Author Topic: No Stove  (Read 4144 times)

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Offline helix_aspersa

Re: No Stove
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2013, 12:24:16 pm »
I did the TransAm without a stove last summer, and I have to admit that subsisting for days at a stretch on nothing but granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches did get me down a little. Then again, I'm a vegetarian, so finding food out in the strip-mall wilds of smalltown America is pretty tricky for me. I rode for a while with some folks who had stoves, and it was a particularly miserable experience to be the only person gnawing on trail mix while everyone else was eating hot soup.

I'll definitely be taking a stove on my next cross-country jaunt this summer. Apart from anything else, I think it'll save me some money. I love eating in diners and hobnobbing with the locals, but the costs add up quick (especially as all the waitstaff are so friendly that I can't keep myself from tipping rather extravagantly). But if budget isn't an issue, and you have a high tolerance for peanut butter, you definitely don't need a stove on the TA.


Offline RussSeaton

Re: No Stove
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2013, 01:41:57 pm »
I did the TransAm without a stove last summer, and I have to admit that subsisting for days at a stretch on nothing but granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches did get me down a little. I rode for a while with some folks who had stoves, and it was a particularly miserable experience to be the only person gnawing on trail mix while everyone else was eating hot soup.

Correct me if I'm wrong, if you are riding across the country without a stove, then you will be eating every supper at a restaurant or buying food from a store to eat that night.  Granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches are OK I guess while riding and you have no good place to stop for food.  But never ever supper.  When you set up camp for the night you are in town or close to town or you just went through a town.  There should always be a place to get real food close to your camp spot.  Or get food before getting to your camp spot.  I would never tolerate granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches for supper ever.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: No Stove
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2013, 09:24:27 pm »
Granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches are OK I guess while riding and you have no good place to stop for food.  But never ever supper.  When you set up camp for the night you are in town or close to town or you just went through a town.  There should always be a place to get real food close to your camp spot.  Or get food before getting to your camp spot.  I would never tolerate granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches for supper ever.

Granola bars and PBJ would fall into "emergency rations" in my categorization -- useful if a torrential rain forces you into a tent or barn unexpectedly, or headwinds kick up and stop you in your tracks miles from downtown Nowhere.

I can see it'd be tough to manage a vegetarian diet at cafes and gas station/convenience stores in small towns -- like most of the TransAm.  If you're willing to eat some of the cows and chickens you rode past earlier in the day, it'd be much less trouble.

Offline John Nelson

Re: No Stove
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2013, 10:21:04 pm »
There is a heck of a lot of food between granola bars and restaurant meals, and much of it requires no cooking. Any halfway decent grocery store will offer hundreds of options, whether you're a vegetarian or omnivore. Because you have panniers or a trailer, you can carry food from where it is available to where you eat it. You don't always have to eat what's available where you are right now.

Offline helix_aspersa

Re: No Stove
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2013, 12:26:20 am »
Correct me if I'm wrong, if you are riding across the country without a stove, then you will be eating every supper at a restaurant or buying food from a store to eat that night.  Granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches are OK I guess while riding and you have no good place to stop for food.  But never ever supper.  When you set up camp for the night you are in town or close to town or you just went through a town.  There should always be a place to get real food close to your camp spot.  Or get food before getting to your camp spot.  I would never tolerate granola bars and peanut butter sandwiches for supper ever.

As an extraordinarily slow rider (one of the slowest I've yet encountered), I found I was often rolling into town after the stores had closed for the night. And I also have to say that even on the TransAm there were many, many instances where I wasn't camping anywhere near a restaurant or grocery store. Also, as I was traveling alone for the most part, and didn't always feel comfortable leaving my panniers and camping equipment behind in order to ride into town once I'd staked out a camping spot.

And yes, as someone else pointed out, it's harder to find vegetarian options out in the sticks than most omnivores probably appreciate. Not the most sensible dietary choice, I'll admit, but what can I say, I've stuck to it for 17 years now and I'm too old to change :)

Offline helix_aspersa

Re: No Stove
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2013, 12:37:41 am »
There is a heck of a lot of food between granola bars and restaurant meals, and much of it requires no cooking. Any halfway decent grocery store will offer hundreds of options, whether you're a vegetarian or omnivore. Because you have panniers or a trailer, you can carry food from where it is available to where you eat it. You don't always have to eat what's available where you are right now.

I'm really not sure about 'hundreds of options whether you're a vegetarian or omnivore' - after all, almost all tinned soups are out. Instant noodles are, for the most part, out. Canned beans in this country usually seem to contain ground beef or tiny little sausages. All the stuff you find in those little warmer ovens in gas stations is verboten. Fruit and vegetables are vanishingly scarce once you get away from the coast. That doesn't leave much besides cereal, confectionary, crackers and cheese. Believe me, I had some hungry nights, and it wasn't for lack of searching.

Offline John Nelson

Re: No Stove
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2013, 12:59:32 pm »
Fruit and vegetables are vanishingly scarce once you get away from the coast. That doesn't leave much besides cereal, confectionary, crackers and cheese.
I found fruit and vegetables difficult to find on the TransAm in Virginia and Kentucky, partially because of the fact that the TransAm avoids all the cities large enough to have grocery stores. But finding fruit and vegetables was not a problem from Illinois through Oregon, nor on most of the Northern Tier.

I buy a lot of apples, bananas, oranges, carrots, lettuce, mushrooms, cucumbers, raisins, etc. and other fruits (blueberries, pears, peaches, strawberries, etc.) where available. If you can't find fresh fruits, you can settle for canned fruit. Bread products, tortillas, bagels, nuts, peanut butter, chips, ready-to-eat or made-to-order sandwiches (veggie or not). Even perishables will keep okay for half a day in your panniers. I typically bury chocolate milk or orange juice in the middle of my clothes to insulate them if it's a hot day. You can get a small box of cereal from the cereal aisle and discard the cardboard box.

Your options increase if you are an omnivore. Canned stews can be eaten cold. Beef jerky (a bit pricey for my taste most of the time), canned beans, canned tuna, deli meats, fried chicken. If I can find a Subway sandwich shop, I often get a foot-long, eating half for lunch and half for dinner. Many grocery stores and even some gas stations can also make sandwiches to order. Most grocery stores have premade sandwiches. A 2-pound $8 sandwich from Safeway provides me the better part of three meals.

Even if you are in an area where grocery stores are few and far between, make your most of the opportunity when you find one.

Offline janetanorth

Re: No Stove
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2013, 12:30:02 pm »
If you don't cook at home, you probably won't cook on the road.
If you change your mind, you can just buy one.
Enjoy!

Offline staehpj1

Re: No Stove
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2013, 12:52:21 pm »
If you don't cook at home, you probably won't cook on the road.

Probably true.

If you change your mind, you can just buy one.

Or take one and send it home or discard it if you find you do not use it.  If you go the pop can stove route the weight can be just few ounces and the price can be pretty close to zero.

Offline mbattisti

Re: No Stove
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2013, 03:06:58 pm »
My wife and I did the transAm unsupported on a tandem: no room for a stove.  But looking back, I would not have brought it if we could.   You're riding across the entire US of A!  Who wants to cook?  There's a country to explore out there!  Take the time to visit local places of interest, talk to the people, reflect in your journal, etc.  Make some new friends in a diner.