On the Kitchen

I’m from the backpacking school that a warm meal after a long day is the quickest way to build energy for the next day.  Many hikers choose to go stoveless and I can see the advantage to that.  The stove, pot, and spork all weigh less than half a pound combined, but the fuel canister weighs 13.4 ounces!  Still, a warm meal is worth some weight.

So, I won’t go stoveless, but I might go without cooking on occasion.  The reason is simple — to save water.  Water is heavy and cooking requires some surplus that I will not consume.  There is a 43 mile stretch with no reliable water sources in SoCal.  By not cooking, I free up a liter of water to either consume or (more importantly) not carry.

My kitchen is very light weight.  For a stove, I have a Kovea Titanium Stove I purchased from Massdrop.  It weighs a little more than the one ounce ultra-lightweight stoves, but at 3.2 ounces, it has its own ignition system.  I’ll keep a lighter as a backup fire source, but in most cases I will not need it.  To cook on it, I have a 750ml Toaks Titanium Pot (3.2 oz) and a Toaks Titanium Long Spork (0.4 ounces).  I may choose to bring an aluminum wind shield.

Something to keep in mind. I originally bought a standard sized handle spork, but on a wet and muddy six-day hike, sticking your hands anywhere near your food was gross.  It didn’t matter that I had washed my hands.  Just getting in my tent made them dirty.  Take something with a long handle.

All my food will be stored in a zPacks Bear Bag Kit.  In most cases, the food will be in the tent with me.  I package my food in gallon ZipLock bags which provide more than enough scent protection to keep critters away.

While I’m not a master of cooking processed food bought from a 7/11, I am learning before I go.  I also expect to take some food and drink just to make me happy.  Just because I’m in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean I cannot be civilized.