No Washing Dishes & Some Meal Tricks

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

I don’t like washing dishes. To be more specific, I don’t like washing dishes when out in the wilderness. At home or at work? No problem. Following a nice meal after a full day of hiking, I just want to relax.


At the campsite I don’t “cook” meals. I boil water.


If you are an avid hiker then this article will come as no surprise to you. I think most experienced backcountry hikers prepare their meals in a similar fashion. We boil water and then insert it into something. Usually it’s a freeze dried meal. But it could be oatmeal, or ramen noodles, or whatever. Anything which can be prepared by adding hot water is something I’ll consider trying.


For my camping stove I chose one of the highest rated ones in 2015. The MSR Pocket Rocket. This thing is small and works like a champ. I’ve never had an issue boiling water with this stove, even when the wind is trying to blow out my little flame.


My cooking set consists of the following:

  • MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

  • Small propane tank & lighter

  • Stanley cup with lid for boiling water. 24 ounce capacity.

  • Spoon/Fork/Knife tool. It folds nice and compact

  • 12 ounce cup for drinking hot liquids


The following fits inside the Stanley Cup

  • 12 ounce drinking cup

  • Spoon/Fork/Knife tool

  • MSR Stove

  • Lighter


Here are a few life-hacks for warm meals out on the trail, or at your campsite

  • Oatmeal. If you look at a Quaker oatmeal package, there is a solid line on one side of the package. This is the water fill line. I just pour my hot water straight into the package and eat it out of said package. When finished I simply fold up the paper and place it in my small trash bag.

  • If you are hiking in the fall or early spring and anticipate chilly days, you might want to cook lunch. There are Ramen bowls you can carry which only require hot water. I found some of these at Walmart. They are a bit bulky so I don't do this often.

  • Freeze dried meals. Ever notice how you have to dig down deep to get the food? Sometimes the handle of your spoon can get dirty. Once my meal is ready, I use my knife to cut the package closer down to where the meal rests. Be careful if you do this! You don’t want to spill that precious dinner!

Whenever I’m done eating (and I boiled water for my meal), I make sure my things are dry before putting everything back together. Drinking cup. Stanley cup. Spoon/Fork/Knife tool. The outside of my shirt works great for drying small stuff like cups. I feel it’s generally a bad idea to pack up wet things.


I’ll update this article if I think of more. Or when I learn something new from a fellow hiker.


#hiking #campsite #campstove #backcountry #mountains #backpacking

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