Longest Trip "Cold" Camping?

Posted by: RandyB

Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 11:08 AM


This week I will go to Lake Tahoe to attempt the Tahoe-Rim Trail without a stove, fuel or pots. All of my foods need little prep besides either open the wrapper or shake the contents with water.

How many other backpackers out there have forsaken their stoves and what is the longest you have gone without cooking?


PS I will be stopping at Echo Lakes for a hot meal 3/4 of the way through the trip though, but I am not cooking it!
Posted by: frank

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 11:39 AM

I just completed 760 miles on the PCT from Campo to just South of Crabtree Meadow

I started May 9 and finished June 10.

I went stoveless with all homemade dehydrated food. I did keep a foil tuna in each resupply and had ProBars also.

Akso I would eat hot meals in all my resupply stops where available

Posted by: lv2fsh

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 11:43 AM

I could go about half a day I suppose. At least on purpose. I would miss my coffee and the comfort of a hot meal. Heck, I even carry a small pint thermos when I go fishing for the day and carry a small pack with food and cooking gear while taking day hikes on BP trips. When I was young,I could put up with a lot more discomfort than I'm willing to now. Good for you though and lots of luck and if we meet sometime on the trail, I'll make you a "hot meal".
Posted by: RandyB

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 01:11 PM

for Frank,

What was the furthest you hiked self-contained before raiding a town for food? I will be going 8 days before I get a hot meal at Echo Lakes.

Posted by: phat

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 01:43 PM

Only a couple of days, and then not deliberately.

I'm actually fascinated by it, but I may be too much of a princess to actually do it. I have gone
as far as one hot meal a day at supper to save fuel, but I get really bloody sick of eating bars
really quick. While I can skip my coffee in the morning and stuff, I find dinnertime I want something substantial, and frankly, my non-dehydrated snacks like nuts jerky and sausage
I think weigh more than my dehydrated dinners which then will require 2/3 of an oz of alcohol
to prepare, (+ pop can stove and 3 oz pot) - so I'd really have to put it together and do the
math before I'd try it.

What's your menu like? Are you just doing bars and shakes or a little more variety?
Posted by: frank

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 03:11 PM

It was about eight days also.

I resupplied in Warner Springs and the restaurant was closed much to my disappointment.

I just had a small meal in Idywillde as I was in and out pretty fast. My first big hot meal wasn't till Big Bear and that was 12-13 days.

I did ok for this trip. There is a definite comfort factor in having one hot meal/day. I was solo but ended up with people at times and watching them eat their meals made me want a hot meal.

good luck

Posted by: RandyB

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 05:48 PM

Hello phat,

For most of my backpacking history I only boiled water for tea/hot chocolate, ramen and freezedried dinners, nothing for breakfast or lunch.

My breakfast usually runs to a single guys staple....Poptarts! Lunches are the usual; gorp, jerky etc. What I am shooting for is replace my dinner with liquid meals (Perpetuem, Endurox R4 and Met Endurance).

I have been using them for years as recovery drinks for cycling. I have been able to ride 14 centuries in 14 days and these recovery drinks were the only way to adjust my body to that kind of stress.

The thing for me is that I get my dose of caffeine in the form of tea each day. As long as I can get it hot of cold it makes no difference.

Let the grand experiment begin next week (the Tahoe-Rim-Trail). If this works out I will do a version of the Muir Trail in august before I dream of the PCT some time in the next few years.

Posted by: phat

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 06:00 PM

I'm totally with you on the poptart thing, but I know last time I bothered to weigh it, I think
a pair of poptarts came out significantly heavier than my little baggies of dehydrated omlette and mashed taters I like. I think they were perhaps slightly heavier than oatmeal.
I don't remember the details - I should try the experiment again (or perhaps someone with
a currently working postal scale can). or perhaps my memory is decieving me..

I mean, I'm talking really where's the beef - I know the shakes I have here are heavier than
a dehydrated meal - maybe yours aren't - so if you really take the pot/stove to the minimum
(a small alky or esbit and a beer can pot) - are you ahead of the game or not? Someone here
must have numbers... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I know last time I looked I decided I'd chuck out my hammock and tarp everywhere before chucking my alky and pot - but that was a comfort decision or basically a "ounces per unit comfort" decision on my part. I might like to reexamine this objectively (because I agree with you, I'd be fine with poptarts and cold stuff in the morning)
Posted by: chaz

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/27/08 07:36 PM

I agree with forgoing a hot breakfast. It would definately be faster and less fuss, but I would still need my morning shot of java.
Posted by: 300winmag

Re: Longest Trip "Cold" Camping? - 06/29/08 01:56 PM

I've only done this when deer hunting in "Penn's Woods" (Pennsylvania). I did it to save weight. (An 8 lb. rifle/scope combo adds a bit of weight) Also cooking smells carry & spook nearby deer and cooking takes too much time when I need to be getting into my tree stand.