A watched pot never boils

Surprisingly, I’ve had quite a few people ask if the AT shelters have A/C outlets in them, and are there any grocery stores on the trail: nope, and nope.

Every backpacker will have a cook set in their pack, and will typically only use it at camp; making breakfast and dinner.  During the day we snack on fat/carb heavy treats like cheese, almond M&Ms, breads, crackers, etc.

The art of “trail cooking” per se is the simple job of boiling water.  Adding boiling water to such things as instant oatmeal, flavored couscous, dehydrated meals (Mountain House make some great meals), and your favorite tea or coffee in the morning.  There are many different varieties of product that can boil water, and everyone has their favorite.  From isobutane gas canisters to alcohol stoves, it doesn’t really matter which you use.  For example, my buddy Jasps is choosing to bring his Caldera 3-fuel stove system, the Classic Ti-Tri by the guys at TrailDesigns.com – shout out to Rand!

I have two stoves that I love, and I’m having difficulty choosing which one to take.

Setup #1: Snow Peak 700ml titanium pot/mug and Minibull BIOS#4 stove

One of the great things about this pot is that everything fits inside quite easily.

Below all the contents laid out.

Top row: mug, Minibull BIOS#4 alcohol stove,  aluminium wind screen (folded), plastic cup.

Middle row: firesteel, 1oz measuring cup, Snow Peak hotlips.

Bottom row: Bic lighter, foil ground protector (stove sits inside this when in use), Sea to Summit spork.

This is how the pot sits atop the stove, which in turn sits inside the ground protector.  Around the stove wraps the wind screen to prevent sudden gusts or breezes which may weaken the heat coming from the stove.

Setup #2: Evernew 1.3L titanium pot and Caldera Sidewinder Ti-Tri stove

This setup allows for the use of three separate types of fuel: alcohol (denatured, or HEET gas line antifreeze), Esbit solid fuel tablets, or good old wood (sticks, twigs).

A look inside:

And all laid out:

Top row: Evernew 1.3L titanium pot, Nalgene polyethelyne bottles (coffee and creamer), GSI salt / pepper shaker, Ti-Tri stove rolled inside tyvek sleeve.

Bottom row: 12-10 alcohol stove (included as part of the Ti-Tri kit), Bic lighter, firesteel, Ti-Tri “Inferno” grate (for wood burning).

Decisions, decisions.

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