When I first started my journey on camping/backpacking trips in 2011, I was a complete newbie who would pack 10 day worth of food for 3 day trip just out of unfounded fear of starvation in the wilderness. A decade later with a couple dozen trips under my belt, I am still a newbie on so many fronts. But I do believe I found my favorite cooking setup for solo trips and I’d like to share what it is and what I like and dislike about the setup for anyone who might be chasing that most efficient setup.
These are the top attributes I was considering when I was going after the set up.
- Volume: For short weekend trips, which takes up the majority of my trips, I wanted something compact to fit into the backpack easily without taking up much space.
- Weight: This one goes without saying for any backpacking trips. The less weight, the more you enjoy your hike and the entire trip will be that much more fun.
- Minimal all-in-one setup: I wanted a simple setup that can be consolidated into one package so I don’t have to worry about packing and carrying multiple pieces. Being able to just grab one package out of your bag for full setup saves time for cooking and also during packing/unpacking.
- Functionality: I didn’t want to sacrifice too much of functionalities even with the focus on minimal setup
For gears used in this setup are:
- GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug (https://gsioutdoors.com/infinity-backpacker-mug.html)
- Snow Peak Hybrid Summit Cookset – DISCONTINUED (https://www.rei.com/product/800043/snow-peak-hybrid-summit-cookset)
- MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove (https://www.msrgear.com/stoves/canister-stoves/pocketrocket-2-stove/09884.html)
- JetboilFuel Can Stabilizer (https://jetboil.johnsonoutdoors.com/accessories/fuel-can-stabilizer)
- Optimus Sparky (https://www.katadyngroup.com/us/en/8018913-optimus-sparky~p6898)
- Small Fuel Canister. Brand doesn’t matter but it has to be the smallest one with 4oz or under. (https://www.rei.com/search?q=fuel+canisters&ir=q%3Afuel+canisters&r=weight-lbs%3A0+to+0.49%3Bbrand%3Asnow-peak%7Cjetboil%7Cmsr)
Now let’s see how things are stacked inside.
And there it is. This is the full setup. It’s about the size of a hand and I have a relatively smaller hands.
Now let me share how I feel about the set up.
What I like about this set up is:
- Lightweight: The total weight comes in just over 1lbs at 1.18 lbs or 537 grams.
- Compact: this setup takes up very little space in my backpack
- Convenience: There is certainly a benefit of having everything in one sack to minimize prep time and packing/unpacking time
- Multitasking: If I want to cook instant noodle or boil water for dry food WHILE I am drinking coffee, this setup will let me do that
What I don’t like about this set up is:
- Limited cooking options: This setup is really mostly for boiling purpose. So water or instant noodle type of foods are perfect. However, since the pot is titanium, if you want to grill a steak or make a stew or anything beyond, it will be doable but it will be a challenge and final product might be less than ideal.
- Size limit: Obviously this is the other side of the token of being such compact setup. Pot size is about 28 fl.oz. Good for a couple cups of coffee. Or 1 instant noodle. So I would say this would work quite well for up to 2 people but for a group larger than that, you should expect longer time since you will need to boil multiple times to cover all the people.
Any comments or feedbacks are welcome!