/ Brilliant ideas, food or innovations you couldn't live without
So, with that in mind, what are your best DIY gadgets, bought thingies, food ideas (with sources) or leaps towards ultralight.
And regarding food, please be specific - i.e. out of 4 local supermarkets, only Sainsburys sell the dried ministrone with pulses that doesn't need soaking (made by Pedon, in case you're wondering), I go to my local South African market to buy shredded biltong, I get my egg powder from internationalegg, dried tomato powder from Hampshire Whole Foods..
Kumquats, lychees and today's copy of the Guardian.
On a less p-taking note most hill/climbing related stuff I could probably do without and change plans accordingly, except possibly rucksack and something to carry water.
Breakfast is a couple of packs of oat so simple in a freezer bag with some raisins, again just add water, and pan is still clean for a cup of tea.
A friend cooks pasta and adds cup a soup to the water, then just eats the whole lot, saves throwing away the hot water.
All you need is a bag of oats.
OK, enough about food, what about gadgets and equipment?
I second the cup-a-soup option (Cambell's Chicken and Veg with Croutons) mixed into some noodles (if you can spare the volume). I'll try the couscous this weekend, though.
Also: Dorset flapjacks are excellent mountain food: http://www.dorsetflapjacks.com/
Gear wise: I'm just experimenting with a Alpkit Rig 7 tarp. it packs small (5x10x25cm tops) is super light (500g?) and can be configured depending on conditions. And instant shelter.
Does anyone know why you can't get those porridge pots in sachets? The sachets need milk and microwaving, the pots you just add hot water.
You can get Oats so simple sachets in the supermarket and while I'm sure they'd be a bit nicer cooked properly they work ok if you just pour hot water into the sachet itself, stir for 30 secs and then eat it straight out of that. Did it wild camping for 5 days last year and will be doing it again this year
Or, for a direct link to the template:
Nido dried milk powder; the closest thing to fresh milk you'll find.
OatSoSimple? Bah, make up your own using oats, instant oats, sugar, Nido and whatever you want to add (sultanas or other dried fruit, cashews, cinnamon, etc). Nicer, cheaper and you get to decide how much to carry, and calculate the nutritional value.
Stoves are the next thing for me to look at now... my gas cookset is gradually getting bigger again, so I am considering the switch to meths. I made a penny stove, and a wood gasification stove, but may well go down the premade-route just for the quality/reliability.
I already use Nido but have noticed it stops really working after it's been in the cupboard for a year :-/
The 'Penny stove' is very sensitive to construction, and I've not found it easy to prime. And I'm not the only one. I'm sure that, built 'correctly', it does work as claimed, but you can follow the instructions, apparently to the letter, and yet not produce a stove that works well.
The simple, open-cup, annular vapour-chamber, jet ring (aka 'Trangia style') burner is pretty straightforward. There are even easier burners, too, such as the zen mini chimney stove. Or even a simple, open cup...
The only real issue with such burners is stepping on them... Reliability isn't really a problem; if the two halves come apart, you've still got the lower cup, and it will burn just about as well...
Some of the commercial products that use the same idea are expensive, and less efficient (e.g. the Vargo Triad, or the Evernew; both pretty thirsty compared to drinks can stoves). And, if you're going lightweight, you don't want a thirsty stove...
Nido: yes, being full fat dried milk, it goes rancid if not used within a few months.
Have a look at the caldera cone used in conjunction with a titanium kettle pot( Alpkit pot is good)
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