Thanks to Matt Mercer, a Pathfinder instructor and founder of Black Hat Bushcraft, it’s easier than ever to learn about the new Pathfinder titanium line that was released in October of 2020.
Made up of three new pieces (a bottle and cup set, a skillet, and a camp grill), this titanium gear is designed to upgrade your current cookware. But before we get into what’s new, we’re going to cover what exactly makes titanium stand out from the crowd, plus some pros and cons that will help you decide on investing.
The Big Four of Cookware
The type of cookware that you bring for camping can make or break your experience. For example, if you like to hike, materials like cast iron will be far too heavy to carry. Others, like titanium, tend to have hot spots that can make it a challenge to cook evenly. That’s why you should always do your own research on the cookware materials that work for you best.
Luckily, there are only four main types that you typically can choose from:
- Cast Iron
- Stainless Steel
All cooking vessels have their own strengths and weaknesses based on their materials. An easy way to look at it is to treat these four materials like they’re on a spectrum.
For example, cast iron is the polar opposite of titanium because cast iron is heavy, heats up slowly, and disperses heat evenly. However, because of its weight, it can be a burden to carry long distances. On the other hand, titanium is not as heavy—but it does have hot spots, which means that you’ll have to cook on low heat if you plan to use a rocket stove.
Even so, titanium is an excellent material for cooking. Let’s find out why.
Why Choose Titanium?
Titanium is great for cookware—and if you know how to use it correctly, you’ll enjoy the lightweight material and cook without any problems. It’s also much more nonstick than aluminum is, which is one of the most common materials out there. In some cases, it even does better than stainless steel.
In any case, like many other materials, titanium has its own set of pros and cons.
Pros of Titanium
Titanium heats up very quickly. Titanium heats up very quickly so that you can start cooking quickly. Plus, materials that heat up faster are more fuel-efficient, which means that you spend fewer resources cooking.
Titanium is a very sturdy material. Titanium is very stable, so it won’t leak into your foods like acidic or alkaline-based materials do. It’s an overall safer type of cookware because its properties don’t change when it’s exposed to a higher temperature.
Titanium is lightweight. Perhaps the best material for going long distances, titanium is one of the lightest cookware you can pack. It won’t weigh you down like cast iron—which, although a classic favorite for outdoor cooking, is not designed for hiking.
Cons of Titanium
Titanium doesn’t distribute heat evenly. Known for its “hot spots,” titanium heats up wherever the flame is. This puts your food at risk of not being cooked evenly, so to avoid this, be sure to watch your food and move it around frequently. The main key is to cook over a low heat setting and use some butter or oil.
It costs more than other cookware. It’s true: Titanium costs more than stainless steel or aluminum cook gear because it’s so desirable. As a sturdy, lightweight material that doesn’t leak into your foods, titanium will have a higher price range than other types of cookware.
Titanium cools down quickly. Although this can be seen as a pro, it can also be a con depending on how you look at it. For example, if your fire dies out and you plan to cook some more food, you’ll have to start over. Of course, its quick cooling capability is also beneficial if you want to cook and move fast.
New Pathfinder Titanium Line
Everything’s better when it’s upgraded, and that’s why Self Reliance Outfitters has introduced a new Pathfinder titanium line. This line focuses on upgrading your cooking experience while out in the woods by providing high-quality, lightweight, nonstick products that are easy to carry, clean, and cook with. Check out what’s in store:
Titanium Bottle and Cup Set
The Titanium Bottle and Cup set is a perfect combination of lightweight and durability. Packaged in a mesh bag, it’s practically effortless to carry this set—especially since the bottle fits right into the cup.
Here are the specs:
This 1050 mL bottle has a full titanium cap that is heavy duty with a gripped edge. While some people don’t like the noise titanium makes, you can open it slowly to avoid the scraping sound, which is helpful if you’re out hunting and need a quick drink.
If you place the lid down in the mesh bag first and then the cup, the bottle nestles in on top just right so that you can cinch the bag and carry it with ease.
The titanium bottle is perfect for storing water or keeping coffee hot for several hours because of its high and low-temperature resistance. This set is also corrosion-resistant, so you can use it for years to come.
With a custom-fitted mesh carrying bag, this simple cup is small but fits a whopping 600 mL of liquid. Even better, the cup has extra-large butterfly handles, which makes it perfect for cold temperatures when you’re wearing gloves.
With its small triangle lifter, it’s easy to latch the cup onto your backpack if you decide to leave the titanium bottle behind.
The cup also has graduated measurement markings on its side, which makes it perfect for measuring while cooking. While there is no pour spout, you can pour without issue with the help of the non-friction fit lid.
At just under six inches in width, the new titanium skillet is an excellent lightweight option for cooking solo. But don’t let its size fool you: This skillet allows you to cook full meals on a rocket stove or alcohol stove like eggs, bacon, sausage, and more.
The titanium skillet also fits the crowd-favorite bush pot cutting board perfectly inside its mesh bag. If you’ve also grabbed the 1100ml titanium bush pot, this becomes a whole set that fits perfectly (while still maintaining its lightweight).
The best part is that this skillet only weighs 2.6 ounces, so if you’re a big hiker, then you’re looking for minimal gear like this piece. Plus, with a foldable handle, you can use tension to pull out the handle or fold it back up underneath.
As one of the most versatile products out there, the titanium camp grill is lightweight and slim in size so that it can fit on the back wall of your backpack. It comes packed in a nylon pouch that is rubberized on the inside so that even if your grill gets greasy and dirty, you don’t have to worry about it ruining the bag.
At only 5 ounces, this grill is so light that you can forget you’re even carrying it. It’s made up with a heavy gauge of titanium, which means that it won’t warp up over the fire. This makes it perfect for steak, hamburgers, and smoked sausage.
With this grill, you can set it up for an alcohol grill and stove or use a bush pot stove on top. What’s even better is that you can also cook directly onto the grill by setting it up with some stakes.
How to Set up the Titanium Camp Grill
The best way to use the camp grill is so that you’ll be able to brush coals underneath it. You can do so this way:
- Find 2-4 sticks that are between 1 ½ to 2 inches in length. (You can use four sticks for this for all corners, but two will do just fine.)
- With a bow saw, sharpen off a point on each stick so that you can stick them into the ground like stakes.
- On the other side, use the bow saw to cut a small curve that can fit the grill to hold it up.
When you stick the stakes into the ground, you’ll have a standup cooking surface that gives you flexibility on how high or low the coals you want to cook.
Now that you know the pros and cons of titanium, you’ll have a better idea if the new Pathfinder titanium bottle and cup, skillet, and grill are materials that you’ll want to invest in. Generally speaking, if you plan to cook for yourself and do a lot of moving around, then opting for titanium-based cookware will make any outdoor adventure easier.
For more tips on Pathfinder products and gear, check out the Pathfinder’s official YouTube channel as well as Matt’s Black Hat Bushcraft channel. There, you can directly watch bushcraft pros like Matt Mercer or Dave Canterbury explain and demonstrate some of their favorite tricks that you can use on your next outdoor adventure.