The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Cookset includes two aluminium pots with a triple-coated Teflon interior coating, two matching lids which also serve as frying pans, a pot lifter and a string bag. The outer surface of each pot has a heat-treated blue coating, shading to black at the bottom. The Teflon coating is fairly rugged, and can take temperatures up to 600 F (315 C) – that should allow a bit of frying! The base has a spiral pattern on it, turned on a lathe no less. GSI claim this makes the base grip onto the top of a stove. Compared to how my light stainless steel ‘Rocket’-brand pot moves around on several canister and alcohol stoves, this claim seems valid. Unfortunately, you can’t buy individual items from the set.
This set is slightly lighter and cheaper than the GSI Hard Anodised Extreme set . Apart from the hard anodising finish, the two sets look identical – and cook the same.
These pots are relatively wide compared to the beercan mug concept, but this makes for greater heat transfer efficiency on a stove. GSI claims that aluminium has much better thermal conductivity than stainless steel and titanium; while true this is irrelevant when it comes to rate of heating in the field as the walls are too thin to matter. On the other hand, the aluminium bases are thick enough that they do spread the heat quite well – better than titanium or stainless. Of course, the extra thickness comes as the price of weight, but it seems to work.
The pot lifter GSI supplies is designed to work with the stainless steel bracket riveted on the side of each item, to avoid scratching the non-stick coating. The brackets seem a little clumsy in design but are well riveted on. The pot lifter is a solid construction and is a bit heavy compared to other brands of pot lifters. You can remove the pivot rivet, take the part of the lifter with the hook and cut it down lengthwise, to give a ‘handle’ which works quite well with these pots but weighs only about 0.64 ounces (18 g). But then, a bent bit of aluminium or titanium strip also works fine hooked up under the bracket. Other brands of pot lifter work reasonably well on the rim as well.
The smaller of the two Bugaboo pots, full of stew, inside my blue tent late in the evening.
The whole cookset is of course far too much for a lightweight walker, but you can easily take just what you want and leave the rest at home. The pots are the most attractive bits. Even the smaller of the two pots may be too big and heavy for a solo walker, but it is about the right size when cooking for two. The larger pot is fine for three people. If you share gear like this the weight efficiency becomes quite good, at 71 – 76 grams per person. This is quite light even compared to some Ti wares.