Durable Convenient Stove

3:32 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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As with other equipment, I’m willing to pay what it costs for something that will last so I don’t have to deal with broken equipment and lost investments.  I have nearly zero experience with camp stoves, and I know the internet is chock-full of stove fanatics.

What are some compact 1-burner stove models (new or classic) that are tried-and-true for durability and for convenience like easy to dis/assemble, stable, and usable in a variety of situations?

3:39 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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What type of altitudes/climates are you referring to when you say "variety?" My go to stove is a MSR Pocket Rocket.


Its a simple design, compact, adjustable, and not much to break unless you are doing something with it you weren't supposed to be doing.

Here is a link from MSR(Cascade Designs)


Here is what Trailspace users have to say about it.


Also there is a canister attachment that adds to the stability of the stove if that is an issue, here is a link for that.


Over-all it has been a great stove for me for what it is. Don't really think ya could go wrong with it. Just my 2 cents. I have used this stove below freezing temps.

4:28 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Almost any canister stove will work well above freezing. A few will work below freezing, depending on the design (Coleman Xtreme, for one). Canister stoves are easy to use and small. Any outdoor store like REI will have a bunch of different models.

I have a Primus canister stove and a few others.  A multifuel liquid gas stove will burn almost anything. Some stoves are a system, like the JetBoil, but I'm not that keen on it because of limitations as to what pot you can use with it.

If weight isn't an issue, get something like a SVEA 123 that burns white gas - a simple design that has been around for decades.

4:49 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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For 3 season camping (four for the Helios) that's small and convenient the Jetboil line of stoves is pretty good. They run off small canisters of iso-butane/propane mix gas.

Look at these threads http://www.trailspace.com/forums/camp-kitchen/topics/82332.html  and  http://www.trailspace.com/forums/camp-kitchen/topics/91547.html.

5:59 p.m. on June 24, 2011 (EDT)
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Probably the most popular style of stove for backpacking these days is the upright canister gas stove type like the one Rick suggested, the MSR Pocket Rocket.  They're light compact, and generally inexpensive.  They do have a few drawbacks:  they're "tippy" (high center of gravity, easy to knock your dinner off), vulnerable to wind, and poor performers in colder weather.  The Pocket Rocket, Optimus Crux/Crux Lite, and Snowpeak Gigapower GS-100 are all examples of this type.  You can also get the Jetboil which is a really fancy version of an upright canister stove.  The new Jetboil Sol is a really nice stove system.  Pricey, but really light and strong.

A step up, to my mind, is a remote canister gas stove where the burner and the gas canister are separate but connected by a fuel hose.  These are a little more expensive, a little less compact, and a little heavier, but they're far more stable, work far better in wind, and most models can run in a lot colder weather, some below 0F.  The Primus Express Spider, MSR Windpro, and Snowpeak Crab LI are all examples of this type.

Not as popular any more are liquid fueled stoves.  These are able to operate year round even in the coldest of weather.  Their price is more like a remote canister stove or maybe even a bit more, but in the long run they can save money because their fuel is so cheap.  A four ounce canister of gas costs about $5.00 (+tax).  The equivalent fuel for a liquid fueled stove?  About $0.30.  Liquid fueled stoves are a more environmentally sound type of stove:  one refills the fuel tank rather than throwing it away.   Some popular liquid fueled stoves include the MSR Whisperlite and the MSR Simmerlite.

There are also "alternative" (non petroleum based) fueled stoves:

Alcohol stoves which can be super cheap, particularly if you make them yourself, are typically very light, and are extremely quiet.  They have the drawback of requiring more fuel (in terms of weight), and they are slow and vulnerable to wind.  Trangia is a popular brand, but a great number of people make their own out of soft drink cans, cat food cans, etc.

Some people use wood stoves for backpacking.  They're generally impractical in my area, so I won't comment on them.

Solid fueled stoves, typically hexamine which is sold commonly under the ESBIT brand name, are very popular with the ultra light crowd.   These stoves burn little white cubes or tablets of fuel.  These stoves have the most expensive fuel but are the very lightest weight option out there.


8:40 p.m. on June 25, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks much for all the info, hikin_jim.  Looks like you could get paid for your writing (if you wanted to!).

What I mean by variety, well I don't know.  I'm a complete newbie for stoves -- I've always stayed simple and eating raw in the past.  But I'm working right now on buying some lifetime gear, so that's why I say "durable and versatile".

3:34 p.m. on June 27, 2011 (EDT)
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426 forum posts

Well, let me ask you a question:  what kind of cooking do you do?

Most of the time I'm just boiling water for freeze dried or "instant" foods.  A Jetboil is going to work really well for something like that, provided that I don't let the fuel get colder than about 20F.

If you're someone who wants to do "real" cooking where you need an easily and precisely adjusted flame, a Jetboil wouldn't be as good of a choice.  I don't own one of the new version  Jetboils, but they're reputed to not simmer well.

If you wanted a good durable and versatile stove that simmers well, I might go with something like an MSR WindPro.  A WindPro will also handle wind better than a Jetboil and will also operate in temperatures down to about 0F (with a few tricks like running the stove with the canister upside down).


12:39 p.m. on June 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I use a single liquid fuel stove

Disadvantage is single fuel but I am OK with that.

Liquid (white gas camping fuel) fuel is reality easy to find.

MSR Simmerlite,  needs maintenance but only a little and has served me very well as I like its' compactness and light weight.  Stable enough and with a minor amount of practice it is easy to use.

4:04 p.m. on June 28, 2011 (EDT)
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I like the Simmerlite in that it's light and compact.  I haven't run my own tests, but it's reputation is that it uses more fuel than other stoves (the XGK for example). 

I sort of have a complaint about the Simmerlite though:  it doesn't really simmer.   I can turn it down some, but in terms of real simmering you're better off with a gas stove or a liquid fueled stove with a valve at the burner (e.g:  MSR Dragonfly, Optimus Nova, Coleman Apex, etc.).

If it's a light weight liquid fueled stove that you want though, the Simmerlite is about the best of its class that I know of.


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