So you are off on a few days’ hike/trek or even a field exercise with the military. Every cubic inch in your rucksack must be meticulously packed. Not to mention every gram you add will make the shoulder straps dig deeper into your shoulders. Yet you still need to live off that ruck for a certain amount of time. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast or a private stuck in the field for days on end, some sort of cooking set will come in handy at some point—especially during the winter, when you will need to melt ice or snow into water.
Enter the GSI Halulite series of cooking sets! Lightweight, compact, and well-thought-out. From single user set to complete sets for several people, your needs will be served with this line of products.
I tested the Microdualist over a month, doing both hiking and military training.
Out of the box, first thing to strike me was the weight of it, or rather how light it was. Being only 110g could explain it all. So let’s keep unpacking this bad boy. The whole set comes in a black nylon pouch with a top drawstring, nothing fancy here, except for the fact that GSI had it coated with some sort of meshed rubber, allowing it to be used as a wash basin for the rest of the components. It can also double as a basin for ablution in the field, and yes, we’ve shaved at 0400 with cold water using it. Next up are two small bowls, a cup with a neoprene drinking lid, and, sitting inside the cup, a set of foldable sporks.
Everything fits nicely into the stainless-steel cooking pan. The whole set measures a mere 5″ x 5 1/4″, making it pretty easy to store just about anywhere a little extra space can be found. This would make this set approximately three times smaller than the cooking set the Canadian Forces issued to us.
In the last exercise I took part, our chain of command made us go back to the basics—aka the defensive positions. Needless to say, all of us were thrilled to spend quality time in a trench waiting for an elusive enemy to wake our asses up every hour or so in the night. The Microdualist provided a little added comfort; boy, were my squad buddies and I happy to have boiling-hot coffee to sip on in the morning! Basically, all we used it for was making ourselves coffee/hot chocolate and heating up our rations.
Not wanting to waste any water during the exercise, we barely cleaned the cooking pot before I threw it back into my ruck for the entire last day, when we finally moved on to conduct some patrols. In short, all the liquids and food had plenty of time to turn into some sort of gunk on everything. Back home, unpacking, I decided I should really clean it up before I had to use a wheel grinder to get rid of the crusty remains of whatever we last cooked up. Well, GSI apparently thought of people like us when designing the cooking pot anti-adhesive coating, because I used very little hot water and everything came off easily.
In conclusion, I highly recommend the Halulite series cooking set for anyone who spends time in the wild. At $54 MSRP, the Microdualist won’t drain your piggybank and will greatly increase your overall comfort. Now you can go ahead and call me a softy!