">>But kitchens are the ultimate weight hogs. Yes, students carry about 10 days at a time. The result is about 20 pounds of food per person per cook group. Now add two big pots, and a big Frybake pan. Now add a Whisperlite stove and 3-4 33 ounce bottles of fuel.........Oh and don't forget the MONSTROUS 2 pound spice kit. (AT LEAST 2 pounds - plastic bottles of salt, pepper, garlic powder, hot sauce, soy sauce, oregano, chili powder, baking powder, yeast, dill, cumin, curry, oil, vinegar, etc). <<
What strikes me is that it seems every student is carrying two big pots and a frying pan, each student is carrying a whisperlite and each student is carrying 2 pounds worth of spices???"
You might notice that I mentioned per COOK GROUP. The food is per person but the kitchen is per GROUP. There are usually students in a typical cook group. But the fact is that the bigger students often wind up carrying most of the kitchen for their group.
Instructors are worse off because there are usually just 2 or 3 in an instructor team, with the same gear as their students plus HUGE overdone first aid kits in tupperware, ground-air radio, cell phone, books for instructional planning, map sets, markers and mylar for classes, and massive field repair kit.
As for spices, they are heavily overdone, no doubt. As long as baking remains a part of the curriculum, kits will be heavy. I have to questions whether frybake pans really are two pounds (I would have guessed maybe one pound) but they are a requirement for baking. I would actually take the frybake and leave the heavy clunky pots if it were my call.
Any chance of a fundamental shift in the "Gulch" (food issue area) of going to freezer bag style meals? It would be a fundamental shift, but it would go a long way to lightening up.