Camping/Bikepacking Stoves

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  • Camping/Bikepacking Stoves
  • Premier Icon Jon Taylor

    Currently the GF and I use a MSR Pocket Pocket and some crappy stainless pans for overnight tramping, bike trips, car camping and all sorts.

    The burner is compact sure, but has a too-concentrated flame, gives the pan a very high centre of gravity and the pans slide around on the burner. Not ideal!

    Ideally I want something primarily [b]more compact[/b] but also overall lighter and more stable for overnight bike trips. Needs enough size to serve 2 people. Porridge, quick cook pasta, dehydrated Backcountry Meals.

    I’ve seen an emergence of JetBoil type systems, which seem great for boiling water quickly and efficiently… but can I cook my morning porridge in one? Can it heat a pasta sauce without welding it to the bottom?

    What about getting a small burner on a rope? They’re stable and nearly as neat as the Pocket Rocket but my overall package is still quite bulky.

    I could improve my overall size with a better pan set – the old one has integrated pivoting handles, which are great.

    Overall – a jetboil thing might be most compact for lightweight overnight but I’d have to be more selective about what we could eat on those trips?

    What are your solutions? What might work for me?

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor

    I’ve seen that thread but never wandered in, for fear I might get lost 😐

    Maybe I’ll make a pot of tea and settle down with it later..

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills

    It can make one feel a little inadequate… I treat it like pic n mix, take what I want and leave the foam bananas for the nutters. 😀


    My son and I walk the local hills occasionally with a bit of wild camping – nothing too severe. We’ve tried the pocket rocket but have come to the conclusion that gas isn’t the way to go. Our preferred solution is a trangia burner, either with the mini trangia pot stand or a honeystove. The “pan” is a Zebra billy (I think 12cm).
    The burner is controllable, I feel I can manage the fuel better than with gas, the honeystove folds flat or alternatively the burner/potstand can go inside the billy. The billy has enough capacity to cook for two.

    More compact than your current setup? Don’t know. I honestly don’t think there is a perfect solution. All have their advantages and disadvantages and you either need different setups for different circumstances or pick the best compromise.


    Premier Icon dknwhy

    I read a test somewhere online that stated for trips of less than 3 days meths offered the best weight savings.

    For meths, check out the Bear Bones stoves:
    Bear bones

    For a 4 season gas stove, I’d look at the Kovea Spider:
    Kovea Spider

    Premier Icon mountainman

    I find old style trangia best ,slightly bulky but good fuel consumption and all pack in one bag then just add fuel bottle.

    Kettle ideal for tea pot too.

    Or if i want more power petrol pressure stove of course.


    +1 for trangia. Simple reliable


    very similar to the kovea spider is the thing I’ve always used in UK and Alps and buy the cannisters from Boyes/B&H/Wickes. Added a heat shield thing which holds together with a paperclip. The one I have completely dismantles which is useful for packing.
    Used Trangia for many years and couldn’t stand them, my heart always sinks when someone turns up with one, which thankfully is infrequently these days. still use the kettle tho.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    I use old pocket rocket style stove, and have a few pans.
    Titanium = light but crap to cook in.
    Stainless with copper bottom = heavy! but spreads heat beautifully to cook with.
    I think there are very few “cooking” pots out there.

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    I use an Optimus Crux – bought as a package with a “Weekend” pan set.


    It folds away to sit in the concave base of a gas canister. The larger of the weekend pans has a heat exchanger type thing built in to make it a bit more efficient too.

    I don’t seem to have any problems with stability, though I am using it solo.

    Invest in making a pot cosy out of silver bubble wrap and duct tape. That will let you boil water into which you then dump your pasta (or whatever) bring back to the boil, remove from stove and sit in cosy for the requisite cooking time.

    For the likes of porridge, make up your own portions with oats, powdered milk and a touch of salt all measured out into store-bought cook-in bags. Just add boiling water, stir and leave to cook. Saves on washing up and means you can have some water on the go for coffee etc while you wait on it cooking.

    Premier Icon psling

    I’m a bit like B.A.Nana, have used Trangias and various others with various fuels but prefer my propane mix fuelled spider/hose type stove; low, stable, convenient. Convenient and easy to use seem to be my priorities; no cut down coke cans with holes in for me. Always use my Trangia kettle though!

    Having said that, most of my lightweight camping has been for max. 3 or 4 nights and generally not in sub 5’C temperatures.


    Having said that, most of my lightweight camping has been for max. 3 or 4 nights and generally not in sub 5’C temperatures.

    I’ve never had an issue with winter, either turn the cannister upside down for direct feed or put the cannister on top of the pan lid to give it a boost of heat. I know that sounds a bit dangerous, but I’ve always done it and still have my own eye brows.


    I’m a big fan of the Caldera Cone stove by Trail Designs if you already have a pot to fit (MSR Titan for me). So long as it’s just for boiling water.

    Some prefer Jet Boils etc for faster boil times. But I’ve never found myself in that much of a hurry.

    Set it off, and it’s boiled long before I’ve ever finished faffing around even when bivvying. You get an eye for using the right amount of fuel and compensating for temperature quickly enough too.


    In the olden days, you couldn’t get gas stoves with preheat tubes or Propane mix. They were a bit sluggish as temps dropped. These days, a Primus Express Spider (or equivalent) plus Propane mix and you’re good for cold weather burning cooking.

    This is my little lot at the moment. I’ve added a Micro Rocket for 3season bike/back packing.


    I love my Trangia, have it used it for many years but it has been retired to car camping as its too heavy/bulky…

    I bought a Honeystove;

    I have removed some of the components to save weight, but I still get to use my Trangia burner, plus I have also tried burning wood/twigs etc on the stove.

    I will be using it a lot more this year to see how it performs….


    I have one of these in the post on it’s way – so can’t comment on using it as yet, but it is very compact and weighs 45g:-

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    matt wrote:

    I have one of these in the post on it’s way – so can’t comment on using it as yet, but it is very compact and weighs 45g:-

    Make sure you’ve checked out the problem they are having with different gas cartridges.


    Ah ok.. will do. Thanks very much for he heads up!

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Double post, sorry.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Used Trangias for years, but replaced with an MSR XGK about 6 years ago.

    Should have switched years ago, so much faster.
    Less messy too and easy to use.

    Not ultralight, but neither am I.
    Utterly bombproof.

    +1 trangia, not so bad with 2 people carying stuff, bit bulky if on your own though.

    Anyone tried the new alpkit stove?

    Premier Icon Tiger6791


    Meths or Gas? (we’ll discount petrol, paraffin, diesel & wood for simplicity)

    + points
    Easy to get hold of
    Easy to use
    Very light & efficient

    – Points
    Stinks if spilled
    Slower to cook on
    Not as controllable

    + points
    Should be easy to get hold of
    Very controllable
    Fast to cook on

    – points
    Can be heavier
    Hard to tell how much you have
    Empty canisters need to be carried
    Doesn’t work as well when really cold

    Meths Gear:

    Trangia is big and heavy for the bike but they work well if your cooking for more than yourself and on multi day trips. Would be stable and work well for 2. They are big and heavy though.

    If you want to go silly light and minimal then Stu at Bearbones makes some brilliant tiny meths stoves that weigh nothing and teamed up with Alpkits Titanium mugs can make a really versitile cook set but maybe better as a solo set up.

    If you want stability I’m sure if you talk to Stu at Bearbones he’ll come up with something 😉

    Gas Gear:

    Most of them unless they are a cartridge stove are unstable I’ve lost my dinner too many times on the Pocket Rocket type stoves. You can get bigger feet for the cartridge however

    Pots & Pans
    It’s really hard to look past Alpkits Titanium stuff. For 2 of you 2 x MyTiCups & 1 x MyTiPot and a couple of Snapwire Sporks to eat and stir with.

    What do I use?

    Snowpeak mini Solo Pans with a Caldera Cone Wind shield. Super stable, fast and efficient.
    800ml pot and a 330ml cup that sits on the outside leaving inside for burner meths, windshield, matches, snap wire, cleaning pad.

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Meths is a lot harder to get than gas if you are touring round the likes of NW Scotland.


    Have a look at the Primus Eta range of stuff. I’ve used their Express, Paclite and their EtaPower MF. All three have been used on multi month bike tours with no issues. They are very efficient on gas, they can boil a mug of water in under a minute. I’ve only had one issue with the push button ignition on the Paclite, Primus replaced the whole stove and pan set.

    Meths is a lot harder to get than gas if you are touring round the likes of NW Scotland

    Meths maybe, but theres usualy some sort of ethanol available from chemists, and theres usualy more chemists than camp shops.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791

    Meths is a lot harder to get than gas if you are touring round the likes of NW Scotland.

    Is that because they are trying to keep the locals off the stuff?

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Easy to find meths next to white spirit in the DIY/painting section. Mine usually comes from Asda, and one bottle lasts ages.

    Use my Trangia all the time, but that’s cos it get transported by car, not bike. Would prefer something less bulky for bike packing, though.

    Used it in US too, and found a tin of alcohol in Walmart. Would probably run off vodka too, or the contents of a hipflask in an absolute emergency.

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