Apr 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm #1302080
… and just go with dried foods and granola?
it would save on weight, complexity, and chores. I don't particularly LOVE any of the meals I cook.. so I guess I could do with out.
Not having hot chocolate, tea, or hot coconut milk would kind of suck though.
Thoughts?Apr 22, 2013 at 9:58 pm #1979591
I have on a few trips – I like it if the trip is short. In the summer I usually eat a cold breakfast anyway, and I don't drink coffee, so for me the only difference is dinner. What I like about it is no prep, no cleanup. When you get hungry, you just open the bag, reach in and enjoy. Super simple.Apr 22, 2013 at 9:58 pm #1979592
@hereApr 23, 2013 at 12:03 am #1979605
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I don't forgo "cooking" altogether, but I do take a couple of no-cook dinners for those times I'm too tired to fire up the stove (often the first night). Things like hummus and tabouli, easily hydrated with cold water in 1/2 to 3/4 hour, work great.
A number of other dehydrated meals work just fine prepared with cold water if you soak them several hours. Of course this means carrying the extra water the last few hours of the day. You'll obviously want to experiment at home to find out what tastes good when prepared this way and what doesn't. I suspect that a dish depending heavily on melted cheese might not be a good candidate, but, as usual, YMMV.
I'm following Balls' and Sunshine's journal of their CDT hike. They were so excited to start that they forgot to buy fuel when they arrived in New Mexico, so they are using the no-cook method.
In any case, my "cooking" consists only of boiling water, pouring it over my home-dehydrated meal in a plastic freezer bag, stirring and letting it sit in a cozy for 15 minutes. No dishes to wash; just lick the spoon. (Sarah of trailcooking.com is my heroine!) I boil a bit more water than I need and brew a cup of herbal tea to drink while my dinner rehydrates. For breakfast, I eat cold cereal with dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit and dried milk (water added, of course). For "lunch"–actually all-day snacking–it's dried fruit, nuts and cereal bars. My real camp cooking is done at home when I prepare a big one-pot dish, freeze a few one-serving containers to zap for later home meals and dehydrate the rest of it for backpacking meals. I'm going to test these dehydrated meals by soaking small portions in cold water to see how many of them are adaptable to the no-cook situation and how long they take to rehydrat. I probably will never go stoveless, but it would mean carrying a lot less fuel!Apr 23, 2013 at 12:27 am #1979607
Typically I do the same as Mary. Granola, nuts, etc, and some dehydrated meals packed away throughout the day.
Heading up to ERL in May, and plan on taking a few items to be cooked/reheated on the trail but most of our meals will be boiled water, with one night of actual cooking on the trail for dinner and then breakfast as well.Apr 23, 2013 at 2:52 am #1979613
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Not having hot chocolate, tea, or hot coconut milk would kind of suck though.
Not having hot coffee would be even worse!
CheersApr 23, 2013 at 4:26 am #1979628
Personally I figure that I can have the option to cook for such a small weight penalty that I an unlikely to forgo cooking altogether. My cooking and eating gear is typically 9 or 10 ounces plus fuel, but it is certainly possible to go lighter.
That said I do not always cook every day. It would certainly be possible to go no cook, it just isn't worth the weight savings to me and I don't mind cooking.Apr 23, 2013 at 5:16 am #1979635
+1 with PeteApr 23, 2013 at 5:22 am #1979637
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
For some some summer overnighters I will, but I will be having a hot breakfast or Lunch before I start and a hot lunch or dinner the next day.Apr 23, 2013 at 5:31 am #1979639
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
If it's a summer trip with hot days and warm nights, then maybe yes. Other than that, no. Eating a warm meal and sipping on something hot is one of the joys and rewards after a day of hiking.
At home I cook a real meal every night and the time and effort are well worth it; on the trail the bit of time and weight seem worth it as well.Apr 23, 2013 at 6:02 am #1979647
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
I will almost always take a stove for some tea even if I don't bring any food that needs cooking.Apr 23, 2013 at 6:27 am #1979650
…Apr 23, 2013 at 6:32 am #1979651
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I *must* have a cup of something warm as I wake up in tne morn. COFFEE, prefered by a lot.
Foraging along the trail as I go often yields a handfull or two of good stuff. Even if it is just dandelion greens, they are better cooked (boiled) in a soup if they are old, or, fried into some "greens" (olive oil, red pepper, and garlic) for eating with my supper (rice, soup, stew, macaroni, etc…) Eating hot comfortable food at night is one of the pleasures of camping I will not soon give up. Besides, EVERYTHING tasts better outside. Some of that stuff, I have tried at home with so-so results.Apr 23, 2013 at 7:23 am #1979662
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
"Eating hot comfortable food at night is one of the pleasures of camping I will not soon give up."
And with the availability of so many esbit/alchy and mug setups that weigh under 3 oz, there's no reason you have to.Apr 23, 2013 at 7:37 am #1979671
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Last few trips I've eaten cheese and pepperoni at evening and it was good, no reason to heat anything up, although I like eating a bean or pea soup.
In the morning, if it's cold, I like eating hot oatmeal and a couple cups of coffee and tea to warm up. If it was warmer weather this wouldn't be so important, maybe find something else with cafeine like chocolate.Apr 23, 2013 at 7:40 am #1979672
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
I don't like hot drinks and don't eat hot breakfasts even at home so the only thing I bring a stove for is dinner. I do like to have a warm meal in the evening, even on hot days but I just stick with boil-in-the-bag style meals whether they're store bough or homemade. My cook kit weighs under 8oz including 2 Esbit cubes so I don't see it as much of a burden on a weekend trip. Getting the Esbit going is a breeze and it gives me a few minutes to sit and relax while the water is heating up. Unless I were on a trip specifically to see how fast or light I could go I always bring the stove. In much the same way I always carry more camera gear than I should. A warm meal and good pictures add to my enjoyment so there has to be a very compelling reason for me to leave them behind.
AdamApr 23, 2013 at 9:44 am #1979713
when going solo and/or fast I don't cook.
when out with others on a casual trip I cook.
but I don't live to eat when on the trails.
if I want gourmet food I stay home and go to a nice restaurant.Apr 23, 2013 at 10:40 am #1979736
…Apr 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm #1979815
"I think you'll find that granola and other no cook items will take up more room in your pack."
I haven't found that. Granola, hummus, powdered milk, instant mashed potatoes, nuts, etc all have as many calories/gram and calories/cc as the to-be-cooked items I might bring instead. Gotta get the right kind of granola, of course.
If people are thinking there's a set of pack volume issues associated with going cookless, let's break out some calorie density data.
P.S. For me, what Art said. Pretty much stopped cooking when solo.Apr 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm #1979836
…Apr 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm #1979842
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I have taken to bringing a stove of late to heat water for coffee, but other than that, my food is uncooked, as has long been the case. No muss, no fuss, no bother, no bears. On really hard trips in the past, I would go entirely cold and make do with No Doz in the morning. Don't do that anymore. ;o)
"but I don't live to eat when on the trails.
if I want gourmet food I stay home and go to a nice restaurant."
+100Apr 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm #1979849
just Justin WhitsonMember
Yup, lately i have been. I just bring things like cashews, brown rice crackers, dates, figs, romano cheese, cashew crunch, etc. However, if it's really cold (for my area), i would bring a stove because a hot meal can go a long way to warming you up.
But, when it comes to diet and food, i'm more spartan and disciplined than most to begin with. I've given up so many favorite foods, well, i might as well be labeled a food monk.Apr 24, 2013 at 11:08 am #1980087
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
On this topic in particular (more than most others) I find that a lot of people will be "certain" that they would never like going cold, without having given it a meaningful try.
If you're at all interested, I suggest that you give it a serious try before forming an opinion. For me, too, the visceral reaction to the idea of going stoveless was along the line of "blech". Then I ended up trying it out anyway for about a thousand miles of hiking and when I finally got my stove mailed to me (as scheduled in advance) I found no sense of relief, really I had mixed feelings about it. It meant more diet variety, somewhat easier resupply at sketchier (leaner) resupply locations, but also more fiddling around to eat, and the need to obtain and track fuel.
My intent for future trips is to go stoveless — unless hiking with my wife, who just *knows* that eating cold is not for her … :-)Apr 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm #1980204
I've done it a bit. Seems easier to pull off at higher altitudes, because of the hunger suppression effect. Which makes me feel like I don't need a big meal for dinner.
Variety is really important to me when trying to go cookless. On one trip I brought a bunch of the same kind of power bars because I got a deal on a big box of them. By day three I got sick of them, and a week later those bars made up most of what I had left to eat.
I think I get too much enjoyment out of cooking, so I'd only really go that way again if trying to cover a lot of miles in a short amount of time. Or if I was guerilla camping.Apr 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm #1980251
"Variety is really important to me when trying to go cookless. On one trip I brought a bunch of the same kind of power bars because I got a deal on a big box of them. By day three I got sick of them, and a week later those bars made up most of what I had left eat."
Lol. Been there, done that! Different kind of bars (Bear Valley Pemmican) and different reason (to get the permit I wanted, I had to bump up my trip plans and had about 20' to pack everything), but living on bars gets old fast. Real food is much better.
I rely heavily on bars occasionally as the main food source for a hastily prepped weekend trip, but going cookless by no means requires forsaking variety. There's a lot one can do without a stove. Maybe we should have a thread to pull together creative cookless ideas? Or maybe there's already a good website or thread out there already?
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