Please teach me about lightweight cooking
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Barry Pollock
(Barry1492) - F

Locale: Media
Please teach me about lightweight cooking on 04/19/2011 08:06:38 MDT Print View

My stove is about 10 years old, so I know I can get a lighter one, but it was the absolute smallest at the time. It's one of those little jobbies that screws right on top of the little individual fuel cannisters and makes the two almost one unit.

I have no idea how that sompares to the stand alone stoves with the bottle of fuel and how any of that compares to weight savings.

Now I know that most of you will give me the super duper light answer. That's great, but can you also give me the in between stuff too? I'm just curious and would like to know.


Thanks a ton (or should I say thanks an ounce?).

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Please teach me about lightweight cooking on 04/19/2011 08:26:49 MDT Print View

While it isn't a definite answer my theory is this:
You must match the stove to the pot to the style of cooking you are doing adding in how many people you are cooking for.

That means, for me at least, I own multiple stoves and pots to choose from.

No one setup is perfect for everything.

And IMO, just because a stove and pot are the lightest out there doesn't mean they will work well. The two things do not go hand in hand. Are you just a water boiler? A gourmet cook? Ti pots make great water boilers but for half the cost so does thin walled HAA. If you like to cook a little extra weight in the walls of the pot make a huge difference. A simple alchy stove is easy but isn't perfect if you hike in areas with long term fire bans or you like to gourmet cook.

As for traditional stoves that are liquid fuel driven, the ones with fuel bottles, they are considerably less used these days, canister stoves took over the market for good reason - canister stoves are simple and easy and often lighter. No maintenance, no fuss. Liquid fuel is great for winter but beyond that....no thanks.

IMO if your stove works fine and fits your pot choices then don't worry. But if you want another easy one you could always look at REI's stats on them (they actually have a chart in store) that breaks down boil time/weight/pot stability.

I always end up going back to my Snowpeak Giga for good reason. Although when we fly I carry a White Box alchy.

Barry Pollock
(Barry1492) - F

Locale: Media
stoves on 04/19/2011 10:58:09 MDT Print View

Thanx. All I do is boil water. Is a cannister stove what I was talking about? Its got the little red fuel container that the stove screws on top of?

Brian Ahlers
(bahlers7) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: stoves on 04/19/2011 11:36:16 MDT Print View

If all you are doing is boiling water to add to your meals then you may want to look into alcohol stoves which can be the super duper lightest. But, canister stoves are fairly light and can definitely boil water a few minutes quicker than most alochol stoves at a slight weight penalty. Sarah makes a good point on looking on REI's website because you can compare many different canister stoves if those are what you are looking into. Another note on alcohol stoves is that they are way cheaper, I made the one I currently use out of a couple of aluminum mousse bottles that cost me around $3.00 and a quart of denatured alcohol is about $6.00-$7.00 which I only carry about 4-8 fl oz of alcohol depending on the length of trip. There really is no right or wrong way, just keep it comfortable for you and keep it light.

Andy Schill
(Aschill) - F
Cannister Stove on 04/19/2011 12:26:42 MDT Print View

Barry,

Yes, you have a canister stove.

I also only boil water and 99% of the time I use a small alcohol stove with beer can pot ( Caldera Cone). My setup weighs in around 5oz and is perfect for just boiling water. Alcohol is cheaper, and I don't have to carry around fuel in a metal container.

I also have a canister stove, but it just sits in the gear closet and might make it out a few times a year.

Edited by Aschill on 04/19/2011 12:30:09 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Please teach me about lightweight cooking on 04/19/2011 14:19:23 MDT Print View

The last time I was able to wade through all the wonky calculations for what weighs more, I recall the conclusion was that an alcohol stove MAY way less for a short trip but for a longer trip it ends up weighing about the same as a canister stove.

Probably the lightest "stove" you can do is to set your pot on top of a little tiny stick fire. No stove or fuel to carry and you can still eat hot food and enjoy the lighter weight of freeze-dried food.

Not sure where an esbit stove fits in there. The esbit fuel is sort of heavy, but I'm guessing it's similar to an alcohol stove.

Jason Cravens
(packpack)

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
IMO on 04/19/2011 14:49:01 MDT Print View

If you haven't bought a stove in ten years, you may want to look at upgrading to a cannister stove like mentioned above. I own a Snow Peak Giga Power and at 3 oz. is very light. The cannister weighs about 9 oz. full, which is not a bad total. I also own a Gram Weenie Pro alcohol stove, but if you haven't upgraded in several years, the Snow Peak would make a very good start. I think I paid 39.99 at REI?

Good luck with whatever you choose and there are plenty of folks here to help with whichever you decide!

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Stoves on 04/19/2011 17:43:08 MDT Print View

Well, I like to cook. Generally my base kit goes between 9 and 11 pounds. Mostly, I use the venerable SVEA 123 stove. I have tried to use alcohol for longer trips, but the weight of fuel is a killer. I cook, remember? The same for canisters. This are only slightly better for weight than a caldera cone and alcohol, or, they are nearly as heavy as the SVEA. Using a PET bottle and the SVEA does as well on longer trips. (I get about 11-16L per tank full on low, depending on the starting temp of the water.) By tests, .32oz/liter starting at 40F average. At home, I have gotten as good as a canister at around 4L per ounce. The stove itself weighs ~17oz. The cup and handle are included. Great for cocoa at night while you cook supper.

Food is always bulk, usually rice, dried meats, sphigetti, parified butter, bisquick, and dried veggies for suppers. Generally this takes a bit more cooking at a very low simmer. Frying, requires a bit higher heat, but is usually managed in the pot. Soups, stews, pot pies, spanish rice, etc...the large variety of stuff helps stave off the boredom of trail foods... Breakfast is coffee, cocoa, cinimon & bisquick rolls steam baked...the hot water makes a good third cup of coffee...

Anyway, most will disagree with my choice. It is an ultra dependable stove, though. No moving parts, 'cept the valve. No pump is needed and a self contained fuel tank for short trips. I got it back in the early 70s I think. I really have forgotten. I added a midi pump and cap later on, but have never done anything else to it. It just works. For close to 40 years it has worked about 30-40 nights out per year(more now that I am retired.) Through ice fishing trips in winter, and occasional snow shoe trips in the High Peaks, canoe trips through the ADK's, and all the backpack trips, it has never failed to fire up and run. My kids don't remember a time without it. Now they have their own kids. Before Cascade (MSR) was, it was cooking for me. Hard to get rid of the thing. Just too good at what it does...even for the additional 4-5 ounces, it still is my first choice for more than a simple weekend fastpack.

Anyway, there are still some available at A&H Campstoves.