Has anybody experimented with not taking the camp stove and living on power bars or something similar for a couple days?

why not
Some people have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail eating only PB sandwiches for days at a time. One guy supposedly lived on Snickers for the whole walk. Make sure you take enough. I’d want some variety so my stomach doesn’t do a number. Personally, I’ve lived on PB sandwiches, granola bars, apples and oranges for all three meals on 7 day trips.

I do that at home all the time. I’m sure I do several 4-day stretches without hot food a year at home. But when I go on a canoe camping trip 100% of my suppers are hot. I guess 100% of my breakfasts are too because I always make coffee on the trail, though maybe 50% of the time that is the only hot breakfast item.

How about 26 days worth
In 2004 I made a 26 day trip without a stove and didn’t build a fire.

I took everything with me in a 12’ rec kayak but had to my replensih Gatorade and water.

This was my first kayak trip. I didn’t know about the fancy little stoves that are now part of my inventory. I also didn’t take a tent. Being new to kayaking is an understatement, there just wasn’t any room and I wanted it to be a tough trip, cave man style…and it was more. I had a great time and it was quite a trip. I paddled long days and found that food wasn’t important. I ate enough to support life and lost 16 pounds but it came back thanks to the nice comfortable I’m sitting in and the time I spend in front of this #@$%^$# computer. I really like the computer because it is how we met.


I cook
over a camp fire all the time, a small stove dose come in handy at times too

Not sure I could do it.
Have done a couple multi-day trips, and survived om power bars, gorp, peanuts, jerky and the like for breakfast and lunch, but a hot meal at the end of the day is a real booster, so the stove comes along with some water for the freeze-dried stuff.


I have done trips without a stove and with a stove. I vote for taking a stove. Most trips we mix meals. Some breakfasts are hot and others are just granola bars. Lunches are always without a stove. Dinners are usually over a stove. We still lose weight and there is nothing like a good meal after a long day on the water. I would rather bring less clothes, and a super small tent than go without good food.

Less clothes - small tent - U married?
That got my attention and I’m only kidding about being married (maybe).

Usually I max out my days by getting up before the sun, paddle and climb stuff all day to see what is near the river and stop and hour or so before dark. Too tired to cook or eat. Food isn’t even appealing and I can’t eat much. Usually around 1:00am I wake upstarving and 4-6 fig newtons solves the problem. In the morning sometimes I don’t even eat.

If you use MREs then you never have to bring a stove. You can still have warm (not hot) meals because the MRE comes with heater pouches. The main problem with MRE is that there is an awful lot of packaging which is good because it is waterproof but bad because of the weight and trash issues.

MREs are great
but as you said they generate a lot of trash. I burned the trash ina fire.

My biggest problem with the MREs is that they take up too much space. I can pack a weeks food ration in what 2 MREs take up. Being water proof is nice. I take the contents out of the main bag and then they pack much better. I also take the other packages out of the boxes. I keep 1 box (in a wp bag) to heat all of the entrees.

I didn’t care for the last case of MREs. They keep changing the meals.

Wanted to read about MRE
and thought this was kind of a funny read!

It was good info
but I almost fell over the definitions of MREs near the end.

Some of the meals are great, some are so so and others are…

FYI Peanut Butter
In case you haven’t come across them, Jif is now making peanut butter in a little 2.5 oz single serve container with a peal off foil lid (sold in 6 packs). It’s just right for making a sandwich or for eating with a handful of crackers. I think it’s called “Jif to Go.”

Of course as hot as it is lately all I want to do on rest stops is drink Gatorade and soak in the river!

I really don’t like to cook
But I bring my Jet Boil to make coffee! Gotta have my Java!

Skippy 0.9 oz tube
are what i’ve been using. It’s so hot I’ve been giving the Beanee Weenees a break and eating cans of fruit while soaking in the river during the lunch break.


If the weather wasn’t bad it wouldn’t be
terrible not to have a stove, but I wouldn’t want to be on a cold Canadian trip without one especially after taking an unexpected swim. Last fall I was sure happy to have a ax, a sawvivor and a stove after a swim in the Cariboo river. It was late September and in the low forties. I would consider a stove on a cold paddle trip a safety item.

food? goin’ light?
In these days of prepackaged this, and dehydrated that, we forget that there is a whole pantry of wild food most places you go. Find an identification guide for wild edible plants (I use a ‘Petersons’ most of the time, but there are many. Color photos only please)and suppliment your store bought food with wild edibles.

Yes, I carry a Jetboil, but also a small aluminum pot for longer lay-overs. Also, for very light, works anytime fire starter, the “Hot-Spark” sold at Boy Scout stores can’t be beat. A cotton ball placed in tinder (bird’s nests are great)will have your fire going before you can dry out a Bic.






I assumed you were talking about
paddling and not backpacking. I don’t find weight to be too big a problem when tripping. I bring a table and chairs even on wilderness trips when canoeing. Unless you’re doing a lot of portaging, you’re just loading/unloading the boat which isn’t a big deal. One of the great things about paddling is that you don’t have to shed every ounce and can eat better, use on a more comfortable sleeping pad and have a bigger tent. You can’t always depend on being able to use wood to cook with due to fire restrictions, and I haven’t been on many paddling trips that had grills. On some trips you have to bring your water, a porta-potty and a fire pan so the weight of a stove doesn’t add much to the total weight.

If you spend a day paddling in a cold rain it’s great to boil some water and have a hot drink. I don’t know about you, but I don’t find getting a fire going in the rain an easy project. Frequently, we just use a freeze dried package because we just want to have some hot food and get out the rain. If you don’t want to use a stove then don’t, but I don’t think the weight of a stove on a paddling trip should be a consideration.

Sometimes I bring a campstove …

– Last Updated: Aug-30-07 10:51 PM EST –

Most of the time I make small campfires for cooking fish, crab, crawdads, etc. and I can start a fire under some fairly wet conditions by looking under small cabbage palms and using the dry dead fronds under them for starting a fire. There are some plants I use as a coffee substitute with plenty of caffiene to get me going in the morning (yaupon for one).
Powerbars are just too tasteless for me. I prefer feeding on what the Florida wilds have to offer. With over 220 types of fruit, veggies, herbs, tubers and other starches growing throughout the state I've no need for powerbars. Besides, my daughter makes me some great tropical fruitbars and pemmican for snacking. I usually stay out until her home-made daddy snacks are gone, usually a few weeks.
Using these methods I can enjoy the wilderness for as long as I desire. Life is good!