What’s in My Pack? The Kitchen Edition
To carry a stove or go stoveless? I don’t see why you should have to commit to one or the other. There have been times when a warm meal was great comfort at the end of the day and other times when I was too tired to cook. My stove setup is light enough that it’s worth it for me to carry even if I don’t use it some nights. I’m going to start out carrying my full trail kitchen but will probably bounce it ahead when I’m feeling lazy about cooking.
The main purpose of this jar for me is to make a calorie-dense protein/dessert shake after dinner. The wide mouth of the jar is easier to pour powders into than a Smartwater bottle and also makes for easier cleanup. The size is perfect for storage of the ingredients of the shake. The second thing I can do with this jar is experiment with cold-soaking, which I’ve never tried before.
Just a standard titanium pot.
Tip: get a clear lighter so you know how much fuel you have left. If all you’re using it for is lighting your stove once or twice a day, a standard sized lighter will last for.ev.er.
0.7 oz each
These things smell like a combination of fish and crap but they’re a really excellent, and relatively underused, fuel source. I’m able to get water boiled for one to two dinners out of each tablet depending on wind conditions. Once it’s used up there’s nothing left to pack out, unlike canister fuel. It’s easy to light and there’s no risk of fuel leakage in your pack. As long as you light it on nonflammable surfaces, the fire danger is minimal — the flame burns clean, there are no sparks, and no risk of explosion. To extinguish the flame, just blow it out like a big birthday candle; it will be cool enough to handle in less than 30 seconds. Tablets that are mostly burned up can be placed on top of new ones so no fuel is wasted. The biggest con is that not many people use Esbit so finding fuel in hiker boxes and stores is a rare occurrence. If this is your fuel of choice, you will probably have to mail them to yourself.
This light and compact stove holds one of the above mentioned tablets and holds a backpacking pot right above the flame. It’s sturdy as long as you place it on a relatively even surface.
The freezer bag method of cooking works best for me. It reduces fuel consumption and makes for easy cleanup with less water usage. Bring your water to a boil, pour it in a freezer bag, and wait until it cooks or rehydrates your meal. This freezer bag cozy has a heat-reflective lining that keeps the meal piping hot while it cooks. Important: there’s a difference between sandwich bags and freezer bags — sandwich bags will melt if you pour boiling water in them. Here’s a helpful article on freezer bag cooking; this site also has tons of great recipes. http://www.trailcooking.com/trail-cooking-101/freezer-bag-cooking-101/ The biggest drawback to freezer bag cooking is the wait time, which can be up to 20 minutes. I use the time that food is rehydrating/cooking to set up my tent and get my sleeping bag lofting. The tree hugger in me feels guilty about wasting so many plastic bags (I use few to none IRL) but I just remind myself that I’m not driving a car or using electricity for five months so I’ve done my penance. Also, I reuse zipper bags as much as possible — dirty ones that have cooked dinner get reused as trash bags for used toilet paper and clean bags that were used to store trail mix and other dry foods get reused until they get holes.
I just use aluminum foil. It’s light and sturdy but needs to be replaced every month or so.
This odor-locking bag is a lightweight way to keep food and toiletries from enticing critters to gnaw through your pack. The bag holds about five days of food in addition to toiletries and trail kitchen. The tall shape is perfect for storing in any pack. The zipper eventually stops sealing so I’ll probably go through a few of these over 2,600 miles, but they’re relatively cheap.
Magellan Titanium Spork
I like this spork but wish I could have found it with a longer handle.
It just has one blade, which can be used for multiple things. I’ll probably mostly use it for cutting open avocados and slicing dried sausage.
Peep my LighterPack here and keep an eye out for the rest of my gear posts.
*All weight has been rounded to the nearest tenth of an ounce.
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