Best cooking options for overnight hikes

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Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby angiegoesforawalk » Tue 23 Nov, 2021 9:03 am

Hi all, I am new to this forum so apologies if this has been asked before. My friends and I plan to do our first multi-day hike along the Great North Walk NSW. I am worried the time of year we plan to go there will be a fire ban and have no experience with butane gas canisters.

Can anyone with experience please advise how these can be transported safely in a hiking backpack that’s likely to be very full and in potentially high temperatures? There is a lot of advice on how to store in cars and even at the campsite but I can’t find anything on how to make sure they don’t explode while in your backpack walking around in the heat. I know this may not be an issue but due to the warnings on the bottle I would prefer to be safe and ask someone who has done it. Or if anyone has any different or easier ways of cooking during a fire ban that would be appreciated too.

Thanks for your help!
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 23 Nov, 2021 6:12 pm

Angie, welcome to the forum. The gas bottle manufacturer website should have safety advice. You should be okay up to the highest probable temperature, low forties.

This
https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/fire-informa ... -ban-rules
has the fire ban rules. In part it says:
"Can I use a gas barbeque?
You can use a gas barbeque under the following conditions:
It is under the direct control of a responsible adult, who is present at all times while it is operating;
No combustible material is allowed within two metres at any time it is operating;
You have an immediate and continuous supply of water; and
The barbeque is within 20 metres of a permanent private dwelling such as a home; or
The barbeque is within a designated picnic area and the appliance is approved by Council, National Parks or State Forest."

It is unclear if a bushwalking stove is the same as a gas BBQ. It may be that the above rule is about fixed BBQs, usually coin in the slot. The end wording is vague. Which council? How can a national park or a state forest approve anything?

There are meals that do not require cooking. If the walk is a few days then sachets of fish, dried vegetables soaked for an hour or so, jerky, salami and even tinned food will have to do.
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby north-north-west » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 6:03 am

You'd be surprised how much cooler it is inside a pack than outside. I've carried canisters in over 40° and never had issues. Just bury them in the middle of the pack.

That said, if it's hot enough for a TFB, walking won't be pleasant and it's quite possible some areas will be closed due to fire risk.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Warin » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 9:01 am

I'd think by the time a gas canister could explode I'd be flat out in a creek soaking and looking for a way out involving little to no energy expenditure.

If it is hot you probably won't want to eat hot food nor drink. Cold soaking will make dehydrated food edible ... not as pleasant and takes far longer but doable.

Note: Max temperatures in Oz are ~46 C .. in the shade, temperatures in cars would be far higher due to the hot house effects. Your backpack will be lower than a car but higher than 'in the shade'. When you stop you will naturally select a shady spot - keep you pack in the shade too and you should not have a problem.
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 9:11 am

While I'd not leave any such canister in full sun they are generally safe. Just keep inside your pack and follow all the general rules for fire safety.
Query? What stove? Are you using the hairspray butane canisters or the squat butane/propane blend?
In such heat I'd be using the cheaper gas myself using an adapter, no point paying the extra in summer
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 9:29 am

Like everyone else has said, there are no issues carrying portable gas canisters in the heat.

The bigger issue is that you can’t use them on total fire ban days.

From the NSW National Parks website:

“During a total fire ban (minimum 24-hour period) no fire may be lit in the open. This means:

All campfire and solid fuel (wood, heat beads, charcoal, briquettes, hexamite) and liquid fuel (petroleum, oil, methylated spirits, kerosene) barbecues and stoves are prohibited.”

While it doesn’t specifically state gas, these would clearly come under the classification of campfire stoves.

Also, do you really want to stand in front of the Royal Commission and try to explain that the cause of the major bushfire you started wasn’t specifically listed?

https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/sa ... /fire-bans
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby ofuros » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 11:46 am

Self heating meal option ? No naked flames.
If you must have hot food while bushwalking during a fire ban. There's a few choices on the market now, a bit expensive though.

You can even buy the heater bags separately...add water to your favourite freeze dried/ DIY dehydrated, seal & pop into a heater bag.

Haven't tried them myself...may be an option for some. :wink:
Here's a couple...

https://www.quartermaster.com.au/choose ... ls-special

https://www.survivalsuppliesaustralia.c ... ady-to-eat

https://www.aussiestormshop.com.au/mre- ... s-heaters/
Mountain views are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby angiegoesforawalk » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 11:55 am

Wow thank you all this is really helpful- I had no idea gas stoves are not allowed to be used in a total fire ban and definitely do not want to be responsible for starting a bushfire. I will make a list of no cook meals in case of a fire ban. I don’t have a stove as yet I will be buying a basic one sometime soon. That’s great to know the canisters are safe to carry in the heat, we definitely won’t be planning to do the hike in over 40 degree heat! I will also take a look at the other options suggested. Thank you all so much again for your help!
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 12:57 pm

It does depend on how you read the rules and where you are but the way I read the regulations for Victoria LPG and by default butane stoves that don't need priming and that have an On/Off valve are OK except where specifically banned but better to have a no-cook option.
If you don't have access to the knowledge that there is a Total Fire Ban in place then you have to rely on experience and common sense, if it's over 38C and a wind is blowing I'd assume a fire ban was in place and eat cold, although on a hot day nothing beats a cup of hot sweet tea for quenching my thirst that is psychological not real
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Eremophila » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 1:47 pm

And if you're storing the gas canister inside the stove, e.g. I pack mine inside the Jetboil to save room, allow the stove to cool first. It doesn't take long at all.
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby Warin » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 7:56 pm

angiegoesforawalk wrote:I don’t have a stove as yet I will be buying a basic one sometime soon. That’s great to know the canisters are safe to carry in the heat,


Decide on what size, litres, pot you want first, look at what base sizes are available for the litres you want. I'd chose the largest bast one... as they are more stable than the narrow ones, also the heat will transfer better. Then chose the stove - you want one that copes with the base of the pot.
I have a tokes pot .. and a BRS stove .. the stove is too narrow for the pot so I have to be very careful not to tip the pot over. (Do as I say, not as I do :oops: ) Both the BRS and pot are at least light in weight though. Just something else to think about.
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Re: Best cooking options for overnight hikes

Postby ChrisJHC » Wed 24 Nov, 2021 9:18 pm

A lot of outlets are having “Black Friday” sales at the moment so you might want to decide quickly.

One example: https://www.wildearth.com.au/shop/stoves
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