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[pct-l] RE: going stoveless?
I'll throw my 2 cents into the stoveless discussion.
I did the stoveless thing on my AT attempt in 1974 and made it 1000 miles or
so. This was with a late March Georgia start and I had a fair amount of
freezing weather and snowstorms. I was carrying a mere 1 pound of non-cook
foods per day and it is amazing that I did not starve to death; in fact, I had
a lot of energy but then I was only 19 and had way too much energy anyway. I
supplemented in towns (though not easily: I was carrying less than $50 in cash
which had to last a long way) but mainly I supplemented my diet by preying on
other hikers at the shelters (you know, stare longingly at their meals until
they take pity and share with me; this worked especially well with weekenders
heading out as they would not have to carry out their excess). I was carrying
a Sierra cup (metal) to heat water up on fires for hot chocolate, the only food
I had that could be heated. Mainly, my food consisted of the exact same thing
everyday: granola, candy bars, peanut butter, biscuits (European style sweet
biscuits). It worked, but on my PCT hike the next year, I took a stove and a
variety of meals to cook.
I would have a hard time doing it now on a long term basis. I still take
overnight hikes where I go stoveless/cookless but for longer hikes, I enjoy hot
food. One of my current problems with it is finding non-cook foods that I like
and will eat, as I care little for sweet trail foods these days and crave salty
foods. The sole exception to this generalization is I can take a long summer
trip (a week or two) eating nothing but cereal and powdered milk. I am not
sure why this works for me but I done it very successfully even here in Alaska,
where the weather is usually crappy, just done being crappy or about to be
crappy. Then too there is the addiction to coffee; cold coffee just does't
make it, and until they have expresso stands all along the PCT...well, the
withdrawal might be worst than the cure of just carrying a stove.
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