A medium to large group on the trail is going to need one or more plastic, collapsible water containers at least two gallons in size. These items can be used to gather water and return it to the campsite. They can also be used to mix powdered drinks. Today more and more campers rely on mechanically operated water purification systems, so campers should seek water containers that will fit snugly to their water purifiers.
Group Size Cooking Vessels
The art of camp cooking--especially for backpackers--is to use one pot for preparation and cooking. Such one pot meals might include spaghetti, tuna casserole or Hungarian goulash. Even with this type of cooking, the size of the cook kit is going to be based on the size of the party. For example solitaire campers or couples might bring a small boy scout mess kit: combination frying pan, small pot, plate and hot drink cup; while a canoe party of 12 could need a camp cook kit with an 8-quart cooking pot and appropriate size frying pans.
After a while in the backcountry many campers long for a few comforts of home. One way of doing this is constructing makeshift furniture as you go. Primitive camp stools are easy to make (a flat rock on top of a tripod) as are camp tables, which can be made from parachute cord and sticks of dead wood. However, many campers might want to bring along a lightweight folding metal table that folds to form a compact unit.
The composition of the set of cooking utensils depends somewhat on the menu, but large stirring spoons and ladles are essential. Also of top priority are the special pasta spoons that come in handy both on the trail and at a roadside campsite. Other items, such as spatulas and meat forks, may not be as important if the camping party isn't packing fresh meat or planning to fish while in the backcountry. Fresh meat usually presents problems with storage.
Plastic, airtight storage containers work great for in-camp situations, but those out on the trail might do without. A backpacker's main concerns are keeping food items dry and airtight, which can be accomplished with plastic bags and ties. However, having a large stuff sack and rope for hanging the food supply in a tree at night can reduce the likelihood of a nighttime visit from animals, especially when camping in bear country.