Northern Lights Trekker
Historic Range: $15.36-$21.95
Reviewers Paid: $20.00-$21.00
Picked this workhorse up a couple years ago, in a pinch, at Gander Mountain. It has worked flawlessly every time I've called upon it, which is every time I head out, as it's now my only stove. I've used it w/a windscreen and a insulating plate (piece of double-wall cardboard wrapped in foil) down to 15F with minor sputtering...melts 6L worth of water from snow per standard canister in these conditions.
This stove is well-built, and as such, weighs more than others. For the $20 I paid for it, though, I couldn't ask for more. If they ever re-design this thing, they could definitely take some weight off and still have it be very sturdy.
Adjustability is welcome, although one shouldn't expect the full range of simmering options one might have at home. I have cooked fresh fish on this stove successfully, without burning one spot while another remains near-raw.
Pretty wide base, and very stable, though I wouldn't use it w/anything larger than a 3L pot.
Price Paid: $20
As an adult scout leader, the Northern Lights Trekker is a great stove to have in the troop and patrol gearboxes. We have 3 for our troop, and they see frequent use on monthly campouts, receive a lot of abuse, and still work great and reliably.
This stove would not be my first choice for a long backpacking expedition due to the heavier weight (7 oz). If you’re cutting your toothbrush in half to save a ½ oz before that big mountain climb, this stove is not for you.
However, the heavier construction makes it my first choice when introducing a new scout to cooking with canister fuel, or regular campout meal preparation with the older scouts. Due to the continuous learning curve of teaching new/incoming scouts how to cook, our stoves take a lot of abuse, get overloaded with heavy pots, fall off tables, are sometimes packed away wet, and occasionally even stepped on. All three of our Northern Lights Trekker stoves are still running as good as new, and we've been using and abusing them for about 2.5 years now (currently Dec-2008).
They seem hard to find here in Michigan, but I’ll gladly buy another 2 more stoves if I can find a store or supplier that carries them. It’s a very reliable product, very well built, and the pivots on the support arms allow it to pack into a 3”x 3”x 1” size.
Update: May 28, 2009
A follow-up to my previous posting. If you're looking to buy this stove, I recently found an identical stove (but with a different brand and name) on the shelf at a local camping store. It was boxed as the Markill "Devil," had a part/stock number of D-88069, and a price of $30.
Also, a friend of mine showed me his first canister stove that he purchased brand new in the late 1970s (I didn't know they were around that long). It was the same as the Trekker/Devil but with a slightly different burner element, but otherwise identical. I'm guessing that this stove has been around for awhile, and the name and vendor has changed a few times.
God bless and enjoy His great creation that He's given us. See you on the trails, Fitz Fitzgerald.
Price Paid: $30
I picked this up and it's a well made stove that's reliable and works great. It fits standard $4.00 canisters and Its fully adjustable. The price is right!
I'm trying to find another. It's not easily found for sale. I don't have a problem letting this be the user stove. Because it's half price of a Snow peak. The stove pot holders just unfold and sit in place. They don't lock in place. But it's a bit heavier at 7 oz. The steel parts are just a bit bigger and heftier to make it sturdy.
Price Paid: $21 shipped
I love this little stove. I have a SnowPeak as well but this stove is half the price and works great! It weighs in at a slightly hefty (relatively speaking) 7 oz. but it fires every time and I have had absolutely no problems with it. Because of the price point, I'm more inclined to use it and not worry about it getting banged up. I've had it on one overnighter and really enjoyed using it. A great stove, for sure.
Price Paid: $21