Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Bugaboo... Goofy name, awesome cookset
I got my Bugaboo cookset for Christmas a couple of years ago from my parents, per my request. I hadn't done a lot of research, but felt in my gut that this one would be a good choice. It's turned out to be a great choice.
As you see above, it has five main components: two pans, two pots, and one handle. All of the pots and pans have a nonstick surface.
I have taken my set backpacking and car camping, and it's performed well for both. Bugaboo is much larger than your typical backpacking cookset, but I'm ok with that. When we are packing for space and need the extra few ounces, we simply take our other fancy backpacking set (which I'll review later). Total weight is 1lb 7oz, so it's not designed to appeal to the UltraLight folks out there anyway. Occasionally I leave the larger pan and pot at home to conserve space, but really they fit nicely together thanks to their "nesting" design so that gets to be nitpicky.
The main advantage of the size is the cooking area: we've made pizza, quesadillas, and bacon on the trail with relative ease. (Just remember a tupperware for the bacon grease!) We also tend to eat a lot, and the pot accommodates a hearty meal for two ravenous eaters.
The other advantage for the size: I am able to fit my stove, a small can of fuel, lighter, matches, small spoons & cooking utensils, and a small towel inside the smaller pan/pot combination. This makes it so easy to know exactly where all of my cooking "stuff" is when it's dark, I'm tired, and we're scrambling to get set up and eat.
The cleanup is easy with the nonstick surface, and there has been little need to carry oil/spray/whatever to cook with because I've taken good care of the surface. When it starts to deteriorate I'll replace it (I'm not interested in eating teflon, thanks). As the manufacturer notes: Non-stick cookware should be used with heat-proof nylon or silicone utensils to prevent damage to the non-stick surface. In other words, don't grab your metal fork to cook with (just like at home)!
The main disadvantage with Bugaboo is my unwillingness to throw it on a fire as I would with an aluminum cookset. However, I bring heavy duty foil when I anticipate cooking on the fire and don't bother with my pans. The only other issue I've noticed is really a matter of user error: occasionally I screw up with the handle and drop things. Not fun.
Overall, I give this set an A. I've been quite pleased, and perhaps more importantly we've been the envy of many on the trail with the amazing food we've been able to whip up on the trail. Bonus points for being relatively inexpensive and widely available.