Richard Bucker

making lunch - multiple sources of fire

Posted at — Jan 26, 2017

There is a consensus that a hiker or camper needs to carry multiple methods to create fire. I cannot agree more strongly. Many months ago I wanted to have a torch lighter as a backup, however, as backups go it was pretty crappy. The lighter failed the soak test and it took weeks for the mechanism to dry out. I would probably prefer to have a zippo but they are not without their own challenges.I originally purchased the toaks 550ml and it was great. Last week I purchased the toaks 750ml because some of the mountainhouse foods required more than 2 cups of water. But even though it’s supposed to be a 750ml there are no such markings. It stops at 550ml. It’s crappy but not bad news. Now I can make enough water for lunch and a cups of tea.I tried to light my esbit fuel according to the instructions I watched (fero rod), however, the small tray that is supposed to hold the esbit was too small to create and contain the esbit dust I needed. Next, I tried some drier lint. Since my workspace made striking the steel difficult I had a few fails. With a larger ball of lint I got it to flame but it would not light the esbit.Lastly I tried the SOL tinder. The first attempt was pretty bad. It was not until I noticed that the wheel was directional. Once I sorted that out the tinder ignited which n turn ignited the esbit. One downside is that the SOL tinder was never fully consumed and in turn the esbit was not fully consumed. So the stand required some cleaning.As a side note I was using the extra space in the cookset to hold my coffee and tea set; but as I was getting ready for the boil I realized that there were simply too many loose items and that was going to make cleanup longer. Chances are that if I’m making hot water for a meal then a coffee or tea could be around the corner. So why not keep the food together. And leave the stove stuff to the stove.One last thing. Today I had the mountainhouse lasagna. It was a 2 serving bag with 240 calories per service. It’s impossible to know what the pack weight might be and whether dry or wet weight is meaningful. One thing I did not like was that it was so cheesy that my spoon was covered in the thick sludge. I hate the idea of making more work for myself. Some work is ok but more work is not. I can see an argument whereby the stove is exclusively for coffee or tea and maybe the simplest oatmeal or grits.