I’ve been fan of Esbit fuel tablets since 2010 when I first used the little tabs as a backup when the rain was heavy and cooking with wood would have been a challenge. Cooking with Esbit just outside the vestibule even in the pouring rain with a Trail Designs TiTri cone and GramCracker stove was easy.
Like many backpackers I carry my stove nested inside my cooking pot/mug keeping my entire cook kit consolidated and protected. On a few occasions the GC got slightly bent, this was never a real problem as it’s easy to bend the titanium foil back to the shape needed for cooking.
Over the past two years my gear has become simpler and more compact. Simplicity has made setting up and packing up camp much easier and more organized, compactness goes hand-in-hand with this method for me. A couple of months ago I started playing with ways to make a solid fuel tablet stove more compact without sacrificing the efficiency of the GC stove or adding weight. Then one day I looked at Trail Designs Caldera Cone, the design I was looking for had been sitting right in front of me all along…sorta.
The Bantam as I’m calling it is made from Titanium foil, weighs in at 3 grams (the same as the CG I have) it disassembles and slides into a flat matchbook size envelope for the compactness I wanted. I’m also getting the same boil times as I do with the GramCracker.
There are a couple of tweaks I want to make before carrying this little gem on the trail, but I think I have a winner.
A while back Chad from Stick’s Blog tagged me to name my “three favorites” not limited to backpacking gear. So I’ll keep it simple, here goes.
I got away early this week for my annual fall see the leaves backpacking trip to Savage Gulf, Tennessee. Savage Gulf is part of the South Cumberland Recreation Area located on the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau in TN. The rocks of the Cumberland Plateau were laid down 250 to 325 million years ago. Elevation averages 1800 feet along the Rim and 1100 feet in the Gulf. Trails within the Savage Gulf area range from easy dirt trails across the wooded plateau, steep boulder covered switchbacks descending into the Gulf, old logging roads and dry rocky river beds. Continue reading
On October 2nd I mounted my bike and departed Cumberland MD on the C&O Canal towpath with full intentions of riding 184.5 miles east to Washington DC. The C&O as well as all national parks was closed due to the government shutdown, at some unknown point I fully expected to meet an official of the NPS or local law enforcement that would ask me to leave the towpath, if so I would abide and make other plans to finish the trip. Continue reading
For months you’ve planned in great detail for a trip, spend hours upon hours conditioning, evenings spent studying maps and working out the logistics. You made the necessary travels to get to the starting point, you arrive excited and ready only to be greeted by these words.
“Because of the federal government shutdown, all national parks are closed”
If all national parks were closed would you meet anyone in an official capacity on the trail and if you did would this official force you to leave or look the other way?
Are you willing to except risk knowing there may be consequences to follow if you proceed or except defeat and go home?
I’m finally doing a trip that had to be delayed after I crashed on my bike in April. Now that my knee has had time to heal it is…TRIP ON!
The trip is by bike not hike and the first of its kind for me. The gear I’m taking is pretty much the same as the gear I would take on a b-packing trip with a few minor changes.
I have a couple of fall trips in the planning stage, trip logistics are fairly simple, prepping the food requires more thought. My diet is somewhat limited, no gluten and not too spicy…or pay the price. I’m satisfied with breakfast bars, fish or chicken from foil pouches for lunch, dried fruits and nuts for snacks and an occasional candy bar. I want my dinner meals to be simple, tasty and with texture. My dehydrator is a critical piece of gear in meeting my dinner meal goals. Continue reading