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[pct-l] Sierra Hike vs. Thruhike
- Subject: [pct-l] Sierra Hike vs. Thruhike
- From: "Reynolds, WT" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 17:54:17 -0700
Re: I'd like to go with the lightest stove and fuel
Re: The best stove for a multi-week PCT hike comes down to two choices IMO,
alcohol or ESBIT.
Multiple calculations by multiple people have confirmed that a canister
stove is decidely superior to either alcohol or Esbit when hiking the Sierra
[the original request of this thread]. Except for the extreme southern
section south of Kennedy Meadows, there is plenty of water in the Sierra. As
a result the weight saved by rehydrating food more than offsets any presumed
fuel weight savings. This is not true of a thruhike.
Frankly, however, I don't see any weight savings. An empty canister weighs
between 3.3 and 5.5 ounces depending on the size of the canister and the
brand. A canister stove and windscreen weighs 4 ounces. In comarison, the
weight of an alcohol stove [2 ounces] and the weight of bottle the alcohol
is stored in [2 ounces]is ONLY between 3 and 5 ounces more -- BEST CASE.
People who cook like a thruhiker [one meal a day] using a canister stove use
less than one ounce [weight] of fuel a day whereas most alcohol stove users
use slightly more than an ounce [weight]--BEST CASE. In reality most alcohol
and esbit users use close to two ounces a day because it's just too
difficult to perfectly measure the exact fuel you need and/or extinguish the
stove and recover unused fuel. Where is the savings?
Back to the Sierras. Almost nobody on the lists that I am on that contain
primarly multi-week Sierra hikers DON'T USE alcohol or esbit. Instead these
backpackers focus on tasty, low weight meals and rely on a ready supply of
water and a simple-to-operate stove that simmers to accomplish this. This
approach saves POUNDS, not ounces.
This ain't rocket science.
Thruhiker style eating cooks one meal a day with 2 cups [1 pound] of water
and doesn't simmer anything. This water is absorbed into the meal. The
result is ONE pound of weight saved per day.
I boil 4 cups of water per person [2 pounds] per day that is adsorbed into
my food. This water is absorbed into the meal. The result is TWO pounds of
weight saved per day.
This approach is obvious. Just cooking eggs or heating water for oatmeal in
the morning saves many ounces over cookies, power bars or whatever
ready-made substitute for a decent breakfast one chooses.
Also, funny that whenever I hike with a 2-cup-a-day-cooker they are always
eating my food. [They also carry about a pound extra per day in food weight]
Alcohol and esbit stoves solve the problem of fuel resupply along a 2700
mile route. I don't underestimate this benefit. However, even a 500 mile
trek along the entire Sierra doesn't pose significant fuel resupply
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