Good gear, like all righteous things, should improve with age. And such is the case with the car camping-friendly Cast Aluminum Caldero ($160)—a workhorse of a cooking vessel popular in Japanese and Hispanic kitchens, out this month from Snow Peak. Like a pair of quality hiking boots, there’s what can be described as a breaking-in period with this 6.8-quart cast aluminum pot, the start of a beautiful relationship that should last longer than all your other camping gear. Spanish for “cauldron,” the sloped sides, tight-fitting lid, and controlled heat distribution makes it a natural for slow-cooking, long-simmering meals. Each dish that you prepare imparts its flavors into the cast aluminum to further enhance the depth of flavors of subsequent meals, much like cast iron—but at only 26 ounces, this one’s a lot lighter.