A pot cozy is one of the easiest pieces of backpacking gear to make. A pot cozy opens up the option to cook all kinds of different foods that typically require long simmering times, keeps your food hotter, and easily saves its own weight in the amount of fuel it saves. I don’t know how I managed without one, but my cozy is one of the few things that goes into my pack on every single trip.
What you’ll need:
- Insulation (closed cell foam pad, “bubble wrap”, or other similar material
- Pen or sharpie marker
- Tape measure or string
- Adhesive tape or contact cement
In keeping with the adage that “the best project is a done project”, we’re going to make this pot cozy out of cheap, easily available materials commonly found in any gear closet. Even if you bought your materials new, it shouldn’t cost more than $10 to make a cozy that will wow your friends.
Step 1 – Measure the Insulation
Your cozy should fit snugly around the pot, with a little extra wiggle room that will make it easier to slide the pot into and out of it. The easiest way to measure the circumference is to wrap a string around the pot, then add about 1/4″ inch to that length. Mark your foam pad with this length, then put the side of the pot on the pad and mark off the height at several points.
Now take you pot and trace the bottom onto the pad. Do that again, and you will end up with a rectangle and 2 additional circles for the top and bottom drawn on your foam pad. Congratulations – you’re through with the hard part!
Step 2 – Cut the Materials
Cut both the rectangle and the circles out, cutting directly on the lines. Try to keep your cuts as straight as possible, but don’t worry too much about it if you are off a little bit. Duct tape can cure all ills!
Step 3 – Put it all Together
Tape the short ends of the rectangle together. You may want to just tape the outside first, then check the fit around your pot before taping the inside seam. Remember, you want to have little room to wiggle the pot into. You may have to cut the foam to fit around the handle depending on your particular pot.
Leave the foam cylinder around the pot, the tape one of the circles as the bottom piece. To do this, align the bottom circle and tack it in place with 2 2″ pieces of tape, then use one long piece of tape around the bottom. Take the last circle and put on top of your pot. You can either leave it loose, or make a “hinge” with a 3″ piece of tape – your choice.
That’s it! You’re now the proud owner of a pot cozy that will drastically cut down on the amount of cooking fuel you’ll need, and keep your food hot for much longer.