Nothing Beats a Hot Meal
While I don't consider myself a foodie, but I do have a healthy appreciation for good food. However, when you are out in the woods, options get limited.
A Jetboil is an easy solution to a warm meal at the end of a long hike on a cool evening. I have watched others use one before to prepare freeze-dried meals, but got to try my hand at it myself this last 4th of July weekend.
I used the Jetboil Zip Cooking System which has a .8 liter cooking cup. The heating element, stabilizing legs, and pot attachment all fit within the cup, making it a light, compact system. To use the system, you need a small isobutane/propane fuel canister that attaches to the Jetboil. As with any propane grill, you open the valve to let gas out and then hit the handy ignite switch. These little burners are powerful, the water boils fast!
Options for Every Endeavour
The Jetboil systems are quiet dummy-proof, just don’t touch the metal base that attaches to both the propane canister and the cooking cup - it gets hot. And depending on your needs, you have options. Want to cook big portions? Try the 2 Burner System or the Sumo with its 1.8 liter cooking cup. They even have a Javakit for the caffeine addicts who simply cannot start their day without a cup of jo.
If you are cooking pasta, the lid has a strainer built in to drain your pasta! If you want to enjoy a hot beverage, add a tea bag and drink straight from the cup - it comes wrapped in a koozie so you can handle the hot cup. Or you stick with the traditional and pour that boiling liquid into your freeze-dried backpacking meal and chow down 15 minutes later.
Glamping, of a Sort
Those freeze dried meals are great for backpacking where weight is a concern and you don't have any form of refrigeration. However, my opportunity to use the Jetboil was at a weekend frisbee tournament where I was able to have two coolers.
I refused to eat cold pizza all weekend like everyone else, so I meal-prepped and brought my Sea to Summit Alpha Pan as well as my Sea to Summit Alpha Cookset 2.1. Using the pot holder (instead of the cooking cup) I was able to sauté my rosemary & thyme chicken alongside my turmeric & cumin sweet potatoes.
Needless to say, my food sizzling merrily on the sidelines caused some drooling amongst the hungry athletes.
Go Forth and Feast
Why limit yourself to cold leftovers, packaged snacks or protein bars? Whether car camping or backpacking, you can enjoy hot food with incredibly ease.