stoves

10:46 a.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Ok, so i've been researching stoves for a while now. First I was convinced at Jetboil Sol was the best thing to get, then I sort of didn't think that system offered enough versatility. So then i started looking at the Soto od-1 which is suppossed to extend the the temp range of a canister. then, i starting thinking cheap, like the supercat alcohol stove and I know they can still work in winter if you give it extra fuel and are careful about wind.

I've never considered the stoves that have the long cylinders, what are they, liquid fuel? because they seem expensive, heavy, intimidating and fussy to work with. But, I do kinda want to be able to use my stove maybe into 15-20 degree weather at some point....does that mean i need one like this?

Any thought's people?

11:04 a.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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By long cylinders, are you referring to propane stoves?  These are the cylinders that are typically used by plumbers to solder joints.  If so, propane stoves work well, but there are better options for backpackers.

I bought a JetBoil several years ago and have found it is versatile enough for the type of backpack cooking I do.  I primary use it to boil water for dehydrated food and coffee.  I also have a pot holder attachment so I can use it with something other than the jet boil cup. 

Normally I use MSR canisters rather than the Jet Boil branded canisters, and have successfully used them in 15 degree weather, both with and without a wind shield.  One nice thing about them is you can get a good 10-12 days worth of meal prep out of one of the small canisters. 

They aren't the lightest option, but if you primarily use it for boiling water, it's a great option.  If you are more into gourmet back country cooking or are cooking for a crew, I would go with an MSR canister stove instead. 

My take on it, opinions will vary.

Mike

1:35 p.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Mike,

I am thinking i will be doing things similar to you. I just want to warm up somw H2O and add it to something...nice and quick and lightweight.

I was under the impression that canisters don't work down to 15 degrees. Maybe that was wrong?

Oh, and the pot holder attachment seems like a good compromise. 

The cylinder things I was talking about or those stoves that are not upright. The fuel cans look like stainless water bottles kind of...not sure what the appropriate term is.

2:52 p.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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Got it, your talking about a liquid fuel backpacking stove, and the metal bottle that stores the fuel. Several companies make them, and there are reviews of the more popular ones on this site. This type of stove requires the bottle to be pressurized with a small pump that is part of the assembly that scews into he bottle.  These stoves typically work well in colder temps. You can have issues with canister stoves like the jet boil in colder weather, but I've had good luck.

Mike

6:46 p.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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My first recommendation is to do some digging in past threads here on TS. There are several that delve into the particulars and details of various stove types, brands, and fuels, as well as each of their pros and cons.  Even now I frequently find bits of info I'm looking for in old threads, ha! 

But for a quick overview of stove types: 

Canister Stoves are great for three season use where you aren't likely to see temps below 30F, are light, and very convenient. You can extend the usable temperature range a bit on upright types by keeping the canister warmed in your sleeping bag, or with a hand warmer in your pack. Some models, as your research has already revealed, extend their usable range even further by allowing the canister to be inverted. This sends the fuel into the line and on to the burner while it is still liquid, where it is then heated to vapor before combustion.  With inversion, you can probably push the usable range towards 10F, though it is not advisable to rely on a canister stove during the winter or in locations where you are likely to see temps below 15F. 

Liguid Fuel / White Gas Stoves are the most versatile and reliable stoves in all conditions. There isn't really any temp you'll be able to experience where a quality liquid fuel stove wont work. Properly used, they can burn in the rain and in the heavy wind. Also, liquid fuels have a higher inherent energy content that the others. In terms of weight, this means after a certain length of trip, you are better off carrying a heavier stove with the  more efficient liquid fuel than a lighter stove and more canisters of fuel. Properly understood and maintained, they shouldn't be more difficult to use. 

Alcohol Stoves are fantastic for someone who loves DIY projects. They're also wonderful for day hikes and short trips, and for those who only boil water for meals and who don't do much more involved cooking. Without *very* careful rationing of fuel, they aren't practical for long trips, as the amount needed gets quite heavy. Of course understanding their limitations is important: they are sensitive any breezes, and near impossible to use in high wind; they are also sensitive to cold, and can be very difficult to use below 30F. If it's cold AND windy, you're kinda out of luck.  

All those things said, I use my alchy stoves for most solo or small groups on three season trips, and have used them down to 15F. But that takes some very careful technique and keeping the fuel warm in your sleeping bag and jacket once you're up. 

For remote areas, during winter, or with a large group I only use my liquid fuel stove. 

7:53 p.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I have both liquid and canister stoves. the canister gets the most use, since most of my hiking is three season. when I was snowcamping I swore by my msr dragonfly. they don't make that stove anymore, but the do make the whisperlite and the simmerlite. since all I did with my stoves was boil water or melt snow, I didn't need them to be too versatile. take a look at the snowpeak canister stoves. the gigapower 100 is the one I have had for 12 years, it is a solid little stove. the only drawback with it is cold weather use. if you are going to be doing a lot of coldweather cooking, your better off going with a liquid fuel stove. there are also canister stoves that allow you to invert the canister like the msr windpro2, inverting the canister makes it better for cold weather use, but still you can't beat a liquid fuel stove for cold weather. 

8:38 p.m. on April 13, 2013 (EDT)
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I have and use a variety of stoves. They don't have to be expensive; you can get used stoves in good working condition (and even some brand new in the box stoves) on Ebay for not much money, if you are willing to be a little patient.

Like so much in backpacking, it helps to think in terms of system. The Jetboil is a complete system all by itself. You can take it or leave it, but you can't change it much. They are very popular. They leave me cold. I am a confirmed stovie, with probably around 20 different models in the stable, but I don't have a Jetboil. For someone who wants to boil water, okay. But you can do the same thing with less bulk.

Gonzan gave a good run-down, so I'm not going to repeat all that. Let me add a few notes:

Alcohol stoves: far more options than the DIY type. Lots of folks swear by the Trangia models. They are a system also, coming with matching cookgear. I like them. They are sturdy, work well, the system as a whole is well thought out. Some are bulky but way more versatile than the Jetboil. I find I don't use my Trangia much these days, despite my respect and affection. I now prefer the Brasslite. It's a truly lovely and durable alky stove. You supply the cookgear. The stove will fit inside just about anything you come up with because it's small. I like the GSI products very much. You can boil, simmer, fry. I love the Soloist for -- yeah -- solo cooking. It takes more alcohol, ounce per ounce, to do the same amount of cooking, but there is a significant safety factor over Coleman fuel, which is very volatile.

So let's talk about Coleman fuel stoves. My hands down favorite is the old Svea 123. They are still made. You can get good used ones on Ebay for about half the MSRP. These stoves are a little fussy at first, but once you get used to them, they are unbeatable. Simple, durable, beautiful. Again, you choose the cookgear that makes the most sense to you out of the many varieties available. There is another stove called the Optimus 8R, sadly no longer made but availabe online, which is very much like the Svea 123 but folds up in a neat little box which can serve as a rudimentary windbreak. It works exactly the same as the Svea. I love these puppies too. (Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what stove to take along on a trip because they are all so much fun to use.) If you can find a Coleman 508, and you are interested in this kind of stove, grab it. It has about twice the tank size, so you can go for a whole solo weekend trip without a refill with some care about how much fuel you burn. The greatest thing about the Coleman 508 is that it has the best simmer of any stove I've ever owned, bar none. None.

The "long cylinder" kind you talked about are very popular also. In operation they are not much different from the Svea or the Optimus 8R. The difference is that the fuel supply is also the tank, connected to the stove by a metal hose. There is a safety factor here, because the fuel and the heat are separated. You don't have to refuel the stove tank from a fuel bottle either, because the fuel bottle is the tank. People like different models. The Simmerlite has sold the most, and I have one. But the newer Whisperlite, IMO, is superior. It is quieter, lighter, and easier to operate. The only drawback is that it costs about 1/3 again as much as the Simmerlite. The Simmerlite, BTW, does not simmer particularly well. Oddly enough.

Canister stoves. I won't repeat what gonzan said, he pretty much nailed it. I've tried several. All operated as advertised. The only one I still have is the GigaPower stove by Snow Peak. Lightweight, and a real performer, it gets every bit of use out of a canister of fuel. I like the the piezo starter that came with mine. One click to light it up, no matches. A bit tippy so be careful about having a solid surface. So light! Matched with a lightweight cookset,  you hardly know it's there. I can put a canister and the stove inside the Snow Peak 750 ml titanium pot. If you get the Snow Peak Trek 900, the lid doubles as a fry pan. You are walking in high cotton now!

And then there are a whole host of others, if you get hooked like me. Look up the Optimus 111T just for fun, and go over to www.spiritburner.com and see how the wacky stove nuts operate. Maybe I'll see you there.

8:47 a.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Hey dudes, long time browser first time contributor.  In a search to lighten my load, a new stove was on my list. I found that the Jetboil Sol Ti would fit the bill as well as keep things simple. I had researched the snow peak 700 and a pocket rocket but since the extent of my cooking is boiling water for dehydrated meals and coffee the Jetboil seemed perfect. Hopefully its not gimmicky.  As a side note, check out O2 Gear ship, they have them at a deep discount of $102 and using "SPRING13" coupon code gets you and extra 10% !!  Got mine for a total of $93.98 shipped.  

10:07 a.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Ok, to sum it up so far:

1. alcohol is best for short, summer trips but can be fussy in the wind, but it can be inexpensive.

2. canisters can't be beat for convenience, there is some cost, but you can find deals, and they are best above 15F. lighter weight than everything except alcohol.

3. Svea 123 types: higher learning curve, but durable and good or all temps? How do these compare with the liquid fuels?


4. liquid fuel types-most versitile in all temps, more expensive, heavier, 

Well, I don't see myself camping in temps under 15F. If a canister stove works into that temp range I think i would be best served to go with a canister. I really don't want to have to buy a lot of equipment because I'm just starting out and I've got kids and I might not have a lot of opportunities for true backpacking. I am going to play it safe my first few trips, especially in colder temps, camping not far from my car. I would probably camp no later than November on my first few trips, which in my area would get down to low 20's for the average.

So if i go with a canister, I've heard of two stoves that suppossedly perform even better in col weather than your average canister. The Soto (it's something like OD-1) and the Jetboil Sol That Dcarson mentioned.

Is there really any performance difference between these stoves and a gigapeak or a pocket rocket or is it just a marketing ploy?

Also as Gonzan mentioned, there is the inverted canister set up. Would that be better than the Soto or the Sol for sure? Which stoves have that and is there a safety risk with those?

Also, if i go with a canister and I never go below 15F do I need to take the extra steps that some suggest for using canisters in winter.....for example, keeping the fuel in your sleeping bag at night, keeping it in your coat when hiking, somehow insulating your canister from the ground when cooking, or using a small pan of water?

Thanks guys, I know that i could probably get a lot of this from digging in the forums, but it's much more fun to discuss it with you all.

11:33 a.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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"3. Svea 123 types: higher learning curve, but durable and good or all temps? How do these compare with the liquid fuels?"

I think you might be a bit confused, as the 123 and 8R are liquid fuel stoves. The burners are, as Arnold said, very similar to the newer MSR type stove. The main difference is that the tank is not integral, but separate. The 123 has it's tank on the bottom, the 8R has its tank next to it. Neither has a pump, but they rely upon heat from the stove to keep the tank pressurized. The 123 and 8R are two of the simplest stoves ever made. Although the 123 is ONLY about 60 years old, the burner type goes back more than a century. See my review of the 123 elsewhere on this site.

Some of the MSR stoves are also at the top in terms of quality and reliability. MSR's founder, Larry Penberthy, was a safety guy and I think his idea of a remote tank was what he wanted to create as a safety feature. (A big pot on a 123 or 8R gets the tank too hot).

Every stove has its little quirks. The remote bottle fuel stoves can have fuel leaks at the hoses, the pump threads. As well, the pump handles have experienced failures on the MSRs.

I will add, that another downside to the canister stoves(Gigapower, etc), is that once spent you throw the canister away, after packing it out, empty. I'm not sure if they can be recycled, but I suspect not.

12:33 p.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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Yet another thread where the first thing I think is "well where is this person"...

Would be so so so nice to have location information included next to our avatar/screen name. SOOOOO nice.

I'm sorry, have I said this before????

Rant over.

6:21 p.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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yes, that would be a good question. where are you hiking, seraphicD?

8:57 p.m. on April 14, 2013 (EDT)
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upper Midwest. I won't be doing any truly winter stuff, I wouldn't go December through maybe mar/april.? I am really new to all this stuff guys you'll have to forgive me.

Erich, thanks for the clarification on the 123's.

Erich, I know that Jetboil sells a tool that looks like can opener called a "crunch it' that suppossedly makes the canisters recycleable.

11:04 a.m. on April 15, 2013 (EDT)
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"Erich, I know that Jetboil sells a tool that looks like can opener called a "crunch it' that suppossedly makes the canisters recycleable."

That's good to know. Or you could just use the canisters to make a little twig stove or an alcohol stove!

2:06 p.m. on April 15, 2013 (EDT)
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yes it can get chilly up there...I would recommend the msr windpro 2. it is a remote canister stove that gives you the ability to invert the canister for cold weather. trailspace won't let me insert a link right now, but it's in the gear section. or you can go to the msr website or to rei's website.

2:14 p.m. on April 15, 2013 (EDT)
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here is the windpro on the gear page. note that it's not the windpro two, this one does not let you invert the canister, but in every other aspect it's the same as the windpro 2. 

 

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/msr/windpro/

3:31 a.m. on April 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

..I swore by my msr dragonfly. they don't make that stove anymore...

Actually the DragonFly is a recent model, and still offered by MSR.  I think you are referring to the MSR FireFly, a loud sounding (roarer burner) white gas stove MSR sold in the early 1980s.

Ed 

5:08 a.m. on April 16, 2013 (EDT)
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seraphicD said:

Ok, to sum it up so far:

1. alcohol is best for short, summer trips but can be fussy in the wind, but it can be inexpensive.

2. canisters can't be beat for convenience, there is some cost, but you can find deals, and they are best above 15F. lighter weight than everything except alcohol.

3. Svea 123 types: higher learning curve, but durable and good or all temps? How do these compare with the liquid fuels?


4. liquid fuel types-most versitile in all temps, more expensive, heavier... 

 

I am not sure if I am misinterpreting your summary, or if your assessments are off, but let me restate your summary in similar break-outs:

  1. Alcohol Stoves - Can be very cheap; You can make one at home, or buy one.  Their performance suffers as the temperature dips or wind blows harder and harder.  Best used in warmer temperatures, and not suitable at all below 15° F.  Alcohol stoves are not the best choice for weight conscious hikers on longer trips, since they consume more fuel by weight than other stove types.   Temperature control is limited, but a skilled operator can adjust the heat somewhat.  Good for boiling; not so good for cooking requiruing temperature control.  These stoves have few if any moving parts and are maintenance free.
  2. Canister Stoves:  Easy to use, but perhaps the most expensive option in the longer run, due to the fuel source.  Canister stoves are lighter than liquid fuel stoves on shorter trips, but the bulk fuel storage options for liquid fuel stoves make liquid fuel stoves lighter on extended trips.  Canister stoves work best above freezing, and can be used down to about 10° F if the canister is inverted.  Canister stoves cannot work well at lower temperatures due to the physical properties of their fuels.  The propane/isobutene fuel; mix works better than other canister fuel mises in cooler temperatures.  Models with large burner heads are usually good cooking stoves, while models with compact burners have too small of a heating zone, and are best used only as boiling stoves.  Canister stoves are usually maintenance free.
  3. Liquid fuel Stoves (i.e. liquid petrolium based fuel stoves) – These are the most versatile of the three stove categories.  But they also require the most skill to light, use, and maintain.  These stoves are usually more expensive to purchase than the other two stove categories, but some models are price competitive.  These stoves are cheaper to operate than canister stoves, however, due to fuel prices, and some models can use a variety of liquid fuels.  Liquid fuel stoves can be operated in all temperature ranges, and out perform the other type stoves in colder temperatures.  If you intend to use these stoves on trips longer than ten days between restocking points, there are bulk fuel storage vessels that optimize weight considerations, making this the lightest stove type for extended trips.  Some models of liquid fuel stoves are good boiling stoves, but have limited temperature control or small heating zones, making them poor choices for real cooking; while other models have a broad range of temperature control and wide heat zones, ideal for real cooking.  Certain models of liquid fuel stoves generate the most heat of any of the stove categories.  Most liquid fuel stoves require periodic maintenance to remain reliable performers.

Since you are just starting out, get a canister stove, it will serve you well.  But as time and experience mounts, you may find having different stoves to fit the venues you hike a more effective strategy.  I personally am not fond of the Jet boil product.  We have used it back to back against other canister stove models, all of which out performed the Jetboil in field conditions, while attempting to boil two or more cups of water.  If you want simplicity, light weight and the versatility to use different cooking pots, go with the MSR MicroRocket, successor to the PocketRocket, or get the Snowpeak Gigapower; both are fine little stoves with similar performance in the field.  (The PocketRocket is no longer in production, thus may not be available to buy retail.)  My favorite canister stove is the MSR WindPro.  The canister can be inverted for cold temp use, but I have a great white gas (liquid fuel) stove for that application.  I like the WindPro because it is adjustable ranging from a candle to blazing hot, and it has a large burner head creating a large heating zone, making this stove great for real cooking.

You asked some questions about cold temp use of canister stoves.  Others have mentioned certain temperatures limitations, but I find this advise is only a partial explanation.  You can take a canister stove to 30° F, and it will work fine if used only a few minutes at a time, but if you operate the stove longer the fuel evaporating from the canister will chill the tank sufficiently that frost will form on the outside, and the chilled fuel components will separate and cause poor performance.  Starting with a preheated canister fresh from your pocket or sleeping bag will extend the period of operation somewhat, but the problem just described will happen regardless at some point if you don’t frequently re-warm the canister.

Erich mentions the problem of spent canister fuel tanks.  There are kits to refill these canisters, but the fuel available for this purpose is only straight butane, and does not perform well compared to the fuel blends used in factory filled canisters.  But more significantly refueling these canisters can be very dangerous, given the fuel properties and the fact these canisters were not designed with re-filling in mind.  Hence the coin saved probably isn't worth considering, given the potential danger.

Lastly, I would still take Caleb’s (Gozan) advise and research the forums.  There is more information not covered in this thread that a newbie will benefit knowing.

Ed

10:30 a.m. on April 16, 2013 (EDT)
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I might be the exception to the rule when it comes to alcohol stoves.

I worked hard finding the perfect set up. Allot of trial and error. But I no longer have wind issues. Plus I mastered the simmer ring on my  Trangia. I can do real cooking with it now. Sometimes getting 20-25 minutes of burn time.

 The stand for a alcohol stove must provide plenty of air movement both around the stove and under it. This helps to keep the stove, alcohol from getting to hot. Same is true with the windscreen. It must block the wind but allow plenty of air into the stove. Plus it must fit fairly tight around the pot or pan you are using.

I have used some of the older Trangia wind screens and stands. They just didn't cut it.

Heres a picture of my system:


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11:53 a.m. on April 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Further to brearnold's comments about Trangia stoves, it is important to remember that as a SYSTEM many of the issues that homemade alcohol burners have with wind have been resolved. While the Trangia Mini has the same problems, the Small and Large Trangia systems include a stand which, with the bottom vents turned towards the wind, actually enhances the jet effect created in the burner increasing the efficiency substantially. 

And, yes, getting the knack of using the simmer ring isn't that big a deal. Boil water without it, then drop on the half-closed simmer ring to damp down the flames. Quite simple actually. 

2:56 p.m. on June 29, 2013 (EDT)
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canister blended fuels vary in the ratio of propane/butane/isobutane but the overall pressure for any given temperature cannot exceed the containers pressure rating.the difference is in the composition and the ambient temp at depressurization,at -20f you will not empty any butane or isobutane from the container(breakfast)it will be straight propane,at dinner 15f you will burn isobutane,warmer than that you can burn butane.if you cook breakfast well below zero aim for blended fuels w/high %propane and forego isobutane content w/higher butane content for dinner.there was no mention of straight propane cooking because of the tare weight of high pressure containers which coincidentally facilitates extreme low temperature cooking.ive used straight propane at -20f with no issues (with the exception of added weight).the only drawback being regulator freeze-up because of the higher pressures and reduced ambient temperature,nothing a small amount of aluminum foil cant remedy.

3:09 a.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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As you can see, stoves are among the two most popular topics in backpacking, the other being sleeping bags. I have six different stoves, including a homemade alcohol stove, an MSR XGK (old design, not the one that looks like a moon lander), a canister stove (Primus Micron), an obsolete Coleman stove (canisters no longer sold), an Optimus Nova multifuel stove and a Svea 123.

Easiest to use-canister;

Most reliable - canister, XGK or Svea;

Lightest - alcohol;

I winter camp and usually take both the Optimus and the Primus. Canisters will work in cold weather at altitude. Mine worked in Yosemite at 7500 ft. down to around 15F.

I'm not keen on the Jetboil concept (or the similar MSR Reactor). I like being able to use different size pans for cooking or melting snow, but they sell a lot of them, so they obviously work for lots of folks.

I've read good things about the Soto, but other than seeing one at REI, no personal experience with it.

 

11:58 a.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Having been raised in the middle of the largest intact forest on the planet, I grew up cooking all my meals on a camp fire. Blackened pots were the norm along with wood smoke impregnated wool clothing. But, some thirty years ago I purchased an MSR XGK (see Tom's description above). I had been warned at the time by people who were more experienced than myself (and therefore should have known better) that the stoves were finicky and on rare occassion exploded. However, in thirty years of use I have never found this to be the case.

I have used my XGK day in and day out for months at a time with no complaints at all. It was reasonably light weight, especially compared to the stoves of the day, easily field maintainable and could melt ice like nothing else around. All necessary requirements for any sort of long distance winter travelling.

Recently, I purchased another MSR stove, the Whisperlight, in an attempt to modernize my gear, but I don't really need it; the XGK still works great. Any bit of gear that can last that long and still work like new is well worth the cost and weight.

Nowadays, the market seems to be flooded with stoves with each make and model contesting the other for top place. I am not sure why this is but, I guess that is why there are so many brands of tooth paste.

2:25 p.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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I have four stoves, an msr whisperlight, dragonfly, windpro2, and a snowpeak giga power 100. I've used the msr's for everything from snow camping to desert, and the snowpeak in the sierras. the windpro had become my goto carcamping stove. the whisperlight will serve you well, but if you can still get parts for that old of an xgk, go for it. 

5:36 p.m. on June 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Sum it up this way- for a minimalist alcohol or tab stoves.

For all conditions including cold weather liquid gas stoves.

For convenince in mild conditions, propanne/butane canister stoves.

3:47 p.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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31m1KymsA8L.jpg
For canister stoves, there is one on Amazon.com that I have used (I have 3 of them actually) that cost about $7 and are tax free and free shipping, plus they have an piezo electronic lighter so you don't need to use matches or a bic lighter.  Like I said, I have 3 of these and have been using them for a couple of years.  They are a great alternative to the more expensive Jet Boil type stoves.  I've never had a problem, and at 4 ounces and $7, what ore could you ask?

 

 

10:04 p.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
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The video is a review of my cookset, with my Trangia Alcohol Stove working steadily in the background.

You can pick up the stove for $15. It will last forever, if you don't drive a truck over it.

Windscreen is a DIY set up, cost me $2.

The entire cookset, with stove & lighter weighs 11oz.

I can go 10 days on 10oz of fuel, assuming one hot meal per day and a morning cup of coffee.

I don't have to deal with empty canisters.

I can fly with the stove anywhere and pick up fuel at any hardware store or gas station.

9:37 a.m. on July 2, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned any stoves that utilize the gasification method... This method becomes a weight saver, no fuel to bring along. 

6:45 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
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MBA,

The "gasification" stoves you mention require gathering fuel at the the cook-site. This is not always possible at popular campsites, and is forbidden in many popular areas. Also, many of the gasificaton stoves are fairly heavy, enough so that for short trips, the stove weight outweighs the benefit of using local fuel. An advantage of the current generation of gasification stoves is that some of them incorporate thermoelectric generators, so you can recharge your headlamp or iPhone, or even work your iPad with them.

Like Tom D, above, I have one or more stoves or each general type, and use the one appropriate for the particular trip.

On the expedition to the Andes that I just returned from last night, we were using burros to carry all our gear up as high as snow line. So we were able to carry along the large propane containers - worked fine down to sub-zero (°F) temps. Obviously, though, this is not practical for backpackers.

7:42 p.m. on July 15, 2013 (EDT)
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try the emberlit stove, at emberlit.com. it is a collapsible lightweight wood and twig burning stove. I would never use one myself, but I saw it on another post and thought of this thread.

5:22 p.m. on July 21, 2013 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:

Alcohol Stoves....  Alcohol stoves are not the best choice for weight conscious hikers on longer trips, since they consume more fuel by weight than other stove types.

Testing at Thru-Hiker (http://thru-hiker.com/articles/pocket_rocket_test.php) showed a mini-canister used with a MSR Pocket Rocket provides 12 boils in the field (read below the chart that was done indoors). The starting weight for a 4oz. canister is 8oz. When empty, you are still carrying a 4oz empty canister. 

In the field, my Trangia alcohol stove brings two cups of water to a boil with .8oz of fuel. With an ounce of denatured alcohol weighing 24.2 grams, I can get twelve boils from 8.2 ounces of fuel + .2 ounces for the empty water bottle I use to carry it. Total = 8.4oz

My Trangia & my PocketRocket both weight 4oz. (Since I don't carry the simmer ring anymore, my Trangia is actually 3.2oz)

So essentially the starting weight is identical.

However, I'm not dealing with the dead weight of the fuel canister. By my 5th boil, I'm carrying less weight than I'll ever attain with the PocketRocket.

If I were out in the backcountry for 30 days, with no resupplies. I could start out with either 20.89oz in denatured alcohol (including bottles) or 24oz in canisters. I would end this trip with .4oz in plastic water bottles or 14oz in empty canisters and unused fuel.

11:34 a.m. on July 22, 2013 (EDT)
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is this whats called a bru - ha - ha?

7:42 a.m. on July 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

is this whats called a bru - ha - ha?

 Battle Boi-al

August 21, 2014
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