You all should check out the backpacking forums for cooking ideas. I carry a 3oz stove " not alcohol" 5oz canister of fuel and a titanium pot, 4ozs. Freeze dried meals weigh next to nothing and are not bad. I guess I am used to roughing it in the back country. Ni cooking ever. Big pain and bears love the smell. Can't imagine pulling up to a Huddle house and getting a biscuit!!! Thats would rock in the woods.
I have found freeze dried meals to be a horrible answer for most touring for a variety of reasons
- First, requirements are usually quite different for touring than backpacking. On tour we typically have "real food" available for purchase daily or almost daily. Given that it makes sense to buy food as needed rather than carry much. Most often freeze dried meals are not available that frequently on the road.
- Second, Unlike you I find that freeze dried meals are downright nasty.
- Third, freeze dried meals are pretty expensive.
I do at times carry freeze dried veggies or hummus when available.
On the canister stove...
We don't need to carry much fuel for the same reason we don't carry much food. Canister fuel availability ranges from good to non-existent depending on where you tour. When I have to carry fuel for longer periods than a week my canister stove wins out, but on tour where I can find it frequently alcohol almost always works out better and lighter for me.
I have three different cooking/eating configurations that I am likely to use:
- Alcohol only, 11 ounces.
- Isobutane only, 14 ounces.
- Both isobutane and alcohol, 15 ounces.
All three options include cookwear, utensils, a lighter, windscreen, pot stand where necessary, and scrubbie pad. Fuel is additional.
If I go with isobutane I usually take both unless I am absolutely sure I will have enough fuel. I have been disappointed with the lack of available fuel on two different tours where I expected to buy cartridges, but went long distances without seeing any despite checking just about every possible source along the way.
That said, more and more I have been just skipping the cartridge stove for both backpacking and touring.