Oct 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm #1264794
I am hiking with my wife and son. We have yet to do any overnight backpacking so we need some advice on a stove system.
We would mostly be hiking in temps from high 20 on up.
what stove and size pot combo do I need to cook for 3.
I have looked at the cone and tri tri but am unsure what to buy and specifically what size pot to get.
any direction would be appreciated.Oct 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm #1657979
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
You will get varied opinions on this. Some of it depends on how "fancy" you want to cook. If you are really a minimalist, then a lightweight titanium cone may work well for you. I'm guessing that you might prefer something for convenience, like a small butane canister stove.
When I backpack, I like to prepare my main course that is about 2 cups in volume. So, to extrapolate that for three eaters, you would want about 1.3 or 1.5 liters of pot capacity. For sure, 1 liter would be too small, and 2 liters might be too heavy.
–B.G.–Oct 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm #1657981
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Will you actually be cooking or just boiling water for "freezer bag cooking"? How elaborate is your menu?Oct 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1657983
my initial thoughts are simply boiling water. While I have no experience in this, my plan is to dehydrate my own food or buy dehydrated food, or of course the staple noodles.
I dont really plan on lots of cooking, as my main goal is ultralight.Oct 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm #1657987
Canister stove if they arent used to ul stoves
convenient, fast, clean and fairly light …Oct 25, 2010 at 7:15 pm #1657995
My wife and I recently started backpacking again after a lapse of some years, and our conversion to lightweight gear (striving for ultralight) has made it possible. The two of us use a Caldera cone with a 0.9L pot and freezer bag cooking. We boil one pot of water in the evening to rehydrate our dinners, and two pots in the morning (one for coffee/tea and one for oatmeal). The Caldera and its alcohol stove are a joy compared to the weight and fiddliness of our old MSR Whisperlite, but it is slow and we haven't tried it in cold conditions yet. A canister stove may be a better choice for three people if you can keep the canister warm. I've seen some debate over which is lighter (alcohol or canister); I think it depends on how many person-nights you're out and how you handle empty and half-empty canisters.Oct 25, 2010 at 8:05 pm #1658011
I'd agree that to begin with a canister stove makes the most sense- check the Snow Peak Giga for starters- a easy to use, trouble free stove- that is pretty light to boot
for boil in the bag meals for three, probably right at the 1.5 liter mark- the canister, stove and more will all nest easily in a 1.5 liter potOct 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm #1658017
I dont doubt your advice, but want to know why the canister makes more sense than an alcohol stove or other type.
Just trying to learn here.Oct 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm #1658018
I doubt if your wife is any less capable than you, and I'm sure your son can follow instructions and guidance.
Regardless of the heat source, the pot will probably be the same.
I see no problem going with a Caldera Cone and the Evernew Titanium Non-Stick 1.9 Pot Set (ECA424)at 245 grams. You can get 1.5 liters in with plenty of headroom for handling and pouring.Oct 25, 2010 at 8:20 pm #1658019
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> why the canister makes more sense than an alcohol stove or other type.
Much faster than alcohol, especially for 1.5 L of water.
Much safer and more convenient than white gas.
Cleaner and faster than Esbit.
CheersOct 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm #1658020
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
+1 on a canister stove. Alcohol stoves are okay for solo, but with a small group, you need lots of water. My Coleman F1 will boil a liter in 3 minutes vs. the Caldera Cone boiling 600ml in twice that time or more.
You can split the fuel between other members of the group– everyone can take a canister. We use ours car camping and power outages too. And you will be able to use it for a long time.
My last time out with an alcohol stove made me decide to use my canister stove more often. I'm tired of measuring fuel, babying it to get it to light, no control of the output, spilled fuel, etc, etc.Oct 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm #1658030
Roger and Dale raise good points in terms of boil time. Sitting around in 25° temps for 30 minutes might be a bit much. Plus, if you would have to melt snow for water, it would be a slow go.
Out of curiosity I just ran a simple test. Using a Caldera Cone, I boiled (at 195°) 1.3 liters of 35° water, covered with an uninsulated lid, in 20° air, no wind, at 7600', in 21 minutes, using 28 grams of 85% ethanol.
I think I would prefer a canister.Oct 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm #1658035
ok thanks guys, so I want a canister with somewhere around a 1.5 litre pot.
I will start digging.Oct 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm #1658036
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
This is the setup that I use, because my buddies are too cheap to buy their own gear, so this is for my "family" of 3.
With the exception of the weight of the condiments (white dropper bottle) everything fits inside the pot, and weighs 24.6 oz in a packed size of 6" tall x 5.5" wide.
The reflectix cozies are extremely effective and weigh next to nothing.
However, I'm likely going to try to use Freezer Bags and a reflectix envelope/cozies next time I go out. Simply because washing dishes is a pain, especially in bear country (because I am paranoid).
In this case all you would need is the smaller pot. The Snowpeak 900 and this weighs in at 16.4 oz. total, packed 5"tall x 4.75" wide. I can now also have tea with the extra water while my food is hydrating. Pot makes a great mug.
Dehydrating is definitely the way to go. Very very easy, light and inexpensive (my post on stew/dehydrating is down the page):
The pots are a Snowpeak 900 & 1400. I got them from O2 gear shop for $65 (found deal on Amazon).
The stove is a Coleman F1 Ultralight ($35 Amazon). I like that it breaks down into 2 pieces for better fit. The thing is a flame thrower. If I had to choose another, I'd likely go with the Snowpeak Giga Power.
There is probably lighter, and this or that, and I honestly haven't tried "all" the options, but in my opinion, why bother. This is easy, inexpensive, reliable and clean for 90% of the trips I do. I don't want sooty pots in my pack, look for dry twigs, etc.
If I was going solo or with a partner who wanted to tinker, then I might explore other options. Chances are though, I'd go back to this setup for the convenience.
I cooked a couple of eggs in the frypan lid of the 1400. It worked, and tasted fine, but was a pain because some of it burned and had to scrub to clean lid. I did this only once in my kitchen. I'd likely get better with heat control with experience (take pan off and on stove, moving pan around flame) and was thinking of trout…as soon as i figure out how to catch them. Point is, it can be done.
BTW that canister is the 225g/8oz large one. I"m surprised at how long it lasts. And sometimes you hear people say, the alcohol is cheaper etc… but it's $6 and will likely last you guys a week if not more if all you're doing is boiling a liter or two of water twice a day (I'm guessing here).
Hope this helps.Oct 25, 2010 at 9:28 pm #1658037
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Snow Peak Gigapower. 'Nuff said.
Snow Peak Gigapower stove with MYOG TI windscreenOct 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm #1658038
How long are your trips going to be? Short? Ti-Tri. Should be plenty of wood where you are so no fuel weight. In a hurry or on a week long trip? Canister. Are you planning on camping in the summer too? Unless you are winter camping, you'll see 20 degrees mostly in shoulder season. Don't worry too much about that. I'm curious as to who's in such a big hurry to make dinner. I usually hike until just before dark but still have lots of camp time. Making dinner does not have to be done at warp speed.Oct 25, 2010 at 10:33 pm #1658042
Consider a msr windpro or other such remote stove … Sure it weighs a bit more but the stability and ability to use it in winter makes it a good long term purchase … For winter or groups
roger has a good set of articles on this
for youself you can always make a pepsi can stove yrself anytime to see how u like it before commiting to a calderaOct 25, 2010 at 10:49 pm #1658044
At 25F I'd be seriously thinking about a Windpro or similar that allows the canister to be inverted, especially cooking for three. This will prevent the canister from slowing down as it gets cold.
I may have missed how old your son is, but for younger kids (under 10) I'm a big fan of being able to get the dinner ready pretty quick, especially when they're tiredOct 26, 2010 at 6:19 am #1658083
@joegeibLocale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
@Denis: I was just thinking last night how to make a shorter windscreen for the Gigapower. Using a windscreen that goes to the ground is too tall to fit in the pot. Have any plans/pix/details on your creation?Oct 26, 2010 at 6:25 am #1658085
for winter use I'd agree- look at the windpro, but from what I'm gathering he's anticipating 20 degrees to be the very coldest they would encounter- in the Sierras that probably fits the definition of three season pretty closely, in that scenario a "normal" canister stove should be sufficient
as far as wood/alcohol that's certainly an option, but one I think better explored down the road a bit- they haven't done any overnight camping- the last thing I would want to do is possible sour family members on a stove that is doesn't operate easily/efficiently
as far as a 900 pot- I think that would be cutting it a little close for three, I think any of the ~ 1.5 liter offerings would be closer to the markOct 26, 2010 at 6:31 am #1658088
Don't forget to look at the LiteMax stove, I have only seen a few references to this stove in the forum, but I can speak from experience, its a great little stove, and its stability is fantastic. Good luck!Oct 26, 2010 at 10:33 am #1658167
Mark, don't mess around with smaller pots. You'll just get frustrated, and frankly in most of the pots I've played with there's less than an ounce difference between 0.5 L size. Go for a 2L pot. You might consider the AGG 2Qt and caldera/ti tri combo. Boiling 1.5L might take a while, but in "normal" temps it won't be a big deal.
Will lows in the 20s be pretty typical for you? If so, an upright canister probably isn't a great option for you. More futzing about trying to keep it warm, and while yes there are tricks, I'm guessing you'd prefer to minimize fuss. The Windpro is about as low to non-existent fuss as you'll find if you go the canister route. Easy to use, stable, good in variable weather… but it is heavier than other options. The thing is, if it works better for you and your purposes, or just makes things a bit easier, it's one place it might make sense to carry literally a few ounces more.
The Windpro is a great "family" stove. I've also had great luck w/the cones… families have cooked over alcohol for years, but the Caldera's more efficient and much lighter than Trangia… probably worth a shot.Oct 26, 2010 at 10:49 am #1658174
@mammomanLocale: NE AL
Scott, that's a sweet set-up you have.
Mark, I'd go with a SnowPeak GigaPower and a 1.5-2.0 liter pot to start with, and I'd purchase pre-packaged dehydrated meals so you can "test drive" this way of heating. HawkVittles and PackIt Gourmet make some outstanding meals…the kind wives and kids really appreciate. If your child is a young 'un that favors mac 'n' cheese, Mary Jane Farms has a great version of that dish as well.
You could try this system out for several hikes, and if it's for you and your family, you could branch out into dehydrating some of your own meals freezer-bag cooking style.Oct 26, 2010 at 4:15 pm #1658265
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
If it is you, the wife and son….go big, not small, for your pot. You will just fare better overall.
We carry a 2L pot for our family – if it is me or me and the oldest son then we carry smaller….but even then with the oldest in his early teens now the 2L pots work better – he has a huge appetite so more water these days is needed.Oct 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm #1658272
very insightful post.
I appreciate all the advice.
I think I will get an upright canister. While I did put down 20's I think that will be a rarity. We usually ski till late april and even then the trails we hike are still rather snow covered until later in the year, so lows more in the freezing range or much more likely.
The boy is almost 13 so I think the larger pot may be what I go for.
i bought a few cookbooks off amazon yeserday so i will be reading up on the home dehydrated freezer meals.
I think I am going to sneak on of the cc stoves for myself, they just look like too much fun to play with.
I cant help it, i am too much of a gadget geek.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.