Light/ultra-light cooking


Baking muffin cakes with the "Jack Stove" cook set

I guess you could call this the poor man's cook set. The idea is to put together a light weight, durable and inexpensive cook set that can be carried on your back, in your pocket or in a saddlebag. Everyone agrees that excessive weight is bad, but not everyone agrees on what is considered excessive. I guess it really depends on the kind of trip you are taking. I am not attempting to make the lightest possible cook set. I am just trying to put together something the casual backpacker would be willing to carry without worrying about every last ounce.

When it comes to ultra-light weight, you really can't beat alcohol stoves. They are rugged and most have no moving parts, seals, gaskets, or wicks to fail. All they require is a can and some alcohol. But yet they work exceptionally well in all but the coldest climates. Fuel is inexpensive and plentiful. You can burn denatured alcohol, methanol (yellow Heet), and brake line anti-freeze cleanly without soot or fumes. Because of the wide use of alcohol this means you will be able to find fuel almost anywhere.