PMags – To Cook, or not to Cook?

‘To cook, or not to cook, that is the question:
Whether it is nobler in the tummy to suffer,
The Pangs and Rumbles of going cold,
Or to take a stove against a Wave of hunger,
And by opposing it; to fill one’s belly with warmth,
To sleep contented.’

           – Hamlet’s Soliloquy (The Backcountry Remix)

Following the recent post on One Pan Wonders, I thought it appropriate to mention another approach to backcountry eating, that being the “no cook” method.

Personally speaking, on shorter, more sociable-type hikes, I will generally carry a stove. The same holds true for most of my journeys in Developing countries, in which dehydrated/no-cook options are often thin on the ground. For longer, solo hikes my needs veer towards the spartan side of the culinary spectrum. Therefore, on these trips more often than not I will go stoveless. The exception being during winter hikes, in which below freezing temps are the norm.

For a great overview of the why’s and wherefore’s of ‘going stoveless’, check out a recent article by veteran thru hiker, Paul ‘Mags’ Magnanti (see photo below). As I have written in a couple of previous blog posts, I like Mags’ approach to backpacking. To the point, practical and with a touch of humour thrown in, Mag’s has walked the walk for close to two decades. He’s a guy who loves his hiking, eating, drinking and wife……………not necessarily in that order………….although I may not be too far from the mark!

Ps. I almost included one of those ‘smiley’ faces that Mags so loves at the end of that last sentence…………….I couldn’t bring myself to do it…………..settled for an exclamation mark………….even that was grudgingly included. 


PMags – To Cook, or not to Cook? — 3 Comments

  1. Nice! 🙂

    I had a LONG chat the other day with a SOBO PCT hiker about going stoveless. He mentioned Mags as one of his resources. There are tons of options for no-stove food. Any “just-add-water” type meal can be done with cold water. You might just have to wait a bit longer.

    • Mags definitely knows his stuff. However, readers beware………..some of his information in regards to food should be taken with a grain of gourmet sea salt. Mags’ idea of “going stoveless” doesn’t include normal hiker fare such as dehydrated beans or soups…………..two day old fried chicken (see above photo) and a bottle of Chianti Classico is more his style.

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