The Cooking System

Gear is great fun, and cooking equipment especially so. The appeal of shiny new kit, with lots of pots, pans, mugs, cutlery, spice boxes, folding plates, and stoves made from Titanium and other exotic materials, is an endless source of discussion and fascination, as you drool over what you think you might cook in the wilds (2kg+). However rather than take it all (just in case you want to bake that cake) think about what you truly need for the food you intend to have on your trip.

Food itself can be a heavy bulky addition to your pack and it is worth bearing in mind that 1 litre of water weighs 1 kilo so think carefully about the type of food you are taking on your trip. Freeze dried meals either bought or self-dehydrated are a great way to go as they can last days/weeks without going off. Similarly packaging can be another unnecessary additional weight with pre-packed food (which you will need to carry out with you) so why not re-pack any food you buy before your trip into smaller ziplock bags or containers. Other options if you are doing a long walk is to arrange to pick up food parcels along the way or ensure your route takes you through towns with a local shop where you can pick up food as you travel.

We prefer home dehydrated food and so as we mainly boil water we have now broken it down to a large titanium mug/pot each which we eat out of, a mug (optional), a folding spork which stores inside the mug and a plastic folding plate used as a cutting board (optional). Total weight 260g. This covers 99% of all our meals.

The stove can be a lightweight Titanium Gas one or one of the many new (<30g) Meths Stoves. These are getting lighter and lighter, and more and more powerful. Combined with a ‘pot cosy system’ which insulates your food and maintains a high temperature for 15-20 minutes, you can save a vast amount of fuel (weight) as this maintains heat well enough to be equivalent to simmering. (Saving 1kg+)

Can you give me some ideas?

  • Cooking is a very personal thing and the system you choose to use depends greatly on the food you intend to cook. If you just need boiling water fast, a Meths White Box Stove (30g) or Crux Gas (83g) stove is the answer.
  • However there is a lot of recent interest in wood burning stoves like the Bush Cooker (201g) and Honey Stove (340g) as it means you can pick the fuel up as you travel. It also provides a social hub keeping bugs away in the evenings.
  • Whichever method we use, the cooker, fuel, folding spork, jay cloth, windshield, lighting tools and usually a mug, all sit within the same cookpot, stored in a pot cosy.
  • We have a great fondness for our Orikaso folding plates, which weigh next to nothing and sit down the rear of our pack. Ideal for many uses, but especially food preparation.


Part 1 - What is classed as lightweight?

Part 2 - Safety

Part 3 - The Shelter System

Part 4

Part 5 - The Sleep System

Part 6 - The Clothing System

Part 7 - The Pack System 


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