And why we can't live without it

Perfect Thing

How MSR Made the Best Camping Skillet, Ever

This simple piece of gear is easily overlooked but absolutely essential

The best nonstick skillet. (Scott Rinckenberger)

This simple piece of gear is easily overlooked but absolutely essential

A backpacking skillet, being only a skillet, is a piece of gear I always forget about until I'm about to whip up a backcountry meal. But then I pull my MSR Ceramic Flex skillet out and remember why I love it so much. 

The eight-inch diameter is large enough to cook a hearty backcountry meal for two, yet small enough to fit in a backpacking pack. And at just seven ounces (without the separately sold lid), it won't weigh you down. I particularly love the two-inch-tall sides, which are higher than any other skillet I've tested, and let me cook without making a mess. They also allow me to boil water in a pinch.

After a recent camping trip, I was reminded of one of the skillet's best features: its ceramic non-stick surface. A quick scrub washed away the remains from four sausages (which, by the way, it cooked perfectly). 

Other pots and pans I've owned were either too small or too heavy, and I tend to lose parts from those complicated, nesting setups. I've found that the skillet is the only pan I need for backcountry trips, as long as I don't want to boil pasta.

Like all great gear, the Ceramic Flex is also versatile. I gladly pack it along for car camping trips, and wouldn't be ashamed to use it at home, either.

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Filed To: Camping / Gear / Car Camping

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