Backpacker Magazine –
How to Keep Your Food Warm In Camp
Don't mar a fine winter day by ending it with tepid cocoa and lukewarm chicken alfredo. Protect hot food and drinks from frigid weather by making these 3 simple heat shields.
- What you'll need
- Reflectix insulation (buy at any hardware store)
- Aluminum foil or duct tape
- 3/8-inch-diameter foam pipe insulation
- Velcro strips (6 inches)
- Measuring tape
- Heavy-duty scissors
1) Pot Cozy
- Keep food steaming hot without wasting fuel.
- Trace the pot bottom on a piece of Reflectix and cut out the resulting disc.
- Measure the pot's height and outside circumference, then cut a strip of insulation matching these dimensions.
- Place the pot on the disc and wrap the insulation strip around it.
- Tape all seams with duct tape or aluminum foil tape. Make sure it fits snugly so the pot cannot easily slide out.
- Add more insulation by placing a second, smaller disc of Reflectix inside the cozy.
- If necessary, cut a slot to fit pot handles.
2) Hydration Cozy
- Prevent bottle and bladder freeze-up
- For Lexan bottles, follow the same steps as the pot cozy (make sure the wider-diameter cozies will fit in your pack's holders).
- For bladders, tape two form-fitting pieces of Reflectix insulation in a tight sandwich around the pouch.
- Protect hydration tubes by threading them into 3/8-inch pipe insulation cut to the appropriate length.
- Block moisture and abrasion by wrapping the insulation's exterior in tape.
- Short cut: Buy polyester/foam bottle insulators from Outdoor Research, starting at $17 (outdoorresearch.com).
3) Foil Pouch Cozy
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- Cook dehydrated meals faster.
- Cut a piece of Reflectix that is 1/2-inch wider than the foil packet on all sides.
- Cut another piece that is 2 1/2-inches taller than the first piece.
- Tape the two pieces together at the side and bottom seams, but not the top.
- Add Velcro strips to the flap and the front panel to make a top closure.