What kind of stove do YOU use for lightweight backpacking?

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable What kind of stove do YOU use for lightweight backpacking?

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    paul johnson


    Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest

    thanks Daniel. i’ll check them out.

    Brian James


    Locale: South Coast of BC



    To the anonymous guy posting about Canister stoves being for the LL Bean crowd: I think you skimmed the article.

    1) the propane “secret”: the article talked at length about this, and stated that getting a liquid feed off the canister was critical for cold weather. When you liquid-feed, your propane lasts until the last drop and provides pressure right down to -30C or so

    2) boil times: the article states that these are pointless — they’re just reprinted to make the point that propane makes equivalent heat per rate of flow on equivalent stoves

    3) windscreen: suggesting that wind be blocked does not imply attaching a bomb-creating floor-to-ceiling robe of foil around the entire unit and waiting for it to asplode

    …now who’s a pundit, blindly repeating hype?

    Dale Wambaugh
    BPL Member


    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    I have a Coleman F1 canister stove and a Trangia alcohol burner.

    I use the cannister stove when camping with a group and we need to turn out more hot water. Everyone gets to haul some fuel that way too. I bought it because it was inexpensive (under $30) small, light, easy to use, and the fuel is readily available. I use left over cannisters for car camping.

    If I’m going solo I use a Trangia burner and one of the stamped aluminum pot stand/wind screens that comes with the Mini Trangia 28T model — you can buy them separately. I use a simple aluminum foil windscreen as needed. I like the simmering ring, the ability to extinguish the flame, and to carry fuel in the burner underway. It is heavier than a pop can stove, but it will last a lifetime. I use it with the MSR Titan Ti pot and the windscreen, burner, a butane lighter and a cut down pot scrubber sponge all fit in the pot. I bought the Trangia for the same reasons I got the Coleman F1– inexpensive, easy to use, compact and light, and the fuel is easy to find. It is also quiet and more environmentally friendly than the cannister stove.

    It wouldn’t bother me to take the cannister stove on a short overnight trip. It is fast and I’ve boiled water and let it cool for the next day’s drinking water rather than use chemical treatment (Aqua Mira in my camp).

    I carry a couple Esbit tabs as fire starters as part of my emergency essentials. The Esbit system is certainly useable, but I find the alcohol stove burns long enough on a single filling to boil the Titan, which the Esbit didn’t always do. My guess it would do better with a slightly smaller pot.

    I also have a pop can stove, an Esbit folder, an Esbit wing stove, a Coleman Peak 1 white gas stove and a Coleman two-burner Green Monster. The white cas stoves are used for car camping and do double duty as part of our disaster kit.

    Phil Barton
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oklahoma

    For most of my trips, I prefer the Ion alcohol stove.

    My rationale is that I am typically out for 2-3 days. Except for an occasional cold weekend, temps for me will be above freezing. Altitude is between 600 and 2,400 feet.

    SGT Rock’s Ion stove is a fuel miser. It produces adequate heat to cook for one with a small pot.

    Finally, the Ion is compact and light. This morning I once again considered improving on the supplied Ti pot stand. Who wants to fiddle with those little pieces while in need of coffee?

    I have another, higher output alcohol stove, a homemade wood burning stove, a couple of canister stoves, and an old MSR Whisperlite. But the Ion is generally my stove of choice. It’s simple, extremely light, and gets the job done every time for me.

    Dondo .
    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado Rockies

    Coleman F1. Easy, fast, clean, fuel efficient, nothing to pour or spill. Can be used even when fire restrictions are in effect. All components, including fuel, fit neatly inside small pot inside your pack.

    cat morris


    Locale: Alaska

    Love my MSR windpro! Easy! I’ve put my whisperlite out to pasture!

    eric levine


    Locale: Northern Colorado

    I think BPL has done a good job exploring stoves, esp. for cold weather use. I’m looking forward to Roger’s part 2 on carbon monoxide as well as more on remote canister stoves and mods.

    This year I’ve been using an Athena master glow stove/infrared heater. A fairly cheap made-in-Korea stove but one with the all important preheat loop. I might as well admit I use it in my BD firstlight tent, for both heat and cooking. For others doing the same (probably more than will admit it) I have several suggestions.

    With the fuel canister inverted, the chance of a major initial flare-up is increased dramatically. One should be incredibly careful on initial startup, before the preheat loop is at its full temp. Place the biggest pot or cover over the burner so no tent surface is in danger should a flare-up occur. If a worst-case (outdoor!) test still results in a large flare, try preheating the stove outside, shut it off and relight inside.

    I for one appreciate BPL’s articles on CO and rigging up stoves and heat exchangers for canisters. However, I think BPL should highlight possible safety problems a little more right up front when presenting these cutting edge mods.

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