advantage of cast-iron cookware for camping is that it makes a great self-defense weapon that you don’t need a license for. I swear I could deflect a bullet with my cast-iron frying pan found in the trash. Even when it rusted and I realized I couldn’t cook with it anymore, I still kept it just to smack intruders over the head. Unfortunately, living in a camp makes you more prone to people high on drugs. You need to smack first and ask questions later.

The Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of using cast-iron cookware for camping is a really big one hard to ignore – cast-iron is incredibly heavy. If you're hiking all over hill and dale, you have to have everything on your back. After a couple of miles in the afternoon sun, that cast-iron cookware for camping begins to feel like the proverbial albatross. If you are going to take a cast- iron cooking utensil, take ONE small pan and that's it. If however, you are an RV camper, then you can use a whole set of cast-iron cookware for camping and your back will be fine.

The other disadvantage of cast-iron cookware for camping is that it does not tolerate water well. This is not very helpful when you are stuck for a week in a downpour. When the tent starts leaking, you grab all of the pots and bowls you can to collect the leaks and keep it from spreading out all over your bedding. In this way, a cast-iron pot is helpful. However, it's ruined for cooking by the end of the storm.
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1 comment:

  1. Good post. You mention things I have not considered and I talk to people about cast iron camping cookware. The idea of cast iron cookware as a weapon is novel. However lethal meals I have cooked in my earlier years.