Meal of the week: Cream of Mushroom Soup
trailfood.com. It has a lot of great food ideas for the backpacker. What got me most excited about the site is that it has a section devoted to dry mixes and sauces! This is exactly what I wanted. She has come up with recipes for your own broth powder, cream of mushroom soup, Salsa, cheese sauce, pesto and a few others.
Flat Cat Gear and is the best alcohol stove I have ever used. First off, the Flat Cat stove is not a pressurized stove, so there is no prime time. You pour the alcohol in, you light the stove and put the pot over it. Done. It is much more similar to a canister stove in that way. Second, the stove can be used with any windscreen, but Jon has a windscreen/pot support system that is heavy duty and lightweight at the same time. It folds down small and will fit in small diameter pots. My lightest system so far uses a simmer cat stove and a piece of hardware cloth as a pot support(10.2 oz). The Flat Cat stove system is 11.8 with simmer ring and 11.2 without, but with all the advantages, I like it way better. It is worth the extra oz. In addition, you save that amount of weight in fuel alone if you are going on a two night trip. The simmer cat works great, but you can not put out the stove once lit. You have to wait for it to burn out of fuel. With the Flat Cat, you can place your pot right on top of the stove and it goes out quickly. Bobcat system as I always go out with my family of three, and I need the larger volume pot (1.6 L Toaks titanium pot). Jon also sells some smaller systems for solo hikers.
Tips and Tricks
What about using an alcohol stove in the snow? Alcohol stoves don’t work well in cold temperatures right? In general that is true. You don’t have a pressurized container pushing the fuel through the system. You need the heat of the stove to do the work. In addition, alcohol stoves do not burn as hot in general, and are influenced by the outside temperature a lot. I was surprised to find out the Flat Cat stove, had very little issue with the cold. All that was required was to put some kind of insulation between the snow and the stove. I put a piece of carbon felt on the snow, then put my heat shield on top of that, then my stove. Carbon felt(you can buy this on amazon, or at any local hardware store that sells plumbing supplies) is a high temperature material that plumbers use when working with copper in a house. The flame can touch the felt, but it will not burn. Great stuff for stoves. The carbon felt did the trick and the stove stayed hot during the burn and the water boiled without any issues. It was just as hot as during the summer. This was my first test out in the snow, but the temperature had dropped to 11 degrees Ferinheight overnight, so it was plenty cold to test the low temperature abilities of this stove. No excuses now, you can use your alcohol stove in the snow, so get out there and enjoy some great meals during those winter treks. I am particularly looking forward to some hot cream of mushroom soup when I go out on my cross country skiing trips! Enjoy! Dustin