A nesting backpacking kitchen

Kitchen packedI have a friend whose backpacking kitchen is only a single small Titanium mug and a folding Esbit stove.  He pretty much always cooks the same one pot meal.  By the end of a trip he is pretty tired of it, but his set weighs little and he doesn’t spend a lot of time cooking.  Sometimes this is a good answer, and sometimes you want more.  As I have accumulated kitchen stuff, the goal of having it all (or most of it) in a light weight, compact package has been an itch.  This post presents the current state of that quest.

So here is my 16 piece compact, complete kitchen, all packed up sitting beside two gas canisters for scale.  It is versatile, light, compact, complete, and rugged.  With it I can boil, simmer, bake, mix, hydrate, cozy, measure, prepare multi course meals, serve and clean up.  All together, without fuel, it weighs 22 oz., and is about the volume of two 8 oz. fuel canisters.  But of course you only need to bring the parts you are planning to use with that trip’s menu.  Further, by swapping out the stove and windscreen combination, it has multi-fuel capability.  So what’s in it?KitchenItems Continue reading

Backcountry bread and pancakes with a Kovea Spider Stove

The Kovea Spider remote canister stove looks like a pretty neat concept.  It is compact and lightweight at 6.1 oz.  The remote canister setup works with a cone style wind screen.  Invert the canister for a cold weather liquid feed mode, enabled by the stove’s preheater tube.  Use two medium size binder clip handles support the inverted canister – a trick gleaned from the Internet.  With the legs folded for storage, it is compact enough to fit inside my titanium pots.

The stove is not widely available in the US, although Jon Fong at Flat Cat Gear carries it and sells integrated cooking systems for it.  My stove was made for the domestic home market and came with  Korean language instructions.  No big deal, it works just like a canister stove.  But it shines in its ability to integrate with ultra light cooking gear, pulling off tricks likes making pancakes and bread!  I had tried both these cooking chores with alcohol stoves getting somewhat mixed results. The Kovea Spider adds just the right final touch to make it all work.

Backcountry dry baking is a craft I learned from Jon Fong’s website and his YouTube videos.  I have used it with alcohol and Esbit cooking in the past, most successfully for biscuits as discussed in my old post: Dry baking.  But for good pancakes and bread, you need some additional help. Continue reading