In the last 3 years now, I’ve amassed so many stoves, pots, pans, cups, and other assorted backpacking cooking paraphernalia, and experimented with all of them both at home and on well over 30 backpacking trips and maybe 6 or 7 car camping trips that I’m starting to get pretty good at knowing what is needed for different types of trips, what’s overkill, and what’s not enough.
Ask me three years ago, and I would have been appalled at the idea that a single cup with some silicone bits would be all a solo hiker needs.
Ask me two years ago, and I would have been adamant that a single cup is all you would ever need.
Today, I’d say, “it depends”
If going on a solo backpacking trip in the the popular three season range, with fairly minimal cooking needs, the Snow Peak Hybrid Summit Cookset, is most definitely all you need.
– For boiling water, it’s great.
– For re-hydrating food right in the cup (e.g. home dehydrated food), it’s fine.
– For instant noodles, instant soup, or a simple stew, also fine.
– Cooking up some eggs and bacon? Takes a little work, but doable
– Frying up bits of meat (e.g. squirrel or chipmunk), it works okay too. Use a good amount of butter, oil, or fats, and simmer to make cleaning easier.
– Anything fancier than that, yeah, okay, you can make any concave container work, so, you could make it work, but you’d have to be pretty creative about it.
The Snow Peak Hybrid Summit is actually 3 pieces in one.
- The cup itself, 700ml large cup/small pot.
- Silicone top which also acts as a handle
- Silicone thermal base doubles as a soft cup
It’s a great little set, and like I said, for solo camping where you just plan to boil water (maybe bringing separate de-hydrated food like mountain house, so you never really dirty the cup), it works well.
Some notes about the container itself.
- Love the silicone lid. It’s kind of brilliant. Either end of the handle has little indents to let steam escape
- Silicone lid: the handle is also hollow on the underside, so you can grab the actual containers handle without burning your fingers or damaging gloves.
- Silicone lid: the lid also nests very precisely inside the ridge, so the entire edge of the silicone all the way around doesn’t get directly touched by higher flames. Really helps keep it from getting damaged and dirty. A
- Silicone lid: unlike pot/pan combos, the lid stays flush with the rim, meaning less air. Less air helps improving water boil times. Tested this enough to be sure it makes a difference. Not a huge difference, but every second helps.
- The silicone base: Pretty good. but a problem with silicone is that it expands. when cold, the base is a very tight fit. When warm/hot, the base becomes very loose and falls off easily so you have to keep a hand on it. That’s fine as it warms your hands without burning them.
- It’s titanium, which means it heats super fast and cools super fast. Very similar to the cheap aluminum mess kits from back in the day. That’s a good thing, for the most part. You can boil water in it, and it will quickly cool down enough to drink. It also means you have to drink fast, but hey, you can’t have everything.
- SOLD SEPARATELY: Silicone “hot lips”: Genius. keeps the hot titanium rim from burning your lips, doesn’t drip for some strange reason, and stays on despite only having only the two corners really gripping the rim. Love that.
Even when solo camping, I like to have a little separation between my drinking container and cooking pot, so I generally pair the Hybrid Summit with something….
Below are some examples:
Here it is paired with the Optimus HE Weekend pot and pan, with a Trangia Alcohol stove and an Evernew cross bar pot stand (not shown). Some may notice that there’s also a silicone pot gripper in the cup from the GSI Halulite mug….dunno how it got there, hahaha.
Here it is combined with the Snow Peak Trek Combo, a Trangia alcohol stove, and the same Evernew cross bar pot stand.
It also is great as part of an Optimus Vega setup.
One of my all time favorite stoves is the Primus Omnilite. It goes well with the Hybrid Summit.
One big surprise is how well the Hybrid Summit fits with the Optimus SVEA 123R. It’s almost as if they were designed for each other. I used this setup on a few overnight camping trips, and it works fine. Though the picture above shows it with the Snow Peak Trek Combo, actually, I just take the Hybrid Summit and the Svea 123R. Good enough for a light lunch and tea mid-day during a a hike.
Today, there is really only one setup when I bring the Snow Peak Hybrid Summit:
As a bit of an homage to Snow Peak, this setup is my current day hike setup. It’s basically the GigaPower, the GigaPower windshield, the Optimus windshield, the Snow Peak 900, and the Hybrid Summit. In terms of heat efficiency, it’s okay. 2 cups of water take about 4 minutes or so on a full LPG, which translates to about 10 uses. I can switch out the GigaPower with the LiteMax, but it doesn’t really improve water boil time that much.
It’s a tough little setup, and while not as efficient with fuel as a JetBoil, it has the flexibility of being able to cook with a fry pan or sauce pan, while keeping the main cup free for coffee.
Some notes on heating:
- Gas canister stoves: work great with this set. Fast, no soot, most are ideally suited to smaller containers
- Multi-fuel: white gas works great. Klean heat (synthetic kerosene) works too. Both have little to no soot (more like no soot). Multi-fuel stoves have a simmer option that is also ideally suited to simple stews
- Multi-fuel: Kerosene is really sooty. Diesel too. and if you stew for long or use high heat at all, the titanium (or any material becomes hard to clean
- Multi-fuel: unleaded gasoline burns cleanish too, but it is toxic and stinks.
- Rubbing alcohol: Stay away unless you really need it! this stuff is super sooty. Lots of stuff in rubbing alcohol doesn’t burn and just cooks to soot and sticks. coating the outside with vaseline makes it easy to clean, but you don’t bring a lot of cleaning stuff with you backpacking, so why bother using rubbing alcohol if you don’t have to?
- denatured alcohol. Awesome stuff. if you add a heat reflecting wind screen, alcohol can be a good option. But generally, tall and narrow containers take longer to boil water than short and wide containers. So you do go through a little more alcohol than you would with a pot shaped container.
- Heet. Lot’s of people swear by it. And it does burn clean, No soot. But I can’t stand the way it smells and burns my eyes. So I stick with denatured alcohol.
- rocket wood stove: works really well because rocket stoves tend to burn through the initially unburnt particles, producing little to no smoke, thus dramatically reducing soot.
- open wood stove (e.g. 180 stove). produces a fair amount of soot. Of course, this depends on the wood you use, tons and tons of soot.
- closed stove (e.g. firebox, bushbox XL, Emberlit, and their miniature counterparts). Produces soot. Can burn fairly hot