A Stove for the Trail

I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion on the various Appalachian Trail forums about the types of cooking equipment and supplies that a thru-hiker should take with her on the trail.  I’ve put some thought into what I’m going to do in terms of food and cooking, and I’d like to share it with you. Keep in mind that there’s no right way to go about it.  I mean some people might choose to write their thoughts out in iambic pentameter, others as a limerick.  But, as they say, I have to hike my own hike, and that meant thinking in haikus. Without further ado, a glimpse inside Jordana’s head:

Should I bring a stove?
Many people want to know.
I’ll talk it out now.

A stove will take space.
It means I have to bring pots.
That’ll be bulky.

What’s that you suggest?
I might miss variety
that cooking allows?

You don’t know me well.
Let me explain my habits.
You will be convinced.

I eat the same foods,
whether it rains or it shines,
day in and day out.

Here’s an example:
I’ve eaten eggs for breakfast
for years upon years.

Well what can I say?
From my head down to my legs
I surely love eggs.

It’s not a big deal.
I can switch up to new foods
to eat every day.

There’s another thing
that tends to happen often
when I get hungry.

I want to eat now!!
Cooking would take too much time.
I’d gnaw my arm off.

So now you can see
that maybe bringing a stove
won’t fit my style.

Indeed I do think
that the decision alone
depends on the man.

I don’t seek to change
your choice to bring stove and pots.
Just hike your own hike.

Meandering on,
Your humble hiking poet
Jordana (or Jor)


14 thoughts on “A Stove for the Trail

  1. So, you’re not going to bring any cookable food, then? What do you plan to eat? Do you think carrying foods that don’t require cooking will be a little more expensive than those that you can cook (i.e. – things like rice and oatmeal are super cheap).

    Just some questions from someone contemplating/planning a thru-hike!

    • Nope, no food that needs to be cooked. I’m a big fan of snacking anyway; not so much into big meals. I’m still working on the list of foods I plan to bring, but I’ll post something soon enough. Good luck with your own thru-hike. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  2. Not to mention as soon as you talk packin’a stove, you’re talkin’ packin’ fuel too, right? Those cylinders take up space that could be better filled with Fig Newtons! 😉


  3. When I join you (because I intend to join you) for a few days, there will be a stove. I will carry it. Of late, it’s not a hike without ramen noodles and pop tarts.

  4. In my hiking experience, when exhaustion sets in on a rainy day and tries to steal your motivation, a nice cup of hot tea or soup can REALLY be the cure…..How good are your fire starting skills?

  5. Pingback: Second Official Product Review EVER: LÄRABARs « My Meandering Trail

  6. I am wondering if you could provide a list of food you would pack? Maybe the food is lighter than the ultra light stove, fuel, and dehydrated food I pack. Let me know what food you might bring? I would be interested to see if I can shave ounces off of my pack.

    Also, thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate any fellow hiker stopping by 🙂

  7. Get a pocket rocket by MSR (the only good thing they make), or even better a JetBoil, The jet boil packs well, and it is so efficient you only have to carry the small fuel canister and it will last a long time. you can get away with cold food, but after awhile it is limiting on options. Plus the food you heat up is dehydrated in most cases and is less total weight space taken up in the pack than the stove. Also, when you are cold, wet, tired and just downright miserable, nothing gets you back in a good mood and ready for the next day than a hot meal. I saw many people who did the cold food thing just looking at everyone with hot food and feeling crappy because they wanted hot food. A hot meal can be a mood changer. Worth thinking about.

  8. If you can handle the boredom and slight expense of only cold food, than that is an excellent choice for you. It saves time and possibly weight (I say possibly because many cold foods weigh more than dry foods that have to be cooked which is something to consider. Rice or pasta or instant potato is extremely light per calorie.). I started eating a hot meal twice a day on the trail, quickly went down to one, and by the end was only eating a hot meal 2 out of every 3 days because of the time it takes. You can get super light with a stove set up though.. I carried a 1L aluminum pot and a soda can stove I made myself along with a few oz of alcohol.. the whole set up was small and under a pound.

    • I reserve the right to change my mind on the stove issue. I’m still exploring food options, which is a little tricky with the gluten free thing…rice sounds like a good place to start.

  9. Pingback: A Stove for the Trail – Revisited « My Meandering Trail

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