Titanium On The Trail

 By: Gregory James
What do high performance jets have in common with lightweight, durable cookware? Titanium. That’s right, Ti or atomic number 22, for those of you who remember your elements. This amazing, elegant, silvery metal is taking a whole range of industries by storm! From aerospace manufacturing, sky writing, golf clubs, pacemakers and eyewear to cookware, titanium is the one to beat because of the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any known metal to date.

Cookware, specially camping cookware, is reaping the many benefits of this amazing, attractive metal. Up until recently, the heavy iron-cast pots and pans led the pack for strength and durability. Even today, we still love our cast-iron skillet’s. Let’s face it, who can resist a juicy steak and eggs over the fire or homemade cornbread? However, when it is time to hit the trail with the family, titanium cookware will be a welcomed new addition to your pack.

Not only is titanium lightweight, but also scratch proof, warp and ding resistant and non-porous, which makes it safe for cooking and super easy to clean. It is well-known for the ability to evenly distribute and retain heat too. No oil or water is needed, as it keeps the food from burning, that is unless you forget and leave on the fire overnight. Today you will find a camping product line that includes such items as compact cookware, small dishes, coffee pots, and cups.

For those of you working hard to live a heart healthy lifestyle, titanium cookware is ideal. The non-stick feature requires lesser amount of oil to cook. Less oil results in reducing fat or calories - all good for health conscious nature lovers.

Concerned about safety? Who isn’t. When you compare titanium side by side with copper and brass, again titanium takes home the gold in safety, so to speak. We know both copper and brass have been successfully manufactured and sold for decades. However, over time we have discovered that both have a high ability to rust and corrode, resulting in food contamination. Although brass and copper cookware are lined with non-corrosive materials, they simply do not hold up after repeated washes.

Now you’re probably wondering about cost. Will you pay more for these highly regarded qualities? Yes, you will until competition grows and prices begin to drop. Flash back to the early days of the HD projection screens and laptops. Meanwhile, consider it a wise longterm investment for you, and a gift to those who share a delicious meal with you around the campfire.

For those traveling in the comfort and ease of an RV, or you back county chefs not concerned with the weight of your cookware, fear not, you have choices. Understanding the key benefits of the various materials available will help you select the best cookware to meet your needs “ both on and off the trail.

Let’s start with hard anodized aluminum. This popular, simple choice is an affordable purchase for all-around backcountry use due to its even heat distribution, lightweight and quick clean up abilities, especially when non-stick.

Finally let’s consider stainless steel. There’s no argument about the durability of steel. If your pots and pans are going to take a beating, this may be your pick. However, understand with stainless steel comes additional weight when compared with titanium (45% lighter). It also gets low marks for heat distribution, as it tends to create hot spots. In terms of performance and suitability stainless steel lies somewhere between titanium and aluminum.

So, there you have it - Camping Cookware 101. Now you know there are a variety of metal cookware materials to meet a wide range of needs. Try before you buy, if possible. And if you are able, slip a little titanium piece in your pack. You will be glad you did!
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