How do you keep pots from your mess kit from turning black when using them over a fire?
— Seared Sandi in Hamburg, N.Y.
A: Don’t cook over a fire! Just kidding — sort of. Actually, cooking over a camp stove is the best way to avoid blackened pots. Plus it’s more efficient and better for the environment. That said, we asked Mike Glavin of GSI Outdoors Inc., which makes some of the best camp pots, for tips on keeping your pots clean when cooking over campfires: “Rub bar soap on the pots before use, and try to keep your pots on a coal-bed, away from open flames. They will still get sooty, but the soap helps keep the soot from sticking — allowing for easier cleanup.