Which cooking stove do you use?

3:57 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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S--- Skillet asked about the Caldera Ti-Tri cooking system in another thread, and I was curious which cooking systems folks are using for multi day hikes? Anyone using MSR or JetBoil?

Thanks,
- Ryan

9:13 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I am using a Snow Peak Giga-Power stove with the auto lighter. Luckily I got the titanium version before it got discontinued. For my pot set I use the GSI dualist cooking system. the stove and a small fuel bottle fit great. When I am using it with another person I use the Dualist set as sold but when I am on a solo trip I have modified the insides of the pot by taking out a bowl and both cups. With that configuration it has enough room for a larger bottle as well as some camp-suds, a scrubby and a spoon. so far this is my favorite kitchen set-up

9:26 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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i like the homemade alcohol stoves to heat up a cup of brew.
i use the Svea 123 for cooking. a little bulky but bullet proof.
the inimitable Optimus 8R is killer.
buzz

9:58 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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MSR pocket rocket, and a MSR Dragonfly(cold temps.)

10:49 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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MSR PocketRocket: Simple, light, small. I love it. My primary hiking buddy has a Jetboil which has been great also, he doesn't have any spare parts for it though, so I just pack the MSR too.

As for the Jetboil, it seems to be more efficient. Lots of things to rave about, but I am sure theyve been posted a gazillion times. Its not exactly minimalist though. Even used the Jetboil in subzero temps. If you keep the canisters warm it works great.

10:53 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I use a MSR Pocket Rocket also and a MSR titanium kettle pot. Sometimes I carry freeze dried meals for dinner, most of the time I prepare meals from food I've dehydrated myself. Boiling water is my primary use for a stove and the Pocket Rocket does a great job of that at minimal weight.

11:51 p.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I use the MSR Pocket Rocket and dont boil past the point I put food in the water. I remove it and let it sit, insulated. My 4 oz canisters can last about a week or more, cooking one meal a day. I cook primarily pasta, homemade precooked and dried rice. I use a MSR one quart pot.

On cold days I wrap my hands around the canister to warm the fuel for lighting ease, then maybe wrap a tshirt around it to keep the pressure up.

I have used the Pocket Rocket 8 years now. Before that I used a old fashioned Gaz stove for 28 years. I used the Svea 123, the 5 years before that.

9:24 a.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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i like the homemade alcohol stoves to heat up a cup of brew.
i use the Svea 123 for cooking. a little bulky but bullet proof.
the inimitable Optimus 8R is killer.
buzz

A man after my own heart. Do you post on the Classic Camp Stoves website? www.spiritburner.com

I have several stoves and rotate between them based on need of the moment, or whim of the moment.

The GigaPower stove fits so well in a 750ml pot, with small canister, that it is great for day hikes or ultralight overnights.

The Svea 123, with pot supports removed and tucked inside, fits perfectly inside a GSI Soloist. This makes for a nice combination for a short trip because I don't have to pack a spare fuel bottle -- carefully used, I can get 3 or 4 meals on a tank of gas.

The Optimus 8R is good for situations where I need more stability. Both the GigaPower and the Svea are top-heavy. I've never had a major spill because of taking due caution, but it could happen. Not so likely with the 8R.

For groups, nothing beats an Optimus 111T. It's a honker; let someone else carry some of your gear in exchange. For canoe or car camping, it makes a great choice.

If I am going to take a spare bottle of fuel for a longer time out, then I go with the Simmerlite. No fussing around with refills that way. I have bottles of various size -- 11 oz, 22 oz, and 33 oz -- depending on how long I will be out there.

And yes, sometimes an alcohol stove is just the thing -- lightweight, no moving parts.

For major food production in a car camping situation, nothing beats a Coleman "suitcase" stove like the 425. No stove on earth, in my experience, simmers better than the second burner on a 425.

I have, but rarely use, the 3 burner 426B. It is just so huge. But fun to get out every so often. I thought I'd like it better than I do. As a bush league stove collector, I'm glad to have one. It's just so gigantic.

I keep a Coleman 508-B outside on my deck for a quick cup of tea or bowl of ramen when I'm hanging out there during the summer. I even used it for a backpacking trip in the Rockies one summer. It is heavy; the advantage is that the big gas tank is good for a whole weekend of cooking. It also has a great simmer, second only to the 425.

Oh, I could go on. But that's what Classic Camp Stoves is for.

10:09 a.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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I use the Optimus Nova when winter comes or when I'm cooking for more than 2 people. Sometimes I bring my old Coleman Featherweight 442 for car camping trips. When I go solo or as a back-up, I use my favorite one of all, the Pocket Rocket! I nest it with a small cannister inside of a MSR Titanium pot, and spork. I also have the Brunton adapter so I can use it with a windscreen. Great little stove!

12:00 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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My kitchen set up is comprised of:

Optimus Nova+ (w/windscreen)

MSR Blacklite cookset

-Inside the cookset I fit all of the following:-

salt/pepper/spices

small bottle of olive oil

two pot grippers

mutiple utinsils (sporkknives, folding spatula, etc)

matches, lighter, etc

green soft scrub pad

biosoap

packtowels/shamwows (use these to nestle/protect pans also)

I also use stainless water bottles, which are great as cooking gear, especially if you cook over wood fire.

1:23 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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My kitchen gear is as follows:


- Snowpeak Lite Max

OR

Snowpeak Giga Power GS-100A

- Snowpeak 3 PC Titanium Cook Set STW-001T

- Snowpeak 450ML Titanium Single Wall Mug

- Optimus Folding Spork

- MSR Packtowl Personal (SM)

- Small scrubber sponge

- Sea To Summit Wash Basin

- Biodegradable soap

- Assorted spices and seasonings

6:57 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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My primary stove is:

- MSR Whisperlite (white gas).

I have two alcohol stoves:

- A large, very hot stove made with two Fosters Beer can bottoms that holds 4 oz.s of fuel with a burn time well over 30 minutes. This one is a self pressurized top burner that uses a wire pot stand.

- A smaller, medium heat stove made from a stadium bottle which is a side burner and requires no pot stand, holds up to 2 oz.s fuel with a burn time of 19-20 minutes.

I have two wood burners:

- A simple hobo type with draft control and a wire pot stand.

- A much more efficient double wall downdraft type with draft control and integrated pot stand.

I have others, but these are the ones I currently use.

7:43 p.m. on March 22, 2010 (EDT)
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optimus nova. replaced an MSR xgk some years ago. both stoves are great. the optimus does lower flame better. both sound like a jet engine.

12:59 a.m. on March 23, 2010 (EDT)
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My cooking gear:

Snow Peak- LiteMax Stove

REI- Ti Ware Nonstick Titanium Pot

Light My Fire- Spork

Guyot Designs- Squishy Bowl and Cup or Snow Peak- Titanium Double-Wall Cup

GSI- Compact Scraper

2:44 a.m. on March 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I use a Primus ETA power EF stove...highest efficiency of any heat exchanger stove. Works quickly, sounds like a blowtorch! It's big (8" dia. x 6" H), so when hiking/camping w/ others I carry the cooking system...they carry something else in return. Not all that heavy considering all that it comes with. Plenty of items fit inside...Fuel, utensils, spices, smaller food items. Not a solo set by any stretch, I'd say at least 2 people. Will work in the single digits very well if you keep the cannister insulated. So pleased with Primus heat exchanger design that I'm getting an ETA express for my solo setup. Cooking gear list:

Aforementioned Primus ETA power EF w/ windscreen, 2.3 L pot, frying pan (lid), grip-handle, hot pad, and carrying case

Guyot Designs "The Utensils"

Orikaso Dinner set (plate, bowl, mug)

Old Bay (when fish are on the menu) or other spice mixes in a jeweler's mini-ziploc

Neoprene wraps for Primus 250 gm fuel cannister and fuel line for winter trips

Camping pack towel

matches just in case the pezio doesn't work (never had a failure)

Biosoap

"food, glorious food!" especially ziploc bags of homemade oatmeal (special mixes)

10:53 p.m. on March 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Although I occasionally break out an older stove - I have an Optimus 199 and Svea 123R - I don't use them very often.

For winter trips I use an Optimus Nova.

For summer trips I use either an MSR Windpro coupled with a Jetboil GCS pot or a Snow Peak Giga coupled with a Brunton IB pot.

With the Windpro/GCS pot combination, I get the stability of a freestanding stove with the outstanding fuel efficiency and fast boil times associated with Jetboil.

12:29 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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I have the primus omnifuel, I like it a lot. Very very solid, very fast and it simmers well.

The only annoying this is that when you wrap the fuel hose around the folded up the stove it puts some stress on the part where it joins the stove. Wish it was a little more flexible or re-inforced there.

Flipping the bottle over to turn it off is not a problem once you get used to the 30 or so second lag between flipping the bottle and having the flame splutter out.

5:17 p.m. on March 24, 2010 (EDT)
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Iam going to sound like a fan boy here but oh well here goes.I use 3 stoves.Msr Pocket Rocket,Msr Whisperlite and the Msr GK.Have had many others over the years but these are my favorite ones.

4:16 p.m. on April 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I use a Primus EtaPack Lite. Canister stove with large base and line to the canister. Very stable. Piezo lighter. Heat exchanger 1.3 liter pot with liner/bowl, lid, windscreen and plate/saucer thing that goes on the bottom of the pot when packed up to protect the heat exchanger. Stove and windscreen pack inside the liner/bowl which packs inside inside the pot, room for a small fuel canister also. Just over 1 lb. A little more weight than some stoves due to the fuel line, heat exch., windscreen but as a result fuel usage is lower. I'll vouch for the fuel usage numbers on the REI web page for the product. All in all pretty slick. I was whining on the gear repair page about having a problem getting a replacement liner but that is solved now.

Fuel: I like the GigaPower 220 gram canisters, $4.50 at REI. Wal-Mart has Coleman canisters for $4.88. But: the Coleman canisters don't come with a cap to protect the valve, so I save the ones from the GigaPower in case I need to use them on a Coleman canister. My nightmare is some crud getting into the valve on a canister and getting pushed into the line when screwed onto the canister. So I think the caps are very important.

11:21 p.m. on April 9, 2010 (EDT)
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JetBoil Helios. It's a bit heavy, but way more than makes up for it in efficiency. On a one month trip last summer where it was used at least twice per day for ~25 of the 30 or so days it didn't even use a full 450gm Butane/Isobutane/Propane mix tank. Quite a bit less actually; I had maybe 1/4 of the tank left at the end of the trip. Very efficient. Not the first choice if you're an ultralighter, but a great choice for a weekend or any group outing. It even runs dang near as efficiently in the winter as it soes during the summer. It comes with a fuel tank stand that allows you to run the tank upside down, pumping the fuel in liquid format into the preheating coil and giving you as much flame as you would get in the heat of the hottest summer day. Having a cozy that doesn't need to be removed from the pot while you're cooking helps too. The stove fits into the pot along with the wind shield. If you're just doing a weekend, the JetBoil 110gm fuel tanks also fit into the pot. The bottom cover / heat fin protector doubles as a plate, as does the lid. I like it! It'll boil two cups of water in less than 90 seconds. Cold water. If you want to fry something, it needs a bit of patience. To get the temp low enough to fry you neeed to turn the fuel to almost, nearly, just-about completely off. So low that you can neither hear or see the flame. It's still there, and more than hot enough to pan-fry a fish in some oil, you just can't see it. It's a wickedly efficient stove system. My two cents anyways. I also often bring along a Grilliput too.

Grilliput Packed.

Grilliput Assembled

JetBoil Helios Packed

Helios Set Up

I love 'em both, and both have their uses.

Peace!

2:58 p.m. on April 16, 2010 (EDT)
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Depending on anticipated weather, location, time of year and trekking type etc. I use either my bulletproof MSR Windpro or the compact and lightweight Snow Peak Litemax. Add in some fuel, my MSR Titan Kettle and Brunton MY-Ti Spork and my backpacking cookware is complete (and rather lightweight too).

3:25 p.m. on April 22, 2010 (EDT)
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My girlfriend just bought me a MSR simmerlite. Anyone have any info on this stove??? i keep looking at reviews and they are conflicting. any info would be appreciated

10:11 a.m. on April 26, 2010 (EDT)
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I have had the Simmerlite for a couple of years. Since I have a number of stoves, I don't use it all the time. But I am very happy with it. It is a lightweight stove -- the lightest white gas stove on the market? -- that can fit comfortably in a number of cookpots that I own. I prefer the way it folds/unfolds to the Whisperlite -- a much more positive set-up, no danger of the legs bending as can happen with the Whisperlite. Priming is a little different and it took me a while to get used to that, but it is not harder or less effective so that's OK. I much prefer the burner on the Simmerlite; quieter, for one thing, and spreads the flame better, which is great. You can get it to simmer, too, if you don't pump too much pressure into the fuel tank. There are stoves that simmer better, but none as light or packable, in my experience. Short form: why is MSR still making the Whisperlite when the Simmerlite is better in every respect? IMO.

1:04 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I have two different stoves I use:

The MSR Whisperlite and a homemade Miller-Lite beer can alcohol burner (for short and light trips).

I currently use and love the GSI Dualist cook system, which is very versatile and handy for me.

For those of you who use the MSR pocket-rocket stoves, I have a question. Once you puncture the seal on the canister, do you have to use the entire inventory or can you just disconnect the stove unit from the fuel and use it again or do you just leave the stove unit attached with the valve shut? I have never really put much care or thought into the canister stoves, but my interest is peaking...there has got to be a good reason that so many people use them [particularly the pocket-rocket]. Thanks!

D

6:04 a.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
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D&G:
The canisters used on stoves such as the MSR pocket rocket have a valve the stove engages, thus they can reseal when the stove is uncoupled. That said, I have seen the canister's valve malfunction on occasion, sometimes draining the remainng contents of the canister. This has happened often enough to make me to wonder if the canisters were designed to be uncoupled before empty. In any event, I preclude this by keeping the stove coupled until the canister is empty.
Ed

2:01 p.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I have never had a "failure" in disconnecting my MSR Pocket Rocket. Was scared the first time, but it is easy, if you just "slow down and think it through" as you complete the process.

4:13 p.m. on April 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I recently purchased a Pocket Rocket. Have used it about 30 times and disconnect the stove from the bottle after each use.

randy

8:54 a.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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Been using a Pocket Rocket year around for years without issue.

10:19 a.m. on April 29, 2010 (EDT)
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I recently purchased a Pocket Rocket. Have used it about 30 times and disconnect the stove from the bottle after each use.

randy

I disconnect mine after every use also without problem. When I first started useing it I would leave it connected while camped and lost fuel overnight a couple of times. This was not caused by the stove but from the fact that I worry about overtightening the valve and just snug it up good.

11:15 p.m. on May 1, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for all of the input! I love my Whisperlite, but I recently purchased the GSI dualist cookset and sort of wanted a stove/canister that would fit inside of it. It is most definitely not a need, I am just a gear junkie and am always looking for other cool/neat/lighter/newer stuff. My biggest concern is being able to recycle the canister afterwards, after all, the reason I went with white gas is because it leaves no waste....and I have heard nothing but praise for the Whisperlite from friends and on here!

D

1:05 a.m. on May 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I have an MSR dragonfly, rarely use except in wet weather when its too much work to start a fire.

1:10 p.m. on May 16, 2010 (EDT)
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In regards to the canister-stoves (ie the Pocket Rocket) I have heard that the heat output can be an issue in cold weather. I know that output from [any] stove becomes an issue in windy conditions, but I have never had an issue with the Whisperlite in very cold conditions. Is there a remedy for the cold-issues with the canister stoves? Do they make a regulator that can be used to control fuel output? I have heard/read that Soto makes a stove with a regulator built in and supposedly works well. Any input anyone? Just doing my homework before my next gear purchase!

D

2:09 p.m. on May 16, 2010 (EDT)
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D&G,

A lot of "my preference/favorite stove is" and little info.

Your question re cold weather with compressed gas stoves - backpacking compressed gas stoves use a mix of butane, isobutane, and propane, mostly butane and/or isobutane. The vaporization points of each are:

butane 32F/0C

isobutane 10F/-12C

propane -40F/-40C

As you can see from this, when you get below freezing, the butane no longer vaporizes. The pressure drops starting about 40 or 45F. The isobutane continues vaporizing down to 10F, and the propane down to -40F/C (the temperature scales meet there). There is some effect of the propane keeping some butane with it below 32F, but basically, the propane will "distill" off until that 10-20% in the original mix is gone, then no more vapor to burn.

This applies to all "screw on top" compressed gas stoves, like the Pocket Rocket and, yes, including stoves like the Primus Eta which use some clever engineering to partially get around the problem. More on inverted gas canisters in a moment. There are several remedies that have been tried, most of which the manufacturers will say NO!!! to. One, partly blessed by Primus, is to use a "cold weather kit". Basically this is a Primus-branded heating packet, which is essentially just one of the handwarmers. I have used the handwarmers and glove warmers this way with success for years (put the warmer packet in the hollow place on the bottom of the canister). Another is to place the stove in a shallow pan of water - as long as the water is above 32F, this works pretty well, but watch out! If you have warmed the water to 50F, you can get a really strong flame. The "group" version of the original Jetboil pot had a shallow plastic cover over the heat exchanger "fins" which had the secondary function of holding water to set the canister in.

The other methods involve directing some of the heat from the burner to the canister. These can be really dangerous - copper wire or braid wrapped around the canister with the tip or a short section in the flame and several variations. I have seen people hold a candle under the canister - really BAD idea! The old "trick" of keeping the canister in your sleeping bag only works for a short while, though long enough to get some liquid water to set the stove in.

Be very very very careful about wind shields around "screw on top" compressed gas stoves - it is very easy to transfer too much heat to the canister, potentially with resulting shrapnel - I have seen this happen, luckily at a distance.

Be very caution about trying these methods with the old puncture-style canister stoves (the Camping Gaz Bleuet 100 and 200 series - the 270 and 470 series are made with a valve that reseals that is similar to the industry-standard threaded valve on most backpacking compressed gas stoves these days).

With the remote compressed gas stoves (the Primus MFS in is compressed gas configuration and similar compressed-gas-only version, the JetBoil Helios, and similar), most were upright canister configurations for many years. These are treated the same way for the canister as the "screw-on-top" versions - put the canister in a pan of water or use a handwarmer.

About 10 years ago, some of us were playing with inverting the canisters of the remote canister stoves. With the Primus MFS, this worked very well, though the coupling is not designed for this. With other stoves, it did not work quite as well, but worked ok. We would talk to the stove people at the OR Show and by phone, email, letter and suggest this would be a good idea and would overcome most of the cold weather problem. The clue to why the MFS worked well came when someone (Jim S maybe?) noticed that the MFS has a generator tube that runs through the flame. Primus made an inverted canister mount, based on one of the jury-rigged ones floating around. Then Coleman produced a true inverted canister stove with the generator tube running through the flame, similar to what almost all liquid fuel stoves have. Several years later, JetBoil introduced the Helios (claiming they had discovered and invented the idea, despite a plethora of inverted canister stoves by not only Primus and Coleman, but also Brunton, Optimus, and several others, on the market by then.

All that is to say that the inverted canister stoves work quite well in cold weather. The reason is that the propane in the mix evaporates down to -40F. With the inverted canister, the pressure of the propane vapor pushes the liquid butane mix through the line, just like the pressurized liquid fuel stoves, through the generator tube where it is vaporized, and through the jet or diffuser screen, and voila! a cold weather stove.

Obviously, you can not just turn the canister over, especially with a screw-on-top stove like the Pocket Rocket. But even the remote canister stoves that do not have the generator tube that passes through the flame have problems - they tend to flare.

Overall, though, liquid fuels ("white gas", kerosene, and similar mixes) work best in cold weather.

Alcohol has its niche. However, the heat content of alcohol is less per ounce than the pure hydrocarbon fuels. The reason is simple - alcohol carries part of its own oxygen, while the hydrocarbon fuels use oxygen from the air. The result is that alcohol puts out about half the heat per ounce of fuel. Another problem is that most alcohol stoves are open burner (including the home-made Pepsi and Fosters versions). In general, you should not use alcohol in liquid fuel backpacking stoves - the jet is the wrong size, for one thing). However, there were a few alcohol stoves made that are pretty efficient - they make the coke-can ones look sick by comparison.

And yes, I do have about 14 or more stoves of different types in my garage, most of which had their day, but are now just sitting in a box. And this includes most of the ones mentioned in the previous posts in this thread.

However, to each his/her own - if it works for you, fine - even though 2 "favorites" mentioned here rank among the absolute worst stoves I have ever used.

1:17 p.m. on July 7, 2010 (EDT)
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Here's the only stove I own. Can't do much with the stove weight but the lightweight cook gear & fuel bottles are what I've used with it for the past 15 years or so in an attempt to "modernize" the setup. Wouldn't trade it for a remote bottle white gas stove. Ever.

I use it year round on overnights as well as multi week trips.

I've been looking at GigaPower stoves these last couple days but I'm so used to Ol' Faithful that I don't know whether I'd like canister stoves or not.

9:18 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I use a jetboil and love it! although I use it mostly for just boiling water and hydrating the dehydrated meals I make, for this it works great, however when I have to cook a meal in it I have to be careful to not mess it up/burn it. However for my uses it works great. (only used on a few occations snowshoeing and it worked fine but the lowest temps it has seen was probably low 20's, wasnt as effective but got the job done for the few times I need it in the snow.)

11:11 a.m. on July 8, 2010 (EDT)
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I use a Snow Peak Giga-Power Titanium Auto Light with the Snow Peak Windscreen a Snow Peak 3 Piece Titanium Cook-Set a Jet-Boil Utensil set and a Evernew Titanium cup for the spring summer & fall. For the winter I use a Mini Trangia Alcohol stove kit and a Trangia 2.5L pot with a Burton Titanium utensil set and a Snow Peak Double Wall 300 mug.

7:53 p.m. on July 9, 2010 (EDT)
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Bill,

Thanks for the extensive info in regards to my question rather than just the

""my preference/favorite stove is" and little info". I am pretty scientifically minded (I am a nuclear engineer afterall) so the explanation made perfect sense. Looks like I will look into some of the "inverted" models you mentioned. Though I don't think that I will really need any stove that can handle such low temps (I don't plan on being out in that kind of temp), I do have my Whisperlite that I can use for the colder trips. Thanks!

6:42 p.m. on July 11, 2010 (EDT)
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My girlfriend just bought me a MSR simmerlite. Anyone have any info on this stove??? i keep looking at reviews and they are conflicting. any info would be appreciated

I use the simmerlite and it has been OK for me. It folds up fairly compactly, is fairly light (though not quite so light when you add the metal wind shield and under-stove piece)...

I haven't had a whole lot of luck with simmering. Others have said you can get it to simmer by pumping the fuel tank less. But wouldn't that just mean you have to wait longer for the water to boil? I usually find myself having to lift the pot off the burner to keep it from boiling/over.

If you want a lightweight liquid fuel stove for boiling water, and don't mind holding the pot during simmering, it works fine :)

I've stuck with liquid fuel stoves because I don't want to have to worry about whether the overnight temp will dip below 45 degrees, and leave me without my oh-so-important morning tea and oatmeal :). But after reading The OGBO's description of inverted canister stoves, I'm tempted to explore those and save some packing weight.

But I'm still concerned about the issue of disposing of the canisters, though, and having to carry a spare canister so I won't run out mid-trip... or be left with partially-used canisters.

8:48 p.m. on July 11, 2010 (EDT)
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Guess I better chime in too! Currently I'm using a MRS WindPro stove. It's a detached canister stove. The reason I went with this stove is its ability to turn the canister upside down in cold weather. Fully packed, not counting the canister, it weighs 10 ounces. If I leave out the aluminum wind shields it's just 7.9 ounces. Oh, it simmers great, too.

I still have and use (occasionally) my Seva 123. What an awesome stove! there nothing like the roar of a Seva in the morning! :-)

8:50 p.m. on July 11, 2010 (EDT)
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Doh! Make that the MSR WindPro! *embarrassed*

3:28 p.m. on August 12, 2010 (EDT)
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I think I`ve owned them all over my 45 years as a backpacker. My first was a folding sterno stove. It was pitiful and stuff never boiled but it was all I was aware of at the time. Next came the backpacking boom and a plethera of stoves and I just had to have them. I purchased an Optimus Mousetrap, it was junk. Next was a Camping Gas Bluet, I loved it till the needle broke. I then went white gas crazy and purchased a Coleman Featherlight. This was probably the best designed white gas stove I`ve ever used but heavy. I had a Svea 123-r, I used it for years and swore that no one could possibly make me switch and then along came the ever improving line of M.S.R`s. The finest stove for cold weather, I think I owned the original but cant remember it`s name. Then I got into lightening my load about 25 yrs. ago I started the endless purchasing of lighter and weight saving items. I bought a ZZ Zip stove as the idea of not carrying fuel appealed to me. Then I got back into propane as they got lighter and incredibly efficient. Now I use an aluminum soda can alcohol stove and have for 8 years loved it in it`s lightness and simplicity and until something better i.e. lighter comes along I`m sticking with it. Gosh I love gadgets and gismos.

1:51 p.m. on August 30, 2010 (EDT)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

I use an Optimus 8R. I may switch to a lighter alcohol stove if I climb a mountain again. The Optimus 8R is pretty bulletproof but it's a heavy piece of kit.

7:25 a.m. on September 1, 2010 (EDT)
36 reviewer rep
148 forum posts

Optimus 8r, is that the one with the built in pot holder and lid? Folds up into itself? I always wanted one.

5:53 p.m. on September 1, 2010 (EDT)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

Yeah that is the one. I found it on craigslist for $40.00. It has everything including the box and pressure pump. I don't think the guy that had it knew what is was worth. It has never failed to get going and works fast even at altitude.

10:51 a.m. on September 9, 2010 (EDT)
50 reviewer rep
11 forum posts

I use the SnowPeak Giga titanium auto light also, and have for 3+ years now. Hasn't failed me yet. I thought about going to an alcohol stove, but decided that it wasn't quite as safe a setup as my Snow Peak stove. U cannot see the alcohol flame, so if it gets away from you, you could start a heck of a fire. No thanks, I will stick to my Snow Peak. I mainly like the simmering features- the adjustable settings make it nice if you don't want a full on flame for whatever you are cooking or heating up.

I also own a MSR Whisperlite International, for the convenience of being able to use nearly any fuel out there. I've only had that one out a couple of times, due to its weight. But, it makes a great cold weather stove, and it's nice if you are a couple, hiking. But as with any of that kind of stove, it takes some practice to learn to set up and use efficiently.

SoulSista

6:08 p.m. on September 17, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
28 forum posts

Since March of 1977, I have owned an MSR "Model G" stove (one of my better purchases). I only had problems once and that was because I had a dirty 'jet'! I kept the jet clean and no more trouble until, 2005 when problems with the fuel pump. Now, I did add a drop of oil twice per year faithfully every year, to keep the leather gasket lubricated. I replaced the fuel pump in 2007 and it still runs well.

September 16, 2014
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