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March 2015 - Welcome to ZPacks!

Most accessory items are in stock and are shipping in a day or two. Larger items like Backpacks, Shelters and Sleeping bags, and Rain Gear are made to order and are shipping in about 4-5 weeks.

If you need your order to be delivered sooner or by a certain date please email us after you order and we will schedule accordingly if possible. All ZPacks gear is made for you right here in our US workshop.
Cooking Gear

This page is here for the do-it-yourselfers who would like to make a very simple, and light weight alcohol stove ,cooking pot, or wood burning stove.

ZPacks Minimalist Alcohol Stove

This is the lightest weight stove I could come up with. It works just as well as the "fancy" alcohol stoves but without all the extra stuff.

Tools Needed: Razor blade, Paper hole punch, V-8 or Red Bull can.

1. Cut the bottom 1" off your can using a razor blade. (The bottom of the can weighs less than the top)

2. Punch 16 holes 1/8" down from the lip of the can. Print and tape this Hole Template to the can.

3. Optionally hammer down the convex bottom a bit for extra volume.

That's it! The finished stove should weigh just .11 ounces / 3.1 grams. Pour in some Heet or Denatured Alcohol, light it, and set your pot right on top.

With about .5 oz of Heet, this stove will simmer 2 cups of water in 5-6 minutes, and achieve a rolling boil in 8-9 minutes (and then go out). Tested with a covered .9L evernew pot. Beer can pots and mugs will not heat as quickly.

This stove can even be made on trail with nothing but a pocket knife w/ mini scissors. Just cut triangles at the top instead of using a hole punch.

Aluminum Origami Pot

The pot shown is an "origami" pot I folded from an aluminum baking sheet. It weighs only .7 ounces, and holds .75 liters of water. They work great initially, but unfortunately will spring pin sized holes after several trips as the metal weakens from your fire. Try 11" x 12.5" aluminum for a 4.5" x 4.5" x 2.25" .75 liter pot.

Cooking with Wood Option 1 - Soda Can Stove

I hiked the entire PCT cooking with an improvised wood stove and an occasional Esbit tablet as a backup on rainy days. Here is the lightest way to do it without starting a full blown camp fire:

-Fold some aluminum foil to use as a ground cover.
-Push 3 tent stakes through the foil into the ground to prop your pot.
-Cut a 2.5" tall wind screen from a 16 oz beer can. This will help contain your small fire.

Finished weight- about .3 oz / 8.5 grams. Fuel weight - 0 oz!

You will need to use small twigs the width of your pinky or thinner. Keep feeding the fire as your meal cooks. This takes some effort, but it can be fun and you don't have to carry any fuel! Marshmallows anyone?

Cooking with Wood Option 2 - Coffee Can Stove

This option is heavier, but more convenient since you don't have to fuss with tent stakes.

-Cut the bottom 3" off an 11 oz coffee can with tin snips.
-Measure 3 equally spaced 1" sections at the top of the can
-Cut a rectangle, and two triangles between the sections as shown
-Remove the bottom of the can with a can opener. Replace the bottom with aluminum from a soda can or pie tin to save weight.

Finished weight- about 1.1 oz / 31.2 grams

Esbit / FireLite / RationZ Tablet Tri-Pod

Esbit is my least favorite cooking option because it is toxic and leaves a sticky residue on your pot. It is light though! This Tri-Pod weighs 1/3 the weight of a titanium wing-stove and is free. You might try MPI RationZ tablets which claim to be non-toxic.

-Cut the bottom 1.25" off a V-8 or Red Bull can. The bottom weighs less than the top.
-Measure three 1" wide tabs, and cut out the parts in between as shown.
-Hammer down the convex bottom a bit so the esbit sits stable.

Finished weight - about .12 oz / 3.4 grams

** Strong enough to hold 2 cups of water. Tabs may bend w/ heavier loads when hot.

Other Ideas:
Many other ideas for stoves and pots can be found at Zen Stoves:

Click for larger images

ZPacks Minimalist Alcohol Stove .11 oz

ZPacks' Origami Pot - .7 oz / .75 Liters

ZPacks' Wood-Can Stove 1.1 oz

Foster's Pot - .85 oz / .75 Liters

ZPacks' Esbit Tri-Pod .12 oz

Heineken Pot 1.2 oz / .75L
** Note that beer can pots and mugs do not heat as fast as wide pots due to low surface area

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Who we are:
Joe Valesko founded ZPacks in 2005. He designed and tested all the gear, and has thru-hiked over 9,600 long distance miles including the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Te Araroa Trail, and TGOC Scotland. Joe is available to answer any questions about gear recommendations, sizing, trail info, or anything requiring an experienced opinion.

Matt Favero receives your orders, oversees production at our shop, and ships out your orders. He has hiked much of the Florida Trail, parts of the AT, and TGOC Scotland. Matt handles most routine emails about your order. We love feedback and suggestions about our gear!

Please email us for our Address if you need to send any packages. We like to know what's coming! Our Phone Number is not listed. We are able to give a more informed answer via email, and we are normally very responsive. Please email us your questions and we will reply ASAP.