MSR Wisperlite shaker jet stove

12:19 p.m. on August 5, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Has anybody used a MSR whisperlite stove? I am thinking about purchasing one.

2:26 p.m. on August 5, 2002 (EDT)
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Probably the most popular backpacking stove

Among the white gas stoves, the Whisperlite is probably the most popular. Good stove, dependable, field-repairable. Only serious negatives - doesn't simmer worth anything (but that doesn't matter for 99 percent of backcountry use), and most people do not have the slightest idea of how to properly prime the stove (in my personal observation of people out on the trail, something like 80-90 percent of people overprime their Whisperlites, as well as other stoves, and the same percentage shut their stoves off incorrectly, both of which lead to performance problems).

If you want a white gas stove, you will be as happy with the Whisperlite as any other. However, the Old Greybearded One mostly uses a Primus MFS (now known as the Omnifuel). But you didn't ask my favorite, and the Whisperlite is pretty cheap as stoves go.

4:10 p.m. on August 5, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Probably the most popular backpacking stove

Quote:

Among the white gas stoves, the Whisperlite is probably the most popular. Good stove, dependable, field-repairable. Only serious negatives - doesn't simmer worth anything (but that doesn't matter for 99 percent of backcountry use), and most people do not have the slightest idea of how to properly prime the stove (in my personal observation of people out on the trail, something like 80-90 percent of people overprime their Whisperlites, as well as other stoves, and the same percentage shut their stoves off incorrectly, both of which lead to performance problems).

If you want a white gas stove, you will be as happy with the Whisperlite as any other. However, the Old Greybearded One mostly uses a Primus MFS (now known as the Omnifuel). But you didn't ask my favorite, and the Whisperlite is pretty cheap as stoves go.

Oh Greybearded One, don't you just turn the valve all of the way down? Am I missing something here? Paul

5:45 p.m. on August 5, 2002 (EDT)
67 reviewer rep
757 forum posts
Oh No!!!

Quote:

Oh Greybearded One, don't you just turn the valve all of the way down? Am I missing something here? Paul

Sigh...
Jim S (:->)

6:52 a.m. on August 6, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I've had a whisperlite international for 8 or 9 years. Mine was modified to accept a shaker jet by MSR.

This stove has been reliable and I have no real complaints with it. Currently mine is at MSR for an overhaul, likely only needed because the fuel intake tube has become annoying clogged- likely a result of using less than great quality fuel over the years.

Make sure if you get this stove you take it apart several times and learn all the maintenance procedures. One winter trip had me with a clogged fuel line, my first problem with the stove and me not remembering the troubleshooting maintenance procedure.

If you'll be using the stove primarily in the winter consider the XKG. It's supposed to be the stove for snow melting. After I had the Whisperlite for a few years I purchased a trangia for more mild temps, making the Whisperlite primarily a cold weather stove for me. In this scenario the XKG would be a better choice.

10:21 a.m. on August 7, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

I have a Whisperlite Int.

It works well and is easy to use. It comes apart easily in the field for repairs. It's probably my quietest stove. I'm not particularly enamoured of the fragile plastic pump though. I'd like to see MSR come out with a metal pump. I also find that the fuel line is a little more prone to clogging than some of my other models.

2:18 p.m. on August 14, 2002 (EDT)
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Ummmmh, Paul ...

Quote:

Oh Greybearded One, don't you just turn the valve all of the way down? Am I missing something here? Paul

As Mr. Shaw said "Oh, no! sigh..." I just got back from the Outdoor Retailers Show, where I had a good discussion with some of the MSR stoves people, during which we discussed stove maintenance. This topic was mentioned, namely people who just shut the stove off. I can see them now, hand slapped to forehead, saying "duuhhh!" The other biggie was the huge number of people who overprime.

The thing you are missing is that if you just shut the stove off, you clog it up much faster. Haven't you noticed all the carbon buildup around the burner? If you just shut the valve off, you accelerate the accumulation of carbon and lacquers inside the waffle plates of the Whisperlite. If you want to see it on the inside, take the waffle plates apart (there is a philips screw on top of the burner that you remove). While you have it apart, clean the plates thoroughly. As that junk builds up, boil time and efficiency drops off. To slow the buildup, do the following (it is in that little sheet of instructions you got with the stove, but, of course, no one ever reads instructions, do they?). Just before shutting the stove down, turn the valve full open for a few seconds, then close it fully (so far, not much different, is it?). Keep an eye on the stove as the fuel burns off. When you see the flame turn from blue to yellow ("carbon flame"), blow it out. You will hear a continued hissing of vapor. This continued vapor flow helps clean the flow path, plus you will not be depositing the carbon from the yellow carbon flame inside the waffle plates of the burner.

This same procedure, or a slight variation, is recommended by MSR, Primus, Coleman, Optimus, et al for all their liquid fuel stoves. With those stoves having a needle valve (Dragonfly, for example, or the new Primus Omnifuel), opening the needle valve fully after a lengthy simmering session is very necessary to prevent carbon and lacquer buildup. With the Dragonfly, the needle valve will not seat properly after a while due to the buildups. The lacquers, by the way, are the heavy components in even the highest grade of white gas, and build up very rapidly with lower grades of fuel, or if you are using diesel or kerosene with your multifuel stove.

No, you don't just close the valve and walk away.

5:35 p.m. on August 15, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Ummmmh, Paul ...

Quote:

Quote:

Oh Greybearded One, don't you just turn the valve all of the way down? Am I missing something here? Paul

As Mr. Shaw said "Oh, no! sigh..." I just got back from the Outdoor Retailers Show, where I had a good discussion with some of the MSR stoves people, during which we discussed stove maintenance. This topic was mentioned, namely people who just shut the stove off. I can see them now, hand slapped to forehead, saying "duuhhh!" The other biggie was the huge number of people who overprime.

The thing you are missing is that if you just shut the stove off, you clog it up much faster. Haven't you noticed all the carbon buildup around the burner? If you just shut the valve off, you accelerate the accumulation of carbon and lacquers inside the waffle plates of the Whisperlite. If you want to see it on the inside, take the waffle plates apart (there is a philips screw on top of the burner that you remove). While you have it apart, clean the plates thoroughly. As that junk builds up, boil time and efficiency drops off. To slow the buildup, do the following (it is in that little sheet of instructions you got with the stove, but, of course, no one ever reads instructions, do they?). Just before shutting the stove down, turn the valve full open for a few seconds, then close it fully (so far, not much different, is it?). Keep an eye on the stove as the fuel burns off. When you see the flame turn from blue to yellow ("carbon flame"), blow it out. You will hear a continued hissing of vapor. This continued vapor flow helps clean the flow path, plus you will not be depositing the carbon from the yellow carbon flame inside the waffle plates of the burner.

This same procedure, or a slight variation, is recommended by MSR, Primus, Coleman, Optimus, et al for all their liquid fuel stoves. With those stoves having a needle valve (Dragonfly, for example, or the new Primus Omnifuel), opening the needle valve fully after a lengthy simmering session is very necessary to prevent carbon and lacquer buildup. With the Dragonfly, the needle valve will not seat properly after a while due to the buildups. The lacquers, by the way, are the heavy components in even the highest grade of white gas, and build up very rapidly with lower grades of fuel, or if you are using diesel or kerosene with your multifuel stove.

No, you don't just close the valve and walk away.

!!!! WOW !!!!! And to think I just walked away. Thanks for the information. Fortunately (I guesss), I'm just getting back into hiking/camping and have used the MSR only once so there isn't too much damage. All joking aside, I do appreciate you spending the time explaining things to me. I actually did read the directions that came with the stove but I just don't remember that part.

5:35 p.m. on August 15, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Ummmmh, Paul ...

Quote:

Quote:

Oh Greybearded One, don't you just turn the valve all of the way down? Am I missing something here? Paul

As Mr. Shaw said "Oh, no! sigh..." I just got back from the Outdoor Retailers Show, where I had a good discussion with some of the MSR stoves people, during which we discussed stove maintenance. This topic was mentioned, namely people who just shut the stove off. I can see them now, hand slapped to forehead, saying "duuhhh!" The other biggie was the huge number of people who overprime.

The thing you are missing is that if you just shut the stove off, you clog it up much faster. Haven't you noticed all the carbon buildup around the burner? If you just shut the valve off, you accelerate the accumulation of carbon and lacquers inside the waffle plates of the Whisperlite. If you want to see it on the inside, take the waffle plates apart (there is a philips screw on top of the burner that you remove). While you have it apart, clean the plates thoroughly. As that junk builds up, boil time and efficiency drops off. To slow the buildup, do the following (it is in that little sheet of instructions you got with the stove, but, of course, no one ever reads instructions, do they?). Just before shutting the stove down, turn the valve full open for a few seconds, then close it fully (so far, not much different, is it?). Keep an eye on the stove as the fuel burns off. When you see the flame turn from blue to yellow ("carbon flame"), blow it out. You will hear a continued hissing of vapor. This continued vapor flow helps clean the flow path, plus you will not be depositing the carbon from the yellow carbon flame inside the waffle plates of the burner.

This same procedure, or a slight variation, is recommended by MSR, Primus, Coleman, Optimus, et al for all their liquid fuel stoves. With those stoves having a needle valve (Dragonfly, for example, or the new Primus Omnifuel), opening the needle valve fully after a lengthy simmering session is very necessary to prevent carbon and lacquer buildup. With the Dragonfly, the needle valve will not seat properly after a while due to the buildups. The lacquers, by the way, are the heavy components in even the highest grade of white gas, and build up very rapidly with lower grades of fuel, or if you are using diesel or kerosene with your multifuel stove.

No, you don't just close the valve and walk away.

!!!! WOW !!!!! And to think I just walked away. Thanks for the information. Fortunately (I guesss), I'm just getting back into hiking/camping and have used the MSR only once so there isn't too much damage. All joking aside, I do appreciate you spending the time explaining things to me. I actually did read the directions that came with the stove but I just don't remember that part.

10:12 p.m. on August 21, 2002 (EDT)
3 reviewer rep
60 forum posts
Been using one for years now, very sturdy and reliable

But it will not simmer, as stated before. I've never had to simmer anything, however. Most of my backcountry cooking involves boiling water, which the whisperlite does the best of any stove I've tried.
Just be sure to keep it clean, and it will be the last stove you ever buy. And as for the plastic pump, I made a cover out of EVA foam that keeps it from getting damaged.

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Has anybody used a MSR whisperlite stove? I am thinking about purchasing one.

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