Evolution of My Ultralight Backpacking Cook Kit

Ultralight Backpacking Cook Kit and Keto Backpacking Food Pre Kit

Keto & Ultralight Backpacking Gear & Technique

Evolution of Simple Systems

As my diet has evolved and I’ve moved away from carbs and sugar on my keto backpacking adventures and in daily life, my cook kit / food prep system has evolved as well. Part of this evolution has been going “no cook”, which means I no longer bring a stove and fuel to boil water for pasta dinners. All food prep is simply adding water to ingredients / powders or eating raw ingredients and whole foods. Thru hikers often go no cook and instead of cooking their pastas or lentils, simply soak them (cold soak) in a container as they hike so they’re soft and ready to eat after a few hours.

Ultralight Backpacking Cook Kit and Keto Backpacking Food Pre Kit

My Standard Ultralight Backpacking Cook Kit

Before I went no cook, this is the cook kit I was using and the one I would use if I need to cook for any reason. I love the screwable top on the titanium bot mug, which means no need for a stuff sack to keep my other cook items in the mug. The downside is that if you make coffee or a protein shake, you have to slam it, as drinking on the run is difficult with mugs an issue I’ve fixed below in my no cook kit by using a smart water bottle instead.

Total Weight: 412.20 g / 14.54 oz



My Keto Food Prep / No Cook Food Kit

More info about: Keto Backpacking Food Prep and Management and Keto Backpacking Food

The benefits of of going “no cook” are less weight, less bulk, less gear to organize, less cleanup time, less cost and no wait times for boiling water. My no cook kit gives me a substantial savings of 252.1 g / 8.89 oz over my standard cook kit  (412.2 g / 14.54 oz). While my goal is to always lean towards carrying less gear, going keto has meant lots of powders and the addition of a funnel to get them into a bottle.

Dropping my titanium mug in lieu of a smart water or gatorade bottle has also been key. In addition to saving 3 ounces, a smart water bottle enables me to drink on the go since it has a screw top (mug requires slamming drinks quickly before resuming hiking), use the bottle as it’s own shaker instead of stirring powders in a mug and also means no clean up unlike with a mug that would usually need to be cleaned after each use since it will typically nest other cookware items.

Total Keto Food Prep Kit Weight: 160.1 g / 5.65 oz 



Core Food Kit + Water Storage & Filtration + Misc Food Containers


8 thoughts on “Evolution of My Ultralight Backpacking Cook Kit

    • Trace says:

      By definition, a no cook kit is usually going to be less bulky than a standard cook kit. No cook in late fall is amazing. Same goes for winter. If I’m spending lots of time out when it’s super cold, I can always bring anything I want or shift to my cook kit … easy peasy, adapt as needed.

  1. Stasia says:

    Have you found that “no cook” gets similar reactions from other hikers as keto? Would you recommend just doing it but not talking about it?

    • Trace says:

      Interestingly enough, as the rest of the crowd slowly catches onto Keto, there’s way less of the typical knee jerk reaction against it that used to be fairly common because “you need carbs!” …. No cook might get the same reaction as “ultralight” backpacking does from people that protest it because they don’t understand it. Hope this makes sense!

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