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group backpacking gear
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Russell Klopfer

Locale: Pittsburgh
group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:05:37 MDT Print View

Hey all,

I'm taking a three night trip with five other guys next week. I'm just wondering what is a good stove to hiker ratio. Right now we have 2 stoves. Also, two water filters will be shared between the group. Do you think this will be enough or will we be waiting eons for our food and drink?

Thanks much!

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
dudes night out on 05/02/2010 21:13:17 MDT Print View

Around this time last year I did a trip to yosemite with 9 dudes including myself. We had 1 jetboil and 2 alcohol stoves. One of the alcohol stoves was tuned for a large pot though (used with a 1.7 liter pot, huge flame pattern, big fuel capacity etc). No one complained about having to wait around for water to boil. The alc. stoves were there to supplement the jetboil. So if you have at least 1 canister stove, it shouldnt be bad.

We had 1 msr miniworks filter for all 9 sucked!!! The filter sucks to begin with, but it would literally take use 1 hr to filter 2 liters of water for everyone. Take a look at what filters you could make a huge difference. Even if we had 2 msr miniworks filters, it still would have sucked. For a large group, I've learned that a gravity filters works best. Have fun!

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/02/2010 21:14:47 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: dudes night out on 05/02/2010 21:14:37 MDT Print View

Konrad -- don't hold back. Which filter was it?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:15:39 MDT Print View

It depends on what is planned for food.

As an example, I used to lead group backpack trips of 8-12 people, and I organized a central commissary of mostly dry food. My standard was to have at least one stove for each 6 people in summer, and one for each 4 people in winter. Plus, those were hot white gas stoves.

If you shift down to butane stoves, you may want a little more. If you shift down further to alcohol stoves, you will want more yet. If you shift to Esbit, you will want a lot more.

Sometimes you are in mild weather and your hot food requirements are minimal. Sometimes you are in bad weather and you have a bunch of foodies on your hands. It varies.

Similarly with water filters, some work slow, and some work fast. If you are on the trail 12 hours per day, you don't want to take much extra time to pump water. On the other hand, if you have an easy trip, then time for pumping won't hurt anything. If your water has lots of floaties, it will slow down a filter in no time.


Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re: dudes night out on 05/02/2010 21:15:58 MDT Print View

hahah you know how much i hated that MSR miniworks...I'm going back to CA at the end of this month...i'm gonna ebay that sucker!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:15:59 MDT Print View

Not that people need to be in such a rush, although considering just how light alky stoves are -- esp. for just 3 nights' worth of fuel... why not bring a few more alky stoves?

Konrad -- coming to CA? If it's So Cal -- let me know beforehand!

Edited by ben2world on 05/02/2010 21:17:36 MDT.

Russell Klopfer

Locale: Pittsburgh
Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:35:33 MDT Print View

Thanks for the feedback! Actually, the filter that I currently have is an MSR Miniworks. I definitely agree that it's not so hot (ie. infuriating). I'm not bringing it regardless. The last trip I brought it on, we didn't use it at all because it was so much slower than my friends Katadin filter. Two other people have filters, was just wondering if I should pick up a new one that doesn't take a zillion years to filter 3L. I think I might pick up a Hyperflow. Hopefully it's a lot better.

According to Bob's post I think we should be good on stoves. One hot meal at night and coffee in the morning is pretty much all the heating and eating we'll be doing. We've got two white gas stoves to cover that. I'm leaving my alcohol stove at home.. if only I could convince everyone to get their own, we'd be in great shape and probably be carrying less weight over all.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:44:51 MDT Print View

White gas stoves are really hot, so for serious cooking or snow melting, that is the ticket. Having two such stoves means that they can share fuel. On the other hand, they are heavy.

Butane canister stoves are a lot lighter, but the fuel cost goes up.

Alcohol burners are lighter yet, but they tend to be considerably slower than butane. Since they are so lightweight, it can be fun to bring one along with a few ounces of fuel, just to demonstrate to the non-owners what they might purchase before the next trip.

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:50:17 MDT Print View

why not bring a few more alky stoves

There must be a crossover, where it is lighter to bring one or two light gas stoves than to bring alcohol.

This group has worked it out in terms of days for a single hiker, assuming boiling a certain amount of water. More people implies more water implies fewer days, I would think.


Russell Klopfer

Locale: Pittsburgh
Re: Re: Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/02/2010 21:51:15 MDT Print View

>> they tend to be considerably slower than butane
You don't sound entirely convinced. :)

>> bring one along with a few ounces of fuel, just to demonstrate to the non-owners what they might purchase before the next trip.

Consider it in the bag.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
filters on 05/02/2010 22:41:25 MDT Print View

Haha, glad im not alone in my hatred for the miniworks. We had to field strip and clean ours every 5 liters. I was even using a coffee filter as a pre-filter on the inlet end. I think you should also stay away from the hyperflow. I've heard even more complaints about that one clogging. I heard backflushing it doesnt help either. How about a steripen? I just picked one up and so far so good. I just bring aqua mira drops as my backup in case my batteries quit or if it fails. Total weight of the steripen, plus backup drops/tablets would be less than 4 ounces.

Also, there are some users (Ben does it as I recall) who utilize either bleach, or micropur tabs coupled with an aqua-mira frontier pro filter. I cant remember how exactly it works, but the tabs kill off some of the baddies, and whatever is left over is filtered out with the frontier pro

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/02/2010 22:44:25 MDT.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re miniworks on 05/02/2010 22:46:42 MDT Print View

I've been using one for over 10 years now, I think, and it has been great. It isn't light, and it isn't real fast, but it has been consistent and reliable. Yours must be a lemon.
I only take mine kayak camping now and usually use a Steripen when hiking, though I just bought a Platy CleanStream which I have yet to test but am hoping will be a good 'group' filter.

Russell Klopfer

Locale: Pittsburgh
Re: filters on 05/02/2010 23:06:31 MDT Print View

I thought about getting a steripen, but it seem impractical since I'm using a bladder instead of bottles. Is there a way of using a good way of using a steripen with a bladder?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: filters on 05/02/2010 23:47:47 MDT Print View

Steripen should be paired with a wide-mouth container 16oz or 32oz in size.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: filters on 05/03/2010 00:03:02 MDT Print View

I must have a half-dozen water filters buried in the gear room. Katadyn, MSR, First-Need, etc.

The MSR Waterworks was a piece of work. I had a new one that I had tested. I took it on a 3-person trip. At the first camp, water was thin, so we filtered some buggy water through a bandana and then pumped it through. It lasted for about a quart and then pumping got very hard. I stripped it down to the main element, poured boiling water over it, and then reassembled it. It lasted for about a pint and then pumping got impossible. The prefilter appeared clean. We quit using it and boiled water for the rest of five days. When I got the filter home, I found out that it was not the fault of the prefilter or the main filter. It was the fiberglas post-filter. Apparently some kind of oily residue from the water got into it, and it choked, as it is supposed to do. Had we known, we could have simply removed the post-filter and used the rest of it as it was. Live and learn.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Re miniworks on 05/03/2010 01:11:41 MDT Print View

P.P. I'm not sure if its a lemon, so much as it just clogs very quickly. When I field strip it, clean it, and reassemble, I can pump out a liter in about 30 secs, which is very reasonable imo. However, by the time I get to the 5th liter, it takes me 5 mins. It still pumps, and it still filters, but it just does it soooo slow. And hence, i re-strip, reclean, get back to the fast pump rate for a few more liters and repeat. Maybe it was the river I was pumping from, who knows? But I did use a prefilter hoping I would catch most of the silt that would clog the ceramic core, but to no avail. Either way I've moved on to better, faster and lighter options.

RK, the best thing to do is get a collapsible nalgene cantene (the 1 liter one). They are lightweight, pack down real small, and have a wide mouth suitable for steripen use. Just treat in there, and transfer to your bladder. It'll still be lighter and faster than the miniworks.cantene

Edited by Konrad1013 on 05/03/2010 01:16:32 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/03/2010 01:56:59 MDT Print View

Hi Bob

> Plus, those were hot white gas stoves.
> If you shift down to butane stoves, you may want a little more.
I will take issue with you here. A typical white gas stove may put out 2.4 kW if you push it. A typical good canister stove will put out more than 3 kW. You can get these figures from our Reviews or from some of the manufacturers. That the canister stoves generally put out more power than the white gas stoves is by now fairly common knowledge.

Yes, I know the manufacturers claim all sorts of superlative performances - but few ever believe them. :-)


Acronym Esq
( - F

Locale: TX
Re: group backpacking gear on 05/03/2010 10:24:31 MDT Print View

Fuel and Stove calculation and comparison.

Thanks for all the comments so far. I'm lurking on this thread.

acronym 5/3/2010 11:22 AM

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: group backpacking gear on 05/03/2010 10:40:24 MDT Print View

I would drop the heavy filter and just have everyone take Aquamira. Repackaged in Mini Dropper bottles they weigh 1.1oz each and if the group were to get separated, everyone could still get clean water.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: Re: group backpacking gear on 05/03/2010 11:10:13 MDT Print View

+1 on everyone having their own water treatment capability