Kit list: Food and drink


Cook system:

Brunton 0.8L anodized aluminum cookpot with lid

aluminum windscreen, made from dryer vent

pot support, from stainless steel spokes and baling wire

alcohol Penny Stove, from Ska Brewing beer cans, with simmer ring

cheap stainless steel spoon

Swiss-Army knife

seasoning: grey sea salt, ground pepper, blend of cumin and savory spices, garlic

Bic lighter

1L plastic drink bottle of alcohol for fuel

16oz. enameled steel mug

0.5L aluminum bottle for olive oil (on Lael’s bike)







Alternatively, the Klean Kanteen or steel mug can be used to heat or sterilize water.




64 oz. Klean Kanteen, contained in Salsa Anything Cage

26 oz. Specialized Purist water bottle, in standard bottle cage to King Top Cap bottle mount

1L plastic drink bottle for overflow capacity, mounted to fork with Profile Design Kage

70 oz. Platypus bladder in arid climates

MSR Hyperflow water filter, field serviceable







Food storage:

large nylon sack

Ziploc-style bags for compressible dry goods

peanut butter stored in bottle cage when necessary

additional food stored in framebag and Carradice saddlebag

50ft. nylon cord, Coughlin’s brand found at most outdoor stores, for hanging food when bears are present



Creative meals are inevitable.




And local delicacies.





Through the kindness of strangers, even a few home-cooked meals along the way.


Meals are some of the most memorable experiences on the road.  A moment alone can alter my mood from ragged to revived, and a contemplative apple on the roadside or an awakening cup of coffee can affect the pace of the day. Making time to cook and eat is an important step to a fun, sustainable adventure.




For a nearly complete list of DIY stove designs, visit the Zen Backpacking page dedicated to alcohol and multi-fuel stoves.  I will be presenting the items I carried this summer, categorically, for the remainder of the week.  Currently, the only place where I have published a packing list is on on the Velo Orange Blog in a post entitled “Packing the Campeur Bikepacking Style, Part 2“.

13 thoughts on “Kit list: Food and drink

  1. Looks yummy! It’s great that you manage with a pot of only .8 liter for the both of you. I find my .9L ideal for solo travels but we like 1.3 for the two of us. Maybe I eat too much? 🙂

    • The 0.8L isn’t perfectly ideal, but it works. The biggest challenge is not making too much food, to the point that the pot is overflowing and the food is under hydrated. One advantage of a small pot is that we often divide out meals between cooked foods and fresh food. For example, we may supplement a pot of lentils and vegetable with some grapes and bread or tortillas. The diversity is nice.

      The 0.8L pot comes from a nesting pair of Brunton pots purchased several years ago. The larger pot was 1L+, and the pair allowed more elaborate meals. It was nice, but I rarely miss it.

      Lael and I share a mug for coffee, which I find amusing.

      Rode out at White Mesa today. I took an impressive tumble off the steep north end of the trail before it loops back to the south. Time for some new tires.

  2. You’ve never had any issues with the Hyperflow? I had one of the very first Hyperflows, and not only did I end up with a water-born illness while using it, but it became nearly impossible to pump after about 20L of filtering. Quite the arm workout that thing was. MSR replaced it, but the same issues arose after an even shorter amount of time… I’ve since switched to a Katadyn Hiker Pro, and have yet to have any issues whatsoever after many years of service. Granted, it is a bit heavier and bulkier. Well worth it, in my opinion.


    • It sucks. I avoided cluttering these posts with infinite opinions, but I do not recommend this filter. It become impossible to pump after relatively little use, and is a challenge to back flush, as described in the manual. It is also sensitive to freezing and shock (dropping). After deep-freezing it several times last fall in CO on the Divide, it failed to operate almost entirely. I purchased a new filter this spring– cheaper than a new pump at $39– and enjoyed 20L of Hyperflow. Since, I have cursed the Mini-flow.

      For non-backcountry adventures I do not carry any water filtration, save for a small vile of bleach or iodine, just in case. Ironically, I purchased a Katadyn five years ago for my first bike trip. It is stored in a box somewhere in Tacoma, out of my reach. If I require a reliable pump in the future, I will unearth the Katadyn.

      • Ha! Glad to hear I’m not the only one with a bad taste in my mouth (pun most certainly intended) in regards to the Hyperflow. I still have mine as well, but I can’t imagine ever using it again.

        The Katadyn Hiker series filters have been around for ages, and I think there’s a reason for that…


      • For occasional water needs, I’m enticed by the Steripen and chemical treatments.

        Some new “road” bikes in the works down here, 28ers, sort of. We might be calling for a couple of super-large framebags to New Mexico soon– the virtue of a non-sloping top tube.

      • I would ad that filters in general suck, in my experience. I gave up on them years ago. I like Aqua-Mira drops. If the floaties bother you I’d carry a coffee filter. We used a AA Steripen in Nepal and Patti really likes it. I prefer the drops for most adventures.

        I miss White Mesa! I know exactly where you went down, Nick. Are you done touring for the winter?

      • Gary, Chemical treatments sound like the way to go. I like small things, so this is good news for me.

        I’m done touring for the winter, in the long-term sense. I’d still like to ride down to SIlver CIty before the snow comes, but as we have some momentum here in town, it makes sense to gain some more traction with the jobs and housing.

  3. I’ve also been intrigued by the Steripen. Might have to try one sometime in the near future…

    Of course…just say the word. We are heading for the hills of Alberta again (for keeps this time) in early December, so it might have to be a New Year project, if that’s OK timing by you…


  4. The steri-pens are temperamental. They don’t work well (at all) if the water is too cold, and they frequently crap out after a minute of swishing, requiring you to start over with fingers crossed.

    I like the Katadyn and drops.

    • Good to hear. I’ve seen a few in use, but certainly dislike the idea of more battery operated things in the bag.

      The verdict seems to be that the Katadyn is reliable, if a little bulky and heavy, while drops are the sure-fire ultralight option. You just have to wait a few minutes to drink.

    • My only experience is with the original Seripen that uses 4 AA batteries. With Alkalines it was very temperamental and pretty much unreliable. With Lithiums we never had any issues with it as long we followed the instructions. Apparently they’re pretty picky about voltage.

      I still like the Steripen for 3rd world travel where you want to treat tap water. While trekking in Nepal it worked great because each village had a community water source, we could treat a bottle full and drink it right away and then do
      enough more to get us to the next village. Buying AA lithium batteries in the 3rd world is a bit of a challenge. I don’t use the Seripen for back country
      adventures in the US anymore though.

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