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  1. #1

    Default Is 500ml large enough?

    I'm almost decided on a cook kit but the cup I'm thinking of taking is the Olicamp space saver that fits under a Nalgene bottle. I'm not doing it to mate with a Nalgene bottle but because it's a good fit for a fuel canister.

    The thing is 500ml (one half liter). I see that most commercial cups for solo backpacking are 650ml.

    Can anyone think of a situation where I'll regret not having something bigger?

    Not sure if it makes a difference but I'm also planning on cutting the top off of a coffee can, maybe a full inch. I think I can use that as a lid and also flip it over and make pancakes (large ones, one at a time.)

  2. #2

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    Most dinners take about 2 cups water, (500ml). if you want a little freeboard not to splash over, you need slightly bigger pot.

    But, doing fbc generally get by with less water, 1.5-1.75cups because it doesnt absorb as well. So some can get by with the smaller pot.

    If you want to cook in pot, probably not.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    But, doing fbc generally get by with less water, 1.5-1.75cups because it doesnt absorb as well. So some can get by with the smaller pot.

    If you want to cook in pot, probably not.
    What's "FBC?" I'm planning to cook oatmeal, ramen, pankakes (probably using the lid I mentioned?), and tea.

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    Fbc is freezer bag cooking. You add hot water to a ziplock with dehydrated or dried food to rehydrate. No wash pot. To cook in a pot will take a larger pot id say.

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    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    I used a 450ML cup for my water heating vessel on a three week trip last summer. It worked well enough, but I had to heat water in shifts for cooking/beverages.

    I also carried a two cup round plastic bowl with a screw-on lid for re-hydrating my dinners or pre soaking home dried food. A freezer bag could have worked for this function as well.

    That said, for the next trip I plan to increase to a 750ML pot. I use Toaks titanium pots/cups. Light/strong/relatively inexpensive, available on Amazon.

    I'm sure you can make a 500ML work, but you will sacrifice some convenience and pretty much eliminate actually cooking in the pot as others have said. You may find a somewhat larger pot more suitable.

    Do some practice runs at home with a smallish pot. Try cooking some of your proposed trail meals the way you will on the hike, never fill the trial pot with more than say 450ML and see how it works for you.

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    Depends on your style of hiking. I use a 600ml Snow Peak pot/mug and it works fine for me. I mostly eat Mountain House type meals, but divide the two serving size into two, so a lot less water is needed. I also heat water for an occasional hot drink. That mug you want to use also tends to be a bit heavy for its size, if it's the stainless steel one I'm thinking of.

  7. #7

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    If you want to eat out of the pot, I have found 650ml is the smallest you can go for most dinner meals. At least the ones I eat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddytwosticks View Post
    Depends on your style of hiking. I use a 600ml Snow Peak pot/mug and it works fine for me. I mostly eat Mountain House type meals, but divide the two serving size into two, so a lot less water is needed. I also heat water for an occasional hot drink. That mug you want to use also tends to be a bit heavy for its size, if it's the stainless steel one I'm thinking of.
    I have the anodised version. It's not so bad.

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    I use a 550 pot for a quick overnight. I like it because it is a pot and a mug (I like to have something mug shaped to drink from - just how I am). However I would not want to use that for more then a night or perhaps 2 on the outside. Just too small, too limiting and too much care needed to make sure it's level and doesn't boil over. Also for FBC it's hard to use such a small pot, a wider pot usually helps too.

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    I use the MSR Titan Kettle spec's say is 850L. I've found it to just barely be large enough for some of my meals.

  11. #11

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    I've been using a 550ml pot for years, but I freezer bag cook. It's large enough to boil the water you need, but you certainly can't cook food in it.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    I'm sure you can make a 500ML work, but you will sacrifice some convenience and pretty much eliminate actually cooking in the pot as others have said. You may find a somewhat larger pot more suitable. Do some practice runs at home with a smallish pot. Try cooking some of your proposed trail meals the way you will on the hike, never fill the trial pot with more than say 450ML and see how it works for you.
    Good suggestions all around. You're right that I should do some test runs but I can't bring myself to eat the crap that I'll have to bring on the hike. I find pasta, oatmeal, and other carbs to be disgusting. I haven't had rice in 20 years. But your message is a good wake-up call that I have to bite the bullet on that before I get on the trail. Thanks for the other suggestions, too.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    I use a 550 pot for a quick overnight. I like it because it is a pot and a mug (I like to have something mug shaped to drink from - just how I am). However I would not want to use that for more then a night or perhaps 2 on the outside. Just too small, too limiting and too much care needed to make sure it's level and doesn't boil over. Also for FBC it's hard to use such a small pot, a wider pot usually helps too.
    This is what my thread is asking about. What do you mean by "too small, too limiting?"

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Fbc is freezer bag cooking. You add hot water to a ziplock with dehydrated or dried food to rehydrate. No wash pot. To cook in a pot will take a larger pot id say.
    Quote Originally Posted by 12trysomething View Post
    If you want to eat out of the pot, I have found 650ml is the smallest you can go for most dinner meals. At least the ones I eat.
    Aha! I see that I left out an important detail. I'll be putting my entire cook kit, including stove and windscreen, in a 1Liter Nalgene Jar (not a Nalgene bottle but a 1L Nalgene JAR.) That will be my "bowl." It's heavier than a freezer bag but (a) I'll be out for 30 days and a freezer bag won't hold up that long (?) (b) it's BPA free and (c) it will double as water-tight water storage for a few very dry sections of the CT (assuming I leave my cook set loose for those sections) So I'll just be using my pot/cup to boil the water. Then I'll pour it and the disgusting goop that I'll be eating into the Nalgene bottle so I can season and eat it. Then I'll make another cup of water, while I eat, for my tea. In the morning, I'll reverse that and make the tea first so I can drink it with my meal. I guess what I have to do is prepare a couple of meals at home and make sure that 500ml is enough. But if anyone has any experiences with this sort of thing where it's not enough, I'd love to hear why.

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    So many people misunderstand the most basic item in fbc methods. You do not reuse the freezer bags. Each meal is in its own bag. The meal has to be in something. The freezer bag is the lightest container for storage. Lose the nalgene. It is too heavy. 500 ml is too close for my comfort and I only boil 2 cups per boil. A KMart grease pot makes it so you don't have to balance things perfectly and all your cook tools fit inside it for storage. Not saying it is only or best way. It is one way that works.
    Last edited by BirdBrain; 06-12-2015 at 16:02.
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    Water storage in a platypus or evernew bag is a better plan. A freezer bag cozy can weigh less than an ounce. Fbc method is lightest and most efficient way of cooking on trail. Some think it creates more trash. That is because they don't realize that the original packaging does not go out on the trail. Meals are repackaged in town into freezer bags.
    Last edited by BirdBrain; 06-12-2015 at 16:19.
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  17. #17

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    A few times you mentioned the "disgusting goop" you'll be eating on trail. There are many choices out there for food... Not all is disgusting. It sounds to me like you need to spend a lot of time reading the cooking sub-forum and get some ideas on meals that you will find appealing. That will determine how big a pot you need. Worse comes to worse, you can dehydrate your own meals using your oven (if you don't want to buy a dehydrator). To answer your original question, IMHO, a 900ml pot is my go-to size for solo hiking and a 1.3L pot for two. A 900ml lets me heat water for my dinner and hot cocoa for FBC in one go, and I have enough room to cook (and stir without spillage!) in the pot if I choose to. A 500ml pot is only good for a coffee cup to me. What's the point of saving weight with a smaller pot, if you gotta burn (and carry) twice as much fuel to heat your meal and coffee for a meal?
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  18. #18
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    Think about what you're going to cook and decide. The flip side to that is that pots aren't so crazy expensive that you can probably afford more than one. Buy a few different sizes and see what you think.

    Then you have the option of taking a smaller pot or a bigger pot, depending on your hike.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdBrain View Post
    So many people misunderstand the most basic item in fbc methods. You do not reuse the freezer bags. Each meal is in its own bag. The meal has to be in something.
    I'm totally confused. Can you point me to a site where I can read about this? It's totally new to me and not really making sense.

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