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  1. #1
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Default Leave the stove behind?

    I'm experimenting with leaving the stove, stand, pots, fuel, and bottles at home to save weight. Of course this would mean no more lipton noodles, spanish rice, or fresh yummy pancakes. In it's stead, I would save about 2 pounds, and eat "room-temperature" meals. Of course this applys only to APR -> OCT hikes, as I like warm food when I camp in the winter.

    What I'll miss most are my warm breakfasts, as I love my cream-of-wheat and hot cocoa in the morning.

    What are some no-cook recipes you guys enjoy? How about favorite trail-foods in general?

    My #1 craved trail food is salty crackers. From Golfish to Wheat-Thins. Cheez-itz to Chex-Mix. Chocolate Granola Bars are another favorite. Dried apricots & cranberries are also some of my other favs.

    I'm also experimenting with sugar-substitute drinks instead of kool-aid/gatorade/tang such as crystal light. They weigh less than 1/2 the weight of sugar drinks, and save me about 1/2 pound over a period of 5 days.

    Anyways, just looking for some suggestions to round out my experimental trail-cuisine.
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
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  2. #2
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    something i learned recently from a lurker here i think is to put pudding powder mix with the non dairy milk powerder mix and add water on the trail for instant pudding....maybe an old idea but was new to me!
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  3. #3
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Sounds great!

    I'll have to check out the pudding-mix aisle, and see what other mixs you could do this with. Mmmmmmm... I'm thinkning lemon pie powder with powdered milk and vanilla cookies

    I really like beef jerky, but I hate the little sausage & cheese packages. Of course I've been using foil-packed Sweet Sue chicken as of late (mixed into lipton noodles, pasta sauce, etc), but I don't think I would eat it on crackers .

    I was also thinkning about room-temp mashed potatoes, but I'll have to try it first to see if I actually like them cool .

    I know that given enough-time, freeze-dried meals will reconstitute in cold-water, but I really can't stomach most of them, and I'm kinda lazy to make my own .
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
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  4. #4
    Registered User Streamweaver's Avatar
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    Edward Garvey Mentioned taking pudding mix and powdered milk backpacking in his book AT Trail Hiker 3 .I was thinking one of those plastic peanut butter jars would make a decent light weight shaker. if you really miss those ramen noodles(LOL yeah right!) Sgt Rock has a recipe for pasta salad using Ramen and the little packets of mayo and some other engredients.just soak the noodles and mix it up. Edward Garvey was also big on hard boiled eggs he ate alot of them on the trail.His book has a section with some great trail recipes ,might be worth checking out .Pouches of tuna and salmon are good sources of protein.I do wonder just how much weight is actually saved when you have to carry most of your food with the water still in it.But it still is nice sometimes not to have to cook! Streamweaver

  5. #5
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    I'm also concerned about eliminating foods that contain alot of water as well. As I said, I probably will be leaving my Sweet Sue chicken behind as well.

    This is where the difficulty comes in... Dry foods, and no cookpot.

    I can reconstitute-foods in cool water, or eat dry foods.

    Then again, for someone not looking to reduce weight, this method would give them the capacity to carry heavier foods (by around 2-3 pounds depending on your stove type & fuel-usage).

    I have my staples of crackers, nuts, dried fruits, and jerkys. I also have breads (whole-grain, tortillas, pastries), good olive oil, and chunky peanut-butter. Then comes the sugar-rushes of chocolates, candies, and little-debbie chemical cakes.

    I'm not a big cheese fan, and I only go for mozzarella & parmesean. I like cheddar, but only when it's baked into breads and crackers. I am looking for a hard salty mozzarella (I've had some before, but can't seem to find it now that I'm looking for it).

    I've tried 20 or 30 of the freeze-dried meals by the big four (Alpine Aire, Mountain House, Natural High, Backpackers Pantry), and the only ones I can say are edible (to me) are the Mountain House "Sweet & Sour Pork w/Rice", and Backpackers Pantry "Thai Spicy Peanut w/Rice & Vegetables". Both are essentially instant rice w/sauce loaded with MSG. Actually I'm kinda getting nauseas thinking about eating them now so I'll stop .

    Another tactic I'm considering is seriously cutting down on my time between resupplys (where applicable). Instead of a 5 days on, one day off type schedule... I'm considering a 3 days on, 1/2 day resupply (off), another 3 days on, one full day off. This would allow me to carry fresh foods for 2/3 of my trail time, and hockey-puck food the last day (while I think of the fresh foods awaiting me the next day!). Of course this is only applicable in some areas where towns are available, requires alot of planning, and decreases my weekly hiking time by a 1/2 day, but I will be eating better/fresher foods, and visiting more of the culture along the way. Certainly a HYOH issue, but one that I'm starting to lean towards for my Thru-Attempt next spring. You would also be carrying less-weight for foods. I eat ~2.5lbs/day, so I would have ~7.5lbs food max when hitting the trail, no fuel, and no stove equipment.

    The gears are rumbling away upstairs, and I have smoke pouring out of my ears
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
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  6. #6

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    RH, I wouldnt be too quick to give up the stove. Aside from the comfort of a hot meal, most no-cook foods tend to be heavier. For an occaisonal weekend it isnt so bad but I think you arent going to be happy with it over a long hike. A stove and pot just dont weigh that much and add a lot of choices to the menu.

    The short resupply scheduale does work well if you dont let yourself get sucked into town stays. Not all towns have a good selection but you arent stuck with it for more then a few days and you can carry stuff that would be too heavy on a longer cycle.

  7. #7
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I just cant say no to an alcohol stove in the pack even on a slak or day hike, hypothermia can happen to any of us or to somone you meet on the trail....just 7 minutes and you can have hot liquid into you or them....just smart insurance dont you think....well yes there are times when I did just carry Power Bars on a slak but anymore and I am carrying the stove and a tube tent if nothing else.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  8. #8
    Yellow Jacket
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    There is another thread around here (a month ago??), or on hikinghq, on this same topic. You might want to search for it.

    While this guy is a bit of a nut a times, even the almighty Ray J. said he would never hike without a stove (after having done an AT thru without one). It just wasn't worth it in his mind. You can find the exact quote if you find the thread I mentioned above.

    Edit: Here is the thread I was talking about.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  9. #9
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Lol, I thought the "Around the Campfire" forum had died out. Maybe I'll have to start posting there again

    Read all the posts there, and enjoyed the different opinions.

    Currently I carry the following for a 5-day trip (stove/fuel wise).

    - Soda-Can Stove w/Ti Stand, Simmer Cap, & Windscreen 2.75oz
    - 20fl oz Soda Bottle for Fuel (empty) 1oz
    - MSR Titanium 1L Pot, Lid/Pan/Plate, Litelifter, & Mesh Stuff Sack 6.75oz
    - 20floz Methenol Alcohol ~1lb

    I would therefore save 1lb 10.5oz by leaving this setup at home.
    Obviously the stove-setup itself could be further stripped, but the real weight is the fuel.

    Now to spill my thoughts out

    On warm days, I often find myself forgoing hot meals. The only actual "hot-meals" I carry are: liptons/near east, angel hair & sauce, instant taters, and cream of wheat. Cream of wheat does indeed rehydrate cold (which I like), as does instant taters (which I don't particularly enjoy cold). Therefore I will be sacrificing angel hair & sauce, liptons/near east, and instant taters. Throw in the 3-day resupply schedule, and consider that 2 of those days consist of standard fresh-foods from town, I will therefore need to replace 1 dinner (perhaps 2 if I only bring 1 days of fresh food) with "stove-less" cuisine. Everything else will be the same.

    If I try this system and enjoy it (I think I will test it on my Long Trail thru), I may just keep the stove-setup in my bounce-box for areas where resupplys are many days between. I'll be able to eat fresher foods on a 3-day resupply schedule & carry-less weight overall. I'll also forego the neccessity for resupplying my fuel, and cooking/cleaning on the trail.

    Of course this will all have to be tested

    Now how about those no-cook recipes?
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
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  10. #10
    Registered User Sherpa's Avatar
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    Something that I've been kicking around on the same note, if I can find them, are the new MRE Chem hearters from the military. They had just come out with them in the late 90's as I got out. They are a plastic pouch with a card bord insert, dried to the card board is a water activated chem that gets pretty darn hot. You take you MRE main course drop it in the puoch and put in a table spoon of water and let it go.

    The left over water is supposed to be safe to pour out on the ground and carry out the rest.

    My long and rambling point is to keep a few of these incase you have the need for a hot meal, rehydrate something you have on you drop it in and you got a hot one. (If I can find them, I have in the past before but that company is no longer around)

    Oh wait, here we go MRE Heaters
    Mike "Sherpa" Carrigan
    '05 or '06 Future thru Hiker

  11. #11
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    I recently got around to making one of SGT Rock's countrytime lemonaide mugs and even with using a foam soda can cozy and electricial tape to make a cooking cozy it stll only weights 3.1 ounces. I use it to eat hot meals out of and let it do the simmering in the mug/cozy.

    But, I also have used it to rehydrate angel hair pasta, ramen, couscous, etc. and mix in tuna, chicken and italian dressing and olive oil for a very good cold meal.

    I also carry the cheesecake instant pudding with the non-fat dry milk in a baggie. After dinner I just dump it in my mug, add water and shake and have it ready in 5 minutes.

    You may substitute a margarine bowl and cap for (.8oz) to do just the rehydration and shaker for pudding for cold meals only. Could also use it to use to eat granola/dry milk and dried fruit.

  12. #12
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    I like my hot tea and warm food ...also the stove can act as backup h2o treatment if filter decides to croak....I'm very careful about and picky about h2o treatment so the stove is a must!!!

    I have left the water filter at home and used the boiling method exclusivley....the extra fuel you carry to boil the water keeps getting lighter as you use it up....

    I di carry some meals tht are consumable no cook foods,,, and I have a friend who eats his oatmeal made with cold h2o and tuna ...yuk...but he does it...so i'm sticking with cooking a little....
    "I'd rather kill a man than a snake. Not because I love snakes or hate men. It is a question, rather, of proportion." Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Registered User Streamweaver's Avatar
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    Talking

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/news/ar...=&v=1&UAN=2106 Incase anybody is interested heres an article with a review of those self heating meals. Streamweaver

  14. #14
    Yes, I know I mis-spelled "Hamster"...
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    Well I'm still hauling around my alcohol stove setup. Funny enough, I've been eating cold dinners, and only using the stove to make hot chocolate and cream of wheat. I actually prefer a supper of crackers, peanut butter, nuts and fruits over liptons and what-not. The same goes for lunch. But I'm still hooked on my morning bowl of hot-goodness to fire-me-up.

    I do want to further lighten and simplify my pack though. I feel that the more I reduce whats hanging off-me, the more I enjoy the hiking experience.

    Now that the upper elevations have some snow on the ground, I will be taking my Whisperlite Int'l with me now. Talk about a weight gain
    "A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days".
    ...Ralph Waldo Emerson


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  15. #15
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Default Going Stoveless ...

    RH ...I also dumped the tuna and chicken packets this year on my thru. Generally carried 4 - 5 days worth of food at a time and just found that those packets (4 X 3 oz) almost weighed a pound and generated stinky trash. Instead I carried ramen, almost exclusively and added stovetop stuffing and/or 4 cheeze potato powder. Was amazed at the difference in weight and yet felt like I was eating a decent meal.

    As for the stove ...I'm not getting rid of mine. Carried the Trangia (3 - 4 oz) and a 10 oz flask of denatured alcohol. At 1 oz of fuel per meal I was able to go almost 3 re-supply intervals without purshasing more alcohol and during that time the fuel weight was always decreasing. Another reason for carrying the stove was for a hot evening beverage. I'm not much for coffee but found that hot Tang or spiced cider really hit the spot on a cold night. I did not cook one hot breakfast during my entire hike. I tend to be an early riser and wanted to get my gear packed and be on the trail (mainly because I'm so damn slow). I found that Quaker now makes an oatmeal bar with raisins that packs around 250 calories. I discovered them during my hike and am pretty sure that they're brand new. One (or sometimes 2) of those was enough to get my motor running in the morning. As a morning drink I mixed some Tang powder and generally downed a liter of that before I started hiking and then mixed another one to go. When gatorade powder was available I often mxed it with the Tang to give me the electolytes and the vitamins/minerals in one drink. I concentrated heavily on snacking during the day instead of depending on lunch to keep me going.

    Good luck if you decide to go sans stove. I met with at least 2 other thru hikers this year who carried no stove or cook pot and seemed to do OK. But I think I'll be keeping mine for a while.
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  16. #16

    Default Going stoveless

    Here is the stove that I decided to go with it don't need a stand and works well without a windscreen and it only weighs .04 of an ounce I did a few quick home tests & used a 0.9 litre titanium pot and it had water boiling in 5mins 30 seconds it had water roaring boiling in about 6mins 20 secs.

    www.antigravitygear.com

    Blue Wolf

  17. #17

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    Stoveless is not that bad. I carried a Zip until New Found Gap (Gatlinburg), a Peak1 ApexII until Bland, VA. and then I went stoveless from there to Katahdin...about 2/3's of the trip. I ate Ramen dry right out of the pack. I ate lots of cold cereal with powdered milk and bagels for breakfast. I still carried my pot, and used the occasional fire to cook if I needed a change. I never made a fire to cook, but if someone had a fire at a shelter, I often used it.

  18. #18
    Registered User MDSHiker's Avatar
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    I recently spent one week on the AT without a stove and one week on the AT with a stove. I can honestly say that I didn't go hungry either week and enjoyed the food on both trips.

    My advice is to just give it a try and see if you like "not cooking" on a hiking trip. I prefer to not cook but carry a stove in cold weather so I can have some hot food. Either way, I'm usually starving so I don't really care what I'm eating !!

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