Lightweight and Ultralightweight Backpacking

The View from Here

Panoramic view from a mountain top in Glacier National Park, Montana

Food: backpacking methods of food preparation

Do these things before an ambitious trip. Start with a day-trip, a weekend hike, and 4-5 days up to 10 days before attempting an ambitious long trek.

Freezer Bag Cooking involves adding hot water to a 1 qt. freezer bag, or equivalent. The ingredients for the meal are packed before you leave in 1 qt. freezer bags. The method is to minimize food preparation time and cleanup, while on your hike.

There are many ultralightweight stoves in the backpacking "cottage industry" including the Super Stove that burns alcohol, I have, or the famous Hobo Stove, like that illustrated at Small World Treks, or the Little Dandy by Nimblewell Nomad and very easily made at home.

The Trail Designs Caldera Cone combines stove, pot and windscreen.

The outdoor industry manufacturers have picked up on this idea, producing excellent lightweight and fuel efficient backpacking stoves and cooking systems incorporating stove and windscreen for a specific cooking pot diameter..

The lightweight choices include the reasonably lightweight JetBoil, the MSR Reactor and the Primus EtaPackLite or the Primus EtaPower EF Stove.

The Outback Oven Ultralight is for baking. To use it successfully, you will need a stove that will simmer.

The stoves I have found that will simmer well are Primus EtaPower MF, Primus EtaPower Easy Fuel Stove, Primus EtaPower EF Trail Stove, Primus EtaPackLite, Vargo Jet-ti Titanium Stove, Brunton Flex Foldable Canister Stove, Brunton AF All-Fuel Expedition Stove, Brunton Flex Foldable Canister Stove, Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove, Soto Windmaster OD-1RX, and backpacking alcohol stoves with carbon cloth (list incomplete).

The cooking fire may be a small "twiggy fire" using the "fire pan" of a Caldera Ti-Tri, Caldera Sidewinmder, a TiGoat F Keg, or the Clickstand T-2 (Titanium) and Windscreen T-2, for example.

The Banks Fry-Bake is a frying pan or a baking oven for anything you can bake: the difference is you use it over an open fire and like a true "dutch oven" you put hot coals of the fire on top as well as hot coals of the fire on the bottom.


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