On our PCT hike, we will be cooking all of our own meals for breakfast and dinner, except for those days we are in town.  That may be about 20 out of the 160 days we will be on the trail.

To do the cooking, we have a reliable system common to a lot of backpacking regulars.  We have an Mountain Safety Research Whisperlite International stove.


It is small, compact, light, and efficient.  It uses white gas as a fuel.  It works well in all temperatures and all altitudes.  We’ve used this kind of stove for years for everything from the coast to the high camps of Denali.  We will need about 20 oz of fuel between our resupplies.

We will be taking only one pot to cook in.  It is light-weight and has a built-in handle.

Stove, cookpot, and Grandson Benson

Our pot will be used to heat water and to do some actual cooking in.  We expect to use about 1 liter of water for breakfast and another for dinners.  It will take the stove about 3 1/2 minutes to heat one liter of water to boiling.  We may also use the stove for boiling water as a purification strategy.  Higher in the mountains, it may be used to melt snow for water.

One of the best fuel-saving tools we’re taking is our AntiGravity Gear Pot Cozy.  It is made of insulating material that is very efficient about keeping in heat.  For instance, while we make a liter of water for our dinner meal, we pour out enough water for a hot drink and then put our uncooked food into the still hot water.  We place the pot in the cozy, and by the time we’re done with our drinks, the food is cooked and still steaming hot for us.


Above you see the pot cozy with lid next to the fuel bottle.  In fact, the stove, pot, heat reflector, windscreen, and matches all fit nicely in this compact package.  It helps to save space in my backpack as we hit the trail.

One thought on “The Cooking System

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