|Planning for a trip in the back country? Sounds fantastic.|
Um, how much fuel are you going to need for that?
Given all of the above, I'm going to boil about 1500 ml per day. OBVIOUSLY this is just an example, and I'm making everything uniform so it's easy to understand. In real life, the amount you boil may vary from day to day depending on your menu, how much you eat, whether or not you use hot water for personal hygiene or dishwashing, etc. This example is all about round numbers and easy to follow calculations. The numbers are reasonable, but of course you need to adjust everything to how you cook, how often you cook, how many people you cook for, etc.
|Wow. Looks like a beautiful spot.|
How many days will it take you to get there, how many meals will you eat on the way, and how much fuel do you need?
NOTE: If you use a Jetboil or other similar integrated canister stove or you use a heat exchanger pot, then instead of 7 to 8 g being the typical amount of fuel needed to boil 2 cups of water, you might plan on 5 to 6 g of fuel per boil.
Yes, you'll have to adjust these numbers. Again, this is just one example, using the "backpacker's standard" of 2 cups per boil, which is about what most freeze dried meals require. As you adjust these numbers, remember that it's more efficient per cup to boil a larger quantity than a smaller. In other words, if 2 cups requires, say, 8 g (4 g per cup), 3 cups might only require 10.5 g (3.5 g per cup), and 1 cup might require 4.5 g. Something like that. You need to adjust all these numbers based on your experience of how much fuel you actually use. For this example, I'm going to choose a number of 8 g per 500 ml boiled which is neither overly generous nor overly optimistic.
|Nice spot to camp. It'd be a shame to run out of fuel and spoil such a perfect camp.|
Given the example presented in the chart, below, I need about 96 g of fuel for a four day trip or about 24 g per day. Yes, I know we might get better actual results than 8 g per 500 ml boiled which would give me different numbers, but let's just go with 8 g per 500 ml boiled for this example. If I need 96 g of fuel, and I take a 110 g canister of gas, I would have 14 g as a margin for error. You'd have to think about whether or not that's going to work for you. If the weather's warmer, then maybe that's fine. If it's colder, maybe plan on more. If you're with a group, maybe that's fine. If you're going solo, maybe plan on more. And so on. Think it through and bring the the amount you feel comfortable with.
|East Vidette as seen from the John Muir Trail.|
Don't let poor planning ruin your dream hike!
NOTE: For your first several trips, if you're new to backpacking, assume you'll need more fuel rather than less until you get a feel for how much fuel your style of cooking actually requires.
|Amt Boiled (ml)||Fuel per boil (g)|
|Average g of fuel per day:||24|
As always, I thank you for joining me,
Note: All photos are from my 2015 John Muir Trail section hike (Onion Valley to Whitney Portal).
|The author, out on the trail where he belongs. |
Why on earth am I indoors blogging on stoves right now?