For a reason I’ll share at a later point, last night I looked up the stove system with which I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002. It was my second backpacking trip ever and I didn’t know much — and it shows.
The entire kit weighed more than four pounds. In addition, I also started with 16 oz of white gas (a full 20-oz bottle), not knowing that this amount would last for 3-4 weeks.
My AT kit is laughably heavy (8x!) versus my current stove system, The Cadillac. Ironically, it’s also $40 more expensive than what I consider to be the finest solo backpacking stove on the market. As a college student with limited funds, in retrospect I would have been better off with The Dirtbag, which can be assembled for just $30.
If you review the starting gear list, you’ll notice many other bad choices and regrettable omissions, too, like a pump water filter and the absence of real rain gear. (At the time, I did not understand the difference between “water-resistant” and “waterproof.”) My finishing gear list looks almost nothing alike.
Here is my stove system, for some Monday morning laughs:
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