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Going Stoveless
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Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Going Stoveless on 12/02/2011 22:29:55 MST Print View

I've gone stoveless a couple times, only in the summer. I wouldn't want to be without hot drinks and a hot breakfast and dinner while snow camping. For me, the best thing about it is the simplicity. No preparation, just eat! In the summer I eat a cold breakfast nearly all the time anyway, so for me it's just dinner that is the difference. I just took more of the things I eat for lunch and that worked out fine. I've wondered about whether it is lighter or heavier to go stoveless, but haven't run the numbers to figure that out. But I suspect the calories per ounce numbers are going to vary more by the foods you choose than whether you are eating cooke, rehydrated food or just munchy stuff.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
cookless over longer periods? on 12/03/2011 01:47:59 MST Print View

Elliot said:
"I would conclude that not cooking makes no difference for a few days, but on a long hike it likely would."

On the CDT this year I went no-cook for nearly the first thousand miles, nearly 2 months. It was fine for me. I had planned ahead of time to get my stove in a resupply box after I got through Yellowstone N.P., and I did, but in fact I wasn't looking forward to it particularly. At the same time, I was quite happy to alter my diet and (dinner only) eating habits once I had it. I sort of missed the efficiency and "no fiddle" aspect of going cookless, but appreciated the food variety from what I had been mostly eating.

Sadly, the place I got my stove had no alcohol fuel for sale, and since my resupply box provided me with "really need to be cooked" dinner meals, I used slow-heating and heavy sterno in the Wind river range until South Pass City, and then resumed eating cold again until I could get some HEET (fuel) in Rawlins.

Anyway, bottom line for me this year was that eating cold seemed to work just as well for a longer period as for a short. One key factor here is that even on a long hike, a person goes in to resupply and eats as much ("town food") as possible when doing so. So it's not really "cold dinners every night" for months. I guess another key is not being terribly picky about dinner main meals. I found that I could happily eat just cold Idahoan brand potatos or "tuna with some sort of starch" (bread, crackers, whatever), just mostly alternating those two every other night. Each to their own!

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Going Stoveless on 12/04/2011 10:40:46 MST Print View

Brian: Perhaps I should said going stoveless for long periods MAY not work for you.

As Jardine takes great pains to point out, what works for him may not work for you, experiment and find out for yourself. As for me, even on short trips I really like hot food and especially hot drinks, at least at night.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
what works for you might not ... on 12/04/2011 10:57:42 MST Print View

"As Jardine takes great pains to point out, what works for him may not work for you, experiment and find out for yourself."

To steal a phrase from a different generation, "true dat". I suspect that I'll eat cold now for most *solo* backpacking trips going forward. My wife, however, has already informed me that this is ground she's disinclined to tread, and that when we backpack together we *will* be cooking our dinner meal! :-)