I have been backcountry camping and camping in general for over 15 years. I love being out in nature and preparing cool things to eat. I rarely buy the dehydrated bags of meals as I find them loaded with salt and I tend to get migraines from them, so I do my best to get creative when cooking on my camping trips.
I bought my first camping pot set about 18 years ago and have been happily using it ever since. They have been good pots and have never failed me but in July on my backcountry trip in Killarney, I burnt some food in my big pot that I use very frequently. When I got it home I tried desperately to get the charred bits off the bottom of the pot, but I didn’t succeed. The bottom of the pot had worn so thin that if I scrubbed the pot any further, I would probably scrub a hole right through the bottom. It was time to invest in some new cookware!
Over the past 5 months I have been diligently following the #woodsexplorer and have been doing my part to also promote the #TCTrail to reach it’s goal of connecting all of Canada by Canada’s 150th birthday. In doing so, I was rewarded with a #woodexplorer shirt and was asked to wear it proudly and tag #woodsexplorer while wearing it out on the trail. I have written many blog posts on my adventures on the Trans Canada Trail this summer and it has been great fun! You can find them here by destination: Brantford TCT, Huntsville TCT, Cambridge TCT, Guelph TCT, Niagara On The Lake TCT, Wainfleet TCT and the Tay TCT !
In supporting the explorers I have seen quite a few of the Woods Canada products cross my screen. One day, Melba showed us the Woods Pot set and how great it is to cook with. Here is the video if you are interested in seeing it:
You can find Melba posting on her new blog these days at Melba’s Toast. It’s pretty interesting, check it out!
After seeing the video and watching the explorers use these pots for their 5 month adventure, I decided I would like to get the 8 piece set myself and use it for my adventures as well. It was also a good opportunity to test it out myself and let people know what a regular person thinks of it, who isn’t getting paid to promote the Woods brand. Nothing against the Explorers, I love them all, but they were being paid by Woods Canada and I am not.
I picked up the set at my local Canadian Tire for about $50.00. I was anxious to get it home and see what the 8 piece set entailed? Usually they count the silliest things as pieces when companies advertise numbered piece sets. I got it home and opened it up and I was actually very impressed with it and how much was in the box!
Every piece was wrapped in plastic and they all fit nicely into this custom pot bag they’d made. There were 2 pots in various sizes, one with handles on each side, 3 pans with one able to double as a lid, an actual lid with a strainer on it, a handle that could be used for all pieces, and, the bag that it all fit nicely back in to. Quite a lot of items for the $50.00 I spent! The bag also had a pocket with a velcro closure to keep the handle in, so it didn’t get lost, which I thought was a really cool idea!
I was pretty hard on my gear in general, so I was anxious to see how these items would hold up to my rough use of them. The first test was breakfast in the backcountry at Bon Echo Provincial Park.
I heated up one of the pans, put a bit of butter in it and pan fried our english muffins. I was worried because the pans seemed very thin, but it held up nicely and browned the english muffins perfectly. Next I made omelettes and used the one pan that fit on top the other as a lid to keep the heat in and melt the cheese. No sticking, no burning, no problems! Nice.
The breakfast came out wonderfully and everything was tasty. The pan was very easy to clean. I honestly just wiped it out with a paper towel and rinsed it to get as much of the scent off of them as possible. Easy peasy! Test #1 Pass with flying colours.
For dinner I had decided to make shrimp pasta. I got out the pots I would need and all the ingredients, etc, and got to cooking.
I basically needed to boil water in the big pot, cook the pasta for about 3-5 minutes and then strain it with the cool lid that came with the set. That all went very well. When I went to strain the pasta, I used one of the other pots which came in handy for just this use. The lid I used as a strainer has a neat design. There is a knob in the middle of the lid that actually stays cool while using it. At first I used the potholder, but after noticing the cool centre in the lid, I easily held on to it with my bare hand and strained the boiling hot water through the holes in it with great ease!
Once the pasta was strained I heated up the pot again and put some greek dressing in it on high heat, along with some olive oil. Once it was heated up I added some diced peppers, green onions, garlic and shrimp. I sautéed it all for a few minutes in the big pot, then added the pasta and mixed it all in together in the large pot. I added some fresh cheese, covered the pot for a few minutes and the meal was complete. Nothing super difficult but still, very delicious and again, the pots worked really well for my needs, and these were also extremely easy to clean. Nothing stuck to them, or got burned and they just wiped out with no problems.
Sunday morning we woke up and it had been a chilly night. I got the fire going as we were low on cooking fuel and wanted to make up some hot chocolate with baileys in it. I put the pot right on the fire to boil the water. Part of me was worried as the pots/pans looked so thin, but it actually held up great! I wanted to make campfire popcorn in them last night, but we ended up getting a very big storm and it just wasn’t an option. I will definitely try it out on my next trip though! I am curious to see how the popcorn cooks in these pots and if it will burn or not?
You might notice that the lid I used for the pot, which is also a pan looks like the paint is chipping. What it actually is, is part of my tablecloth. LOL. When I was cooking breakfast the day before, it was very windy so we put the stove on the seat of the picnic table. The wind blew the tablecloth into the stove and part of it stuck to the pan. I couldn’t get it off but it didn’t hinder me while cooking with it at all, so no big deal!
The pot seemed no worse for wear after using it directly on the fire which is good as I like to do a lot of my cooking on the fire when I can.
After using the pot on the fire to boil water, I used the pan, previously the lid from the boiling water pot, for another breakfast, bacon, cheese and egg wraps.
Again, no sticking, no burning and cleaned up very easily.
I did notice that my pan had a dent in it. You can see it in the photo above. I am not entirely sure how it got there? I wasn’t abusive to the pan in any way, so I am assuming it either happened before I got it, or while I was transporting the cook set to the campsite? It didn’t really affect me in any way except when I tried to put the handle on it at the dented area and the handle wouldn’t grab that part, so not an issue really.
Overall, I like my new pot set very much! I did not use all of the items as yet, but will definitely continue to test them out on my upcoming adventures and do a follow up post next year.
If you need an inexpensive pot set with lots of value and pieces, I think this set would be a good addition to anyones gear. The pots are durable, lightweight and very easy to clean. You can find them here.
If you have any questions, issues or concerns, or just want to say hi, please don’t hesitate to send me a comment!
Thanks so much for reading!