Author Topic: No Stove  (Read 3930 times)

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Offline SlowAndSlower

No Stove
« on: March 29, 2013, 08:41:46 pm »
I would like to have the opinions of those who have done a long tour, like the TransAm, camping for the most part, and did not have a stove.

I think I have rationalized not to take the stove (Brasslite alcohol), pot, wind screen, and fuel just to make instant coffee. I have already decided to purchase my meals. Nonetheless I would appreciate the experience of others that do tours without a stove and camp.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: No Stove
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 02:11:03 am »
Personally, I enjoy cooking on the road as part of the experience so I wouldn't even think of travelling without a stove.

That said, if the only reason you will take a stove is to boil water for coffee and you'll be buying all of your meals, it makes no sense to me to take the stove, fuel and pot.

You could play the "what if" game all day, but if you've already decided to only boil water for coffee and not use the stove for anything else, it isn't really needed.

Good luck and enjoy the ride,
Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline Miller

Re: No Stove
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2013, 10:27:14 am »
Many perhaps most don't take a stove on the TransAm. You should carry snacks and emergency food with you but there is plenty of food available in diners, cafes, restaurants....

Having said this I will carry a stove because because I want to save money, to be able to prepare my own hot food, and hopefully eat a little healthier. I also have some severe food sensitivities and want to know exactly what's in the food I eat. 

The most common things you hear from TransAm riders who are relying on restaurants is that fruits and vegetables are hard to come by in some parts of the country and that the are eating a lot less healthily than they normally do. Sometimes people have to rely on gas station food, which is pretty sketchy... But it can be done and don't forget you can buy cold food at grocery stores and make your own meals that way too. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 10:29:45 am by Miller »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: No Stove
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2013, 10:43:09 am »
"No stove" is probably easy enough to do.  I'd suggest you plan on carrying one overnight's worth of no-cook food, just in case.  It can be as simple as buying lunch food for a day ahead, and call it dinner if weather, road conditions, etc., slows you down.

As Miller points out,fruits and vegetables seem pretty scarce from mid-Kansas to mid-Colorado.  Grocery stores help (lunch food).  I was pretty excited when I found a great salad bar in Pueblo; seemed like a long time since I'd seen one.

Online staehpj1

Re: No Stove
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2013, 11:17:37 am »
My observation is that most folks on the TA do carry one.  I think every rider we met and camped with did.  The very few exceptions were those who had a support vehicle.  That said I am sure it would be pretty easy to do without, but why?  My light cooking/eating setup weighs 9-12 ounces depending on the particular choices.  That plus about 12 ounces for fuel.

Even when I trim my gear list to bare bones, the stove still makes the cut for me.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: No Stove
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2013, 12:26:38 pm »
, but why?  My light cooking/eating setup weighs 9-12 ounces depending on the particular choices.  That plus about 12 ounces for fuel.

It really isn't a weight issue.  I don't care to cook while touring because it is, for me, time consuming and I would rather interact with the locals than fellow campers.

What I was wondering, and the reason for the OP, was to see if I was missing something. I would like to hear from someone who actually did not take a stove and would they do it again on a long tour. Specifically I am thinking TransAm.

Offline Patco

Re: No Stove
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2013, 01:26:27 pm »
Like you, I did not want to be bothered by cooking, nor did I want the extra weight for the "just in case". I generally had a cache of energy bars with me for those instances where food might be skimpy. And for my "just in case", I carried two packets of Mountain House granola with milk and blueberries, which only require cold water to make a filling and nutritious meal (carry this with me when backpacking). I used only one. That said, I did make sure that I always had some food with me. When I bonk it isn't a pretty sight.

Online staehpj1

Re: No Stove
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2013, 02:27:59 pm »
It really isn't a weight issue.  I don't care to cook while touring because it is, for me, time consuming and I would rather interact with the locals than fellow campers.
In that case leaving the stove home probably makes sense.

Offline nthabiseng

Re: No Stove
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2013, 05:59:28 pm »
We have done 3 long tours, tho not the TA, without ever cooking.  We carry tortillas, peanut butter, Nutella, honey, bars, nuts, dried fruit, sardines. We eat most meals in diners or gas stations or street vendors or restaurants. It helps that we do not drink coffee. Everyone we have ever hooked up with when riding did cook. We love not having to carry all that stuff and spend the time and effort cooking. Our friends always love to read my journal and see what else we have eaten on a tortilla, like spam or Vienna sausages! Have fun!

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: No Stove
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 06:43:51 pm »
We have done 3 long tours, tho not the TA, without ever cooking.  We carry tortillas, peanut butter, Nutella, honey, bars, nuts, dried fruit, sardines. We eat most meals in diners or gas stations or street vendors or restaurants. It helps that we do not drink coffee.

Thanks that parallels pretty much my plan except for the tortillas and Nutella. I'll stick with peanut butter and bagels instead. I drink coffee but I look at that as an incentive to get on down the road.

Offline John Nelson

Re: No Stove
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 10:36:19 pm »
I did the TA and NT without a stove. I didn't miss it but I did enjoy occasional meals provided by a fellow cyclotourist with a stove. I do not believe a stove is necessary to eat either economically or healthily.

Offline DaveB

Re: No Stove
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 08:14:04 am »
I did the TA and NT without a stove. I didn't miss it but I did enjoy occasional meals provided by a fellow cyclotourist with a stove. I do not believe a stove is necessary to eat either economically or healthily.
+1  One of the benefits of bicycle touring is that grocery and convenience stores and restaurants are never that far away so carrying more than a small amount of food isn't necessary. These days, most grocery stores have hot food sections and Starbucks is on every street corner so hot meals and coffee are easy to find.

Online staehpj1

Re: No Stove
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 08:48:46 am »
These days, most grocery stores have hot food sections and Starbucks is on every street corner so hot meals and coffee are easy to find.
I guess it depends on where you tour, but I have fairly often gone several days without seeing either a Starbucks or a grocery with a hot food section and I have only toured in the US.

Offline DaveB

Re: No Stove
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 11:57:22 am »
These days, most grocery stores have hot food sections and Starbucks is on every street corner so hot meals and coffee are easy to find.
I guess it depends on where you tour, but I have fairly often gone several days without seeing either a Starbucks or a grocery with a hot food section and I have only toured in the US.
OK, that was a bit of an exaggeration but I'm sure you weren't several days from lots of places with coffee and at least a microwave available.

Offline Miller

Re: No Stove
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 12:45:10 pm »
My observation is that most folks on the TA do carry one.  I think every rider we met and camped with did.  The very few exceptions were those who had a support vehicle.  That said I am sure it would be pretty easy to do without, but why?  My light cooking/eating setup weighs 9-12 ounces depending on the particular choices.  That plus about 12 ounces for fuel.

Even when I trim my gear list to bare bones, the stove still makes the cut for me.

I haven't done the TransAm and maybe more people are bringing stoves than the sense I get from the many journals I've read. What I should have said above is regardless of whether people bring them it does seem that many people who had planned on cooking change their strategy and end up relying on restaurants. At least from the journals I've read... 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013, 12:56:40 pm by Miller »