I’m all about roughing it, but I will not sacrifice hot meals for nature. The MSR backpacking stove was made for people like me. Most backcountry camping areas don’t allow campfires so if you don’t have a stove, you will end up eating a lot of granola bars and dried fruit and beef jerky. That might not sound so terrible now, but after a few activity-packed days outdoors, you will be willing to sacrifice your right arm for a hot meal. So stay symmetrical and buy a backpacking stove!
My friend’s stove got a lot of use on our backpacking trip to Lost Maples. We grilled brats for sausage wraps, heated chili for frito pie, and boiled water for dehydrated meals, oatmeal, and hot chocolate. Here’s a compilation of simple meals you can make on a backpacking stove; you might be surprised by how much you can do with it.
I learned an important lesson on this trip: never rely on fishing for a meal. You will end up hungry and sad every time. Pack a simple backup meal, no matter how confident your fisherman is. Luckily we were prepared because we did not find any of the trout that the park rangers told us about.