Cook Set Up


For a long time I have been wanting to show everyone my cook set up.  A lot of people ask what I cook on and are shocked at the small size of my set up.  They see it as extreme but in reality it’s quite common among thru-hikers and other long distance folk.  I started with a heavy in comparison MSR Whisperlite International, then move to a MSR Superfly on the Appalachian Trail.  In my quest to cut pack weight I ended up with this set up.  You can see how I cut my weight from one trail to the next in my post, Pack vs. Pack.

Picture of full set up

Above you can see my set up. Here is the list of weights:

Item Wt. in Oz.
Stuff Sack .585
Pot 4.69
Wind Screen 1.15
stakes .324
Stove .425
Spoon .358
Lighter .643
Bandanna .95
Total 9.125


.9 Evernew Titanium Pot


My alcohol stove.

Homemade windscreen and pot stand in one.

While on the PCT I was using a piece of Tin Foil as a wind screen that I would fold up after every use.  It slowly began to fall apart and get holes in it.  I also would set my stove on the ground then rest my pot directly on top.  This was precarious at best.  Spillage was always a concern.  One night someone new shared camp with me and had what became my current set up.

It’s basically aluminum flashing with holes punched on the bottom for air flow then four more holes near the top for two stakes to slide through.  These stakes make a resting spot for my pot which is just above my stove, ensuring a equal flame coverage.  The windscreen protects from the wind and acts as a pot stand at the same time.  You can make your own if you go here. (to find my style as there’s many, use your search engines “Find” feature and search for “Double Rod”, this is the one I describe above.

My Cook Set Up in action

Depending on the length of the trip I either have one of these two bottles filled with Denatured Alcohol.  You can also use Grain, Methyl (Heet), or Rubbing alcohol.  The small container fits inside my pot, while the other usually goes in a side pocket of my pack.

Picture of fuel bottles.

In the following video I will show you each of the items that make up my kitchen set up, how they work, how to set up the stove and finally some night time footage of the stove in action (it’s hard to see the flame during the day, one draw back to denatured alcohol).

If you want more information on alcohol stoves, fuels or making your own stove/windscreen visit the Zen Backpacking Stoves website. There are tons of videos online on Youtube as well.

Get out there!
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