A backpacking pot cozy is one of those pieces of gear that I questioned for a long time – is that really necessary?? Is a pot cozy really worth it?? I was skeptical to say the least.
However, a few things changed my mind and made me join team pot cozy. Once I started dehydrating my own healthy, keto backpacking dinners, I realized they need a little bit more ‘umph’ to rehydrate than, say, minute rice and instant potatoes.
It’s also relatively cheap to make your own backpacking pot cozy and after all said and done – mine ended up weighing one measly ounce. To me, that’s worth it to allow my homemade backpacking meals stay hotter, longer to rehydrate a little more thoroughly, with less fuel overall.
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What is a pot cozy and what does it do?
A backpacking pot cozy is usually made out of heat safe Reflectix material and provides extra insulation to help cook/rehydrate your backpacking meals more efficiently, keeps your meal hotter, longer and gives you a safe comfortable way to hold your hot pot or sit it on your lap without worrying about burning yourself.
There are also ‘pouch cozies’ which are also made out of Reflectix but in the shape of a freezer bag or Mountain House meal, so you can just add water to your bag and let it cook in your pouch cozy.
Essentially, you only need to bring water to a boil, then you can turn off your stove and let your meal soak and cook in the super hot water inside the pot cozy without having to keep your stove going to simmer it until it’s done.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a huge perk especially for more hearty, homemade backpacking meals that you may have dehydrated yourself that may need a little extra time and heat to rehydrate fully.
Another perk is that a pair or group of backpackers can easily share one stove with this method by boiling a big batch of water and pouring into the other hikers pots in pot cozies.
I know, I know, you could also just make one big meal in one pot for the group, but then how do you divvy it up? A hiking partner of mine, ahem, my husband (!) wouldn’t believe we could split it up into equal portions if cooked altogether in one pot on the trail, so we must each have our own separate meals, to make sure we each get enough.
DIY Reflectix pot cozy for backpacking
Follow this video tutorial to see how to make your own backpacking pot cozy from a pot cozy kit or buy your own Reflectix and foil tape to assemble yourself.
Pot cozy supplies:
DIY Pot Cozy Kits
The only real down side of trying to DIY your own pot cozy is that you’d have to buy the supplies in bulk which will probably be $30+ online or at your local hardware store, and I promise you don’t need 150 feet of foil tape to make your own backpacking pot cozy.
Or you can buy your own DIY Pot Cozy Kit for $11.99 which includes just the supplies you need to make one pot cozy that you measure and cut for the shape of your own pot.
Every pot cozy kit comes with detailed instructions on how to make your own cozy to fit your backpacking cook pot. However, since this is such a tactile project, I highly recommend you watch the video tutorial above to actually see how to cut and assemble your own pot cozy.
For more tips on backpacking gear or how to make your own, check out:
- Easy make your own gear projects
- Backpacking gear checklist: what to pack
- Ursack Bear Proof Bag: everything you need to know
- Do you really need a tent ground cloth?