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Re: [pct-l] Fuel usage

:Note that it takes a lot longer to boil water at high elevation, so
:add an appropriate extra amount to account for elevation in your
:calculation. How much? Cake mixes and some other pasta mixes have
:statements about additional cooking time for each 1,000' of elevation.

I don't think that it takes a lot longer to boil water at high elevation.
However, water boils at a *lower temperature* at high elevation, so it can
take longer to cook foods at high elevation.

On my backcountry trips, I usually take no-cook hot meals, like oatmeal and
no-cook freeze-dried foods, so all I do is boil water and so don't have to
worry about longer cooking times (just food that doesn't completely
re-hydrate...). On a six-week thru-hike of the Colorado Trail this summer,
my daughter and I used less than one 22-ounce MSR fuel bottle per six days
(would have lasted a full week), making hot breakfasts and hot dinners and
occasionally using boiling as our water purification method.

<puff puff :-) > Just came upstairs from finding "The Backpacker's Field
Manual". It says:

"Cooking at Altitude: At higher altitudes, the air pressure is lower. This
allows water to boil (change from a liquid to a gas) at lower temperatures.
You will need to plan longer cooking times. For foods that cook in 20
minutes at sea level, add 2 minutes of cooking time for each 1,000 feet of
elevation. Something taht takes 20 minutes to cook at sea level can take
twice as long to cook at 10,000 feet. This also means that you may need
significantly more stove fuel if your trip is at altitude."

It then provides the following table:

Elevation        Boiling Point of Water        Cooking Time (example)
0'                        212 F                                10 minutes
5000'                  203 F                                15 minutes
7500'                  198 F                                18 minutes
10000'                194 F                                20 minutes
15000'                185 F                                25 minutes

Actually, I live in Albuquerque, NM, at 6000'. I cook pasta at home
regularly and only need about one minute of extra cooking time for typical
pasta (7 to 11 minutes cooking time to al dente depending on variety :-)  ).

Karen Elder
Albuquerque, NM, USA

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