Marc's WhiteWater Gear Reviews

Cook/Eat/Drink


Cook Gear: In-Kayak / Backpacking / Hiking


Soto WindMaster Stove

Front Left: Burner and pot support folded together.
Right: Burner and pot support in working position.

These are my Soto Windmaster stoves. Arguably the best gas stoves around. At a mere 87grams these powerful award winning stoves will serve your cooking needs for a very long time. A canister stove that screws easily onto the top of any standard backpacking-sized pressurized gas canister using blended propane/butane fuel and a standardised threaded Lindal valve (basically most cans, except Campingaz). The stove comes with a piezoelectric igniter, sparked by an electric charge striking within the device.
The WindMaster’s 4Flex is designed to snuggle up around the stove itself during transport to protect it and save space. Really superior designs. The WindMaster is designed so the pot sits close to the flame, making it more efficient in windy weather and results in a shorter boil time. The concave design of the burner head creates the effect of a very effective built-in windscreen. This well-made stove is able to stand up to harsh conditions. There is a TriFlex pot support available that’s smaller, and thus lighter than the 4flex support. I don’t have one, so I can’t tell you more about it.
One of the best features of this stove is it’s ability to adapt to the changing gas pressure (due to the can cooling down or getting empty). It also can be used at a very low setting. This stove doesn’t waste a gram of gas.
I own two of these, enabling me to be the ‘Chef’, when I’m not packing ultra light.

It has an output of 2800 kcal/h 3260w 11000 BTU, which means it boils 2 cups of water in under 2-1/2 minutes in strong winds and gusty weather.
Canister duration: It’ll burn approx.1.5 hours with a 250g (8 oz.) can.
It weighs 87g (3.0. oz.) with the 4Flex pot support.


Titanium Cookware by Toaks

Toaks Titanium is hot! Literally. Boy, do these pans transfer heat quickly. These titanium pots are ideal for boiling fluids because they are made with very thin walls, and transfer heat very efficiently. Titanium is half the weight of steel and stronger than aluminium. My 1100ml pot only weighs 113 grams! It is the cookware material with the best weight/strength balance. It is also corrosion-resistant and very durable. This is gear for situations where every gram counts. The go-to gear pots for your quick boil-only meals.
I own the 3-piece cutlery set, the long handle spoon, a double wall cup, a 1100ml pot with and frying pan and lid combination, the 1600ml Pot with Pan (not pictured) and two deep 190mm plates. Toaks uses pure titanium, so (unlike aluminium and teflon coated pots and pans) these products are absolutely non-toxic and thus, save to use!

Cooking Gear Packed

Above the line:
Two person (two stoves) setup. stoves in cup -> in 1300ml pot -> in 1600ml pot. Far right: 1 pack (1100grams)
Below the line:
Solo (1 stove) setup: stove & cartridge in cup. Cartridge in 1300ml pot.
Far right: two packs (830grams)


Nalgene Wide Mouth Bottles

Left-to-right:
1 liter Glow Green / 1,5 liter Silo / 1 liter Retro Kayak / 1 liter Cerulean Sustainable

I love my Nalgene bottles. All Wide Mouths and all with their own use. The most obvious being the Glow-in-the-Dark bottle, in use as winter hot-water bottle to warm my sleeping bag and as midnight pee-in-the-dark bottle (we all have one, or should have one, preventing loss of bodywarmth by leaving the tent).
Next is my 1,5 liter Silo, which serves two main purposes: I use it at the end of the day to have cooking and drinking water at hand and during the day it gets filled whenever I need dead-weight to secure my tripod.
The all new Retro Kayak bottle accompanies me on kayak trips, to make my nutritional shakes. Last-but-not-least I have one of the sustainable bottle, made out of 50% recycled material, in use in my basecamp kitchen for cerials.


Coffee, the Bruu way

The really lightweight solution for making coffee: the Bruu! All it is, is a simple spoon to press a 7grams Senseo-pad up against a cup-wall. So all you do is: take your favourite Senseo-taste with you, soak it in hot water and squeeze it with your Bruu. The spoon itself weighs 15 gram (not shortened to your own cup-size). If you are not in Holland, you can order by contacting we@bruu.it.


Food: In-Kayak / Backpacking / Hiking

For me, the length of kayaking/backpacking/hiking trips is set by the amount of food I can bring, as my other gear is pretty much as small and as light as I can afford and want. Having said that, in general, the maximum length of my trips is approximately two weeks. Two weeks of food could weigh up to 7 kgs and could look like this:

Not included in this image is a little flask filled with whiskey, nor any bacon and eggs I can get on my trips.

If I am likely to get near shops (which I generally try to avoid), I’ll take less breakfast, because I love starting the day with bacon and eggs. If I expect to be able to hunt (bow or fish) or forage, I’ll take less food as well. I am not very particular regarding when I eat what meal. So I will f.i. eat a Salmon and Rice meal as breakfast if I feel like it.
Underneath are some of my favourites.

Freeze Dried Meals

I tried many of the Freeze Dried meal brands like Blå Band, Globetrotter, Firepot, Decathlon, Voyager, Mountain House, Summit to Eat and Trek’n Eat (but not LyoFood, nor Expedition Foods).
It all boiled down to these last two standing: DryTech Real Turmat and Adventure Food. So I gave these two their own, dedicated and thorough, comparative, subjective test. But let’s some parameters first:

  • I have yet to find a brand with a proper lineup. Meaning a full day of nutrition: breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks. Not just in nutritional value, but also in variation. (Maybe some do, but don’t communicate it clearly.)
  • I do not care if level markings are on the inside or the outside of pouches. I use the markings in my cooking pot, not to waste gas on boiling water I do not need. (So like these two, all brands should tell how much water is required, on the pouch.)
  • I leave pouches intact, so I can take them out with the ziplock closed. I use a long spoon. (I fail to see the practical value of a spork for out-of-the-pouch eating.)
  • I do not care if meals need a couple of minutes more or less to hydrate. I’m not in a hurry.
  • Taste: Subjective, so hard to judge. Plus, I didn’t get to taste all the flavors of all the makers.
  • I will add pepper and/or salt if I like to.
  • I ‘cook’ all meals the same: Add the boiled water | Stir well | Close the ziplock | Leave it for the needed time, but shake well at halftime | Open the pouch | Stir again | Eat out of the pouch.


DryTech Real Turmat

Real Turmat is the outdoor meals line, made by DryTech in Norway, based on the Scandinavian kitchen.
The first and most obvious about their products is the vacuum packing, which makes it unnecessary to use an oxygen absorber and it makes it possible to see that the bag is sealed and tight. This also reduces the size of the bags, but also makes them more rigid and thus not necessarily more ‘packable’ or ‘readable’. The food tastes good and they offer some special tastes.

  • Some outstanding tastes (Reindeer Stew!)
  • Obvious shelf life. Uncompromised if vacuum.
  • 0,28 grams per kcal
  • Prices often twice as high as Adventure Food.
  • The pouches are high and narrow, not the most practical.
  • The advised usage, tearing the pouch underneath the ziplock, seems unpractical. The pouch then can’t be resealed, which means I’m potentially carrying open pouches for two weeks in my waste bag: not a nice aroma. Leave No Trace!
DryTech Real TurmatAdventure Food
Chili con Carne
Creamy Salmon with Pasta
Couscous with Lentils and Spinach
Chicken Curry
Pasta Bolognese
Chili con Carne
Pasta al Salmone
Veggie Couscous
Chicken Curry
Pasta Bolognese
Because taste is personal, I will share that the above are the ‘similar’ meals of these brands, should you want to test/compare yourself.


Adventure Food

Adventure Food is a Dutch company started by, Hans van der Meulen, an experienced expeditioner. (Climbed the Mount Everest, walked to the North Pole on foot, etcetera.)
They make calorie management easy, because all Main Meals and Expedition Breakfast are 600 kcal. They offer pan-European food that will suit many tastes.

  • The Expedition Breakfast is, arguebly, unparalleled in taste and nutritional value.
  • Generally the most affordable of the major brands.
  • 0,28 grams per kcal
  • Well tasting, nutritious food.
  • Good sized breakfast (most important meal of the day?)
  • A safe bet at a good price.

Adventure Food offers an (unsolicited)
9% introductory discount for my visitors in their webshop. The code is: White Water Gear


Snacks

I buy my Cliff snacks by the dozens!

I love my Cliff bars. On the average trip, I eat three of these per day: A classic Cliff energy bar to start the day (breakfast -> packing up -> energy bar -> activity), a Builders protein bar before lunch and a protein bar before setting camp. The protein bars provide 20 grams of protein each. The weight to nutritionvalue of these bars is very good, especially because they taste well (flavours for everyone). These bars are made with organic and nutritious ingredients like organic rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds. They provides energy from multiple carbohydrate sources and a blend of protein, fat, and fiber to help slow the rate of digestion delivering sustained energy during activity.
By-the-way: 100% of cocoa ingredients are sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms, which is a good thing! 🙂


Water: Filtering and/or Purifying

To emphasize the importance of filtering and/or purifying drinking water: a 20 cm sheep dropping with tapeworm …..

Bacteria, Protozoa and Viruses are the reasons for filtering water. Filtering water removes waterborne protozoa and bacteria, but not viruses. Purifing also removes viruses, offering a higher level of defense.
I use a selection of methods to clean water in the backcountry, amongst which:

  • MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter, for filling bottles.
  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, for drinking straight from a stream.
  • Katadyn Micropur Forte Purifier, for cleaning water I do not trust (in 30-120 minutes).


The best tasting Coffee, by The Brew Company

This The Brew Company “brew-in-the-bag” enables me to make freshly brewed coffee wherever I am. This no-compromise coffee is made with fairtrade, hand-roasted beans, with full traceability of the coffee origins. No-compromise mean it’s the next best coffee after French-pressing your self grinded coffee. This is the most delicious coffee, ever, available for on-the-go making. It comes in loads of tastes and there is even a tea-version available. I personally like a strong coffe, so the Medium/strong tastes suit me best. The strength of your brew is determined by the amount of water and the soaking time. Very easy.


Cook Gear: Basecamp / Car Camping


Portable Oven

My Omnia Portable Oven is a great way to get all my oven based cooking done at the campsite. A Omnia enables me to make fresh-baked bread and delicious oven dishes directly on the camping stove. It basically is a circular container with a hole in the middle. The bowl-shaped base and the lid work together in providing heat to the pan from the bottom and the top. That creates oven-like heating. I got me one of their cookbooks loaded with great recipies and ‘instructions’, or rather: ideas/inspiration for simple but tasty dishes. Not only does my cooking attract attention, but the Omnia does too!

Exploded View of (top-to-bottom:
Lid, Pan with silicon insert, Base


Cast Iron Loaf Pan (Dutch Oven)

This ‘Dutch Oven’ pot is a the Petromax Loaf Pan, made of cast iron, which distributes and stores heat outstandingly. Besides using it in the oven at home, this pan can make you an awesome bread on a campfire as well. cast iron has a natural anti-adhesive quality, which improves with usage. I think the Lid Lifter is a necessity.


EuroTrail Foldable container

My go-to Foldable container, ideal for doing the dishes, laundry, cat litter, salads, whatever. And it folds to a practical small size. It is rock stable and weighs half a kilo, at 37,2×27,4x12cm.

folded/flat


Fozzils Flat Stuff

Bowlz

Super versatile flat packing bowls. Convenient to use, clean, and carry. Pack, fold, and store flat. Just 40 grams. They have handy measuring lines and a non-stick, easy clean surface. In a 600 ml and a 2200 ml version. After dish washing, I hang them from the washing line. When flat, they serve as cutting board! I hang them from the washing line when cleaned.

Colander

Two sizes of flat packing colander. I use the small one (946cl) as colander and the full size one (2.8l) as dish rack. They are made of non-stick easy clean material and have legs to keep them from touching dirt.

Scrubberz

Now, these may well be the most artical of all. Little clean-the-inside-of-a-bottle-brushes! These bristle balls will clean your bottles from the inside. A quick shake scours all surfaces. Ingenious!


Nanopresso Portable Espresso by Wacaco

The Basics.

Here’s my portable espresso machine: the Nanopresso. This is what it’s about:
All you need is coffee, hot water and the Nanopresso.
1. Put fresh finely ground (hard tamped) coffee in the machine.
2. Put hot water in the machine.
3. Pump until no more coffee comes out of the machine.
The Nanopresso is capable of easily reaching the required pressure (18 bars) for making an excellent espresso. Pumping takes hardly any effort.
Nanopresso’s ergonomic design and shorter length makes it your travel companion of choice. Easy to hold and easy to pack!
The machine is extremely light (336 grams) and comes with a neat little case. It’s tank can hold 80ml of water, with which approximately 60ml of coffee is made, after which you only need to rinse it clean.

The Extended Family.

On top: the regular Nanopresso.
Left: with NanoVessel | Centre: with NS Adaptor | Right: with Barista set

So, with the basic Nanopresso I can make a single (50ml) or a double (80ml) espresso. Using the right components out of the Extended Family will get more out of the Nanopresso.

The NanoVessel.

The Nanovessel is an insulated flask. It can be mounted directly onto the Nanopresso and used as a large water tank. Food grade and made of stainless steel 304, it keeps water hot for hours. Very easy to clean. I use this as an EDC double lungo insulated flask.

The Barista Kit.

The Barista Kit is a set of accessories packed in a small container. Adding the possibilities to make a very Rich Espresso, Double Espresso, Lungo, 2 Single Espresso and 2 Double Espresso by use of a larger filter basket and large container. Now let’s not forget the tasty Latte and Cappuccino.

The Nespresso Adaptor.

The NS Adaptor, simple: this allows the Nanopresso to use Nespresso capsules and their obvious quality of being mechanically ground, measured, and tamped with a higher precision than we are capable of doing by hand.

My personal configuration is a combination of the Nanopresso, the NS Adaptor and the large Barista container. These fit in the larger Case. But, since Nespresso isn’t available everywhere ánd I enjoy experimenting with local coffees when travelling, I take the Barista head and basket wherever I go.


Refillable Nespresso Cups by Bluecup

I share the passion with these passionate espresso aficionados with a love for Espresso, having a good sense of flavour and taste, living life to the fullest. They took on Nespresso issues regarding environmental aspects and the price per capsule, by looking for an espresso that was better for the environment and could be made using their own ground coffee beans or ready-ground coffee. This is what they came up with.
A aluminium cap close a self filled reusable cup, by means of a nifty little device folding the cap around the edges of the cup. That’s it. Ready for your Nespresso machine. These cups work perfectly with my Wacaco gear! This will allow you to get the coffee you prefer, even when camping and use it the Nespresso way, swiftly!


Bluecup is a Dutch company high quality-espresso lovers, with a heart for the environment. They’re doing a good job.


Camp Stove Toaster by Coghlan’s

This simple piece of gear brings me joy! It’ll toast four slices of bread at a time. it’ll fold flat, it’s rustproof and only weighs a mere 20 grams ……
Some salted butter, bacon, mozarello and basil on the toast and a cup of good espresso and we’re off!