Which option is lighter?

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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Which option is lighter?

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    Jordan Calicott


    Locale: Arkansas!

    Which one of these options would be lighter for a weekend outing: carrying freeze-dried food packs with a stove, fuel, lighter, eating utensil & a pot or leaving the cooking gear at home & carrying non-freeze-dried foods like granola bars, gorp, etc.?

    Ryan Faulkner
    BPL Member


    it really depends on what kind of cooking gear you use

    if you use a sterno can cook pot with aluminum foil lid, and use rocks for a potstand for your esbit, your cooking system would be less than an ounce including fuel for a weekend trip.

    but a typical alcohol stove system with Ti pot, can be closer to 7 or 8 oz with fuel.

    It dosent make much difference on weekends. because you are not carrying much food

    but I think with a light esbit or alcohol stove system, you could go lighter. and your food would probably taste better

    unless you are cooking no cook oats in a plastic bag for breakfast and dinner. then you could go lighter with no stove

    David Bonn


    Locale: North Cascades

    For a weekend, all things considered, you’ll probably save a bit of weight by not cooking. But you’ll also probably be surprised how little weight you’d save.

    As has been pointed out, an esbit stove and adequate fuel and small cookpot only weight a few ounces. Assuming your food weight for no-cook food menu is equal to the cooked food menu you’ll probably end up in about the same place.

    But it can get tricky. For some no-cook food (tabouli, some no-cook oats) a lot of sitting time can be required. If you are on the move you’ll need to have a secure container to keep the soaking food in. A ziploc might work, and might also produce a spectacular mess instead of supper.

    One of the things to be really careful about is that food-value-to-weight ratios tend to matter a lot more than the weight of cooking equipment. It is really easy to construct a no-cook diet that involves carrying more weight per day than a plausible diet with a cooked dinner and cold cereal for breakfast.

    I do some no-cook meals, usually tabouli or sometimes just have a big sandwich for dinner the first night out. In general, I don’t see a big advantage (or disadvantage) to not cooking. It is more about psychology. Having a warm bowl of chow at the end of a long, rainy day, may not have any physiological benefit at all, but it can have enormous psychological benefit. Coffee and tea have no real food value but can have an enormous impact on your morale.

    Remember, this is about having fun. Just do what is fun for you.

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