March 24, 2019

Gear - Cooking

Post trail update

Our cooking system worked pretty well. One problem was that the Kovea Spider stove was tricky to keep alight with even the slightest wind, so I would probably swap for a more windproof stove if I was to do the trek again. It never got cold enough that we had to invert the canister.

I've chosen to take a canister stove - we'll be getting regular resupply packages that will replenish our gas supplies, so a heavy complex liquid fuel stove won't be needed. However, we're still confirming that it'll be possible to get the gas canisters delivered to the last two resupply points in Ringmo and Gamgadhi. We were initially planning to send the resupply packages by internal flight from Kathmandu, but gas canisters aren't allowed on any flights. We're trying to find a solution to this but we may need to swap over to a liquid fuel stove for the last month of the trek.

I chose the Kovea Spider - well built and very lightweight for a remote canister stove. The remote canister and pre-burner allows the canister to be inverted feeding liquid directly to the stove. The liquid fuel passes through the preheater loop which vaporizes is before burning. This allows the stove to operate at lower temperatures than normal canister stoves. The titanium wind break from Scramble is custom made for this stove and weighs only 25g. Unfortunately the normal storage method of curling it up inside your pot doesn't work for us because we will be using the pot to make protein shake for lunch, so I've had to make a cardboard sheath that will protect the rest of our pack contents from the razor sharp titanium.

We're using a Vargo Titanium Bot, which is a titanium pot with a watertight screw top. This weighs a bit more than a standard pot, but allows us to make the Huel protein shake we'll be having for lunch. The Vargo Bot has a great 15g hanging accessory that'll allow us to boil water over a campfire.

We're estimating the stove will use approximately 15g of gas per litre of water. That will give us 15 litres of water per 230g canister. Our hot water consumption should be under a litre per day, so each canister should last 15 days. We will change cylinder every 10 days to give us a healthy margin - the stove will be less efficient with wind, low temperatures etc.

In the side pockets of our pack we'll have two 1L Nalgene HDPE bottles. These are much heavier than the standard disposable water bottles I'd usually carry, but the DCF dry-bags I'm mounting to the side of the pack mean we need a water bottle with a flat top.

We'll be carrying the excellent Cnoc Vecto water bladder, which has the correct screw thread to attach directly to the Sawyer water filters, and a wide opening for ease of filling.

Kovea Spider0.173
230g gas canister0.350
Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spoon - Long0.011
Plastic mug0.047
Vargo Titanium Bot 1L0.144
Vargo Titanium Bot Hanger0.015
Scramble Spider Windshield (with cardboard sheath)0.057
2 x 1L Nalgene HDPE Wide Mouth0.216
750ml disposable Evian bottle0.031
Cnoc Outdoors Vecto 3L Water Container0.088


Normally a software engineer, recently I've been spending a bit more time in nature.

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