Backpacking Cooking Kit Review | Average Hiker
Evolving Cooking Kit
This backpacking cooking kit review is for my next hike – cooking being the key word. On my last long hike I went cold. I rehydrated my food and let it soak while I hiked, so it was ready to eat at the end of each day – pasta, veggies, rice, beans, etc. I enjoyed my food, but it was nothing exciting, and I really did miss my hot meal at the end of the day.
I've tried most cooking methods – alcohol, cannister, wood burning, camp fire, MSR Cannister, and of them all I've found I prefer cannister the best. It is easy, clean, and a fairly light solution. My least favorite is my small wood burning stove. It's a pretty cool concept, but I always get black smudges on EVERYTHING, and end up looking like I'm in hunting camouflage, or headed to war. I arrive in town after five days, looking as if I've been out in the bush for 50!
This time I'm going with the Pocket Rocket 2 for my stove. I still have “Pocket Rocket 1,” but decided to give Jr. a shot. It comes in @ a whopping 2.6oz, and still looks as tough as its brethren! Stoves have certainly gotten smaller and smaller over the years, and I fully expect to be using a small laser to heat the water next. That would be pretty cool.
Cooking Pot Decision
My pot is a fairly common titanium pot. It is the same Trek – 900 I have used for every hike, and is the perfect size for me. It has been run over, sat on, stepped, on, thrown around, and greatly over heated many times, and it still looks brand new. This little guy is tough as nails, and I've no doubt when all is said and done, it and the cockroaches will still be here.
New Anti–gravity Gear Cozy
Finally, I'm mixing things up a little on this trail. I'm giving the pot cozy from Anti-gravity gear a shot, for a couple of reasons. The fuel canisters are so much smaller now that I don't want to simmer or run the stove longer than is necessary. I'll also consistently be at a fairly high altitude, so will use more fuel. The cozy should allow me to heat my water, and then keep the water hot while the food continues to cook. If I eat at camp, which I actually don't do that often, it can cook while I set-up. If I don't eat at camp, then I can relax a little while the food cooks in the cozy. Either way I've always wanted to try one, and thought they sounded like a nifty idea. I'm most impressed by the fact that a business has been created around this little piece of insulation!
Side note – for you coffee, hot chocolate, or soup drinkers out there, it is also a great way to keep the second cup hot while you drink the first cup!
Final Backpacking Cooking Kit Review Thoughts
One good thing about the town stops on the Colorado trail, at least the ones where I will be resupplying, is that I can get cannister fuel easily. On some more remote trails, I use alcohol if needed, and a soda can stove. I used this more on the CDT, but did not have to on the AT or PCT. I'm looking forward to hot meals and easy cooking on this hike.