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Customer Discussions > Camping forum

Best backpacking stove?


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Showing 101-125 of 144 posts in this discussion
Posted on Mar 13, 2010 12:18:18 PM PST
Bill King says:
The loud familiar comfortable mealtime roar of the SVEA is priceless.

Posted on Mar 15, 2010 10:52:37 PM PDT
BarneyTomb says:
At this website is a PDF for a wood burning backpackers stove. http://zenstoves.net/Templates/NimblewillNomadStove.pdf
What's good about it is you can use alcohol canisters, fuel blocks or even just plain old sticks. It works well with the foul weather kettle I got from Garrett Wade who also happens to have a wood burning survival stove that uses a AA battery blower through for the difference in price I can connect a computer cooling fan to a nine volt battery and just use my zen stove. ;-P.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2010 5:28:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2010 5:36:42 PM PDT
American says:
David Drake starts out well: "With respect to all the posters here, and realizing that we all have different things we want our gear to do"

But then he deteriorates rapidly: "I can't figure out how MSR thinks they can get $135 for a canister stove that weighs over a pound."

Let me clue you in here, Dave. Its just because they can, the same way some may believe you are overpaid at your job. But that's the salary the market dictates you are worth. And MSR can sell them for that price for the same reason - because that's the way the market works. The MSR stoves have a great rep and MSR sells plenty of them at that price, no doubt. But only to dummies like us, right Dave?

Dave waxes philosophical, deigns to shares his wisdom with us, the great unwashed who blunder along the trails as ignorant, clumsy, sweaty, grunting beasts of burden, where Dave skips lightly, farther and smugly smarter. He sez: "The biggest difference between lightweight and heavyweight backpacking is philosophical. Lightweight substitutes knowledge and skill for overpriced over-engineering, and recognizes that the backcountry isn't the suburbs."

Once again, Dave, if the stuff were over-engineered or overpriced, the market would cause people to not buy those items. Are you smarter than the market, Dave, like they were in the USSR?

Dave sez: "There's no reason to carry [what any individual wants to carry], or cook on a miniaturized version of a Viking professional range."

Sure there is, Dave. The reason people do things you apparently sneer at is simple, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO!!! Some people, most people actually, think there's no reason to carry a bunch of stuff on your back and live in the woods when one can just stay at home or in the comfort of a hotel. And that's fine, you don't want all 300 million Americans on the trail every weekend, anyway - I can tell.

Aside from the judgmental and arrogantly elitist parts, I did appreciate reading your insight into stoves, fuel and such, and I thank you for that.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2010 8:36:26 PM PDT
American, I think you hit on the elephant in the room: preference. I carry a super-light and super-cheap made-at-home penny alcohol stove, a light-weight kettle, and have some other ultra-light gear. My tent, however, is heavier than most of the true ultra-light packers would carry, but I like it. It's comfortable and durable, and it makes me feel at ease when I'm snugged away inside it. When it comes down to it, carry the gear you want and are willing to carry. Make sure you are comfortable. After a while, you might decide you want something lighter, or might decide you are willing to carry more for a little extra comfort. Some might like their old-faithful stoves, and some might like the newest ultra-light stoves. I think there's enough room out there for a variety of preferences.

Posted on Mar 24, 2010 1:59:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2010 2:21:54 PM PDT
The Snow Peak Giga power Stove is an excellent stove, it has a starter (that can be replaced for $12 if it goes out) and according to the Cabon monoxide tests performed by backpackinglight staff has one of the lowest CO emissions of all canister type stoves. The Snow Peak Ultralite puts out 5 times the amount of CO, the MSR pocket Rocket wasn't good in the CO emissions either.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2010 3:49:18 PM PDT
famousperson says:
After reading this thread over the course of many months, and going over the offerings on Amazon with a fine-tooth comb, I decided to get an MSR WindPro. It's a cannister stove, with the cannister sitting off to the side rather than the stove perching on it. It strikes me that this is a much more stable setup. The reviews on REI's site are much more positive than the ones on Amazon, but no stove came out of the review process unscather.

I found one on **** for $41 + shipping which is cheaper than Amazon and even REI for which I have a 20% off coupon.

Whether or not it's suitable, you'll read about it here, and I will write a review after the camping trip I plan on taking in May.

Posted on Mar 25, 2010 12:37:19 AM PDT
I haven't read all the posts, but I can't believe that no one has mentioned my favorite stove, the Sierra Zip Stove. Burns leaves, twigs, whatever, is ridiculously easy to light, saves having to mess around with toxic fuels, can be carried on a plane with no problem and is cheap.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 11:25:02 AM PDT
American, you truly are an "American" that buys things hook line and sinker. Quote "Once again, Dave, if the stuff were over-engineered or overpriced, the market would cause people to not buy those items." au contraire, people often buy things they "shouldn't" because they don't know a better and/or less expensive alternative exists. This is generally for 2 reasons, they have been bombarded with advertising convincing them that xxxx is the best, either directly by manufacturers, or indirectly by experts (Magazines that take money from manufacturers etc.) or they don't have the time/skill/desire to do any research.

Which leads us to your misinformed statement "The reason people do things you apparently sneer at is simple, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO!!!" No, it is often because they don't know differently.

I have to agree that Dave makes some ignorant statements as well. The MSR Dragonfly is not simply a "canister" stove, as a matter of fact it is not a canister stove at all. It is a white gas stove. This type of stove appeals to people who hike in the winter or above 10,000 feet (ASL). An Isobutane/Butane canister stove doesn't work well when the temperature falls below 40 degrees (not at all below 11° F, the boiling point of Isobutane), , same for above 10,000 feet.

I tell my scouts to buy one of the following stoves,
Primus Classic trail stove $25 - 8 oz - Bulky
MSR Pocket Rocket $40 - 3 oz
Snow Peak Giga power - $40 - 3.25 oz
Snow Peak Giga power with Igniter - $50 - 3.75 oz

The Pocket Rocket and Giga Power are recommended because they are light AND compact.

If you need more "firepower" LOL look at a Snow Peak Litemax $60 or MSR Superfly $60.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2010 12:10:10 PM PDT
If you have someone in your community who drinks Heinekin, ask for the cans, look up the plans for the penny alcohol stove, and have your scouts make one (each). Even if they get a regular stove, the penny is a good backup and is great for other uses (think "Emergency Preparedness"): winter can heater in the car (burn inside a coffee can), secondary (backup) stove), stove in a family emergency (power outage) kit. The uses are endless, the construction requires little skill, and it is fun! Boiling a pot of water on something you made yourself just brings a different level of satisfaction.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2010 12:27:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 30, 2010 12:42:37 PM PDT
American says:
So, Frank, let me see if I understand your points. By your reckoning:

* If one "truly [is] an "American"", one is a sucker that, in your words, "buys things hook line and sinker"? Good one - I'm sure bigots the world over will agree with you! Do you mind if I ask you if you think Polish people are smarter, on average, or if you believe guys of African lineage generally have bigger 'franks' than white guys?

* "...people [I'm guessing Frank means "Americans" here] often buy things they "shouldn't" because they don't know a better"? But YOU DO know 'a better' than they do how their money should be spent, eh Frank? That doesn't smack of arrogant elitism, not at all! Are you in politics? Just curious...

* In this, the 'information age' where anyone with enough money to buy a camp stove can use a computer to find out almost anything they want, or knows someone who can, most people are just too stupid to get to the facts, analyze them, and come to the correct conclusion.

* If someone does as they wish, just BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, then its very likely because they are ignorant.

Thanks for all the advice, buddy.

Please allow me to add here, if someone ends up buying the 'wrong' stove then they have made a tragic mistake that will completely ruin all further backpacking adventures they undertake.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 5:42:51 PM PDT
Bill King says:
This is a great thread.
Noonei N'particuluar advice on extra extra extra heavy alum foil sheet as the worlds best windscreen is great advice. I've used the MSR sheet on many stoves, folding it to fit and cutting small slots in it to allow fuel line to pass, etc. The sheet is still good 20 years later!

Here in California hunting lions is prohibited for several years now, emboldening them to become a real nuisance, they will trail along behind on the PCT. Other pests are bears and ants. By carrying no stove your clothes and tent/hammock acquire no scent and the problem is practically solved.

Ice coffee and tea are sold as a gourmet item, so I learned to drink unwarmed instant coffee and tea. There are forums online discussing no cook menus for hiking.

For some of my trips, I avoid carrying a stove. Such as in grizzly country. Many of the 'dangerous bear' books advise doing just that for say around Yellowstone.

Posted on Mar 30, 2010 8:38:13 PM PDT
Ayaz says:
Great discussion. I am in the market for a good, durable, and reliable camp stove and this exchange could not have come at a better time. My Peak 1 Multifuel clunker finally gave out after twenty years of abuse. I could probably fix it, but want something newer and lighter.

Here is my bias: I recently re-read "South" by Ernest Shackleton, about his experiences in Antacrtica after the loss of the Endurance (Ship) in 1915, and the ordeal of the 28 sailors. Turns out they were using Primus stoves for the stranded party for two years, of which almost 500 days were spent on icefloes. If a 1915 Primus stove can provide two year of dependable daily use in the harsh conditions of Antarctic ice, then it must be a kick-adze stove.

Just wanted to know, does anyone have any experience with the Primus OmniFuel Stove? Would love to get some input before I flop down $170 bucks based solely on nostalgia.
Thanks, Ayan

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 4:36:04 PM PDT
We're living in hard times now to make ends meet. Expensive specialty stoves require liquid fuels that can be hazardous (alcohol and white gas) not to mention complicated starting procedures and maintainance with poor BTU output. You can do a lot with propane bottles for least cost of appliance like a simple burner, small mantle lantern or IR heater. Propane bottles are inexpensive and easily available (unlike specific butane cannisters). I even run my portable refrigerator off one that lasts two days!

One alternative is the Dietz kerosene lantern from Lehmans.com that has a cooking plate adapter but you'll be hard pressed to find K1 kerosene after you run out.

There was a good time years ago that all we had was a folding metal stove that used a STERNO can......'squeeze' ('Andromeda Strain').

Safety is very important. I stood up to be warmed not knowing my shirt was on fire!

Grace.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 5:14:29 PM PDT
Bill King says:
"liquid fuels that can be hazardous (alcohol and white gas) "

These can he a hazard to health, poisonous in fact, and a carcinogen.
Gas cylinders are safer around food I imagine.
Heet is nasty methyl alcohol that I would hate to get drops in my food.
I wish pure ethyl alcohol was cheap and available, not more dangerous than vodka.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2010 8:42:22 PM PDT
American wrote "...but YOU DO know 'a better' than they do how their money should be spent, eh Frank? That doesn't smack of arrogant elitism, not at all! Are you in politics? Just curious..." No I am not in politics, but I do follow closely. Sorry to sound elitist (but I am). I am a CPA, maybe I do know how they should spend their money, or at least know what factors they should consider before any investment/purchase.

I like your statement "*In this, the 'information age' where anyone with enough money to buy a camp stove can use a computer to find out almost anything they want, or knows someone who can, most people are just too stupid to get to the facts, analyze them, and come to the correct conclusion."

I agree. I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic or really believe that, because it makes my point. I think "correct conclusion" is a bit out there though. Due to personal preferences, a "well reasoned conclusion" would be more appropriate.

Most Americans are Sheeple. The average IQ in America is Below 100 (on an international scale, somewhere in the 96-98 range depending on what literature you read). So when my IQ is 45+ points higher than that, yes, I may come across as elitist. IQ is not the end-all-be-all though, experience plays a key role in providing advice.

For those not willing to learn from other people's experiences (mistakes) remember,

"Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other." Benjamin Franklin

My other favorite is

"Barring serious injury or mental illness, you are where you are in life because of the choices you have made. No one did this to you, you did it to yourself." unk (me perhaps?)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2010 4:56:03 AM PDT
J. M. Diaz says:
i bought an old coleman backpacking stove from craigslist. its a single burner, uses that coleman fuel or camping fuel found at most camping stores. it was small, easy to carry and clean and I use it when I car camp and hiking. Cost $10. The owner was upgrading to a two burner stove, for kids and family reasons.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 4, 2010 2:52:05 PM PDT
Bill King says:
"Barring serious injury or mental illness, you are where you are in life because of the choices you have made. No one did this to you, you did it to yourself."

(Raising hand at the back of the room): "Heredity is overrated,sir?"

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 7, 2010 5:56:36 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2010 5:58:03 AM PDT
American says:
Frank,

As you have amply demonstrated in your posts, there is much more to life than placing high on a cognitive skills test. I myself have an IQ greater than what you claim for yourself by almost double digits. By my reckoning, that makes me smart enough to realize the truth in the following quote: "...it appears that the IQ score measures something with decreasing marginal value. It is important to have enough of it, but having lots and lots does not buy you that much."

This seems equally applicable:
"Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "Press On" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
-- Calvin Coolidge

Buy a stove and go backpacking! When a canister stove is wanted, I'm quite happy with my Coleman Max Micro stove. It cost ~$26 at Wal-Mart, nestles nicely into the concave bottom of a Coleman fuel canister, which assembly can then be kept closely together in a bag in what roughly resembles a ball about 4.5" in diameter. The bag that almost seems custom made for this is the blue bag of the three dry-bag set (small green, medium blue and large orange), also a few bucks from Wal-Mart camping section.

The stove, bag and one canister together cost about $33 and weigh 21 ounces.

And Frank, you say: "I like your statement "*In this...'information age'... most people are just too stupid to get to the facts, analyze them, and come to the correct conclusion." That is clearly YOUR sentiment, not mine, and review will show I only stated it as a point on a list summarizing your own attitude, which you now have confirmed. My thoughts in that area are more like: People in general should do as they wish, but bear the consequences. And, most people actively involved in backpacking are likely savvy enough to figure out what's right for them, including seeking advice from forums.

Posted on Apr 7, 2010 3:02:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 7, 2010 3:05:06 PM PDT
Touche, I have to agree with you.

"People in general should do as they wish, but bear the consequences. And, most people actively involved in backpacking are likely savvy enough to figure out what's right for them, including seeking advice from forums. "

P.S.
Although I couldn't live with 21oz for $33, I would have to go with a minimum of a MSR Pocket Rocket, and a canister of fuel, total 10 oz, for $10 more :)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2010 11:05:35 AM PDT
American says:
Really Frank, quit being such a weasel. Let's compare apples to apples, not my 2 apples to your one apple - of course one apple is about half the weight. Burn time, baby!

We'll drop the carry bag from analysis since it's the same for both units. The difference in stove weight and cost is 3.5 oz and $14. Fuel it how you like, they each burn about 60 min on 220 grams of fuel:

Your combo:
$40....3 oz.....Pocket Rocket
$4.....7 oz.....Giga fuel canister (110 grams fuel = 30 min burn time)
--------------------------------
$44....10 oz...30 min burn time

My combo:
$26....6.5 oz...Coleman Micro
$5.....12.7 oz..Coleman fuel canister (220 grams fuel = 60 min burn time)
--------------------------------
$31....19.2 oz..60 min burn time

Coleman Micro stove w/small canister:
$26....6.5 oz...Coleman Micro
$4.....7 oz.....Giga fuel canister (110 grams fuel = 30 min burn time)
---------------------------------
$30....13.5 oz..30 min burn time

Cost & weight of additional burn time per 30 minute increment:
$4......7 oz....110 gram Giga canister
$2.50...6.4 oz..220 gram Coleman canister

So, if there is ANY chance one 110g canister will run out and leave you eating a cold meal that was supposed to be hot, carrying the 220g canister is a no-brainer, unless you can discard an empty canister along the way, in which case there is a cost premium for the option.

In reality, my wife and I camp together for a week at a time, be it by backpack, kayak, Hobie 18, mountain bike or canoe, the gear carried is pretty much the same even if the means of carrying it differs. Even only cooking coffee in the morning and one hot meal in the evening, carrying a 110 gram fuel canister would not make much sense for us. The extra stove weight of the Micro vs. the Pocket Rocket, 1.75 oz per person, is negligible for us.

I'm sure no matter which stove one buys, life will be much the same...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2010 12:57:38 PM PDT
Kim M-M says:
MSR Dragonfly. Have used it at high and low altitudes, very versatile as to fuel options. A little tricky to figure out how to start it, but once you do it's like riding a bike. Very light.

Posted on Apr 14, 2010 10:07:31 AM PDT
R. Ngai says:
On the related topic. Does anybody know what is the major different between using one of the Coleman stove than the portable stove that I saw in Chinatown ? The fuel is so much cheaper.
I want to get one mainly for car camp.
thanks

Here is the link if you don't know what am I talking about.
Stansport Portable Outdoor Butane Stove

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 15, 2010 5:18:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2010 9:56:30 AM PDT
Yes, one apple is about half the weight, LOL and thats the side I am coming from.

30 minutes is about 6-8 meals for me, that is 3 or 4 days. If I am going for a longer trek I will take along a MSR 220 gm canister. That is still 3.5 oz lighter than your combo (I know, big deal), not a big difference to you, but very big to me when I try to keep base weight between 9 lbs 1 oz and 10 lbs 7 oz depending on weather. Every ounce adds up, but every 3.5 oz Really adds up. I only have 5 things that weigh above 4 oz, Backpack (Osprey Exos, heavy at 36.5 oz, I have a 20 oz Granite gear Virga, but don't use it often), tarp (Oware cattarp 8.5 oz), Bivy (Titanium Goat Ptarmigan 7.2 oz), Sleeping bag (Mont-Bell UL Super Stretch #2, 27.7 oz, I am a cold sleeper so I need 14 oz of 800 power Down) and sleeping pad (Big Agnes clearview at 11 oz, 2.5 inches of pure comfort).

OK, I will admit I am a Gear Nut, but I like to be VERY comfortable AND carry little weight. I did an analysis and the kit we recommend for boys comes in @ $300 for a 21 lb base weight, but to drop that an extra 10-11 lbs costs an additional $1,400 retail ($1,100 "on sale") that's an extra $8.75 for each oz shaved, not for everyone.

But nearly as important as weight is volume and adjust-ability, the pocket rocket takes up less room. I have a Coleman Micro too which I loan out to scouts, it was the first small stove I purchased (too bad Walmart doesn't carry it anymore, at least here in AZ). The Coleman is also not very adjustable, I always had a hard time setting it to some semblance of a simmer.

For scouts that are just going to boil water for a Mountain house meal, the Coleman Micro (Peak 1) works just fine :)

Posted on Apr 26, 2010 8:35:22 AM PDT
Just got a brunton talon for 24 bones and it boils water in about 4 min., it weighs 3.7 oz. and if you believe in carrying wetfire tinder like I do you can use it to prewarm it in cold/wet conditions with almost no effort. the have a stand for 8 bucks if you need it. The talon stove has great reviews as far as i could read into it, and free shipping from amazon! Only lacks self ignition.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2010 9:50:53 AM PDT
justadude says:
Great info. Thanks
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