Hey guys i am looking for a new pack stove for some out west trips. I am looking for something small and easy to fit in my pack. Looking to boil water as fast as possible to preserve fuel. Also for use making coffee during breaks from deer hunting. What can you guys suggest for me? Thanks!
I've been using a Snow Peak Giga Power for several years. That with a titanium pot and home made wind shield is fast and efficient. Simmer is nice to have. You can also regulate the heat and use a pan for cooking, fish, meat, etc. The auto-igniter is a real handy addition to.
Fuel use with a MSR Pocket Rocket boiling about 2 liters (2 qts) of ice cold creek water per person per day amounts to around one ounce per day per person That supplies plenty of hot water for the morning hot tang/tea and oat meal and the evening mountain house and hot Gatoraide, tea etc. I utilize old Mt House packages for wind screens besides locating the stove adjacent to strategic rocks and use a titanium pot with a cover.
Pre-weigh your full fuel canisters, then you can determine exactly how much fuel is left in them if you don't consume it 100%. I log the weights on the bottom of the canisters in Magic Marker. Over the past 5 years that data has heled me refine how much fuel to take. I like to have a few new 4 ounce, 8 ounce and 16 ounce canisters to chose from. Long back pack trips really challenge you to minimize/optimize what you take so you are as light as possible but not run short of supplies. If you are melting snow or ice you will use a lot more fuel.
As per a scale, Walmart sells nice digital scales that read out to the nearest 0.1 ounces. They are excellent to weigh food and gear on. A spread sheet helps track totals if you want to be really anal versus just climbing on the bathroom scale with and with out your loaded pack and hunting equipment.
Ambush, I have the same stove and it's awesome. But I've boiled equal amounts of water next to a Jetboil starting at the same time and they're not close. Jetboils get water boiling so dang fast.
But I carry the Snow Peak on every trip since its extra weight is negligible, it's more versatile, and you can start a fire in the pouring rain with one by making a double teepee of firewood and lighting the bottom with the stove. Slightly dangerous in theory, but I've done it several times without blowing my hands off.
For just boiling water jetboil is fastest, a bit more efficient. But heavier. I don't think the weight vs fuel savings (fuel weight) evens out unless you are using it for several days. The time savings remains the same.
Pocket rocket type stoves are light, cheap and boil water. If you are only going to be out a few days they are likely a bit of a weight savings.
I'm a big fan of the "spider" stoves as they normally have a larger burner that spreads out the heat more evenly, a larger footprint coupled with a lower center of gravity for much better stability. If you are doing more than a cup or two of water the rockets and jetboil stoves are a balancing act.
Plus from time to time I really cook on my stove, trout, grouse, one year I made rabbit omelets with freeze dried eggs and a nice tender bunny de jour.... elk tenders from time to time...sure breaks up the freeze dried.
Yes it's a heavier stove, but will easily boil for two or three MH meals in one (non-stick) pot/pan at one time. And the preheating fuel coils are very efficient when it gets cold as well. Mine is an older model from the one in the link, but same idea.
I just bought a new Primus ETA Spider which includes the all-in-one cooking system. I happen to think it's a phenomenal stove and system, but the entire rig would likely be a bit more than a solo backpacker would want or need to haul. The nice thing is that the unwanted components can be left in basecamp (or home) and take just the stove + pot or cup. This unit will be my stove for AK this fall on a bush plane drop in the mountains.
adventures in stoving blog has years of field research on backpacking stoves of all kinds ... comparisons, weights, cooking and burn times and much more.
You can spends days reading this guys blogs. I've been following him for years. Look in the archives.
For my remote hunts, which are a lot of years experience, I use the Jet Boil an older one and a new one and the Reactor. On all stoves I figure about 3 days per can of gas for a 2 person hunt.
Sometimes get a little more sometimes a little less. That is making coffee & oatmeal or Mt House for breakfast and having Mt House and hot chocolate in the evenings. If it's a weather day we drink more hot chocolate or tea during the day so use a little more gas. If dead tired when getting in from a hard day of Mt Goat hunting sometimes just Mt House and one cup of hot chocolate, then bed, the gas lasts a little longer.
I like the Reactor better than the Jet Boil as it has a larger water pot and boils faster. But both are good products as are several others on todays market.
I always have a Pocket Rocket along as a back up as well as extra fuel containers, stashed at base camp.
'Somewhere' on the world wide interweb is Aron Snyder's side by side by side test of a Jetboil vs an MSR vs [another stove I've forgotten the name of] where he sets them all going and times how long it takes to get water boiling; remember Aron is at 10000 feet in CO...
When I was in the service we used the MSR Whisperlites. They worked great in all conditions, from jungle 110 degrees and rain, to arctic, -50 above the arctic circle. It is really efficient as well as quiet. Most days we had to melt snow for water and also heat food. On average a bottle of fuel would last about 3 1/2 to 4 days when used for 4 guys, three stoves for 12 guys. They are small, easy to pack and easy to use also. I now have a bigger Coleman Peak 1 stove. It is bigger, but I also transport my stuff by car, and not on my back. Good luck with whatever you get.
Funny no one has mentions beer can alcohol stoves yet. Very popular with the ultralite backpacking crowd.
At one point I almost went with one, but didn't and have no experience with them. Lots of plans and easy to build one yourself for next to nothing. One I was looking at to buy featured an adjustable flame where as most of these stoves are either on or off. It had several other features as well.
If a person was looking for ultralite gear and the weight savings those would be a consideration.
Alcohol is a good choice for boiling water and a few frying meals, but only for a few days. If you are going for a week or more then it's less desirable. And if you're "up high" an alcohol WICK stove will always perform with a windscreen. Use the Yellow bottle of HEET for cheap, no mess fuel.
Yeah TD, it helps pass some time while water is heating ;-)
The guy in the video above makes great points about the size of the pot and using a lid. My small aluminum pot from a cheap Coleman mess-kit that cost less than $10 and only weighs a couple ounces works great.
I experimented with a beer bottle stove and the yellow bottles of HEET and worked but it seemed a little treacherous to use with the burning liquid alchohol and knowing how much to use. With the Esbit I can blow it out when I'm done and relight it next time.
i have found a cannister stove works best for me. current stove is a primus micron. i can use this stove with a pot, a fry pan and as a fire starter.
to get more efficency out of your stove: dont use a pot that is too big get a titanium pot with a lid use a windscreen dont overheat your water (coffee water doesnt need to be boiled) only boil the water you need
i can normally get about 10 days per cannister on an elk trip.
have tried the esbit tablets. they are stinky, they blacken your pot, you still need a pot stand. they are bulky if you go for a week.
jetboils types are cool but they are single use and take up more room in your pack.
alcohol stoves while cheap and light are not practical to me. tough to simmer, hard to only use the amount of fuel you need. you cant always dump the unused fuel back into your bottle. they are a good overnight alternative once you figure out the fuel.
propane stoves are great if weight is not an issue
Kovea Spider remote inverted canister stove. Can fit it, a 4oz MSR canister and MSR spoon in SnowPeak Ti 900. Kovea makes almost all of the Korean made MSR/Giga etc stoves. Inverting the canister allows you to use it when it is very cold as a liquid fuel stove. But do not try this with a stove not designed for inverting the canister. The remote feature allows you to use a wind screen on the stove, something you can't do on a top-mounted canister stove. I also plan on getting a Kovea Hydra multi-stove because I like white gas too. My Whisperlite pump has failed and the replacements do not inspire confidence. Good luck.
Any other stoves come out since this thread was first posted. I'm looking for a portable stove for base camping at truck for elk and also one to pack in boundary waters. Kinda like the idea of the one Mike posted where wood can be used.
If you just want to boil water you can't beat the ones on ebay for $6 shipped to your door. I have bought several of these and have never had one fail. Before you start laughing the reason I have bought several is because they are cheap enough to give away in stockings and other gifts. It's practically the price of a starbucks coffee!
Other reason I first bought one was because of reviews from bowsite. These stoves flat out work. The only thing a person could complain about is that they don't hold a large pot well. They just aren't very wide.
I have used the exact one Paul links. Does it boil water as fast as the jet boil? No, it takes 30 seconds longer. Boiling water for 3 meals and coffee the smallest canister lasts about 6 days. You don’t get to hear the jet but you don’t pay airline prices either.;)
Life is too short and hunting days too precious to live like a prisoner of war.
I want to hunt as effectively as possible. That means well-fed and well-rested so I can keep going for weeks at a time. For two or three days I could get by on bugs and worms and sleep in my clothes in the dirt. But why? To save a few ounces? Sounds like TBM is back with us.
I like the idea of the msr liquid stove to handle multi fuels and a bigger pot. I see that the MSR Dragonfly Stove burns DG Jet: white Gas and Unleaded Auto Gas | DK Jet: Kerosene, Diesel and Jet Fuel. I believe it comes with both jets.
Ermine which fuel have you found to burn the cleanest?
I use the same stove and I'm pretty sure same pot as APauls and have for years.. Works great for me.. I use mine a lot just hunting in Pa and never a problem at 10k when I'm out west hunting.
I keep coffee, ramen noodles, mountain house and a few cans of soup in my truck all of hunting season. That way I always have lunch and a hot one. Just throw my stove, pot and what ever food I have in the truck, into my pack and go.
I've used a liquid stove off and on for many backpack trips below and above timberline. I use white gas, have not tried av-gas (jet fuel). I do run that in my snowmobile and it works great. If you use unleaded gasoline be sure to get ethanol-free.