Stove for backpacking

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  • Stove for backpacking
  • DrJ
    Member

    After my recent query about a backpack (I ended up with a Gregory Baltoro 75, by the way) I move on to asking about stoves!!

    Right now I have a JetBoil, and I’m really impressed by just how fast it boils water (hence, I guess, the name … ) so I’m wondering is there a reason to not use it as my only stove on a sole backpacking adventure? Or is there something even better ??

    willard
    Member

    If you are only going to be boiling water (for drinks, rehydrating food, or using the boiled water to heat boil in the bag food) then the jtboil if a good solution. Just be wary of the amount of gas that you can carry.

    Alternatives? Maybe consider one of the multifuel stoves from MSR (Whisperlight International). Small, compack and can run off most things. If you run out of fuel, you can always top up from a truck or plane or something. They are heavier though.

    Premier Icon Cowman
    Subscriber

    Best stove at the moment is the Kovea Spider, great attachments for travelling or running it cheap. Really well made, light, sturdy and 4 season. Really well priced too, especially if you get one from Korea with the strong pound at the moment.

    Best all round stove Ive used in ages.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Not sure about jetboil. Looks great for boiling water, but what about simmering? What if you want more than one pan?

    Could be good for solo efforts where you just want to boil water for some kind of instant food, I suppose.

    MSR more reliably robust than gas stoves, and you can actually cook with them rather than simply boil water. Depends what you’re going for.

    Have been using the mini Trangia cook set and meths for these last 15 yrs, in addition to small open fores when weather is kind. I’m sure to be missing out on some new tech, but it works for me. My inner geek still marvels that the frying tongs 8) function not only as a spring to keep the lid from rattling but also as handles for both the saucepan and non-stick pan, which is also the lid.

    peterfile
    Member

    Alternatives? Maybe consider one of the multifuel stoves from MSR (Whisperlight International). Small, compack and can run off most things. If you run out of fuel, you can always top up from a truck or plane or something. They are heavier though.

    I’ve got an Omnilite Ti which is just great. Light, very well built, runs on anything (I can use cartridge gas or liquid fuels) and simmers well.

    Not cheap though….

    iolo
    Member

    CampStove 2

    I have no idea how good this is but it charges your phone too and that’s cool.

    Talking of the Biolite, have seen a smaller kit recently, still charges stuff but uses gas or solid fuels if I remember…will look for link.

    peterfile
    Member

    I have no idea how good this is but it charges your phone too and that’s cool.

    I had one of these which was bought for me as a gift, but I ended up selling it because it just didn’t seem practical for UK use.

    You need to keep it outside of your tent (given all the smoke it kicks off!) and when at full heat it needs fed fuel quite regularly, meaning it’s pretty much useless in anything other than nice, dry weather.

    Also, it’s heavy and quite bulky.

    Probably best just carrying a small battery pack charger and a proper stove.

    Was really cool though…wish I had a use for it.

    Cletus
    Member

    Has anyone tried the Kelly Kettle?

    http://www.kellykettle.com/

    It sounds great to be able to boil water and reheat food using just wood rather than lugging gas or other fuel about.

    May suit the OP if he does not need to do proper cooking

    DrJ
    Member

    Doesn’t using solid fuels make your pots all nasty and sooty? A while ago I had a solid fuel stove that incorporated a fan powered by a cassette player motor. It burned like a mf, but cleaning the pots afterwards was a nightmare!

    Kelly Kettle (Storm kettle, volcano kettle etc) is ace. I use the Ghillie brand, it’s awesome IMO for basecamps when you can store dry kindling etc, but find mine too bulky for bikepacking. But you can add a grill and keep a small fire going in the base for basic cooking.

    joshvegas
    Member

    Yep i have a well used kelly. I do love it but its a bit faffy.

    Best used for more relaxed trips.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It sounds great to be able to boil water and reheat food using just wood rather than lugging gas or other fuel about.

    Provided you can find some, it’s dry and you can light it!

    joshvegas
    Member

    I think Malvern and I have had this conversation before.

    That trip up there (hidden lookout post near elie) I got the hang of using it to cook.

    You get a very hot flame off the chimney which hand for beans or frying.

    Once you take the kettle off for coffee(i modified my aeropress to fit inside for transport) letting the coals burn down give you a very effective if tiny bbq stays hot for ages so longer stewwed dishes will be attempted.

    Lighting it can be a proper knob. Nice to have a wee fire though.

    stupid flickr

    scotroutes
    Member

    Joshvegas makes a really good point. If it’s for relaxed camping then something that takes a bit of faff is okay. For light/fast bikepacking trips(where finding dry fuel might be an issue) keep it simple. A lightweight and efficient gas stove, coupled with a home-made pot cosy) works well enough for me.

    rkk01
    Member

    Has anyone tried the Kelly Kettle?

    Horrid things.

    Was provided with these on 2(?) BSES expeditions…

    Great concept, but where in Northern Europe / N America can you find the DRY wood required to make the damn things work. Not too bad if you have copious amounts of gasoline to light it – oh, hold on

    On the other hand, I’ve been a long-time fan of the MSR Dragonfly*. You’ll never be somewhere you cant get fuel, and the adjustability means you can go from full throttle afterburner mode to a gentle simmer with a quick turn of the regulator.

    * Although to much “afterburner / full reheat” mode has left me needing a silver soldering / brazing job to re-attachΓ© the burner cup to the swivel mount in the base unit πŸ™

    joshvegas
    Member

    You just need to know where to find it.

    Gas, meths or hexamine if its just for a drink.

    Sod carrying petrol it stinks.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Horrid things.

    Was provided with these on 2(?) BSES expeditions…

    Great concept, but where in Northern Europe / N America can you find the DRY wood required to make the damn things work. Not too bad if you have copious amounts of gasoline to light it – oh, hold on

    You must be doing it wrong, not had any problems. Even light it with cotton wool pads (as tinder) and a steel. You normally collect a bit of fuel as you walk, stick it in a pocket to dry out if it’s that nasty out.
    If you want to be sure, one stick of firelighter can be broken down to make a fair few lights.

    Great things, ace with kids (they love using and feeding it) and on the beach. Not sure it’s a great option for bikepacking on account of the bulk of it.

    Have a spare for sale if anyones interested πŸ™‚ Scout size, brand new in box (I bought the wife one for Christmas after she raved about them from a forest schools course. I already knew about them from Chris Yates (old school carp fisherman) .. and she bought me one for the same Christmas!)

    rkk01
    Member

    In defence of my attitude on Kelly Kettles – on one occasion we were above the tree line, and the second on Iceland (not renowned for it’s tree cover…)

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Even light it with cotton wool pads (as tinder) and a steel. You normally collect a bit of fuel as you walk, stick it in a pocket to dry out if it’s that nasty out.
    If you want to be sure, one stick of firelighter can be broken down to make a fair few lights.

    All fine but somewhat negates the ‘convenience’ aspect of not having to bring fuel πŸ™‚

    You have to decide on your priorities, and what you want to use it for…
    What do you mean by “back packing”

    Weight
    fuel availability
    type of cooking

    I have a variety of stoves and use them all.

    Dragon fly
    – Brilliant stove, but not “very” small or light, is a bit more faff, can get fuel for it anywhere in the world, even ran it on cooking oil in a emergency. works well at altitude. good for real cooking as you can control the heat well, and use any pans on it.
    Spendy, but for longer trips it comes into its own, as the running costs (i.e. not gas or special fuels) are low.

    Reactor
    – MSR’s version of a jet boil, this is the perfect one man cook system for lightweight backpacking type use, where you cook for fuel for you activity, and are confident that you will have gas available.very quick and neat, minimal faff, but not good for real cooking as it has two temps, hotter than the sun and off, you have to use its special pan.

    You have a jet boil, unless it doesn’t do something you want it to, use that!

    or

    Add to your jet boil a…

    Pocket rocket
    – bought as a spare, does all it needs to, small light, can use any pan. This or similar is probably the best all round option for most people, as cheap, versatile and effective.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    All fine but somewhat negates the ‘convenience’ aspect of not having to bring fuel

    True, it’s a great fun thing with it’s uses, don’t think main stove for a solo backpack is it.. I’d be wanting my brew with minimum faff.
    Everyone who likes the outdoors should have one though, a toy that makes tea can’t be beat! The additional cook set is OK too.

    In defence of my attitude on Kelly Kettles – on one occasion we were above the tree line, and the second on Iceland (not renowned for it’s tree cover…)

    See above πŸ˜€ – think I’d go with the MSR too in those situations – given a choice of course πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I would generally not go for the type of gas stove that sits on top of a gas cannister. They tend to be unstable imo and harder to set up a windbreak. Which they need because they blow out easily. Jetboil etc notwithstanding of course.

    I use an MSR Whisperlite, and old one. It’s a bit of a pain to simmer with but it can be done.

    chewkw
    Member

    rkk01 – Member

    Great concept, but where in Northern Europe / N America can you find the DRY wood required to make the damn things work.

    πŸ˜† I wonder how the Red Indians light their fire in N merica?

    rkk01 – Member

    In defence of my attitude on Kelly Kettles – on one occasion we were above the tree line, and the second on Iceland (not renowned for it’s tree cover…)

    The Icelandic jungle is scary … πŸ˜†

    Want to sell yours? :mrgreen:

    Kelly kettle looks good but my concern is it’s a bit tall innit? I mean on an uneven ground it will definitely be difficult to cook especially when you put something on top of it. 😯

    footflaps
    Member

    My stove of choice is the MSR Pocket Rocket, small, light, very controllable, used it for Mountain Marathons and backpacking trips. I carry a foil windbreak with 3 Ti pegs which weighs next to nothing and rolls up really small. It also acts as a safety rail and stops the pan tipping over.

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Subscriber

    Just get the pan support for your Jetboil. Means you can make a brew in the cup then cook your bacon in a pan.
    On Fri night’s bivi trip it was quite nice to be drinking the coffee made using my Jetboil before my friend’s Trangia had even got his water tepid.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I wonder how the Red Indians light their fire in N merica?

    I think the op wants a simple backpacking trip not a native survival experience πŸ™‚

    scotroutes
    Member

    molgrips wrote:

    I wonder how the Red Indians light their fire in N merica?

    I think the op wants a simple backpacking trip not a native survival experience [/quote] πŸ˜†

    Aye, but it would appear that lots of folk can’t seem to separate the two when it comes to “adventure” equipment. We all pretend to ourselves that we’re making a purchase for kit that will take us across the Atacama or through deepest Africa, when the farthest we’re going to get is the back of Sainsburys. That goes for the bikes too…

    (i) the frame has to be steel as that can be welded up by some ransom blacksmith.

    (ii) the wheels have to be 26″ as spares can be found “anywhere”.

    etc
    etc
    etc

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Hehe.. I go with technology. If I want to go all Ray Mears I’ll pack a pan, a knife, a steel and I’ll look for birch trees… Not that I’ve actually done it outside their Bushcraft course mind.

    My Tour Divide bike is likely to be steel simply due to cost, but I’ll definitely go 29er.

    Edukator
    Member

    No stove unless the only source of water is snow. Then an MSR because petrol/diesel is compact, energy dense and available anywhere there is a road.

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