Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Define Minimalism

Wikipedia defines minimalism in the artistic world. To get into what we really do, you have to look at Simple Living. I used the above cookset on the AT for the last 558 miles, having pared down the cooking system to boil and rehydrate.
The soda can stove is still going strong, with over 5,000 trail miles on it.

As an ultralighter, minimalism becomes an art form: stripping the unnecessary until the item becomes the basic essence of itself

The beauty of minimalistic design comes in sustainability. Durable, yet easily repaired by the average person, with the clean simple lines, it functions perfectly without periphial gadgets which clutter up the pack or increase likelihood of failure.

Take the soda can stove. With no moving parts, able to accommodate a variety of fuels and nearly indestructible, still it only weighs 1/4 ounce.

You can make your own stove with just two aluminum cans. If you loose it, you can make one on the trail with just a simple pocket knife.
Boil tests are fun to watch using these little stoves.

The more holes, the faster it burns because of air intake. Fewer holes, and a good windscreen creates a slower, longer burn.
Use the extra large beer can to create a soda can stove for a larger group and more fuel capacity.

Choose plastic powdered drink containers or cookpot to create a nesting system. All this fits into a ditty bag with room for a spoon. I found if the spoon fits inside the pot, thats exactly where it will end up when you're cooking. A longer handled spoon is better.

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