There’s no way around it. If you want warm food on the trail, then you have to carry a cook pot. It sounds simple, but, in reality, it’s not. The pots are space hogs — they need to be big enough to boil water and rehydrate your food, and their round shape makes them difficult to stuff neatly in your pack. And the bigger they are, the more weight they add to your bag. If you understand the struggle, then you should check out the Bear Bowl from Bear Minimum.
The Bear Bowl is the world’s first cook pot to fit in your pocket. Yes, your pocket. And it’s not like any other cook pot you’ve seen — it’s square with four folds, two snaps, and a paracord handle. The sides of the pot are made of a food grade, flame resistant material that is cut to fold down into a package about the size of your wallet and weighing less than a cell phone. At the bottom of the Bear Bowl is a 4-inch aluminum base that allows you to rest the pot comfortably on almost any cooking stove and fuel source combination. It holds a respectable 32 ounces of liquid and can reach a boil in approximately five to eight minutes.
When you are done eating, cleaning the Bear Bowl is a cinch. Just unsnap the pot, lay it out flat and wipe it down. Because it is flat, you can actually wash all the food out of every crack and crevice. You also can dry the entire surface before packing it back into your bag. The ability to thoroughly clean and dry the Bear Bowl is critical — there is nothing worse than sitting down to cook dinner after a long day on the trail and finding stinky water or old food residue in your pot.
We admit the Bear Bowl is an odd-looking item, but this unique shape is crucial to the pot’s packability and performance. And performance it provides. “I tested the Bear Bowl on a real SERE training event and it performed throughout the duration in both the intended uses (on a small backpacker stove) and survival scenarios (over a fire).” said S.E.R.E. Specialist Contractor Leif Swenson, USAF. “After testing the Bear Bowl in the field I would recommend it to anyone who would like to reduce space in their pack and still keep a way to cook and boil in the field.”
The Bear Bowl is available for pre-order via IndieGoGo. Early Bird orders of the Bear Bowl will ship with a set of GSI Stackable Cutlery and are available for $19 plus shipping. The pot is expected to ship in June 2017, just in time for the summer backpacking season.