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  • Writer's picturePascale Marceau

Lightweight or “Right Weight” Cook System

In cold weather pursuits, staying dry, hydrated and fed are essential for survival. Having a carefully designed cook system is worth its weight in gold. Ability to melt snow into water is the key element to staying alive.

We are carrying a metal stove board, on which the stove legs are clamped to the board and a bungee is used to secure the fuel bottle. We fit an aluminum screen around the pot that acts as a windshield, a heat reflector and a pot stabilizer.

The extra weight of the board system is worth it! The stability really helps with safety when priming and lighting the stove. It creates a stable platform such that one won’t tip their water, mug, or meal. Such a mishap onto a sleeping bag or loss of carefully rationed food could spell the end of an expedition.

We are using an MSR Whisperlite International for its efficiency, clean-burning, and ease of repair. A true reliable workhorse. We choose white gas, MSR SuperFuel, because it is clean and with high BTU. White gas remains usable, even at the lowest of temperatures and higher altitudes. These attributes make it a top choice over kerosene, various alcohols, or fuel canisters.

We plan on 10oz of fuel / per person / per day. This is enough to melt all our drinking water and hydrate our breakfast and dinners. We may even have a little extra for a blissful moment of “hand warming” over the fire J. We also plan on a solid supply of fuel at basecamp, in the event that we are stuck waiting for a pickup.

In total, we have with us 3.5gal / 13L for the climb (22 days), plus 1gal / 3.8L for basecamp (6-10days).

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