A friend sent me this video. Good timing, since I had just posted my article on ranger rolling and how it could be used to reduce the number and weight of stuff-sacks used.
I don’t carry a lot of electronic gear nor idolize my phone, so had not paid much attention to items such as power banks. With a suitable suite of compatible devices this may be a step towards solving the problem of the soldier’s load.
One topic touched on is that of “stoveless cooking”. My friend sent me an additional video on this.
Years ago I encountered a technique that might be called the “ mobile haybox”. The hiker would heat his food, or add boiling water, as appropriate. The food was then placed in an insulated container and stowed inside the rucksack. Like a conventional haybox, the retained heat continued to cook the food over the next few hours. Ideally one used a “wide-mouthed thermos”, but those were not that easy to find in those days. More usually you used a sandwich box or screw-topped container and wrapped your sleeping bag and other insulation around the outside. The wise hiker placed the container in a plastic bag in case of leaks!
The stoveless method is similar, in that you hydrate the food several hours in advance and give it time to do its job. The two methods can be combined. Providing it has a good seal, a sandwich box could be used. Sandwich boxes, incidentally, make pretty good eating bowls for more conventional cooking. Remember that before you fork out a good chunk of cash on a specially designed backpacker’s eating kit! Have a look at the supermarket shelves for other suitable containers. Buying them filled with food is often cheaper than attempting to buy an empty container. I have seen plastic peanut-butter jars suggested for stoveless cooking and this is a way to utilize that peanut-butter stuck at the very bottom.