The Inevitable Gear Lists! Part 4: Hydration and Cook Systems
Welcome back to my gear list series! Give yourself a pat on the back for hanging in there this long. I firmly believe if you’ve made it through the first three, you just might have what it takes to make it to Katahdin.
A FEW THINGS FIRST:
One of the things you should know about me is that I’m a foodie. Cooking is one of my most cherished creative outlets. It is my hope to avoid a single honey bun or ramen bomb for the entire 2200 miles. So I’ve probably spent more time thinking about this part of my pack than anything else.
HYDRATION: Sawyer Squeeze, Cnoc 2L bag, 2 Smart Water bottles (1L & 24oz sport bottle)
Why I chose it/why I like it: I picked the Squeeze years ago after reading some reviews, and I’ve been really pleased with it. I ditched the bags that come with the filter because they were harder to squeeze and I wanted something with a wide opening to make filling faster, easier, and more adaptable to a variety of situations. If necessary, I have the capacity to carry almost four liters of water. That’s more than enough for the AT, but it allows me to save time in my morning routine. I can collect enough water for dinner and breakfast in one trip. I am already pretty slow to break camp in the morning, so anywhere I can shave a few minutes is a blessing.
COOK SYSTEM: Jetboil Minimo, Sea to Summit long-handled titanium spork, GSI Infinity mug, homemade pot cozy.
Why I chose it/why I like it: my Jetboil gets a lot of miles, on and off the trail. When I go car camping, it goes with me, too, along with the French press accessory. I really like the stability of the system. Yes, it is heavy, and I have my eyes on the Stash, but it wasn’t in the budget to upgrade this year.
“But Tdee, you have a mug. Isn’t that redundant?”
Yes and no. Could I drink out of my pot, or its attaching bowl? Yes, I could. I have developed a system that employs all my kit at one time. At camp, I boil my water. When it boils, I add some to my mug for hot cocoa, some to my freezer bag meal du jour, and tuck it away to rehydrate. While that is going on, I use part of the rest of the hot water to clean my hands so I can remove my contacts, and the rest I pour on a bandanna to give my feet a rejuvenating sauna bath. When my food is ready, I use the bowl to just hold the freezer bag, no dirty dishes aside from the mug, which only sees hot cocoa and coffee. In the morning, as I’m packing up, I will throw a couple coffee sticks in my mug and hang it on my pack so that when I’m ready for a midday coffee nap, a hack I picked up from a previous thru hiker, I won’t have to stop and dig into my pack. I don’t even have to take my pack off. It’s a couple ounces of convenience and efficiency for me.
May 19, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.
The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).
SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan