The next time you head out on a backpacking trip, you may not need to bring a stove or liquid fuel along with you. Instead, UK company Trekmates has created a no-flame cooking system that not only makes meal preparation easy, but also enables you to cook inside your tent without having to worry about deadly CO emissions.
The Trekmates Flameles Cook System is a self-contained, water activated cooking unit that heats up both wet and dry foods. When covered in water, heat packs inside the cooking container reach an average temperature of up to 90ºC (194ºF), cooking your food or heating water for coffee in a matter of minutes.
The heat packs most likely contain either calcium chloride or magnesium sulfate. When thee chemicals are mixed with water, an exothermic reaction occurs giving off loads of heat. The heat packs can only be used once, so you will need to bring enough along for the required number of meals on your trip.
The 850ml capacity Flameless Cook Box will heat up all your meals, while the 360ml capacity Flameless Cook Flask can be used to heat water for your morning coffee. Each unit consists of a stainless steel inner container with matching heat resistant plastic outer container and airtight locking lid. A neoprene sleeve slips over the outer plastic container to enable you to handle the cooking system.
To operate, place either a High Power (20g) or Super Power (50g-Cook Box only) heat pack into the bottom of the plastic container and add water. Fill the stainless steel bowl with your meal, set it in the outer container, and lock the lid. After 7-10 minutes, your food should be ready to eat.
The Trekmates Flameless Cook System may not be the solution for you if you love to whip up gourmet meals in the backcountry, but if your food repertoire involves plenty of rehydrated or reheated meals, going the flameless route could make life easier.
The Flameless Cook Box (£30) and Flameless Cook Flask (£20) systems both come with 3-4 heat packs to get you started and can be purchased from the Trekmates website.