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What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days?
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Shawn Bearden
(ShawnB) - F - MLife

Locale: SE Idaho
What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 13:09:14 MDT Print View

There is an article on 'group cooking'. The feedback thread has not been very informative and perhaps the article wasn't either... However, it does bring up a 'gray area' question. For one person, alcohol makes a lot of sense. As you add more people, the answer becomes more complicated on a single cook system. What cook system do you all use if it's for 2 people and you are going for 3-5 days. Recognizing there are issues of altitude and temperature (and options of no cook), do you go with alcohol or canister or...?

Edit: Not asking for advice. Just interested in a survey of practice by BPL members.

Edited by ShawnB on 09/04/2013 14:46:31 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 13:18:28 MDT Print View

I use a 1.3 ltr Ti pot and a Primus vega remote stove for 3 people.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
white gas or Trangia on 09/04/2013 13:37:46 MDT Print View

Back in the day my pick would have been an MSR Whisperlight. Ya can't beat white gas for bang for the buck or the ounce, and wasn't much else available.

I used to do rugged five day loop trips with my wife, and cooked three big hot meals a day plus several additional pots of coffee or tea with one 20 ounce MSR bottle, and always had enough fuel left over for an extra day. I figured that stove was pretty durn slick.

These days I use a Trangia 25-3, and love it. At 32 ounces it's about the same as the MRS Whisperlight and pot set I carried fer twenty years running and I don't notice any difference in fuel weight. I'd probably carry 16 ounces for five days.

Cooking with alcohol sure is different than cooking with white gas, but in my experience either works just fine once you get the hang of the ins and out of a particular method.

Cooking for lots of people in nasty conditions with alcohol is a snap - If you got the right outfit -

This is me on a recent very stormy morning cooking for five hungry hikers at 6,000 ft. above the tree line, high winds, rain, no problem with a Trangia.

Trangia 25

On the other hand, if I had taken one of my soda can stoves with a foil wind screen and a walmart grease pot, we'd not have had a hot breakfast that morning.

So among alcohol stoves in particular, the individual setup makes a heck of a difference.

None of this is probably of any help to you, because I know how I like to cook, the size pots I like to use and so forth, and this may or may not have anything to do with the way you like to do things.

You'll likely get folks sayin' that they love canister stoves, some that like alcohol and some that like white gas, some like mini wood stoves or even Esbit tabs.

- shrug - It's all good!
Yer not gonna find a definitive right or wrong answer to this question, just lots and lots of different opinions.

How do you cook now fer shorter trips? Why not just do the same thing only bring a little extra fuel?
If this is yer first time cooking for two you'll certainly need a bigger pot. I don't like anything below 1-1/2 quarts, and the bigger the better, and I like a stiff wire bail on the pot so I can hang it over a tiny cook fire if I need or want to.

Edited by Bawana on 09/04/2013 18:40:46 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: white gas or Trangia on 09/04/2013 13:47:08 MDT Print View

"Back in the day my pick would have been an MRS Whisperlight."

She may be a hot babe, but did you marry her and make her an honest woman?


James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: white gas or Trangia on 09/04/2013 14:28:52 MDT Print View

Yeah, Robert has it right. It doesn't really matter.

For three to five days out with 2 or 3 people, I figure about 1/2oz per person per meal. This is exactly what I bring for solo stuff, too. More people, same stove, simply means a little more time cooking. This is for the old SVEA.

I can go about 10 days on a 10oz bottle of WG. I would use twice as much with two people. Or, spend only 5 days.
This is two liters in the morning, and, two liters in the evening, with some simmer time.

A half oz per person per meal is being generous. I actually use less than 1/3oz to boil water (coffee, oatmeal, cocoa) in the morning for myself. The wife doesn't need a full 4 cups, 2 is good for her. But, she likes to actually wash dishes. Alone, I just rinse them out with water. She uses a half cup to brush her teeth. I just brush them. Anyway, perhaps 7 cups is what we need.

Canister fuel, Alcohol are all pretty close at about a week out for solo use. I am VERY used to WG and have my usage "down pat." Use what you want. The numbers are such that for three nights out for two people under normal 3 season conditions, you will not go badly wrong with whatever you use. I will say that the highest fuel density you can carry is WG or Kerosene. No other fuel will provide the same BTU/lb.
Even Esbit is only about 13000BTU/lb...about the same as canister fuel. WG is about 19000BTU/lb AFTER considering the container. But, WG stoves are typically around 1 pound to carry.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
canister on 09/04/2013 14:54:00 MDT Print View

i'd go with a lightweight canister stove and a titanium container of some sort. depends on if youre just gonna eat freee-dried foods or something where u actually need to COOK in the container. if youre just boiling water, make it easy. a gigapower litemax 2oz canister stove, and a snow peak TI mug/pot. one 110g canister should be enough.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jetboil on 09/04/2013 16:09:04 MDT Print View

very few things boil water as fast as a jetboil ... and is as fuel efficient ...

just saying


david b
2-person cook system on 09/04/2013 16:16:05 MDT Print View

I use a super cat alcohol stove with an IMUSA pot. Solo I use the smaller IMUSA pot. Super cat brings water to boil with no problem. Normally I'm cooking just for dinner and using freezer bag type meals. Breakfast and lunch are no-cook.

d k
(dkramalc) - MLife
Re: What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 18:31:48 MDT Print View

For two, we now have a Caldera Sidewinder cone with Open Country hard anodized 2 qt pot, 12-10 or Packafeather alcohol stove (depending on amount of simmering needed). Prior to that it was a Penny alcohol stove with homemade stand - it worked great at altitude. We do need to take care to keep the alchohol warm in the morning before lighting.

For any more than two people we use a canister stove and a larger, very light aluminum pot I found in a thrift store. For one, I use a K-mart grease pot, clone cone, and same alcohol stove choices as above.

2p setup on 09/04/2013 18:46:05 MDT Print View

I use an evernew 1.3L pot
a large tealight stove and windscreen
boils 4 cups on 1.1 fl oz.

stove is ~0.15 oz
Windcreen is .85 oz
Pot support is 0.24 oz

fits in pot, with 2 coffee cups too
rubber band hold lid on it in pack.

Or, I might use my gnat and cannister.

Edited by livingontheroad on 09/04/2013 18:47:25 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: 2p setup on 09/04/2013 18:56:20 MDT Print View

I will typically split a Mountain House meal with one of my kids and then heat up some water for hot chocolate afterwards.

My two person kit:

Fuel per day - one Esbit tablet
Lite Trail Solid Fuel Cook Kit
Snow Peak Hot Lips
Extra plastic mug for my kid
Two Spoons
Mini Bic

I believe on my last trip with my daughter we were under 10oz for everything including fuel for a week. I'll double check my numbers when I get home to make sure I didn't just put my foot in my mouth but the weight was in that neighborhood.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 20:05:17 MDT Print View

My question would be, why hike in a group of 2 or more?


That being said, I admit that over the past 6 years I have hiked in a group of 2 or more, 6 times. One every one of these trips everyone brought their own stove and food. Even with my son, we bring our own separate gear and food. This seems the most logical approach. If I want gourmet cooking I car camp.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Logic? on 09/04/2013 20:36:18 MDT Print View

I don't see the logic in that at all, in a group you can save a fair amount of weight by not duplicating gear, sharing cook and tenting gear whenever possible seems the most logical thing to me if you are traveling in a group.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 20:41:09 MDT Print View

A little background before I answer the OP. Most of my travel these days is to reach back-country climbing destinations. I am always traveling in a group, usually 2-3 people, but at times as many as 5.

For groups of 2, canister stove (Pocket Rocket or Soto) if no snow melt anticipated, white gas (XGK or Whisperlite) if needing to melt snow. I have a Whisperlite Universal, but have not played with the canister option for melting snow. In the future I may move to an MSR Reactor for snowmelt duties.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Logic? on 09/04/2013 20:42:53 MDT Print View

This confirms it once again. Climbers share. ULrs don't cause they want to play with their own stuff.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Logic? on 09/04/2013 20:46:13 MDT Print View

I don't know. My stove, windscreen, and pot weigh 2.9 ounces. 0.5 ounces of fuel boils 16 ounces of water with a little left over. I use this system about 90% of the time.

A Giga Power stove and a Titan Kettle weighs 6.5 ounces, not to mention the extra metal of the canister containing the fuel. Plus we may need to agree on the contents of the meal :)

2P on 09/04/2013 21:06:54 MDT Print View

When I do 2P its only with my son.

Its just simpler at dinner.

It saves no weight relative to both of us carrying UL setups, in fact the 2P pot is considerably heavier ~4.5oz than two 2cup foster pots (2.2oz)

With someone else, nope, not going in together. Bring your own toys.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: Re: Logic? on 09/04/2013 21:11:58 MDT Print View

If everyone brings food that can be prepared with just boiling water then there is no need agree on meals, each person can still bring their own food.

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
RE: nope, not going in together on 09/04/2013 21:13:51 MDT Print View

>With someone else, nope, not going in together. Bring your own toys.

To each his own I suppose. Doesn't sound like a group to me, sounds like individuals traveling the same stretch of trail at the same time.

Edited by JBC on 09/04/2013 21:39:43 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: What cook system do you use for 2 people for 3-5 days? on 09/04/2013 21:31:49 MDT Print View

Nick, you still coming east this fall? you can bring your own crap I won't judge you :)

Me and my GF 1.4L Ti pot, Optimus Crux stove with 100g canister of varying fullness. each with our own freezer bag cozy.

Me and other people .7L ti pot, Optimus crux stove with canister full enough for the trip. I'd rather be self sufficient and not worry about other people's stuff.