Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gear Review: Cooking System

The only "cooking" I did was heating water for instant coffee in the morning and for mashed potatoes and Knorr rice sides for supper. I didn't have a pot, I poured boiling water into the Knorr packets (I only had one leak during the whole trip, even though they got really beat up, and sometimes wet, in my food bag) and I used the stainless steel cup for the mashed potatoes. Not very creative, I know...

The cup, the MSR Pocket Rocket, and the little Swedish titanium teapot are all veterans, well over 12 years old each of them. The green plastic spork is a replacement for an identical one that was new at Springer and made it all the way to the Hudson River in New York before breaking. You should know that my fellow hikers were amazed that it lasted so long; they have a reputation for breaking right away...most hikers use a long handled titanium spork, which is especially good for eating Mountain House meals right out of the bag.

The Pocket Rocket worked perfectly the whole trip, and I'm quite confident that it will last at least another decade or more, but I did run out of the butane/propane fuel once, in southern Virginia during the first big long stretch of rain we had. (Purely due to my own faulty planning, I should have bought a new canister in Damascus.) I had to buy a bottle of Heet in Atkins, VA and make an alcohol stove, with a tent stake and a rock, out of a can of potted meat (yum!); it worked just fine with the teapot until I could get more gas.

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