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.