On our drive to Lone Pine, the town at the base of Mount Whitney where we will be staying, we stop for lunch in a complex that, not coincidentally, contains a camping gear store. We must procure our stove fuel. When you are in the backcountry for days, eating power bars and granola just doesn’t cut it — you’ve got to have real food. Real food is often far more palatable when cooked. We discovered 400 000 years ago, give or take twenty minutes, that you need a controlled fire to cook your food without setting fire to everything else nearby.