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Collapsible cookpot idea
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Ian Schumann

Locale: Central TX
Collapsible cookpot idea on 11/30/2007 15:28:44 MST Print View

Now that my base weight is hanging out around 6-8 lbs, I'm much more intrigued by reducing my pack's volume instead. One idea that seems really appealing is the prospect of being able to fold my cookpot down for transport, vastly reducing volume and improving its packing flexibility.

So, Orikaso is a cool idea right? I mean, I don't take any of those things on my trips, but at least we can say the idea is clever, right? Well I wonder whether we could use the same concept for a cookpot.

The only problem I can think of is resistance to fatigue, because if we just stole, say, the Orikaso bowl and cut the same design out of Al or Ti, those corner bends would be subject to quite a lot of, surprise, bending. That paired with repeated heating and cooling cycles may cause those areas to, what, shear? Rupture? I don't know enough about what I'm talking about to make an educated guess.

Any thoughts about this? I'd love to be able to fold my cookpot flat!

Casey Cardwell
(Niles) - MLife

Locale: On the Dirt in Oregon
Re: Collapsable cookware on 11/30/2007 16:43:22 MST Print View

I've been thinking on this one too, and actually tried to make an Orikaso style bowl from aluminum flashing...almost immediately suffering the cracking at the corners you speak of.

Tinny, from makes and sells baking cookware that folds up. He uses heavy duty aluminum (where do you get that, btw???). It seems like if it works for his bakeware, it should work for a pot, right?

Also, as for the Orkiaso cups, I don't think it would be too much of an issue to add a little button snap to the aluminum like they do to their plastic.

If I knew where to get that heavy duty aluminum I'd be prototyping my little brains out.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Collapsible cookpot idea - Been There Done That on 11/30/2007 16:58:09 MST Print View

This site has so many good "MYOG" threads but it seems no one ever looks at them.

Aluminum "Flat Fold" Cook Pot

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Collapsible cookpot idea on 11/30/2007 19:12:04 MST Print View

There are some designs in the book "Bushcraft" by Mors Kochanski. They are based on Native designs and originally made out of birch bark. You can of coarse make them out of Aluminum too, I made a few out of some disposible pizza pans just to try it out and get the right size and ect.
The thing to remember though is that they are designed to be used with some hot rocks. That is, you pour water into the pot- then toss a few rocks in the fire until they are hot and then drop them in the pot- instant boiled water. Well in theory anyway, I still havent got around to trying it out but this post just inspired me to get moving.
* as a note usually when people write about this technique they like to tell about how the Natives where not impressed by the metal pots frontiersmen carried around for the same reason your looking for alternatives to the pot- question is how convienant is this method compared to modern stoves?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Collapsible cookpot idea on 12/01/2007 14:38:24 MST Print View

As they say there is a difference between theory and practice and that difference is greater in practice than in theory.
Playing in the backyard or the kitchen top is one thing ( I do a lot of that too) but once in the bush, particularly when tired and the weather is not ideal, what we need is ease of use, not fiddling.
I really cannot see the advantage of a "folding pot" compared to the disadvantage in maintenance and cleaning. Also for any given volume a folding pot will necessarily be heavier than a conventional design. The advantage of the flat storage is negated (for me) by the fact that I use my pot to store my stove,fuel,lighter and cleaning cloth. So since the pot is pretty much full, there is no storage gain for me.

Andrew :-)
(terra) - F

Locale: Sydney, Australia.
Pack items in and around the bowl... on 12/01/2007 15:28:58 MST Print View

I know its not a gadgety or inovative solution but it works. The actual 'volume' taken by a bowl/pot is minimal (sink it in a bucket of water to see what I mean). If you can pack things into and around your bowl then it won't rob a lot of space. Doing this also can help protect a thin lightweight bowl from being deformed if you fall onto your pack etc.
Just sit down with all your pack contents and pack/unpack it until you work out how to make the bowl disappear between other items.

I learnt to do this whilst motocycle touring with a tiny pack that is supposed to clip to my petrol tank. Standing around in a pub with soggy bike boots is not fun. A pair of runners is a godsend after a long wet day in the saddle. I found that by packing items in and around the shoes they could fit into an already full little tankbag.

Ian Schumann

Locale: Central TX
Volume demands on 12/02/2007 10:53:21 MST Print View

You're absolutely right of course with regard to putting stuff inside a cookpot and both A) using the interior volume, and B) strengthening the cookpot against damage. When packing, I do this of course just like the next guy.

But as I said I'm reducing my pack volume a lot these days, such that sometimes I've been able to eke multi-day trips out of tiny packs like the GoLite VO24. In such a small space the problem that's arising is not exactly that there just isn't ENOUGH space, but that often what's left inside the pack for cookware is irregular space, and my Titan kettle is of course rigid and uncooperative. I started this thread just wondering if there was a way a UL cookpot could be developed that, albeit perhaps heavier, would collapse so as to be much more flexible in where and how it could be packed. Get me?

Ian Schumann

Locale: Central TX
Back to the Orikaso-ish thing . . . on 12/02/2007 11:00:35 MST Print View

Bill thanks for pointing me to the relevant thread. Your work always looks so impeccable, though I guess in this case the pan-liner pot didn't require all that much technical ability :-D

To me it's unclear from the thread what ever happened with this thing, although maybe I wasn't reading closely enough. Did the folding cookpot weather additional boil tests? Did it harden up the way Vick talked about? Fill me in, thanks Bill.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Back to the Orikaso-ish thing . Hardening and anealing on 12/02/2007 13:45:12 MST Print View

Following up on my comment on aluminum hardening along fold lines: Working aluminum by bending or hammering causes it to crystalize and finally, to fracture on stress lines such as folds. You can soften it before folding and it will stay soft for a few folding-unfolding cycles. How fast this happens depends on the alloy.

You can aneal aluminum by heating it (in a darkened room) until you can just barely see a cherry (brownish) red glow. Then you can either quench it or let it cool slowly to room temperature - it makes little difference when working with thin sheet.

An alternative to this tricky (and temporary) stunt might be to find or make a pot that is shaped more compatibly to your pack. I'm thinking of something like the old GI canteen cup if weight is less an issue than size.

Edited by vickrhines on 12/03/2007 14:07:34 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Collapsible cook pot idea on 12/02/2007 15:29:33 MST Print View

Ian, I did not mean to belittle your quest. Any hard object inside a pack is at best an irritation and if there is a way to minimize that I am all for it. When I go solo I usually eat out of my pot, however when in company I sometime have my Oricaso bowl to share my food (lunchtime snacks)
At the moment I am not aware of any metals that will stand up to repeated folding, so the alternative seems to be the collapsible type, like those plastic mugs. That would help with storage volume but would still be difficult to clean unless of course you just boil water.
To me it still would not be an advantage because I eat out of my pot and usually use dirt (sand,duff or earth) to clean it, those grooves would be a lot more time consuming and rather hard to keep clean.
The other point is that you would still have some empty space inside the collapsed pot, possibly harder to fill than a standard size.
Of course there could be a way to make several panels that snap together, but is it really worth it ?

Edited by Franco on 12/02/2007 15:30:51 MST.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Stainless Steel Foil Bags @ McMaster Carr on 12/02/2007 22:16:48 MST Print View

McMaster Carr carries a number of SS foil bags... I've mulled over many ideas at different times on how to turn them into suitable pots...

You might take a look at them and see if it get's your juices flowing... also, if memory serves SS is, in general, less prone to fatigue than aluminum...

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Collabsible Pot Idea on 12/02/2007 23:36:15 MST Print View

Actually, I've got a collapsable tin cup that fits the design requirements very well. It holds about 1/3 L and packs as tall as a deck of cards.

It is somewhat similar to the cup in this image:

To make a larger model would be simple and it should be sturdy enough to boil in.

It would be just a very shallow bowl of aluminum with several circular rings that slide upwards and lock together making a waterproof seal. If needed the sides would not need to be the same metal as the bottom. Getting just the right angle to get it all to work would take some tweaking but it is certainly possible.

It would need to have a bottom baseplate for the rings to rest on when broken down. I've seen this idea used a lot in collapabe tumbers for kids but the tin cup I have has actually been in the family for at least 100 years.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Collabsible Pot Idea on 12/03/2007 07:40:56 MST Print View

Last night it was in the 20s w/ light snow so I thought it was perfect weather to build a fire. This gave me the opportunity to try out my collapsable pot useing the "hot rocks" method.-
Well it worked! At least good enough for me especially since it was my first try and I was just playing with the idea.
With a little tinkering its easy to find the right size and amount of rocks to get the water hot enough to burn your mouth if you were to drink it.
It has some kinks to work out, like making sure the rocks are clean so as not to dirty the water and the fact that this method requires a fire to use but I think it is an interesting way to get some hot water.
This probably isnt what you had in mind for a collapsable pot but Ive been thinking about this for a while myself and this method has the advantage of not needing a metal pot that can sit on a stove ( you can use flexible aluminum foil)in fact you dont need to use metal at all. Im next going to try it with a birch bark folding pot when I get to finding a good paper birch and I also want to try using my ti spoork in the coals instead of rocks eliminating the problem of dirty rocks.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Hot Rocks + Bowl on 12/03/2007 09:01:42 MST Print View

I wonder if the hot rocks wouldn't go well with the Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
collapsible stove on 02/06/2008 13:25:26 MST Print View

Nimblewill Nomad has a nice collapsible stove template on his website.

Little Dandy Stove