I have been tweaking my lightweight backpacking cooking kit.
I have replaced my Alpkit Kraku stove with the latest version. I bought one of the original models when they were released in December 2013 and it has done excellent service, but the o-ring seal became unreliable in September last year. Alpkit sent me some replacement rings but they kept failing – the latest design has a higher valve assembly and a different type of o-ring. So it was time for a new stove.
I have changed my tea-towel for a lightweight pack towel, replaced the battered homemade windshield for another homemade windshield and found an even lighter lid to use as a chopping board.
A couple of weeks ago, on a trip, I had a problem with my Aplkit Kraku ultra-light stove. When I got home I tested the stove again with a different gas bottle but the join was still leaking. It turned out that over time and use the seal washer had compressed and so was leaking. When I emailed Alpkit and explained the problem they quickly supplied a replacement and a spare washer. I have had the stove a couple of years and use it a lot – Alpkit’s customer service cannot be beaten.
Alpkit ultra-light titanium, pot/mug, stove and folding spoon – the recycled Coke bottle holds enough water for a mug of tea.
Out walking and geocaching on a sunny, late autumn Sunday morning.
Here are details of my lightweight cooking gear and the pouch of supplies in the photo.
I have added some new Alpkit gear to my lightweight backpacking and camping cook set.
I have a busy weekend of paperwork for Octagon.
However I am going camping in Scotland for Easter – so I took some time off to sort my backpacking cooking kit and make a new annotated photo for the website.
The main changes this year are the new bits of Alpkit kit – a titanium mug with a lid and a titanium folding spoon. This is a bit of kit that when added to the micro sized Alpkit Kraku stove makes a real minimalist cook set.
Alpkit is a great UK company, producing great gear at a reasonable price – we should support them.
Jeremy bought me an Aplkit folding spoon for Christmas, to go with the titanium mug and lid he bought me for my birthday.
Weight 18g, packs inside the mug with my Alpkit Kraku stove.
I bought this Light My Fire spice box in the summer in Scotland, but I only found it again this morning when I went to sort out my camping food tin.
The spice pot was in in a sale box for a pound as the packaging had been lost. There are markings on two of the sections – “S” and “P” but as I use salt and pepper packets from cafes I have put sumac, in the “S”, smoked paprika in the “P” and garam masala in the third. All of these spices are very useful when I am camping or backpacking as they are “shake over” rather than “cook in” spices so I can easily jazz up my food.
Alpkit MytiMug 400
Before another busy week at Octagon Technology I thought I would get out and try out my new Alpkit MitiMug 400 mug with my trusty Alpkit Kraku stove.
The wind shield, in the photo, is homemade from heavy duty aluminium foil cut from a serving tray bought “two for a pound” from a pound shop. The wind shield is really practical as I can bend it to give maximum protection from the drafts and wind and it weighs only a few grams.
This new Alpkit MitiMug 400 mug/pot fits really well on the Alpkit Kraku burner and is very stable when in use – the stability is essential if I am going to safely use this combination in the porch of my lightweight tent. The lid is a good fit – it is much improved over the lid supplied on the original MitiMug – purchased before there were 400 or 650 models. I am really pleased the lid has changed.
Another change, for the better, with this Alpkit MitiMug 400 is that it has a flat bottom – the original MitiMug had a ridge in the base, which when I cooked in the mug always allowed food to burnt there and that also made it difficult to clean. I cooked (well reheated) baked beans in this new Alpkit MitiMug 400 and the beans did not burn. You do however have to take care when using any titanium or thin walled cooking pot on a stove like the Alpkit Kraku stove which concentrates its heat in a small spot on the pot base:
- Do not turn the stove up to “flame thrower mode” keep the flame very low and heat the food slowly
- Stir continuously and thoroughly, getting right into the corners
- Hang onto the handles or the pot can skip off the burner
- I also, continuously, gently move the pot over the flame so the heat moves around smoothing out the hot spots
Afterwards it was easy to wash up the pot – this base design is another well thought out improvement.
- Overall this mug/cooking pot is a great piece of gear for the solo traveller, camper or backpacker who just needs to cook for themselves.
- The size saves space in anyone’s pack. Titanium saves weight.
- Even if you do not plan to use the mug for cooking the lid makes the mug a useful storage container and keeps the flies out of your drinks when outdoors.
- Alpkit is a great UK company producing excellent gear – we should support them.
I think the next thing to add to this mug/pot, stove set is an Alpkit SnapWire Spoon. The folding spoon, stove, tea bags and milk powder will all then pack neatly inside the Alpkit MitiMug 400, inside the supplied netting draw string bag for easy packing when travelling. I am going to add this to my Christmas list.
My lightweight gear list