Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
JMT Stove choice
Display Avatars Sort By:
Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
JMT Stove choice on 01/08/2009 06:38:33 MST Print View

Hey Guys,
my wife and I are hitting up the JMT for a 10 day thru in August. I have been going back and forth on which stove I want to carry for the route. Right now the plan is to do the whole route in 2 resupplies. On our first day we are dgoing to ship all of our food save for one days to Tuolomne. Our next will be at Vermillion where we plan to spend a night. Right now I am going back and forth between my BPL Ti Wing Esbit stove and my Snow Peak Lite Max canister. On average we will prob use 3 cups of hot water for dinner every night. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
JMT Stove Choice on 01/08/2009 09:14:23 MST Print View

I hiked the JMT solo last summer and was very happy with a canister stove (Jetboil). I was heating a lot more water than you- generally 24 ounces for breakfast and at least as much between dinner and supper. Plus a fair amount of simmering to steam bake muffins.

Amazingly I only went through 300 grams of fuel for two weeks.

For a single boil of 24 ounces per day I met several people who were thrilled with their Caldera Cones. One guy who had previously used Esbit tabs told me that he had given up on boiling at high altitudes, settling for hot water that didn't do a good job reconstituting dried meals.

Also- on your resupply planning- I was quite happy to resupply only at Tuolumne and Muir Trail Ranch for my 15 day hike. Depending on water level Vermilion will add close to 10 miles to your hike, and it's a day north of MTR which is pretty much the midpoint. I would pack much lighter from Tuolumne and do a mini-resupply at the Red's Meadow store- mostly junk food.

David Neumann
(idahomtman) - M

Locale: Northern Idaho
JMT Stove Choice on 01/08/2009 09:25:52 MST Print View

I would say it depends on how fast you want to heat that water. On my 2005 solo JMT thru-hike I used an MSR pocket rocket. I resupplied at Red's and Muir Trail ranch. I purchased a new small canister at MTR, although I never completely used either canister.

I would second James response regarding Vermillion. I found MTR to be an excellent resupply point. My hike was 9.5 days; why add extra mileage and leave the wilderness? One of the great attributes of the JMT is the lack of "civilization" once you get past Tuolumne Meadows and Red's; though if you resupply at TM versus Red's you won't even hit a road from TM to Whitney Portal.

BTW, I did hike one day with some young people and one of them cooked exclusively with Esbit and was very successful. Either way, enjoy the hike.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT Stove choice on 01/08/2009 09:32:49 MST Print View

I did the JMT 2 years ago and used the BPL Ti wing the entire trip. Looking back -the only thing that I would change was bringing a larger,taller windscreen. I only cooked once a day boiling 1 1/2 cups of water. Dependable, very simple and easy to store. Enjoy your hike!!

jonathan lorenz
(punkture) - F

Locale: Northern California
alcohol on 01/08/2009 10:18:23 MST Print View

dont wanna hijack this thread but has anyone had experience with alcohol stoves in JMT? Im also debating my stove situation for JMT and was wondering how reliable alcohol would be at that altitude.

Edited by punkture on 01/08/2009 10:19:25 MST.

Margaret Snyder
(jetcash) - F

Locale: Southern Arizona
minibull on JMT 2009 on 01/11/2009 21:44:25 MST Print View

I plan to use my redbull alcohol stove from minibull designs on my thruhike this year. IMO canisters are too heavy (even for 2 people) and esbits are too messy.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT Stove Choice on 01/11/2009 22:36:10 MST Print View

BPL use to sell a type of Esbit Tab that burned very clean. No burn residue on the bottom of your pot. I can not remember the name but there is a no fuss solid fuel tab out there. Somebody help me remember.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: alcohol stove on the JMT on 01/11/2009 23:05:58 MST Print View

Yes, I used a Trail Design Caldera Stove (alcohol) on the JMT last year (16 days). And on the Sierra High Trail (15 days the year before). works great, even at the base of Mt. Whitney. What I like is I know exactly how much fuel I've used and how much is left and as the fuel is used, the weight approaches zero because the weight of a plastic alcohol bottle is virtually zero. I got my stove from -- I will do the entire JMT next year (23 days--I only do 10 miles a day) and will use the Caldera stove again. I resupply every 6 days or sooner (at nearly every opportunity--the hardest one being at Charlotte Lake of course).

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
i used bushbuddy on jmt on 01/11/2009 23:31:52 MST Print View

i cut my trip short & was only out 3 nights, but it worked like a charm - i'd do it again

for areas above the elevation limit, i was going to collect the wood below the limit and/or simply cook when below the limit - i noticed that regardless of where one might camp, there'd always be at least part of each day below the elevation limit

had a couple esbit tabs in the emergency kit for just in case

i'm thinking about doing it again but going slow - maybe 10miles/day pace

to avoid resupply & keep lighter pack, i've also considered doing a trip with minimum food & just scavenge what people on their way out are happy to dispose of, along with caught trout (can easily get trout every day)
- or trade trout for other food (my dad used to do this to stay out longer)

jonathan lorenz
(punkture) - F

Locale: Northern California
caldera on JMT on 01/12/2009 08:53:10 MST Print View

awesome! I also have stuck with using a caldera after going through several other alcohol stoves and windscreens. Such good news that it works through the altitude. Did you have to use more alcohol than usual? What were boil times like? What type of alcohol did you use? I'm currently using everclear and I find it better than denatured.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: caldera on JMT on 01/12/2009 09:09:29 MST Print View

It is about 4 minutes to boil time. I budget 1 oz for a 2 cup boiling. In 2009, I've decided to only cook for supper (to use cold cereal and liguid concentrated coffee packets to have "ice coffee" along with a vanilla whey protein in lieu of milk/protein source for breakfast) so I plan only only 1 oz of alchol, ordinary "denatured alcohol". Muir Trail Ranch has it for sale, so you just buy what they have there. I presume the other resupply places have same, I only resupplied twice last year, once at MTR and other time at Charlotte Lake (a friendly mountain climber hauled in supplies for us--she only lives 20-40 miles from onionvalley trailhead--she hauled in 28 pounds of supplies for us). We only did the 165 miles from Red Meadows to WP last year, intend to do the whole JMT in 2009.

Edited by marti124 on 05/19/2009 07:24:39 MDT.

Danny Milks
(dannymilks) - MLife

Locale: Sierras
canister stove, Reds and MTR on 01/12/2009 21:17:43 MST Print View

My friend and I did the hike in 8.5 days early last summer. We were happy that we brought our canister stove due to the no-fuss setup and fast boiling times, especially after the long days that we were putting in. We boiled about .5 liter of water for breakfast and dinner nearly every day. We used the Coleman Firelight stove and an Evernew 1 liter titanium pot.

I haven't tried the Caldera Cone yet - not sure if that would have made it more appealing to go with alcohol or esbit.

As for food drops, we hiked from south to north and only picked up a few snacks at Reds. Otherwise, we didn't do a resupply and that freedom/flexibility was nice.

A few years prior, I did the hike with another friend, at a more normal pace, and we resupplied at MTR and Reds. Both were good options, close to the trail, and had great service. Both have camper boxes if you need a little extra food (usually soups, oatmeal, snack bars) or sometimes even fuel. I agree with the above post the Vermillion adds too many miles. Plus, MTR has hot springs just up the river!

Rand Lindsly
(randlindsly) - MLife

Locale: Yosemite
JMT notes on 01/12/2009 23:06:07 MST Print View

From my JMT experience this year, I (obviously) used the Caldera, but went with esbit and a GramCracker. Found it to be more efficient, lighter, and less-spill-prone than alcohol. Worked like a champ.

The main thing I wanted to chime in with was my observation on VVR (Vermilion Valley). With Edison Lake being lower the past 2 years, it is probably 1/2 to 1 mile further down the lake to catch the ferry.....and a bit of a drive in a van over the dry lake bed to the resort. HOWEVER, you don't have to retrace your steps. You can catch the Bear Ridge Trail on the south side of the lake and tag back up with the JMT a bit further down the trail. This modification to the trip results in minimal additional trail time.

The other consideration with VVR is, that unlike MTR, you can do laundry, take a shower, have a cooked meal, have a beer, etc. About that point in the trail, a shower and clean clothes were welcome. Feel free to bash me for enjoying a day of creature comfort....but god help me I did.... and I will probably keep VVR on my itinerary the next time I go.

(forgive me for I have sinned)

Rand :-)

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: JMT notes on 01/12/2009 23:32:08 MST Print View

Rand, what do you mean "esbit and a GramCracker". I understand about Esbit tabs, do they work though with all of your Trail Design Caldera stoves/windscreens? But what is the deal about GramCracker(s)?

Thanks -- an enthusiast Caldera Stove user and owner (of various models).

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 16:37:03 MST Print View

Go to Trail Designs website and you will see the gram cracker is a slick little item that holds an Esbit tab inside a Caldera Cone. Using the cone it's a real effecient way to use Esbit tablets. I'm pretty sure that's what I'll be using on my JMT this year.


Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 17:44:40 MST Print View

I used the Gram Cracker last year on the JMT. Its sooo much nicer to carry tabs instead of a bottle of liquid.
The gram has been my go-to stove set up ever since, nothings lighter, easier to carry, and the Caldera cone just works even in the wind with no problem.
The only caveat is you will not be able to find Esbit tabs in any of the usual resupply stops -Toulume,VVR,MTR. Im pretty sure Yosemite dosnt have them either. So you will have to mail them. Good news is the tabs are light enough that I only needed one resupply for them and still had a bunch of tabs left when I finished -but I only cook dinners and I dont drink coffee- hot chocolate sometimes.
I cant comment on comparing it to canisters since I havnt used a canister for backpacking in years.

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Re: Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 18:27:39 MST Print View

Gram Cracker Stove

The Gram Cracker.

The only problem is you need to use the Caldera Cone or find another pot stand. The beautify of the BPL Titanium Wing is that you can use a lighter windscreen and also a variety of bowls/cups since the Caldera Cone is custom-sized to your bowl/cup.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 18:39:23 MST Print View

Yes but the cone is super efficient, it solves the wind problem and captures and directs the heat. Those are the biggest problems with traditional stove/wind screen set-ups. In fact a slight breeze usually dramatically affects other set-ups. The cone works like a champ in full blown wind - provided that wind isnt strong enough to blow the set up over. Did I mention the cone system is the most stable of systems Ive ever tried -including canisters!

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 18:48:03 MST Print View

>The only problem is you need to use the Caldera Cone or find another pot stand. The beautify of the BPL Titanium Wing is that you can use a lighter windscreen and also a variety of bowls/cups since the Caldera Cone is custom-sized to your bowl/cup.

Although the Ti- wing stove is lighter initially, the Gram Cracker plus Caldera Cone is more efficient for longer trips where the savings in fuel weight becomes apparent (most noteably if you use the side "wings"). Not to mention the Caldera is more stable and sheds wind better than a simple Esbit stand plus generiic windscreen.

Good points though about wider range of pots and bowls suited to the Ti-wing it depends on what the priorities are in a stove.

Ooops. Brian beat me to it!

Edited by retropump on 01/13/2009 18:48:47 MST.

Tim F
(kneebyter) - MLife

Locale: the depths of Hiking Hell (Iowa)
re: Gram Cracker on 01/13/2009 18:57:27 MST Print View

For Snow Peak 600:

Aluminum Caldera Cone- 32g
Gram Cracker- 4g!!!

32g for Esbit stove, windscreen and pot stand! Extremely efficient too.