Wireless sensor networks offer a wide range of challenges to networking research, including unconstrained network scale, limited computing, memory and energy resources, and wireless channel errors. In this paper, we study the problem of delivering messages from any sensor to an interested client user along the minimum-cost path in a large sensor network. We propose a new cost field based approach to minimum cost forwarding. In the design, we present a novel backoff-based cost field setup algorithm that finds the optimal costs of all nodes to the sink with one single message overhead at each node. Once the field is established, the message, carrying dynamic cost information, flows along the minimum cost path in the cost field. Each intermediate node forwards the message only if it finds itself to be on the optimal path, based on dynamic cost states. Our design does not require an intermediate node to maintain explicit “forwarding path” states. It requires a few simple operations and scales to any network size. We show the correctness and effectiveness of the design by both simulations and analysis.