How to lighten up: Part II “kitchen and nutrition”
The first thought in getting the right gear for the kitchen is, do I really need to cook on the trail? Most people I know just need the heat to boil water. If you do not have to melt snow it should be obvious that you do not need a fuel stove to get a cup of water boiling. So here comes the beloved alcoholstove: light, cheap, everlasting (if you dont step on it).
Using an alcstove is easy, but you have to be very carefully! The use of a windscreen is also recommended.
A “cleaner” way is the use of an conventional gasstove. We all know them. Gasstoves are heavier to carry, you have the stove and the canister to take. I would recommend them in dry areas where you can set everything on fire by not beeing cautious with your alcstove. The Gasstove would be more convenient for 2 or more person use.
Before heading out you have to be sure, if they sell the right canisters for your stove in the area of your destination.
Bushbuddy or woodburning stoves are also frequently in use when you take a look around. The main advantage is you dont have to carry any fuel for it. You feed it with small wooden sticks and/or dry moss. Firestarters are still very helpfull to get the thing going. Because of smoke development not a recommendation if you have to use it in tent (which is a bad idea anyway).
The (multi-)fuelstove, will be the best decision in high altitudes where you have to melt snow and ice for drinking water. Or in parts of the world where all you can get is some gas at a petrolstation. Larger groups may also see an advantage in this system.
I have also heard of going stoveless even on long distance trails. But this does not mean you have to live from energy bars for 5 months, most people use open fires for boiling their water.
Dehydrated or freeze-dried foods work best out there, you just have to add boiling water, stir and let it rest for some minutes. No extra cooking on the stove is necessary. Which saves time and lots of fuel!
Most of the meals need 250-300ml of boiling water, so if you cook with an 550ml pot you still have some water left for a hot drink of your choice. There is a big selection of dehydrated food on the market. If you have time enough it is also possible to create your own food at home.
I often mix them up with olive oil or some kind of hot sauce. I never carry extra sugar, salt or pepper.