Over the past few years I have attempted to reduce the weight of my pack and have been looking at every piece of equipment with close scrutiny to see if I could minimise the weight by either get a lighter version or getting rid of it all together. Now I love cooking when I’m at home however when I’m out hiking for any extended period I’m just not into it. So around 3.5 years ago I looked at my camp kitchen habits and thought why on earth am I carrying a plate and a bowl; I mean most of my main meals are rehydrated in either hot or cold water. For my dinner which is always my hot meal for the day I rehydrate commercial meals with boiling water and eat out of the bag, as well as having a cup of hot chocolate. My breakfast varies but Overnight Oates and commercial cereal form the main component. The cereal I will usually eat out of the ziplock bag and is edible straight away however the Oates needs around 90 minutes to become edible so I will either soak them overnight and eat before I leave my tent or else I will start walking and eat them after an hour or so after breaking camp. My lunch is often similar and I rely quite heavily on rehydrating dips at lunchtimes and use Olive Oil as part of this process. While it is ready straight away I like having a container that won’t let the oil leak everywhere . What this means in practicality is that I need a robust container that can be securely closed and won’t leak leaving a mess all over my pack or my tent.
Hence the use of a 500 gram empty peanut butter jar as my dinnerware. This is one of those bits of equipment that can be classed as a ‘hiking hack’ and originated with the long distance hikers in the USA. This type of container is robust being almost unbreakable, reasonably watertight so won’t leak, and a good size for an individual. The smaller jars are just too small and the larger jars aside from being too big appear to have now gone off the market.
If your cooking style runs to rehydration only then consider this container as a lightweight option that makes a very good replacement option for a plate and bowl. If however you are into preparing elaborate meals on your trips then you may find that you need the more traditional dinnerware set up. Give it a try and see if this is an option for you.
A 500gram Kraft Peanut Butter jar has replaced both my bowl and plate as my hiking dinnerware
Tropical Overnight Oats ready to eat after soaking for at least 90 minutes in a 500gram peanut butter jar