One item (or group) typically overlooked for survival kit packing is a mess kit. Many people plan how they’re going to get food, but not how they’re going to cook it, what they’re going to eat it from, or what they’re going to eat it with. Before we dive into this I want to acknowledge that you can absolutely survive without one. In fact you can survive without anything if you have the knowledge, skill, and a little luck to overcome it. Even so, life is much better if you enter into a survival situation prepared. We’re of the mindset of being a prepared survivalist, with primitive knowledge and practice as a fallback, not the primary plan.
A good mess kit doesn’t take up much room serves you well in your efforts to maintain the most basic of necessities…..eating (see our article on the rules of three for the others). A durable pan, pot, and utensil set can help you survive comfortably. You’re going to need a kit that can withstand harsh environments and rough conditions, such as being dropped, being exposed to rain, or being exposed to high temperatures.
It must also be lightweight and compact. Coleman makes some with all the essentials that you could consider. The 5 piece ALU Mess Kit comes with a frying pan, deep plate, cup, and a pot with a lid has been around for awhile and has a level of popularity.
All of the items are made out of aluminum, so they’re lightweight and clean off easily. The whole set weighs just over a pound, so it’s not going to weight you down if you attach it to the back of your bag.
The pot is extremely useful for boiling water that you find as a means of purification. It has a carry handle, so you can fill it up or fill up your bottles with it and bring it back to be boiled.
Once boiled, it should be safe to drink after it cools off. The pan is useful for cooking up any meat you acquire from hunting or fishing. It might not taste great without any seasoning, but it’s nutritious.
The deep dish plate is great for serving any MRE food you make. The mess kit nests together, so you’re not trying to find space for an entire cooking set. You can simply nest them all together and attach it to the back of your bag.
Of course, you also need a solid utensil if you’re going to be eating. A durable, compact solution is the Light My Fire Titanium Spork. It weighs a mere 0.7 ounces, and is just under seven inches long.
It’s made entirely of titanium – a weather resistant metal that’s sure to last. On one end, there’s a spoon, and on the other end, there’s a fork. On one side of the fork, there’s a serrated edge that’s meant to be used as a knife.
The Titanium Spork is extremely heat resistant, withstanding temperatures up to 2300 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don’t have to worry about it melting if it gets too close to the fire.
Our recommended mess kit however is the MalloMe. You can read our review of it at the below article.
Regardless of what brand or if you fashion your own from scratch, it’s a good idea to include a small one into your survival kit packing.