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Have you ever pondered the question: If I chose the lightest stove in each category and used it as efficiently as I could, how would the cooking system carry weights compare for different usage levels and trip lengths? My inquisitive mind couldn't resist the challenge, so I rounded up the lightest/most efficient white gas, remote canister, top mount canister, integrated canister, alcohol, and fuel tab stoves commercially available and pursued answers to the following questions:

  • What is the real carry weight of stove plus fuel for different cooking systems?
  • How do I calculate the amount of fuel I need for a trip?
  • How much does fuel efficiency make up for stove weight on a longer trip?
  • What is the comparative cost for stove plus fuel?
  • Considering the fuel cost, which cooking system is the most economical and weight efficient?

These are, of course, difficult questions. There are many variables involved, and the answers depend on the type of trip you are taking and its location. No matter. This project provides a lot of insights into the issues, and will increase your understanding of how the weight and efficiency of different cooking systems compare, how they affect the weight you carry on your back, and how they affect your wallet. In this article you will find information to help you choose the cooking system(s) that meets your needs, and dial in the amount of fuel that you actually need to take on your trips.


  • Introduction
  • Cooking Systems Compared
    • Fuel Containers
    • Windscreens
    • Table 1: Summary of Cooking System Components and Weights
    • Highlights
  • Stove Testing Procedure and Results
    • Table 2: Cooking System Test Results
    • Highlights
  • Extrapolating Cooking System Test Results to Field Conditions

# WORDS: 2300

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