View Full Version : Mess Kit reccomendations for thru hike couple

Jay Laveroni
12-28-2014, 13:44
We were wondering about the best strategy to use for cooking gear if traveling as a couple and thru hiking. Any help would be great.

Hikes in Rain
12-28-2014, 14:22
Larger aluminum or titanium pot, say 1.3 L. A second smaller mug or pot to split the stuff in the pot. Couple of cups for coffee. Couple of long handled spoons. Probably something like a Pocket Rocket or similar canister stove; alcohol stoves tend to be more for individuals. Spartan, but light and all you really need.

Damn Yankee
12-28-2014, 14:24
MSR WhisperLite, pot with a fry pan lid. You can split the weight.

12-28-2014, 14:45
Select cookpot and stove together: make sure the cookware will not slide right off the stove.

I think canister stoves are "best" for two people, no matter what cooking method you are using, for example: FBC freezer bag cooking with cozy, add-hot-water in the cooking pot with cozy, or, pan-fried meals. Dry-baking? That as well.

Hikes in Rain
12-28-2014, 15:00
I like Damn Yankee's idea of pot with pan lid. Increases flexibility in use. And while I do love my old Whisperlite, it's badly misnamed. Neither quiet nor light, but you darned sure can't beat it for heat. I did learn that using alcohol instead of stove fuel to prewarm the generator eliminates the soot build-up on the bottom.

Don H
12-28-2014, 15:03
Snow Peak 600ml Titanium mug
Foil lid
Plastic spoon

12-28-2014, 15:06
In warm weather, we carry a pot with a lid, 2 spoons, and a plastic mug with a lid. In the morning I make hot water for coffee and make two mugs - one in the plastic mug and one in the pot. We eat cold cereal or bars with our coffee. For dinner I make a Knorr pasta side in the pot and we pass it back and forth. I also make hot decaf green tea into the mug if it's chilly in the evening.

In cold weather I carry a larger pot and two mugs, along with "bag cozies" so we can make hot meals in freezer bags.

Damn Yankee
12-28-2014, 16:01
To expand a little on my earlier post. To that set up you would have your ground shield, wind screen, two snap type collapsible bowls, some type of utensils for eating/cooking and two lightweight cups for coffee, tea, cocoa or what have you.

12-28-2014, 17:31
Recommendations would depend upon how you plan to use it the most.

Are you only going to use it to boil water to rehydrate meals (where you simply eat the meal out of a freezer bag)?

Are you both going to eat the same thing where you plan to usually share a pot and eat from the same pot?

Are you both likely to want something different and each need your own cook pot?

For a single person, I have found the MSR Titan Kettle (0.85L) to be the perfect size.
When I have one or two of the kids with me, I find the MSR Quick Solo (1.3L) to be the right size. (I have the light-weight titanium version that is no longer available).

A few things to consider:
Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset (http://www.rei.com/product/668927/snow-peak-titanium-multi-compact-cookset) - Contains two nesting pots with room inside the smaller pot to store a canister. The pots are 0.75L and 1.0L in size and comes with lids that double as frying pans.

Snow Peak Trek 1400 Titanium Cookset (http://www.rei.com/product/831567/snow-peak-trek-1400-titanium-cookset) and Snow Peak Titanium Bowl (http://www.rei.com/product/720286/snow-peak-titanium-bowl) - The pot should be plenty large enough to cook for two, but then the bowl allows the two of you to eat separately so you're not forced to eat out of the same pot. Because the bowl is <$20 and weights less than 2oz. So even if you plan to mostly share meals, I would still recommend the bowl because it cost so little (in both $$ and weight).

For utensils, I would suggest the Sea to Summit Alpha Light Short Spoon (http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Summit-Alpha-Light-Utensils/dp/B0029Z6882) - While they make a spork version, as well as a long version, I like the Short. The spoon "dipper" of the short is the same size as the long. The handle is long enough for general use, yet short enough to provide multiple options for storage. I would only recommend the long version if you had a pot that was significantly taller than it is wide, or if you were doing Freezer Bag Meals so that the extra length of the handle would be justified.

For a stove, I would recommend the Snow Peak LiteMax canister stove. When deployed, it is about the same size as an MSR Pocket Rocket. But the design of the arms makes your pot a little more stable. The arms fold such that the stove stores much smaller than a Pocket Rocket, and it is even lighter than a Pocket Rocket.

You could also consider the JetBoil stoves/pots. They are not the most lightest systems available, but they boil water ultra-fast. However, almost all models are pretty much designed to do nothing but boil water. The stove goes for full blast to off in just a 1/4 turn of the control knob. (The possible exception is the new MiniMo... the details on this new stove indicate the new design allows for simmering).

If you like the efficiency of the Jet-Boils, consider the OilCamp XTS Pot (http://www.amazon.com/Olicamp-Hard-Anodized-XTS-1-Litre/dp/B007OJKI2U) - it has the built-in heat exchanger fins on the bottom of the pot similar to the JetBoil allowing for more efficient use of your fuel.

12-28-2014, 19:42
For two people, I'd use a setup similar to this:
- 1.3L Evernew Pot (w/o non-stick coating; un-coated pot is lighter)
- Pot Cozy (homemade or purchased from Antigravitygear.com; enables you go 'cook' your food w/o being on the flame; minimal initial weight penalty; will save fuel on the long haul)
- Two oleo tub bowls (0.7 - 0.9 oz ea; for a solo hiker, just eat out of the pot; couples - add bowls)
- Two spoons (your choice on length or material; pros & cons for all choices)
- One lexan knife (cut to fit in pot; a luxury nice to have item for spreading PB & other spreads)
- Two cups (I'm partial to the Sea to Summit collapsible mugs)
- Canister stove (PocketRocket or Snow Peak)

For an all-in-one setup, the GSI MicroDualist is pretty nice. A little heavier setup but ergonomically designed to handle just about everything. I'd still add two cups & a knife.

Don H
12-28-2014, 20:33
To expand a little on my earlier post. To that set up you would have your ground shield, wind screen, two snap type collapsible bowls, some type of utensils for eating/cooking and two lightweight cups for coffee, tea, cocoa or what have you.

No need for bowls, eat out of a ziplock bag (check out freezer bag cooking)

Soda can stove
Windshield, (4" aluminum dryer vent pipe cut to length).

Add the Ti cup, spoon and foil lid and the total weight is about 5 oz. for my entire cook kit, and it all fits in the cup.

Feral Bill
12-28-2014, 20:42


Now your cooking!

12-30-2014, 01:23
Let me tell you what my wife and I have worked out. We haven't thru hiked but come to our set-up over a number of section hikes on the AT and other trails too. For Spring, summer and fall we use an alcohol stove. On that we use the infamous K-Mart Grease Pot with a wind screen made of aluminum flashing. Also, we have a homemade cozy for the pot. Then we each carry a metal cup and a long handled spoon. Depending on what we're eating, and how we feel, we either take turns eating out of the pot or dish the food into our cups. The cups can also be used to make hot water for drinks. It works good for us.