Backpacking Forums
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Stay Healthy--Eat Well


Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals


Natural High


Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#124121 - 11/20/09 02:41 PM minimum pot size for two
idahosteve Offline

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Idaho
What would you consider necessary for cooking for 2?
Is .9 L large enough, or is the 1.3 L needed?

(On a snow peak litemax stove)
I dare you to move, like today never happened...

#124123 - 11/20/09 04:56 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2765
Loc: California
I use the smallest of the three nesting SnowPeak pots. I have to be careful when stirring because it is quite full. I also take the lid. Sometimes we take the middle sized pot if we feel very decadent. Sorry, but I do not know what the liter capacity is for the pots. The small pot has a "1000" marking a bit less than half an inch from the rim and it is 6 inches diameter. I suppose that is a bit over a liter capacity.

By the way, I really cook, not just boil water. We boil water, pour hot drinks (usually miso soup- tiatnium cups) then cook dinner and eat with the pot between us. I think I get less than half of the meal - my significant other eats faster than me! We do add a fairly large frying pan when we seriously fish.

#124129 - 11/20/09 08:06 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
sarbar Offline

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
That is pushing it for size.

It does depend on what you like to eat (say rice or pasta dishes not requiring lots of water versus water to boil pasta or making soups) and how much you like to eat - if one or both are big eaters, go up.

As well, do you boil water for drinks before?

I'd go 1.3. You don't add that much weight in the jump and it gives breathing space. In all honesty, when I cook for 2 I use a 1.8 Liter pot or a 2 Liter pot. The extra space again doesn't weigh much (often we are talking 1 to 2 ounces more) but I have so much more usable space. I do make sure I pack junk in my pot to equal the extra space taken up!

When my son was little I took .9 or a 1 Liter pot often but as time went on I realized I had to boil water twice, once for drinks, then the water for dinner. I wasted more fuel doing that than just using the bigger pot smile
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond:

#124132 - 11/20/09 08:46 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: sarbar]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6424
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
You need to answer these questions first:

(1) Do you cook in your pot or use the Freezer Bag "Cooking" method (boiling water and pouring it into the freezer bag containing your dried food, allowing it to rehydrate for 15-20 minutes in a cozy)? (See the link to Sarbar's website for details.)

(2) Do you drink lots of hot beverage or just one cup at a meal?

If you only heat water to a boil and pour it over your dried food, saving the rest of the hot water for your beverage, figure out how much water you need per dinner and add how many cups of water you want for your beverage. You of course want an inch or so on top to allow for expansion and bubbling. I use this method (I hate washing dishes!). For solo use (drinking only one cup of tea) I get along fine with a 550 ml. pot. I have a 1300 ml pot for going out with my 3 grandkids, but I take more fuel so I can boil water twice--once for rehydrating our food and once for our beverage (hot cocoa, in the case of the kids). As Sarbar says, I'd need less fuel if I took a bigger pot and boiled only once.

If you're cooking food in your pot, you need more than double the pot capacity you'd use for heating water, so your food won't boil over. If I were doing actual cooking, I'd use my 1300 ml pot for solo use and at least double that capacity for two persons. For beverages, you have to pour off the boiling water before adding food to the pot and drink your beverage while the food is cooking, or take a separate pot just for heating beverage water. Some people scrape out the dirty pot and use it to heat their beverage water, but I personally am not fond of rice or macaroni bits in my tea. Your Mileage May Vary!

Some like to rehydrate their dried food in their cooking pot using a cozy that fits the pot. Here, as with actual cooking, you are faced with the choice of drinking your beverages before dinner, heating beverage water in a foody pot, or carrying a second pot for beverage water.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#124140 - 11/21/09 12:22 AM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
Paul Offline

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 778
Loc: California
I use a 2 liter pot for 2 people. Plenty of capacity is better for me. If we both want a hot drink, and both are preparing meals that take 2 cups water, then one pot can do it all at once. Plus, a smaller pot wouldn't fit the stove and canister and pot lifter all inside.

#124145 - 11/21/09 12:00 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
weight2funratio Offline

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 20
Loc: MN
Jetboil small pot works for me, but I boil twice: once for drinks, then once for food (2x/day: b-fast and dinner... lunch is always cold). That's just under 1liter capacity... I like the jetboil system because it cooks so fast and is so convenient. Its not great for frying or that type of cooking, but I usually go with self prepared, dehydrated (MSG-free) meals. The Jetboil is a fuelmiser, but is a little heavy unless you trim the weight off the burner assembly by drilling holes strategically into it to cut the weight. I took almost 50% of the weight off that way...
If a robot could carry my stuff, I'd make him carry me with my Osprey on my back any way.

#124148 - 11/21/09 04:46 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: weight2funratio]
idahosteve Offline

Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 62
Loc: Idaho
well, I went to the store with an idea of the pot I wanted, and came back with a different one!
I was pretty well ready to go with a small pot, the .9L as the cooking willl be with my younger son, and he is picky and we probably wouldn't do that much true cooking.
But after looking over a couple of options, I bought the Pinnacle Soloist. I liked the set up even though I won't use some of it. I also liked that it was "in the middle" with its 1.1L pot. I like the heavier duty handle as well.
Its been more of a struggle for me coming from a technical climbing background. We have always had more gear, heavier loads, and we tend to eat a LOT of calories to stay at speed!
Now my loads are light, my eating has changed, and its a new mindset. I appreciate these forums, sometimes habits are hard to change!

So how do we cook fish with this setup? confused
I dare you to move, like today never happened...

#124155 - 11/21/09 07:53 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2765
Loc: California
I disagree that you need double the pot size to cook. As for boiling over, my food never boils over. When I cook it is a full-time job- full time stirring and turning down the heat if needed. The question posted was what was the MINIMUM size needed. I will stand by my first statement - 1.0-1.3 liters should do. That is not to say that a 2-liter pot isn't a nice luxury - but not minimally needed.

#124159 - 11/21/09 10:42 PM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: idahosteve]
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
You did not mention the weather you would be using this in. If you use the pot for melting snow then the surface area of the bottom of the pan is critical, not its volume. I think a minimum of 7" in diameter is required, but a skillet shape with a cover would work well. Its just that most camping pans are too tall for their volume.

I don't think I could cook for 2 in a 1 liter pan, though I often carry a .6 liter for myself on light trips but prefer a liter. Often in the Winter (with 2 people) I carry a double burner stove with a 1 liter and a 2 liter pan and sometimes a skillet, all Titanium. That way the pasta and the sauce are both hot at the same time, or I can use the larger bottomed pan for melting snow while cooking on the other.

BUT I do not like to suffer from taking too little gear. You have to make a decision, do I want the luxury of carrying very little while on the trail, OR do I want the luxury of efficient gear when I am in camp? Since you come from a heavy weight user background, I am suggesting that you may want to compromise, especially if your son is a picky eater, you could offer him better food. (I refuse to eat reconstituted powdered food material while camping because I go out to enjoy myself - I can suffer at home if I want to.)
Jim YMMV crazy
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

#124172 - 11/22/09 11:38 AM Re: minimum pot size for two [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I go solo with an AGG "3 cup" pot - which is actually about 900 ml capacity.. With two people it's simple... take *TWO* of them. Put one in the second guy's pack - realisticly two pots are easier than one for this - and this is what I typically do with a companion. Realisticly with the lightweight small pots this is not a significant weight penalty.

With larger groups (3-4) I take a 2l pot and the little one.

In Winter I always take either the 2l pot, or my MSI set (which is about a 1.5 and a 1 liter pot together) - The latter being about the minimum size I like for melting snow for drinking - which I do in winter.

Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
1st synthetic hoodie in YEARS
by MoBetta
03/11/18 06:14 PM
If It's Good, They'll Stop Making It
by Bill Kennedy
03/09/18 04:55 AM
Eureka Spitfire 1
by Bill Kennedy
03/08/18 04:44 AM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
I chose Sawtooth over Medicine bow
by toddfw2003
03/14/18 11:11 PM
Anyone use Vasque Breeze 3 non gortex?
by toddfw2003
03/14/18 10:44 PM
Packing do you carry your pistol?
by willie1280
03/14/18 03:55 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Whitney Jacket Cuffs
by Bill Kennedy
03/07/18 05:01 AM
Joann fabrics and quilt supplies
by sashurlow
05/02/15 07:32 AM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 20 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
pinhotiBill, MitchBo, Tems908, Michael C., Andidn19
12531 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker &