Where Do You Pack The Kitchen Sink?

Stove & Bowl

I recently posted on Facebook hiking groups asking what kind of content they would be most interested in reading or watching. There were two common responses, pack out information (what’s in your pack) and gear reviews.

One area we can significantly reduce our base weight, is cooking gear. I have two basic setups depending on the time of year or conditions we will face on the trail.

SUMMER

In summer months I carry a minimal setup. Breakfast is usually pop tarts, bacon jerky and Breakfast Essentials with instant coffee mixed in. Lunch and dinner consists of cold soaked or other no-cook options.

But there are occasions, like a cold morning, or a tired evening, where hot coffee or a warm bowl of Ramen would be morale building to say the least. This is my summer kit.

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Things You Can Learn While Floating Under A Tarp

It would be an understatement to say that every backpacking trip is a learning experience. My recent adventure on the Ozark Highlands Trail is no exception to the rule.

For some time now thanks to Jupiter, I have been enamored with tarp camping. My first love is cowboy camping (throwing your bag on the ground and sleeping under the stars). But when weather or privacy demands some degree of shelter, a tarp is my first choice.

One of my goals on our last hike was to perfect my tarp camping skills over a multiple day hike. The first night out was a dream come true. With a 1% chance of rain I was snuggled in my sleeping bag under a perfect A-Frame pitch. I watched the moon rise as I was lulled to sleep by the creek flowing a few yards away – a total win!


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Gear Review – Zpacks Titanium Wing Stove for Esbit

One of the things I enjoy about backpacking is the never-ending quest to eliminate a few ounces from my kit! I remember Colin Fletcher writing about a moment of madness where he found himself tearing labels off his tea bags.

In 2018 I made my first stoveless hike. I loved not carrying the extra weight of a stove and fuel canister. My carefully researched food selections were spot on with one exception… COFFEE!

I still smile thinking about my friend and I standing in our camp site drinking cold instant coffee from a Smartwater Bottle saying over and over, “It’s not too bad!” Translation, “I can barely choke this down.”

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