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need stove advice
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Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
need stove advice on 10/25/2010 19:30:50 MDT Print View

I am hiking with my wife and son. We have yet to do any overnight backpacking so we need some advice on a stove system.

We would mostly be hiking in temps from high 20 on up.

what stove and size pot combo do I need to cook for 3.

I have looked at the cone and tri tri but am unsure what to buy and specifically what size pot to get.

any direction would be appreciated.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: need stove advice on 10/25/2010 19:48:55 MDT Print View

You will get varied opinions on this. Some of it depends on how "fancy" you want to cook. If you are really a minimalist, then a lightweight titanium cone may work well for you. I'm guessing that you might prefer something for convenience, like a small butane canister stove.

When I backpack, I like to prepare my main course that is about 2 cups in volume. So, to extrapolate that for three eaters, you would want about 1.3 or 1.5 liters of pot capacity. For sure, 1 liter would be too small, and 2 liters might be too heavy.


Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: need stove advice on 10/25/2010 19:50:11 MDT Print View

Will you actually be cooking or just boiling water for "freezer bag cooking"? How elaborate is your menu?

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
thoughts on 10/25/2010 20:00:06 MDT Print View

my initial thoughts are simply boiling water. While I have no experience in this, my plan is to dehydrate my own food or buy dehydrated food, or of course the staple noodles.

I dont really plan on lots of cooking, as my main goal is ultralight.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Wife n kids on 10/25/2010 20:07:15 MDT Print View

Canister stove if they arent used to ul stoves

convenient, fast, clean and fairly light ...

Will Webster
Re: thoughts on 10/25/2010 20:15:28 MDT Print View

My wife and I recently started backpacking again after a lapse of some years, and our conversion to lightweight gear (striving for ultralight) has made it possible. The two of us use a Caldera cone with a 0.9L pot and freezer bag cooking. We boil one pot of water in the evening to rehydrate our dinners, and two pots in the morning (one for coffee/tea and one for oatmeal). The Caldera and its alcohol stove are a joy compared to the weight and fiddliness of our old MSR Whisperlite, but it is slow and we haven't tried it in cold conditions yet. A canister stove may be a better choice for three people if you can keep the canister warm. I've seen some debate over which is lighter (alcohol or canister); I think it depends on how many person-nights you're out and how you handle empty and half-empty canisters.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
canister stove on 10/25/2010 21:05:09 MDT Print View

I'd agree that to begin with a canister stove makes the most sense- check the Snow Peak Giga for starters- a easy to use, trouble free stove- that is pretty light to boot

for boil in the bag meals for three, probably right at the 1.5 liter mark- the canister, stove and more will all nest easily in a 1.5 liter pot

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
why on 10/25/2010 21:15:58 MDT Print View


I dont doubt your advice, but want to know why the canister makes more sense than an alcohol stove or other type.

Just trying to learn here.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Stove Thoughts on 10/25/2010 21:16:38 MDT Print View

I doubt if your wife is any less capable than you, and I'm sure your son can follow instructions and guidance.

Regardless of the heat source, the pot will probably be the same.

I see no problem going with a Caldera Cone and the Evernew Titanium Non-Stick 1.9 Pot Set (ECA424)at 245 grams. You can get 1.5 liters in with plenty of headroom for handling and pouring.

Edited by greg23 on 10/25/2010 21:17:12 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: why on 10/25/2010 21:20:56 MDT Print View

> why the canister makes more sense than an alcohol stove or other type.
Much faster than alcohol, especially for 1.5 L of water.
Much safer and more convenient than white gas.
Cleaner and faster than Esbit.


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: need stove advice on 10/25/2010 21:23:16 MDT Print View

+1 on a canister stove. Alcohol stoves are okay for solo, but with a small group, you need lots of water. My Coleman F1 will boil a liter in 3 minutes vs. the Caldera Cone boiling 600ml in twice that time or more.

You can split the fuel between other members of the group-- everyone can take a canister. We use ours car camping and power outages too. And you will be able to use it for a long time.

My last time out with an alcohol stove made me decide to use my canister stove more often. I'm tired of measuring fuel, babying it to get it to light, no control of the output, spilled fuel, etc, etc.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: need stove advice on 10/25/2010 22:13:28 MDT Print View

Roger and Dale raise good points in terms of boil time. Sitting around in 25° temps for 30 minutes might be a bit much. Plus, if you would have to melt snow for water, it would be a slow go.

Out of curiosity I just ran a simple test. Using a Caldera Cone, I boiled (at 195°) 1.3 liters of 35° water, covered with an uninsulated lid, in 20° air, no wind, at 7600', in 21 minutes, using 28 grams of 85% ethanol.

I think I would prefer a canister.

Edited by greg23 on 10/25/2010 22:14:29 MDT.

Mark Hudson
(vesteroid) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Sierras
canister on 10/25/2010 22:21:03 MDT Print View

ok thanks guys, so I want a canister with somewhere around a 1.5 litre pot.

I will start digging.

Scott Truong

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Stoves/my setup (min. 16.2 oz - max 24.6 oz) on 10/25/2010 22:21:11 MDT Print View

This is the setup that I use, because my buddies are too cheap to buy their own gear, so this is for my "family" of 3.

With the exception of the weight of the condiments (white dropper bottle) everything fits inside the pot, and weighs 24.6 oz in a packed size of 6" tall x 5.5" wide.



The reflectix cozies are extremely effective and weigh next to nothing.

However, I'm likely going to try to use Freezer Bags and a reflectix envelope/cozies next time I go out. Simply because washing dishes is a pain, especially in bear country (because I am paranoid).

In this case all you would need is the smaller pot. The Snowpeak 900 and this weighs in at 16.4 oz. total, packed 5"tall x 4.75" wide. I can now also have tea with the extra water while my food is hydrating. Pot makes a great mug.


Dehydrating is definitely the way to go. Very very easy, light and inexpensive (my post on stew/dehydrating is down the page):

The pots are a Snowpeak 900 & 1400. I got them from O2 gear shop for $65 (found deal on Amazon).

The stove is a Coleman F1 Ultralight ($35 Amazon). I like that it breaks down into 2 pieces for better fit. The thing is a flame thrower. If I had to choose another, I'd likely go with the Snowpeak Giga Power.

There is probably lighter, and this or that, and I honestly haven't tried "all" the options, but in my opinion, why bother. This is easy, inexpensive, reliable and clean for 90% of the trips I do. I don't want sooty pots in my pack, look for dry twigs, etc.

If I was going solo or with a partner who wanted to tinker, then I might explore other options. Chances are though, I'd go back to this setup for the convenience.

I cooked a couple of eggs in the frypan lid of the 1400. It worked, and tasted fine, but was a pain because some of it burned and had to scrub to clean lid. I did this only once in my kitchen. I'd likely get better with heat control with experience (take pan off and on stove, moving pan around flame) and was thinking of soon as i figure out how to catch them. Point is, it can be done.

BTW that canister is the 225g/8oz large one. I"m surprised at how long it lasts. And sometimes you hear people say, the alcohol is cheaper etc... but it's $6 and will likely last you guys a week if not more if all you're doing is boiling a liter or two of water twice a day (I'm guessing here).

Hope this helps.

Edited by elf773 on 10/25/2010 22:29:23 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: need stove advice on 10/25/2010 22:28:08 MDT Print View

Snow Peak Gigapower. 'Nuff said.
Snow Peak Gigapower stove with new windscreen
Snow Peak Gigapower stove with MYOG TI windscreen

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Stove on 10/25/2010 22:31:23 MDT Print View

How long are your trips going to be? Short? Ti-Tri. Should be plenty of wood where you are so no fuel weight. In a hurry or on a week long trip? Canister. Are you planning on camping in the summer too? Unless you are winter camping, you'll see 20 degrees mostly in shoulder season. Don't worry too much about that. I'm curious as to who's in such a big hurry to make dinner. I usually hike until just before dark but still have lots of camp time. Making dinner does not have to be done at warp speed.

Edited by rlnunix on 10/25/2010 22:37:24 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Msr windpro on 10/25/2010 23:33:34 MDT Print View

Consider a msr windpro or other such remote stove ... Sure it weighs a bit more but the stability and ability to use it in winter makes it a good long term purchase ... For winter or groups

roger has a good set of articles on this

for youself you can always make a pepsi can stove yrself anytime to see how u like it before commiting to a caldera

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Invertable remote on 10/25/2010 23:49:33 MDT Print View

At 25F I'd be seriously thinking about a Windpro or similar that allows the canister to be inverted, especially cooking for three. This will prevent the canister from slowing down as it gets cold.

I may have missed how old your son is, but for younger kids (under 10) I'm a big fan of being able to get the dinner ready pretty quick, especially when they're tired

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: Re: Re: need stove advice on 10/26/2010 07:19:48 MDT Print View

@Denis: I was just thinking last night how to make a shorter windscreen for the Gigapower. Using a windscreen that goes to the ground is too tall to fit in the pot. Have any plans/pix/details on your creation?

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
windpro on 10/26/2010 07:25:21 MDT Print View

for winter use I'd agree- look at the windpro, but from what I'm gathering he's anticipating 20 degrees to be the very coldest they would encounter- in the Sierras that probably fits the definition of three season pretty closely, in that scenario a "normal" canister stove should be sufficient

as far as wood/alcohol that's certainly an option, but one I think better explored down the road a bit- they haven't done any overnight camping- the last thing I would want to do is possible sour family members on a stove that is doesn't operate easily/efficiently

as far as a 900 pot- I think that would be cutting it a little close for three, I think any of the ~ 1.5 liter offerings would be closer to the mark