A kitchen can be optional, sort of. What I think of when I say kitchen is a stove, and some sort of fuel source, a cook pot, maybe a bowl or a mug and an eating utensil. Of course this is for hot meals. While some hikers will choose to go for the cold meals, which would not require the above mentioned, which would drop weight from the pack, I don’t mind the little extra weight and have the option to enjoy a nice hot meal at the end of the day, or a cup of joe in the morning.

However, there are other things that some kitchen accessories are good for. You can boil your water with the stove and cook pot so that you have clean drinking water. For those cold nights it is nice to boil some water, put in a Nalgene and throw in the bottom of your sleeping bag for some instant heat through the night, and then you have water that is not frozen in the mornings. Also, for that frozen water, a stove and cook pot will be a quick way to melt the ice. No ice, you can also melt down snow (but to do this there needs to be some ice or water in the bottom of the pot before you start adding the snow, otherwise it will actually burn. Also, melting snow uses more fuel than melting ice.) Also, you will already be carrying something for a fire starter (as part of the 10 Essentials), so some of the fuel sources such as the Esbit tablets will work as one of the essentials.

There are quite a few options to consider when deciding on your kitchen, if you decide to carry one. What kind of stove (white gas, canister, wood, Esbit, alcohol, etc…)? What size cook pot? What kind of cook pot (aluminum or Ti, etc…)? How about a kettle? Spork or spoon? Long or short handle? Will you carry bowls? Mugs? What kind of food will you be using the cook pot for? Will you be Freezer Bag Cooking? Then there are accessories to go with the kitchen such as heat reflectors and windscreens.

So, there are many choices to consider, and many different combination’s that you can come up with. It all depends on what you need. And again, some do not carry kitchens, I like them though. I have 3 different set-ups, it just depends on what I need to do on my trip to figure out which one I will carry.

4 Responses to Kitchen

  1. Steven Smith says:

    You probably don’t have any problems with the GWP and the Backcountry 700ml Ti pot because you have the luxury of handles on the pot. The problem with the GSI Minimalist is there are no handles and the flames can reach as high at the top of the pot where you have to grab it with their little pot grabber. I did not think about this when I purchased the minimalist…..I did not think the flames would lick up the side of the pot that high and burn, but they do.

    I will have to look at the GSI Kettle and see how much fuel my WBS Solo can safely hold.

    By the way……you ever sell any of your gear that just collect dust in the closet?…..just wondering


    • Stick says:


      I know what you are talking about when it comes to putting the pot on the stove. The flame is always bigger until the pot is on the stove and then the flame would die down most of the way and remain beneath the pot. And the handles do help but they are so hot I have to use a towel or bandana to lift it off. Either that or measure out my fuel perfectly… 🙂 Although, I have been contemplating removing the handles from the BC 700 ml pot to save a little extra weight. Of course then I would always use a bandana to remove the pot. Also, when I use my Heine pot I always have to use a bandana to remove it. I make sure I have the towel in my hand the way I want it and then try to be quick and grab it off… Anyway, that is a bummer that your’s is nt working out for you the way you hoped. I know from experience, it is no fun when gear doesn’t work out as planned.

      The WBS Solo is listed to hold 1.5 oz of fuel. That is something that you will just have to try out using different amounts of fuel and water to boil. I wish I could tell you more about that but I just don’t use my Solo enough.

      I have also tried the Venom Super Stove with my BC 700 ml pot and it works well to, surprisingly. The cool thing about that stove is that the post support is built in, and the pot is set on top of the stove, and then the stove is lit. No worries about trying to set the pot on a fiery stove. Also, there is no wait time for the stove to blossom before setting the pot on, so in this respect, the fuel efficiency may be a little better… This stove will only hold so much though and due to it’s design it cannot be overfilled.

      As far as the gear that collects dust, well I don’t really get rid of a whole lot. I have only sold 2 items, a water filter (I am really sold on Aqua Mira) and my Optimus Crux. The reason I sold it though was because I knew I was getting a Jetboil to test so I would still have a canister stove, just in case. If a buddy goes with me I usually lend a canister stove since for unfamiliar people, a canister stove may be easier for them to use.

      Hope this helps some.



  2. Steven Smith says:

    Hey Stick!!!
    I have a Gram Weenie Pro and a White Box Stove Solo. The only pot I have is the GSI Minimalist, and it seems to have to small of a diameter for both stoves. I get wicked flames licking up the side with the WBS to the point I cannot put the pot on top. I even get some flames coming up the side with the GWP with the pot to where at times I cannot put it on either.

    My main question is would you try to find a stove to fit the pot, or find a pot to fit the stoves? I am looking at the GSI Tea Kettle or their Soloist set up for different pots. I am also looking at a small canister stove for the minimalist….I love the pot and the stoves, just not together to much.

    I know that you have tons of stoves and a few pots ranging from a Jetboil to homemade alcohol stoves. What have you found to work out best for your solo trips, and what have you found to work best when you are wanting to cook for two (you and your wife/kids)?

    I am not to worried about the weight of my cook set up at the moment, but do not want to get something to heavy. When starting out I purchased gear based on price and not weight…now I wish it was kinda the other way around.

    Thanks for all the help and the great insight you offer on backpacking.


    • Stick says:


      I agree about the flames on from the WBS solo. To be honest, I do not use my Solo but I love the heck out of my WBS Original. I love to use the Original with my wider pots such as my GSI Kettle or my newer 0.9L Evernew Ti pot (I have yet to do a review of this on my blog…) But the WBS solo will not work to well with very small diameter cookpots like your Minimalist.

      But, I am a little shocked that the GWP is not working with it. My GWP works pretty well with my Backcountry 700 ml Ti cook pot and it has a very narrow diameter (3-5/8″). Granted there are some flames that will occasionally lick up the side, but it is usually if a small gust of wind disturbs the flame through the windscreen. I usually keep about a 1/2″ to 1″ gap between the cook pot and the windscreen.

      My opinion, I would get the GSI Kettle (the kettle by itself should only cost $20 and the set is more, I would get just the kettle) and use it with the WBS solo. But, you may have to put a little extra fuel in it (at the beginning) to get it too boil a full kettle. The kettle is a great piece of kit. It is fairly light, durable and the wide bottom diameter works well with alcohol stoves.

      To be honest, once I am done with the testing period of the Jetboil, it will probably end up sitting in the gear closet… Before this I always used my Kettle with the WBS Original. So, for just me, I will go back to using my WBS Original with the 0.9L Evernew pot. or my Heine set up with Esbit. For 2 people just freezer bag cooking I will probably go with the WBS and the Evernew pot. For 2 in which I may actually cook I will use the Jetboil (stove only) along with a GSI Dualist (1.8L) cookpot. However, eventually I may get a 1.3L cookpot to take the 1.8L cook pot’s place. I have found though that it is easier to bake muffins in the larger 1.8L pot though…

      Hope this helps some. If you have any more questions just let me know.



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