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[cdt-l] alcohol stoves
After exhausting all my willing family members as home
base, I have taken to the "supply as you go" method as
you described. This past year I started using a
canister stove. For the PCT I mailed my maps and fuel
together. Otherwise I purchased food and mailed ahead
IMO, a properly managed drift box and buying as you go
are about as independent as you can get on the trail.
Also, check ahead, a lot of PO's will hold your stuff
for a long time. Additionally there are services that
mail supplies for a fee and someone I met used a Mail
Boxes that agreed to house and mail all of her parcels
for the PCT. It's all a matter of what you are willing
to deal with. Boxing up food months in advance is a
bad idea; that is if you can do otherwise.
Regarding stoves I'm gonna lay it on the line. I think
the homemade alcohol stoves are neat. Though it seems
most of the people I've seen using them carry an over
abundance of fuel cause they are always worried about
finding it or running out. With that consideration it
seems there is no savings in weight.
The solid fuel stoves are inefficient, plus you're
cooking your dinner with chemicals. There was a guy on
the CDT who was trying to cook gourmet meals with
solid fuel. After me and another hiker finished our
meals and tea, our friend was still cooking out in the
rain. Wasn't that system devised to warm-up MRE's?
The stoves that burn wood are an alternative, but they
require batteries, something the propoents of these
stoves fail to address. Also, what do you do when the
fan craps out in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps they
are better than other options, but I like to cook in
my tent when it's raining. Plus I don't care for the
mess of the "stinky stove".
Trust me, after a long day on the trail in inclement
weather you'll be thankful you have a stove that can
boil water quickly.
FYI, I used a Svea 123r on the AT, PCT, and CDT. It
has one working part and I never had to do anything to
it. When I meet old-timers (no offense) their eyes
always light up when I pull out the brass beauty.
Plus, anybody who's ever used one can add to my
Lately I've been using a 3oz Primus titanium stove. It
uses canisters and has a piezo igniter. Because of the
ease of use of this unit I find I cook more meals
(lunch and dinner or breakfast and dinner) and take
Best of luck with your options and planning,
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