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Why is a stove part of an "ultralight" system <3 days?
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Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Why is a stove part of an "ultralight" system <3 days?" on 07/06/2011 12:54:51 MDT Print View


Yes, please share some experience, my interest is peaked. I'm a runner as well and this topic is one I've wrestled with on packing light foods without eating Clif bars all day.

Sorry the response you received here wasn't warm, think it was just misunderstanding.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Time to Put Up... on 07/06/2011 13:38:35 MDT Print View

Well, coming from the perspective of one who gladly carries a stove because I can, I'd still like to learn up on the perspective or insight of someone who's figured out how to create meals from raw foods or other no-cook items that are nutrient and calorie dense enough to work for trail use.

I'm not blind to the trolling content in Eliade's first and subsequent posts, however. So, it will be interesting to see what he can come up with -- other than attitude, with which he's killin' it, no question.

What'cha got? Give us your menu for 2-3 day trail running trips without cooking. The actual menu.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Trouble makers on 07/06/2011 14:24:16 MDT Print View

I was thinking about starting a thread on chaff about this, but it might just fit here.
Thank goodness for the " trouble makers", those that go against the grain, and question and poke and prod and make us uncomfortable. Those that can spoil a movie we love by criticizing it. Those that find fault in a president we like and find redeeming qualities in one we don't like. The party poopers . Those people that can be difficult, and wrong, but won't go with the group. Those that push for green energy when most don't want to and those that point out how dangerous those "green " bulbs really are.
The world really needs these people, desperately so, and I wish there were more. When things get scary and crazy and emotional , I would much rather be among a few independent thinkers , than a group of all like minded people.
They would be the ones not to push the button in the Milgram experiment, not to follow orders and pull the trigger when others would, not to engage in a lynching by some otherwise good but overly excited citizens.
Challenging these " challengers" is good; shushing them is not in our best interest.

Sounds awfully preachy. Remind me of this post, should I forget ; )

Edited by Kat_P on 07/06/2011 14:47:09 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Time to Put Up... on 07/06/2011 14:34:34 MDT Print View

A raw diet isn't hard to do - but a GOOD raw diet is NOT light weight. Often the nutrition comes from dense sources - oil (raw virgin coconut, olive oil, etc), nuts, moist dried fruits, etc. Which of course are not light. It fuels the body though.

It is why one might have raw pasta of squash but the sauce is heavy in vegetables bound with healthy oil and then have nut-balls with it. It isn't light but it will fill you up quickly.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
I carry a stove because I like to eat a hot meal on 07/06/2011 14:36:52 MDT Print View

Each of us has to hike their own hike, or, in this case, run their own trail. For me, I go as light as I can because it's the only way I'll get this old body up into the the Sierra High Country any more. Back in the 70's I humped an old Kelty external frame and way too much gear on my young (back then) body. Nowdays, I'm not running trails and I don't cover a tremendous amount of mileage. My simple goal is to get up into some pretty country above tree line and find some water to fly fish. I carry a stove because I like a hot meal in the evening. I'm currently carrying a base weight of 9 lbs and a few ounces and feel that I'm warm, comfortable, well fed and safe.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: Trouble makers on 07/06/2011 14:38:53 MDT Print View

+1 Katharina. I was thinking of that Milgram experiment myself.

Here's an article about someone who did the PCT and walked up to 42 miles/day eating only raw foods.

Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Re: Time to Put Up... on 07/06/2011 15:04:46 MDT Print View

+1 Sarah.

Nobody doubts that a raw trail diet is do-able, nobody contests no-cook diet of various food sources.

The point of contention, regardless of whether or not the OP's original intent was to argue this point is whether a: "Raw + Healthy(sustainable) + Light weight" diet is feasible. That's the only question relevant to this forum.

Without resorting to dehydrating and re-hydrating foods, I don't see how it's feasible to hit all the marks.

Raw + Heatlhy = Easy. Show me the light weight part. I'd be happy to be surprised. However, I do not consider a diet consisting only of sprouts and peanut butter to be healthy. YMMV.

Edited by jdempsey on 07/06/2011 16:01:26 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Why is a stove part of an "ultralight" system <3 days? on 07/06/2011 18:34:38 MDT Print View

Assuming you are not a troll...

UL is different for everyone. Some people with very light kits take along various electronics; not my cup of tea, but I am not going to criticize anyone for doing it.

A warm meal and/or drink is often a psychological boost for many people, or part of the overall backcountry experience they seek. A simple Esbit stove is going to weigh less than the water content in a single well balance meal of fresh or packaged food (not dehydrated or freeze dried).

For most people UL hiking is getting your weight as low as possible without sacrificing comfort or safety. Comfort and safety are different for each individual. For many people UL hiking is not about covering X amount of miles, or carrying Y amount of gear. People hike for just about as many reasons, as there are people who hike.

For ~ 3 day trips I don't always take a stove, but most of the time I do. There are times a stove does not fit into the hike, so I am not advocating everyone needs a stove. Whether or not they do take one is completely up to them. There is nothing wrong with the hiker who brings a stove and cooks 3 meals a day and even some hot tea or other beverage in between. Each person determines whether a stove or cooking is appropriate, and it is not up to anyone else to determine the legitimacy of how they hike.

How do you define trail running? Are you jogging or running? If running I would expect you could easily do 50 miles or more in 10 or 12 hours depending upon the terrain. If you are not doing this mileage, at a minimum, then I would not consider you a trail runner... but a jogger.

And as a runner, you could burn up to 10,000 calories in very complex nutrients in one day on a difficult run. Fresh vegetables aren't going to replenish all the needed nutrients, and as Tom mentioned, you are going to "bonk." When you bonk, you risk the chance of injury to muscles and other internal functions, exhaustion which can lead to mental errors that could put you into; a survival situation; or physical injury due to falls, sprains, or bad decisions. The amount of fresh food needed to properly maintain your body is going to push you well beyond the total weight a typical UL hiker carries on a 3 day trip, which means you are no longer UL. Don't look at the weight of the ultralight kit, look at the total weight of everything.

Yes, many people can survive for a long period of time without food. But many hikers are not into the sport just to survive, and if they get into a survival situation, then something went wrong with the hike. Most try not to get into these situations, although many here on BPL can take care of themselves just fine in most survival scenarios.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Recipes on 07/06/2011 19:47:51 MDT Print View

I have posted this before on another thread but here are a couple easy to make recipes for simple raw eating:

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Why is a stove part of an "ultralight" system <3 days? on 07/06/2011 20:07:13 MDT Print View

"UL is different for everyone................."

+1 Great post, Nick, the whole thing.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Leaving the stove behind on 07/11/2011 17:32:12 MDT Print View

I just did my first stoveless trip last weekend and it was so nice not to have to mess with a stove. I had powdered milk with granola and dried cranberries for breakfast (FBC), and had a pita packed with cheddar cheese and pepperoni for dinner (similar to the pita pizza mentioned above) and dark chocolate for desert. Loved it, and can't wait for my next trip. However, I'd like to find a lighter-weight dinner and find an enjoyable breakfast that doesn't have a cleanup element (even if it's just a spoon and a dirty ziplock).

Most of my trips are 2-4 days. After experiencing the freedom, I'm hoping most of them will become stoveless. I'm curious how cold I can go before I miss a warm meal and add the stove back to my packing list.

Edited by lindahlb on 07/12/2011 00:10:32 MDT.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
a little bit of perspective... on 07/12/2011 19:58:13 MDT Print View

For the argument that drinking/eating the heated water from the stove in the form of rehydrated food or a hot beverage is an effective source of calories, consider the math:

1 calorie = amount of energy to heat 1 mL (1g) of H2O 1 deg celsius
1 dietary calorie = 1000 calories or 1kCal.

Most stove users boil approximately 2 cups of water, we'll call it 500 mL

When eaten, in a perfect world, the body will absorb all of the heat energy within the water from its transition from heated to 37 degrees C. Obviously you're not going to consume this water WHILE it's at 100 degrees C but for the sake of the argument under ideal circumstances we'll use it and call the transition in temperature 63 degrees C.

So, you're looking at 500g of H2O and a delta of 63 degrees C, 31,500 calories....sounds significant

but...those are not dietary calories, divide by 1,000, you've got 31.5 calories, under IDEAL circumstances. In reality, you're not going to get 100% of that energy to offset your metabolic requirements, you're not going to consume the water while it's still at 100 degrees C, etc. The cream and sugar in my morning coffee has more calories than the heat provided to one meal through the use of a stove. There goes that argument.

As for it being psychological, or just plain refreshing to have a hot meal, I've got to concede that one, it can be nice. Other times I find it's a pain. My dinner is my last bastion of stove use, and this thread and the considerations it's made me run through my head, has me questioning that.

I don't think I'll be substituting 3/4 pound of bean sprouts for my daily meals though, I think I'd rather eat my stinky socks. They're probably more calorically dense anyway :)

Benjamin Crowley
(benajah) - F

Locale: West, now
Re: Why is a stove part of an "ultralight" system <3 days? on 07/12/2011 22:58:38 MDT Print View

I don't know. I don't generally go to the heavily used areas, but I have found that enough wood fuel to make a pot of coffee makes no impact on the environment. I can use dried grass if need be....of course, I ain't talking about Yosemite, more remote areas.

Benjamin Crowley
(benajah) - F

Locale: West, now
Multiple viewpoints on 07/12/2011 23:06:51 MDT Print View

So here is the thing. You get into the backcountry and there are a whole lot of environments you might go into, and a whole lot of things you might be doing.
Sometimes...I like to do my "knife in the teeth, pistol on the hip and axe over the back" thing and just head off into the really remote wilderness and do my thing for a week or two, cutting down saplings, building a house, hunting deer, the whole nine yards, bow drill fire, live like my ancestors 10,000 years ago.
Sometimes, I want to go to the places our ancestors saw as the most beautiful in our world. When there, I want to make as little impact as possible, and I usually go just as light as possible, granola bars, no food needing cooking. I make a little fire to make coffee (cant live without my coffee) but I boil my water in a little pit, with grass or pencil lead thin twigs, and end of the day, no impact on the environment.
The real question that your question spurns is "where are you going?" Because there are a whole lot of places you could flat out go with an axe, a couple matches, and a rifle and build a homestead. There are also a whole lot of places you need to tiptoe like you were in your neighbor's backyard.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Multiple viewpoints on 07/13/2011 18:29:53 MDT Print View

Unless you're on private land you own yourself, I think most would agree that the tree cutting, homestead building method is unethical, and discourteous to any other potential users.

a b
Re: Re: Leaving the stove behind on 07/13/2011 19:02:55 MDT Print View

Brian, for a "no clean up" breakfast try using a snickers bar to alternately dip Nutella and peanut butter with like a spoon. Bite off little pieces of your snickers "spoon" as you dine. When you run out of snickers, lick your fingers and screw the lid back on the nutella and PB jars!
You wont even have a sticky spoon or ziplock to deal with.
As a side note, when the plastic jars near half full, transfer the remained into one of the jars (PB and Nutella mixed is superb!) then use the empty jar as a "garbage compactor". You will be amazed how many paper wrappers you can stuff into a nutella jar and still screw the lid on.

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Re: a little bit of perspective... on 07/13/2011 20:40:32 MDT Print View


Interesting idea to put the heat gain from drinking/eating hot liquid/meal into equivalent food calories (i thought it would be much larger...)

I guess the point youre making is regarding the supposed benefit of staying warm resulting from eating hot food (I didn't see anyone say that they could carry less food b/c the were heating their food).

Eating 30 Cals won't immediately provide you with 30Cal of thermal energy.
The semi-immediate heat is obtained from the "thermal effect of food" -- the cost of digestion. I believe this is pretty low for general food (less than 10%).
The longer term heat from caloric intake is obtained by buring calories for heat (autonomic thermoregulation) or excercise (where heat output is a byproduct).
Resting thermalregulation is limited - maybe somewhere around 100watts or ~80Cal/hr (at least where any comfort level is maintained).
Heat obtained by excercising is very effective but who wants to exercise after hiking to help stay warm.

So I wouldn't say that argument is out. I am sure by drinking 500mL of hot tea I will be warmer (in the timescale of hours) than if I had eaten an equivalent amount of extra cold calories throughout the day (would be like increasing my resting metabolic rate by 50% or so for an hr).