Spring seemed to be taking its time here at Spring Hollow Farm. Slowly considering whether to come out from under the cover of drizzle and chill… perhaps hitting that snooze button for just “10 more minutes” before getting up to begin the work of making our world green again. On yet another cold rainy weekend, with nothing on our horizon but a two day session of napping on the couch watching HBO, we decided to get ourselves busy with off season work. Namely: organize the “gear room”. Sorting through piles of sleeping bags, backpacks and rope… crates of lanterns and cook kits… a bag filled with just stuff sacks (affectionately known as the bag of bags)… sigh… it really turned into such a pleasant afternoon! There is nothing so wonderful as seeing all of your sleeping bags in their oversized stuff sacks for protection stacked up; unless its seeing all of your backpacks hanging on hangers, standing at attention, and just ready for your next adventure! (and what bag shall you need, sir? The 18 liter Flash pack? or perhaps a 28 liter Gregory??)
Well we had gotten everything organized and remembered we had been getting questions about just what is in our cook kit, so we have compiled here a collection of photos of our backpack sized kitchen. While we may add other components based on the needs of the mise en place, we very rarely roll out with less than the basics shown below. (Mise en Place: Chef speak for your on hand pantry goods necessary for the service you are about to produce, taken from those crafty French who fathered seemingly every culinary phrase used in daily kitchen life – translated: items in place.)
When growing your own kit make sure to think about what it is that you’ll be cooking. Do you have bread and cheeses to nosh on while dinner simmers? Perhaps a knife and something to cut on then. What are you cooking with? Will you be eating from a pouch or will you require a bowl to eat from? And just how will you clean this whole mess up? An awful lot of questions, but these questions are better asked before you are a days hike from your comfortable home with it’s large and decidedly un-packable kitchen appliances!! As for our kit I suppose it is best to start as all good stories and good meals start… at the beginning…
Mini Cutting Board – Size – 6”x7” Weight: 4oz. Cost: filched from a picnic pack given to Cheryl by her nephews many Christmas’ ago.
Buck knife – Size: 3” blade 4” handle Weight: 4oz. Cost: $25
Platypus Wine bladder – Size: 1 liter Weight: 1/2 oz Cost: $10
Blue foldable bowl /plate- Size: 9” round Weight: 1/2 oz. Cost: $10
Awesome “Wine Glasses”: part of the GSI Microdualist cook set
GSI Microdualist cooking pot and lid
Snow Peak GigaPower Stove- Size: so silly small – 3.6” x 2” Weight: 3.75 oz Cost: $50
Snow Peak fuel canister- Size: 4oz. Weight: 4oz. Cost: $4
Platypus Water Bladder- Size: 1 liter Weight: 1/2 oz. Cost: $9
Snow Peak Titanium spork- Size: 6” Weight: .6oz Cost: $10
JetBoil stove set (when you need two pans…) Size: 7” x 4.5” Weight with fuel canister: 15.25 oz Cost: $100
1oz Squeeze Bottle – Size: 1oz. Weight: .25 oz Cost: $2
1/2 oz Spice Jar – Size: 1/2 oz. Weight: 1/2 oz Cost: $2
back to that Platypus wine bladder and “glasses” from the Microdualist kit for a refill because hiking is thirsty work.
Nesting bowl and collapsable spork from the Microdualist kit… pad thai not included.
kerchief – the silent and indispensable partner; potholder, towel, washcloth, napkin, head covering and serious injury bandage. $2
oh gross… cleanup! (le sighhh)
Snow peak stove and Microdualist pan for heating water
GSI pot scraper – Weight: 0.4 oz. Cost: $5
2 Packtowels (one cut from a larger well used towel repurposed as wash cloth) – Size: 14”x 10” Weight: 1oz. Cost: $10
Dr. Bronner castile soap: Weight: 1oz Cost $3.50
Dishpan – Laminated carry bag from – you guessed it – the Microdualist kit!!
Granite Gear stuff sack – a long time traveler in our pack so specs for this particular bag are obsolete but you can find something similar in a combo pack of three sizes for about $7- $28 depending on whether you want them to be waterproof or not.
Over sized Ziplock bag for garbage – Pack It In Pack It Out. Yes, even the nasty stuff!
Star of the Show!
One of our favorite pieces in our packs, The Microdualist! Cannot say enough about how awesome this piece of gear is!
Microdualist Cookset – Size – just right for two Weight: 18oz without stove or fuel Cost: $54.99 Specs: Pot with strainer lid and great heat resistant handle, two nesting bowls and cup with sip lids, two collapsable sporks, “kitchen sink” laminated stuff sack. Possibilities… endless.