Mattdaddy’s Wilderness Bistro – the kitchen

Between hikes I tend to think a lot about backpacking.  Guess that’s what makes it an obsession.   In fact, this blog is just therapy for my addiction.  When I can’t hike, I try to corner someone and talk about hiking.  When all my non-backpacking friends run away from me, then I have to write about it.

I’ve already posted a few recipes bragging on some of my trail-side culinary challenges, and there’s more to come.  Today I want to write a bit about my cook kit and its continuous evolution.

When I started backpacking, I used a solid-fuel pellet stove.  One of those little Coghlan’s foldable metal deals.  Problem was that the fuel pellets were hard to find and, when I did have them, they left a sticky black residue on the bottom of my pots.  I saved up a little and bought a MSR PocketRocket ultralight backpacking stove.  This baby is wonderful.  Can boil 1 liter of water in 3.5 minutes.  You can adjust the flame a little and, with practice, I can bring something to a brisk simmer.  The specs say that you can get 60 minutes of burn time out of a single 8 oz. fuel canister.  I’ve never timed it that exact, but I find that I need new fuel canister about every fourth or fifth hike.  Depends a little on how complex my meals tend to be.  If all I have to do is bring water to a boil then seems like that one can will last me forever.

It does emit just enough of a sound to spook horses.  While I do tend to get annoyed at the Howdy Doodys riding them, I actually like horses.  So, turn it off if a group rides near where you’re cooking.

My pots are the MSR Titan 2 set.  They’re lightweight and nest with enough room to hold the lifting clamp, fuel canister, lighter, and scrubbing pad.  The mesh carrying bag for the pots has just enough room for me to slip in the 4″ griddle.  I snagged that from Walmart in the housewares section.  It is light, probably aluminum, with a no-stick surface.  The plastic handle was held on just with a screw, so I took that off.  The clamp for the pots easily lifts the griddle where the handle used to be.

I have a Light My Fire utensil and then a couple of forks and spoons that I picked up at Wendy’s.  Their plastic utensils are much more durable than most you’ll find.  Not shown in the picture is my Leatherman Blast multi-tool.  I’d like to upgrade to one of their skeletools eventually, but I’m happy with the one I have.   Missing from the kit is a spatula, but all I need to do for that is remember to grab one of my plastic ones out of the kitchen.  Doesn’t have to be big, just something to use other than my fingers for flipping steaks and grilled cheese sandwiches.

For water purification, I rely on Polar Pure water disinfectant.  (Well, that and never sending Kat uphill to look for water.  He’ll dredge a muddy hoof-print through a handkerchief just to prove that you can find something to drink anywhere.)  I admit that I was a little wary at first, but after several years and countless miles it has made a believer out of me.

Last item in my pack kitchen is a travel-size tube of hand sanitizer.  This is the P-38 of my kit.   I’ll have to devote {Here is} a post to all the amazing uses of a 2 oz bottle of sanitizer.  For the kitchen, though, it is simply good culinary manners for the camp chef to have clean hands while prepping the food.

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This entry was posted in Backpacking, Backpacking Gear, Trail Cooking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mattdaddy’s Wilderness Bistro – the kitchen

  1. Pingback: Food Interlude – BHT: 1/1/16 | Ozark Hiker

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