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One Stove or Two?

My wife and I are going on a 4 day hike and I have a Jetboil Flash.  Should I pack a stove for each of us or just use the one and share?

One good one is the right answer. 

Thanks.  I want us to be able to eat at the same time and not have to wait, clean and now you cook.  I like the Flash.  Do you consider it a good one?

Here are the reviews from members and nonmembers of Trailspace.  If you do not already own the stove I would read all of them and then decide if that stove will fit all of your needs on the trail.

https://www.trailspace.com/gear/jetboil/flash-cooking-system/

two people can easily cook together, using any of the more common backpacking stoves.   Are you planning completely separate meals?

A stove has to be dependable.  Butane/propane is okay in warm weather.  In the cold you need white gas. 

Are you cooking or just boiling water for rehydrating? The Jetboil isn't great for cooking, narrow and deep means food isn't as evenly heated and makes it harder to clean. It is optimized for water boil (hence the name).

if not religious or vegan reasons, i think 1 set of stove is enough isn't it? saves you space and energy lugging it.

A while ago I went on a trip with 6 other guys.  They brought some elaborate food. 

On the last night we had steak and lobster and used 3 stoves at once.  But this is unusual. 

So Pipine, I want to go on your next gourmet trip!)

All trips I go on have at least two stoves, including solo trips.  The second stop on trips with only a couple of people serves a back up stove.  I have been on trips where stoves have crapped out, though uncommon.  The second stove is a lightweight model, such as a Snow Peak Giga Power.

Ed

I have the orginal jet boil...Their only really good at heating water....I  work suggest looking through the many options of stoves on TS in the reviews...Take some suggestions mentioned if so inclined...

Thank you for all the replies.  I have decided to go with 3 stoves actually.  Taking 1 MSR Whisperlite International for it's fuel flexibility and dependability (will be main cooking stove);  1 Jetboil Flash for coffee and dehydrated foods and 1 Etekcity Ultralight Portable as a backup.

 

I think this keeps me well covered with minimal added weight.  Comments welcome.

 

Happy Trails!

That is way (weigh)too heavy.  If you have a decent stove and the ability to clean and maintain it, one stove will suffice.  If you can't maintain your stove, three different stoves may not be enough.

Where you are going, is it possible to build a campfire?  I backpacked for years without any kind of stove.  Many a meal has been prepared over the coals of a cheery fire...

It would be good to fire  up your stove at home (probably best outside) and cook something on it in order to become comfortable with its characteristics.  This actually applies to any outdoor gear.

hikermor said:

That is way (weigh)too heavy.  If you have a decent stove and the ability to clean and maintain it, one stove will suffice.  If you can't maintain your stove, three different stoves may not be enough.

Where you are going, is it possible to build a campfire?  I backpacked for years without any kind of stove.  Many a meal has been prepared over the coals of a cheery fire...

It would be good to fire  up your stove at home (probably best outside) and cook something on it in order to become comfortable with its characteristics.  This actually applies to any outdoor gear.

 I agree with the notion three stoves for two people is overkill. 

But I do consider having ONE back up stove appropriate.

Sometimes sh_ _ happens that puts a stove out of commission.  I have a friend who can break just about anything.  Twice he has spilled pot contents onto a canister stove, putting out the flame.  The liquid content got into the burner head, then into the fuel manifold, where it hardened and obstructed the fuel flow.  I know this because I did a forensic cross sectioning of the stove when we got home and observed the blockage.  Another time he stepped on and crushed a white gas stove while stumbling around in the dark.  This resulted in a fuel line leak.  So, yea it behooves me to carry a back up.  

Ed

If your stove malfunctions and is not repairable, it is time for the good ol' campire.  Been there, done that...

One is enough for me...although I guess it's actually two being an alcohol and wood burnings stove. That backup is fine for longer trips and works well to cook for two when my lovely wife accompanies me as well. 

3 stoves? You must be young. You'll learn. Ounces add up...and space is limited.

hikermor said:

If your stove malfunctions and is not repairable, it is time for the good ol' campire.  Been there, done that...

Yes, provided there is wood.  I'll rely on wood as a back up in the desert, but I do most of my mountain camping at tree line, where wood is scare, and no fires permitted.  I'd rather just use a back up stove than spend an hour scrounging up twigs and kindling.

Ed

I wish I was young.  LOL  But I am in good shape.  I am anal about my pack weight. I have a spreadsheet with the weight of every piece of equipment I own and I try to keep my pack at about 20lbs before consumables.  I know what you're saying and agree....the weight adds up quickly.

I do in fact carry backup for heating and boiling water - a little tripod thing that will support a cup above an Esbit tab .  An alcohol stove, made from aluminum cans, is effective and quite light.  Or blow $20 on a Trangia....

It is always a good idea to carry food that needs no prep.  Fancy protein bars or GORP - light, effective, and cheap.

only times I hiked with more than one stove was when I carried a spare pocket rocket-equivalent and fuel - I was guiding trips for a summer camp at the time, and that was the type of stove we had trained the kids to use.

Otherwise, I hike with one stove and have virtually always used white gas bottles that attach to a burner - MSR XGK for a very long time, occasionally an MSR whisperlite, now the Nova Optimus multifuel.  

that said, take whatever is going to make you happy on the trip. the jetboil type stoves are good for boiling liquid fast, so great for coffee, hot chocolate, boiling water for sterilization reasons, and water for dehydrated meal packets. as a number of people have noted, some don't like them for actual cooking. 

hikermor said:

It is always a good idea to carry food that needs no prep.  Fancy protein bars or GORP - light, effective, and cheap.

Food is almost always a big deal for me when camping.  Long gone for me are the days when gonzo trekking required carrying only the ten essentials to attain the objective.  Nowadays cold dinners are only resorted to in really really bad blizzards.  Likewise, I like to bring enough warm stuff that I don't have to retreat to my sleeping bag the moment the sun drops below the horizon.  I like the night life, too, spent cooking up a repast fit for a good restaurant, while commiserating with my fellow campers.   Thus I willingly carry "extra" weight.

leadbelly2550 said:

"only times I hiked with more than one stove was when I carried a spare pocket rocket-equivalent..."

Yea, the back up need only be just enough of a stove to get you through the situation.  The few extra ounces are good insurance.

Ed

"I love the night life, I like to boogie...." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umAurdHLNzU

I always bring emergency meals of the boil/pour/eat variety - cream of wheat/oatmeal, a freeze dried entree or three. i too prefer to cook real food vs. freeze dried, I plan and package it all ahead of time, but it's hard to beat the convenience in nasty weather.  

I can totally see bringing three stoves, Kent. It'll provide you a nice level of flexibility and redundency. Nice to have hot drinks made at the same time as the meal.

I subscribe to your philosophy here, Ed. I find I that on most trips I appreciate enjoying the food I consume. I'll carry three ounces in spices/hot sauces. Sometimes a two-ounce bottle of coconut oil or ghee to drizzle into things. I don't like to run much of a caloric deficit in the backcountry, and I make use of tricks like tossing beef jerky into beans and blocks of cheese into instant potatoes.

I generally try to have redundency in my stove system, unless the pot I bring is large enough to put on a rock-stand cooking fire (with appropriate fuel and regulatory considerations). I've got a slick Vargo woodburning stove that also makes good use of an Esbit cube.

I also usually bring a number of bars along as well (savory Kind bars rock!), and a couple just-in-case ones as well.

What I like in this thread is the variety of responses...reinforces the concept of hike your own hike. Carry what suits you and makes the most sense for your style of trip. 

For me the Trail Designs Sidewinder fits the bill as I have an efficient alcohol stove that works even in winter, no moving parts to break or maintain, and can cook two meals on just a handful or two of twigs collected in about 5 minutes. The latter makes my cooking enjoyable pastime at camp especially on cold nights without scarring the landscape with a fire ring. Check it's allowed in areas of fire bans...that is hit and miss depending on the authority in charge. 

Ed I never approached it that way.I did bring a cast iron pan on an overnight to feed tru hikers a hot chicken meal cooked over the fire with pasta for an evening....

"Whomeworry", I agree with you, two stoves can be a lifesaver.  I went on a backpacking back in 1979 with two of my sons and some friends.  I was using my "MSR Model G" stove and for the first time in the two years I had owned it, the stove failed to start.  We used my friend's Svea to make our dinner.  Afterwards he showed me how to clean the burner of my MSR stove.  Once learning how to clean my stove I have never had any problems since then and, I have used it on dozens of trips I have takened since then.

Itching to get out said:

I wish I was young.  LOL  But I am in good shape.  I am anal about my pack weight. I have a spreadsheet with the weight of every piece of equipment I own and I try to keep my pack at about 20lbs before consumables.  I know what you're saying and agree....the weight adds up quickly.

 A superb resources is lighterpack.com

You can edit it online and provide a read-only link for forums to help you discuss items.

I too keep a spreadsheet of weight of every item in my pack and try to balance weight and comfort. My pack weighs in at 25lbs minus consumables. A bit heavy yes, but I am carrying the big stuff so my wife doesn't have to.  We could split the weight 50/50, but I am fairly strong and don't mind. I am carrying the tent, cook gear, gopro gear, first aid, ect. I decided on 2 stoves that use the same fuel -- the flash and pocket rocket.

Thanks for all the input.

I went on one backpacking trip and in our group there were two stoves.  My friend had a Svea and I had an MSR Model "G" stove, I purchased in 03/77 for only $45!  I had problems with my model G stove so, the group started the meal using the Svea.  My friend showed me how to clean the "jet" on my model G stove using a tool that came with the stove.  Forty-three years after replacing a couple of pumps, the stove still works very.  If it isn't broken why replace it?

Adrian_D said:

If it isn't broken why replace it?

 Because it's noisy, heavy, and inefficient?

BigRed said:

Adrian_D said:

If it isn't broken why replace it?

 Because it's noisy, heavy, and inefficient?

 Lol, not reasons enough. That's why I just bought another 35YR old Peak 1 and always search for Sveas, etc.

Adrian_D said:

".. If it isn't broken why replace it?"

Rubbing two sticks together to start a fire worked, too, and still does, but I hear no one advocate this as the go-to option for starting a cook fire.

Adding to Ricks criteria: 

  • Most old school liquid fuel stoves are temperamental and relatively unsafe, when compared to other stoves on today's market.  Yes, they work and can be field repaired.  Kind of like the Ford Model T.  But it, too, was  superseded by more reliable, safer, easier to use items.  In any case I prefer other activities over trying to coax a flame out of my stove.
  • Weight reduction, alone, is a compelling reason to consider replacing these "antiques".  We talk about shaving ounces off our kit all the time.   It isn't like switching to a lighter stove entails the $50 - $100 per oz of lost weight, like switching to Ti or exotic fabrics.  This is an affordable manner to lighten the kit by a pound.   All of the old liquid fuel units weigh twice the typical stove currently on the market.  The greater reliability and ease of use of these models are free.  

Not all of us, however, are willing to retire certain pieces of equipment for any reason, short of being beyond repair.  People I know have a sentimental relationship with certain parts of their kit; stoves being high on the list. I guess memories make the load somewhat lighter. HYOH wins every time...

Ed

Besides my early 1960s vintage Primus 71, with its solid brass tank, is a very nice antique.  My brass Trangia still gets used from time to time, but I am basically a canister stove guy.

Well then as another angle, also consider you can have a fine trip with no stove at all....

I occasionally do no-stove trips in the summer. Cold brew coffee is sometimes the right way to go.

So last weekend, I did a trip with overnight temps close to single digits F, with no stove. Well, um, not on purpose; I grabbed the wrong pot by mistake (the one that didn't have a fuel canister nested in it); but hey most Americans are fine to skip at least one meal. :)

A couple years ago, my partner for the Wind River High Route didn't bring a stove. He went no-cook for his 10 days with me above 10K feet. He cold-soaked his dehydrated meals, and to my dismay, ate more packs of SPAM that anyone I've seen or heard of.

Patman said:

"..to my dismay, ate more packs of SPAM that anyone I've seen or heard of."

Ah, that explains the Spam shortages back then...

It seems like the weight of the spam more than offsets the weight of a stove and fuel.  What was the explanation for these choices?

Ed

Reviewing this thread, it occurred to me that many old stoves are best admired at home, where they might be displayed on a shelf or in a glass case. So maybe somebody somewhere has started a Museum of Stoves? Googled it, and found this:

https://classiccampstoves.com/

Anybody ever heard of a Fuhrmeister?

That led me to the Primuseum restaurant in Uruguay:
restaurante_primuseum_ciudad-vieja_10409453_1585688088327661_6932688180172558914_n.jpgApparently the Technical Museum in Stockholm also has quite a collection.

Ed,

I didn't ask him; I was so happy to have a partner for that madness I didn't care. :)

Cool Red; who'd a thunk that collection would be in Uruguay?

If your back is up against the wall, there is always the campfire.  Used one routinely before I obtained a stove.

hikermor said:

If your back is up against the wall, there is always the campfire.  Used one routinely before I obtained a stove.

Not always.  I do quite a bit of camping above tree line - this would not be an option for a lot of the Sierra.

Ed

BigRed said:

Reviewing this thread, it occurred to me that many old stoves are best admired at home, where they might be displayed on a shelf or in a glass case. So maybe somebody somewhere has started a Museum of Stoves? Googled it, and found this:

https://classiccampstoves.com/

Anybody ever heard of a Fuhrmeister?

That led me to the Primuseum restaurant in Uruguay:
restaurante_primuseum_ciudad-vieja_10409453_1585688088327661_6932688180172558914_n.jpgApparently the Technical Museum in Stockholm also has quite a collection.

 rub your stove, a genie will come out and make you dinner.....but be careful with those three wishes.  

hikermor said:

If your back is up against the wall, there is always the campfire.  Used one routinely before I obtained a stove.

 in New England, the word for that method is "i'm hungry" because it rains so often.  

Also in many areas campfires are illegal. 

And not a hugely useful technique to those of us who camp above the treeline.

Pixie Poo said:

And not a hugely useful technique to those of us who camp above the treeline.

 and that is one of the reasons my first purchase from REI was a Primus cook stove and cook set.  When weight is a concern, I go to an alcohol stove or tablets.

October 30, 2020
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