View Full Version : Light weight cook system for two?

04-19-2013, 10:04
Putting the final touches on our gear list for an upcoming SOBO hike. I have been section hiking over the last few years by myself. My wife would come with me for occasional overnighters or weekend trips, and we would just use no cook meals. When I am out by myself I use an alcohol beer can stove, 600 ml. Snowpeak, and home made wind screen and pot stand. Always freezerbag cooking. Not sure if FB cooking will be possible for an entire thru hike?
What do others do when hiking as a couple? 1 alcohol stove 1 bigger bot and bowls? Should I just carry two of my solo systems, since it is so light? Stick with FB cooking? What have others found to work well?
Any and all advise would be much appreciated. Happy trails!

04-19-2013, 10:35
You could each carry an alcohol stove and a 600ml pot/mug, and make your own meals.

My wife and I use a canister stove, and carry a 900ml and a 600ml pot. That way we can make dinner in the larger pot and hot drinks to share in the smaller one. Or use the large pot to boil water for FB cooking, then make two hot drinks, one in each pot/mug. (The Snow Peak 900 is about the largest pot I would want to drink from.) We bring cozies for each pot, and a bag cozy.

The canister stove is nice when cooking for two, as it's much faster.

FB cooking is easy for weekend hikes, or longer hikes when we use maildrops and can pre-make our meals. But for resupply in town, it's often easier to just cook dinner in the larger pot than to try and create and pack FB dinners in the store or a motel room. The SP 900 has a lid that can be used as a bowl, so sharing is easy.

04-19-2013, 10:47
When my son is with me, I take a 1.3L evernew pot (4.5oz) a large tealight "stove" =0.1 oz, potstand 0.35 oz, and windscreen 0.8 oz.

To, our stove and pot weighs ~5.7 oz. Boils 4 cups on 1.1 fl oz alcohol, about 8-9 minutes.

Of course I could just take a single solo setup, and boil twice as well. Its actually a bit more efficient, and half the weight.

Package your food in freezer bags, individually. Then eat out of the freezer bags.

04-19-2013, 10:52
Since your wife is just with you for the occasional overnight or weekend trip, I suggest that you just focus on what works best for you solo. On those few evenings you're cooking for two, you might find that your solo setup boils enough water for two anyway --- this works for my wife and I as we don't need hot water to "wash dishes" or for hot drinks, just enough hot water to rehydrate food. Or just cook twice if your pot is too small to cook for both of you at once; it's not that big a deal, and if you're thru-hiking, you'll likely have extra time in camp when she's along anyway.

04-19-2013, 11:13
Thats why I asked, because we are doing our Thru hike together... Thanks for the answers so far!

04-19-2013, 12:39
If you plan to stick together for the whole hike, You should consider taking a canister stove that will give you more options. Not that you can't get by with your light alcohol set up, just that you might find other stoves easier to use and more versitile. You may want to fry something like steak, eggs, bacon--too much trouble for one person who also has to set up camp and get water. Many hands make light work but work expands when there are more hands to do things and that is ok.

A jetboil is just a pop can on steroids as far as versitilty goes, great for boiling water mostly. I have a MSR Superfly with a sparker ignition that is my choice when cooking for company. The Pocket Rocket might be a good choice. But there are many canster stoves that would be good. White gas models are probably overkill but some simmer very well and are fuel efficient. A Svea 123 served me well for many years of cooking for two and a Coleman multi fuel (Featherlight442? it isn't light though)is in my car-camp gear.

Start with your menu and if you think a small alcohol stove is all you need, you may want to pack two so that one can simmer and one can boil. Also, each person should be able to make a cup of soup if you get seperated on the trail for any reason, so two stoves is a good idea. If you cook freezer bag meals you can do two bags at once tailored to each persons likes but 'cooked' together in a slightly larger cozy--then you each have your own meal and clean up still is easy. It is always nice to have your own cup and spoon. A small lidded bowl for each person is also nice and can be your cup, I like my ziplock container with a screw on lid that often safely presoaks meals in my pack.

Have fun, stick together, enjoy the journey

04-19-2013, 13:13
I have found that a 1.3 L Evernew pot is large enough to hold a 2-person serving of food, or of water for freezer bag meals (I prefer to serve/eat out of my pot and/or a bowl with cozy on both to keep food warm). For a stove/burner, there would be lots of options, ranging from alcohol DIY (eg penny stove) or Caldera Cone, cannister stoves, white gas stoves, or wood burning stoves. I would personally either bring a wood burner with alcohol or Esbit backup option, or a Caldera Cone.

04-20-2013, 14:02
We use lipton sides + tuna packets (etc), mac-n-cheese, instant loaded mashed potatoes, etc as easy meals. So we cook 1 in the pot, and eat that while the 2nd one is cooking. Cleaning 1 pot is easy, and you just need to carry 2 light bowls (cool whip containers, etc). This gives a lot more menu choices than fb cooking.

Another Kevin
04-20-2013, 22:12
We use lipton sides + tuna packets (etc), mac-n-cheese, instant loaded mashed potatoes, etc as easy meals. So we cook 1 in the pot, and eat that while the 2nd one is cooking. Cleaning 1 pot is easy, and you just need to carry 2 light bowls (cool whip containers, etc). This gives a lot more menu choices than fb cooking.

All the things you mentioned go fine as FBC. I've done all of them that way.

I actually like going hybrid. For instance, one of my favorite trail meals is dal bhaat tarkari. (I figure that if it keeps the Sherpas going...) I do minute rice and home-dehydrated seasoned lentils in the freezer bag cozy, and cook up the curry in the pot while they're soaking away. It makes for an Indian feast.

Capt Nat
04-20-2013, 23:03
I try everything at home before I set out for a hike or camp. Everything you expect to cook on the trail, you should cook on the back porch first...