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Thread: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

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    Default Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I've been doing some research on camping/backpacking stoves. Seems like a decent amount of weight + waste to go the route of JetBoil or MSR.

    Those cat-food/coke can alcohol stoves look pretty dope.
    Are they a true trifecta of light, cheap and good?


    FWIW, I've visited the camping forums. There seems to be a binary response to them. I'm hoping for a bit more nuanced response.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    How often are you gonna camp, for how many nights in a row, and how much of a gourmand do you need to be on the trail?

    The MSR Pocket Rocket is tiny (as long as you can get on board with canisters), dirt cheap, and idiot proof.
    Mine is 15 years old and nary a hiccup.

    That said, it isn't too stable for any pot wider than about 6" and is pretty basic. So it's a good one for someone who is a) hiking fast/light/far, or b) just wants to unplug and cook a one pot meal while camping.

    I have no other opinions because after deciding between this and the Dragonfly all those years ago, I have no need for anything else.

    One of the best meals I've had in my life was cooked on this- a bushel of fat greenblack mussels in NZ cooked in white wine and butter. Cost maybe $5 usd and I can still taste them sometimes. Though that has nothing to do with the stove.
    my name is Matt

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I have a hard time seeing myself doing more than 7 days in a row right now and I'm happy to eat anything from boiled snickers bars to prairie dogs.

    I didnt think much of DIY stoves until I saw that Andrew Skurka used one for several weeks in Alaska and for the entire Pacific Crest Trail.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    The alcohol stoves are just DIY versions of the Trangia/Swedish mil mess kit in a lighter, less integrated solution. They are fine if you don't need to simmer, and if you value light weight and are going for absolutely maximum simplicity. In my mind, they are for heating food, not cooking.

    For anything less than a week, a canister stove can't be beat for simplicity. I use a snow peak but all the common ones are good. Not great in cold weather though.

    For longer trips where cooking is needed, I think I still favor multi-fuel stoves. Good ones are very reliable and the weight of the stove can be offset by fuel weight. But to me that's a specialized usage window now -- trips where white gas is easier to find than alcohol or canisters and long trips in cold temperatures like ski touring.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I concur with Christian. The MSR canister stoves (or similar) are the bee's knees. One of the best camping purchases I've made.

    I started out with white gas when a scout in high school. No complaints if you use the stove frequently and maintain it. They can get gummed up, particularly if you allow your gas to sit around for long periods. When my kids arrived, the notion of having the fuel sitting around where it could be ingested or just grow stale turned me off to white gas. About 3 years ago (right before a hurricane!) I bought a canister stove, with the intention of doing some bike packing/camping. I looked at the alcohol fuel DIY rigs and came to the conclusion that they were just a little too DIY for my intended uses. I like to cook, boil, simmer, blast and the DIY rigs don't allow for that range of control. I also think some things don't need to be eff'd with; the canister stoves have a proven track record and allow ample control, so why waste your time cutting up cans and dispensing alcohol.

    I don't find the canisters take up significant space, and I don't find them to be a pain in any way. I can run the stove, disconnect, re-cap the canister and move on. I keep 2 or 3 on hand. The stove head itself is pretty tiny. During Sandy, I cooked on the canister stove and my Weber grill for nearly two weeks...and by cook I mean not just boiling water for freeze-dried rations, but making meals and sauces that required temperature control.

    My only nit (and most people's nit) is that the stove head will not support a giant pot or skillet, but I don't think that was the intent of the design to begin with.

    Yes, more expensive than cutting up coke cans etc but mine has paid for itself several times over. I bring it with me when I take my kids hiking, to brew up hot chocolate, soup etc to help them learn some self sufficiency and that they don't have to eat junk food when outdoors.

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    This is amazing: Ti Stove - Backcountrybiking IT FITS IN YOUR SPOON!!!Backcountrybiking

    But I bet it's not for simmering, and I hate it when they dump all your chow in your lap or set your shit on fire……it's SMALL!

    And from personal experience, this works just like it looks here:

    But for long term I like my fuel bottle/burn anything Primus, it burns diesel, alcohol, leaded, grain alcohol, gasoline, kerosene……….here is the most recent incarnation from their site: OmniLite TI – Primus

    Then when you bump up to three or four weeks on the beach or the river, I have one of these that I converted to a 2 gallon propane tank:
    Primus Profile Stove at nrs.com

    - Garro.
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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I have a cheap canister stove that I bought at a Decathlon in France. The salesman advised me to get the cheapest one of the models they sell because it doesn't thread onto the canister but rather has a bracket that holds on to the lip and then internal threading. Kind of nifty. Canister compatibility is something to consider.

    Think it is this one: Duo Camp Hiking Stove, Compatible with Campingaz and Primus Canisters, Hiking...
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    It's not a micro weight thing, but I like my trangia. It's the matryoshka doll of cook stoves. It's really awesome when bike-packing with a trailer and I usually have a few kids in tow.

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    +1 for Trangia. I got mine from Rivendell.

    Trangia Cooksets
    steve cortez

    FNG

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    +1 for Primus. I've been using the same stove forever.

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I do have to give some ups to the stove from Trångviken. If you value simplicity, quality, and ease of use, Trangia stoves are really pretty wonderful. And you do avoid the jet engine noise of a pressure-fed stove.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    +1 for Primus. I've been using the same stove forever.
    My Primus multifuel was purchased in 1989, used almost daily during 3 years of Peace Corps for cooking and tea, followed by 6 months of trekking in Nepal/SE Asia, several weeks of post-Katrina volunteer rough living and countless camping and backpacking trips. Shoulda died long ago, caught fire a few times from shitty 3rd world watered down kerosene but I see no need to replace it, although I'm the only one who seems to be able to control the flame properly.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    Optimus Climber (Svea) - runs on anything, have had mine since the Carter administration. Great for climbing, taking it on tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway next month (Front Royal to Cherokee). Products - Optimus
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I've been using a Snow Peak GigaPower (Auto) stove for several years. No complaints. Super light and super compact.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I inherited an Optimus Hiker from my father who used it when he was climbing mountains in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska in the late 1960's. It can be a bit exciting to get started, but once it is going, it is really going. I have rebuilt it a couple times - rubber cracks etc. - as a precaution against disasters. I marvel at anything that lasts that long and can still be rebuilt with parts that are still available. Sort of the AK47 of camping stoves in that way I guess.

    But for cycle-touring, that stove is too heavy. My last tour was in England (1985!) and I brought some lightweight stove that burned artisanal distilled moth poo, and so part way through the trip I threw it in a bush and bought a CampingGaz stove at a hardware store along the way. That worked. Something like the MSR Superfly. As long as it will burn whatever comes in those canisters wherever you are going, it will work. Careful placement of rocks around the stove will allow you to use a bigger pot, as long as the stove + fuel has the oomph to heat it.

    But if you are going somewhere in the car and hiking/biking from there or have insane load carrying capacity, nothing beats one of those suitcase stoves like Garro linked on the Optimus site. Love those things. I used one when I was poor as my kitchen. No kidding. Probably explains a few things about my mental abilities now (fumes,) but it cooked whatever I stuck on it. Great for picnics or rafting down the Grand Canyon.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    What's a thread without pictures, and bacon. Trangia vs cook top. Everyone was a winner.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    Just borrow my Trangia and try it out (any weekend but the 29th-1st we'll be on the Channel Islands using it)
    -Eric
    Eric S. Zimmerman
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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    MSR canister style camping stove worked great for me for ~35 days of use while riding across country. Light, packable, quick to heat a personal meal. Haven't used it much since we are doing more car camping as a family now, but I would totally pick the MSR again for bikepacking or backpacking.

    From wedding to wedding, 2008: Equipment List:
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    I've seen those canister stoves in action and they are pretty cool. But, I don't like the idea of a partially used canister that I won't take on a trip because I would want a backup canister. Wisperlite for years and the earlier model before that and a Svea that got stolen before that.
     

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    Default Re: Camping/Backpacking Stoves?

    Quote Originally Posted by classtimesailer View Post
    I've seen those canister stoves in action and they are pretty cool. But, I don't like the idea of a partially used canister that I won't take on a trip because I would want a backup canister. Wisperlite for years and the earlier model before that and a Svea that got stolen before that.
    Weight weenie got scale? You can figure out how much is left and how much you need. I usually bring a half-filled canister on weekend trips to save some weight. (I've got a 3 yo and a 5 yo and they can't carry a lot backpacking yet.)
     

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