Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preparing the Peanut Butter Jar for Trail

I heated water in my coffee pot just to pour into these two plastic jars. Once the near boiling water was in the container, I screwed on the lids so that they would maintain their shapes.
The plastic will shrink, and deform if the lid is not used in this process.
I allow the water to completely cool before dumping it.
This plastic container is very useful in an ultralight cook set. The lid can become a spoon holder, the plastic a mixer, coffee cup, or solar cooker.
I used a plastic peanut butter jar extensively when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.
In the desert, I discovered solar cooking with my empty peanut butter jar. Ramen noodles were broken into bite size pieces, placed in the jar and covered with water. This filled jar was placed in the sun for about an hour, and became the perfect afternoon lunch. Many days when the temperatures soared over 100 degrees, resting during the heat of the day, and hiking til near sunset became the method of operation, allowing us to make good miles while carrying only 5 quarts of water for the long stretches. During this resting and waiting period a person could solar cook and take a nap.
Later in the Sierras, a couple friends and I crested a snow covered Forester Pass. At 13,000 plus-feet it is the highest point on the PCT. As we began our decent down its slope, we stopped in the snow for a home made ice cream break. We each pulled out our trusty empty peanut butter jars and each a package of hot coco powder mix. We filled our containers with snow, each emptied a package of hot coco mix into it. Stirring with the trail spoon, our ice cream was complete.
This larger plastic container is from instant coffee. Either one could be used in a hobo cook set. Because they contained dry goods, not liquids, they can't be considered leak proof, but will make a great powdered pudding shaker, too.

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