If your outdoor adventures find you actually cooking in the wildnerness, here are some of the items I recommend for backpacking:

If your outdoor adventures find you actually cooking in the wildnerness, here are some of the items I recommend for backpacking:

What: Collapsible dinnerware for backpacking

Manufacturer: Sea to Summit

Price: $9.95 (8-ounce cup); 11.95 (16-ounce mug); $14.95 (22-ounce bowl); $18.95 (39-ounce capacity plate); $30 (mug and bowl in a nifty compacting pouch)

For more information: www.seatosummit.com

Backpackers are always looking for ways to lighten their loads and reduce the bulk inside their backpacks. This clever line of products answers those needs elegantly.

What: Packable, food-grade silicone cup and bowl set

Manufacturer: Guyot Designs

Price: $16.95 (16-ounce bowl, 6-ounce cup)

For more information: www.guyotdesigns.com

These elegantly designed, little guys have received high praise throughout the backpacking industry, including top awards in Backpacker magazine. Made from pliable silicone, they fold in on themselves so they can be tucked into any little corner of a backpack. Plus, because of their extreme heat-resistance, they can double-duty as an outdoor pot holder if necessary.

What: Ultralight, fast-boiling, gas-canister backpacking stove

Manufacturer: MSR

Price: $39.95

For more information: www.cascadedesigns.com

Backpackers can never have enough stoves in their outdoor arsenals. We've got several styles, so for whatever adventure we're headed into, we can bring along the perfect tool for heating water, melting snow and cooking food. This little guy does the job simply and quickly, all in a very light and compact package. It works off of a prefilled, gas canister onto which you seat the business end of the stove. Unlike its liquid-fuel counterparts (which have their own advantages, of course), there is no need for priming, pressurizing or serious maintenance. So they're very simple to operate and maintain.

What: Ultralight, fast-boiling, gas-canister backpacking stove

Manufacturer: Jetboil

Price: $69.95

For more information: www.jetboil.com

Another delightful stove system for the backpacker's collection. It's compact and lightweight (just like the MSR system previously mentioned) and is extremely easy and efficient to use.

What: A wonderful accessory for the Jetboil cooking system

Manufacturer: Jetboil

Price: $19.95

For more information: www.jetboil.com

Making fresh, rich, French-press coffee in the wilderness. For coffee-lovers, need I say more?

What: Ultralight, liquid-fuel backpacking stove

Manufacturer: MSR

Price: $99.95

For more information: www.cascadedesigns.com

At the other end of the backpacking-stove spectrum, you've got this beauty. Unlike the Pocket Rocket, which sits atop a canister of gas fuel, the SimmerLite requires a fuel system that includes a fuel pump and fuel bottle. One of the main advantages of this liquid-fuel system is that it will burn even in very low temperatures. But it's the perfect partner on those remote and extended trips where fuel canisters simply aren't practical.

What: Backpacking fare

Manufacturer: Mountain House

Price: $7 to $8.50

Freeze-dried meals store for years and years, so they'll never go to waste. And there are loads of different offerings to choose from, including beef stew, beef stroganoff with noodles, scrambled eggs, lasagna, sweet-and-sour pork with rice, and even raspberry crumble.