Backcountry kitchen: how to make do with less

In order to reduce the weight of our backpacks as much as possible for our 8-day, 90k hike of the entire length of the La Cloche Silhouette Trail at Killarney Provincial Park, we cut our “kitchen” down to what we considered the bare essentials.

To save space, we nestled as much as we could inside of the pot.

We brought:

  • 6 cup pot and lid
  • 1 pot lid lifter
  • 2 soup spoons
  • 1 pancake lifter
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 mug
  • 1 400 ml Nalgene bottle
  • MSR Dragonfly stove with windscreen
  • MSR Dragonfly stove servicing kit
  • Outback oven scorch burner (to avoid burning our eggs, bannock and cornbread)
  • Outback oven teapot cosy (to boil water/cook food faster)
  • 2 x 325 ml MSR bottles, one filled to maximum fill line, and the other filled to the cap
  • matches
  • 1 Swiss army knife (not used)
  • 1 pocket knife (not used for kitchen)
  • dish cloth
  • biodegradable dish soap
  • parchment paper
  • 3-4 coffee filters in case water was murky (not used)
  • 2 large ziploc bags marked for 2L of water
  • chlorine dioxide water treatment drops
  • 2 water bladders (2 L size)
  • 1 waterproof bear bag with bell on it
  • 1 waterproof bear bag without a bell on it (not used, because all the food fit into one bag)
  • rope for hanging bear bag
  • homemade tarp plus thin lightweight rope
All of this fit inside the pot pictured.

We had everything we needed! My mug did triple duty for gatorade, tea/coffee, and measuring liquids (I had marked it with permanent marker in 1/4 cup increments), and Cheryl’s Nalgene did quadruple duty for gatorade, tea/coffee, a hot water bottle and measuring liquids.

We left behind some things that we used to bring, like a lightweight sink, forks, knives and plates!

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