Gear: Cook System
I will start with this: I am not an ultralight backpacker and I am okay with that. I may be some day, but for right now I just aim for 'lightish' while still maintaining my ideal wilderness comfort. That being said, I know some people have started to go stoveless on the trail, but I personally look forward to having a nice, hot meal after a long day of hiking.
So here it is, my cook system:
For my cook kit I will be carrying:
Olicamp LT Pot | 8 oz
MSR Pocket Rocket Stove | 3 oz
MSR IsoPro Fuel | 18 oz maximum
Bic Mini Lighter | 0.4 oz
Sea to Summit Long Handled Spork | 0.4 oz
Sea to Summit X-Cup (not pictured) | 1.6 oz
Pot Scraper | 0.4 oz
Mesh Pot Bag | 0 oz (?)
Today I tested out my system with some Knorr rice sides and foil packed salmon. It was a pretty blustery day but with the stove on high the Pocket Rocket effortlessly boiled water in less than 3 minutes.
I have decided (although, I may change my mind later) that I am going to cook in my pot instead of in freezer bags. I would prefer not to waste plastic and money on cooking in bags rather than in my pot. This way I can reuse the bags for as long as possible and waste less.
After the water was boiling, I added the rice side and some sun dried tomatoes. I reduced the stove to low heat and let it simmer for about 1 minute. I am currently making a pot coozie so that I can waste less fuel but for now this worked.
After letting the rice simmer for a bit I added my salmon with sriracha and turned off the stove. I put the lid on the pot and let the rice sit for a few more minutes. Here is the final result:
The rice medley was delicious, albeit a bit too salty for me. But I know that after a long day of hiking I always crave salty, high calorie food. This meal is about 550 calories total. It used 16 fl oz of water.
My favorite things about this cook system:
The Olicamp pot has measurements on the side so I will always have the perfect rice!
The Pocket Rocket boils fast and simmers just well enough to be usable.
The long spork keeps my hands safe from burning while being useful for so many different foods.
It all fits inside my pot.
The X-Cup (not pictured) lets me have coffee while my breakfast cooks (if I decide to have a hot breakfast).
This system weighs 31.8 oz total (1.9 lbs for my non-backpacker friends). I think 2 pounds is a great sacrifice for a nice, warm meal and some hot coffee. I am not sure that I will be bringing the mesh bag that the pot came in, but it does help keep the whole system together and can be used to hang wet items off of the outside of my pack in needed.
What do you use to cook? Do you have any suggestions or critiques for me? Comment below!
Keep on trekking!
Special thanks to my new food expert, Bonnie: