Stoves at Philmont
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David Ebert
(ebertdb)

Locale: Midwest
Stoves at Philmont on 10/18/2011 10:26:40 MDT Print View

I've read many of the posts on this forum about canister stoves and cartridge resupply, but have seen nothing on the Primus Multi- or Omni-fuel. If anyone has experience with either at Philmont, I'd love to hear about it .... good, bad, or ugly. Please share.


FYI - forgot to update, but I went with the Primus Omnifuel and it worked very well at Philmont. We had that plus an Optimus that had many many miles on it (I know - bad form - need two repair kits ha!). And the two worked great together. We had one 0.6L and one 1.0L bottle. Never ran out, only refilled one bottle at each commisary stop and ended up with extra fuel at the end. Next time, we will take two 0.6L bottles instead.

Edited by ebertdb on 10/16/2012 10:51:12 MDT.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Stoves at Philmont on 01/11/2012 19:28:30 MST Print View

I see this never got answered so maybe this will help generate discussion. I'm guessing most use dedicated canister stoves or liquid fuel stoves. I'm sure some have used multi-fuel ones if they already owned them but the Primus ones you mention seem more expensive than other options. The MSR Whisperlite seems popular though maybe not with Scouting groups. Looking at some reviews, it also seems the Primus isn't the easiest one for changing the jets. Hopefully some others with direct experience will chime in.

Is there a reason you don't want a single fuel stove?

Will you simply be boiling or also simmering on your trips?

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Stoves at Philmont on 01/11/2012 21:12:46 MST Print View

We have used canister and liquid fuel stoves at Philmont but never a multi-fuel stove. But I don't see any reason it wouldn't work.

Our guys much preferred the Windpro over the liquid fuel stove. We will take 2 Windpro's on the next trek.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: Stoves at Philmont on 01/11/2012 21:26:22 MST Print View

I'd agree that canister stoves are better for Scouts IMHO. The Windpro or Optimus Spider are what I'd take if going to Philmont.

ed dzierzak
(dzierzak) - F

Locale: SE
Canister stoves on 01/12/2012 08:21:19 MST Print View

We've used Coleman Powermax stoves (Xtreme and Xpert models) on our treks since about 2002. Unfortunately, Coleman ended production years ago. The Powermax canisters are still available (at least were available Philmont - gotta check for this year). Coleman did make an adapter to use other canisters with these stoves.

We like them because they are rather easy to use, specially since many of the kids on our treks are first-timers (Council contingent).

These are interesting in that they are liquid-feed (still a propane/butane mix, I think). Not that it matters much at Philmont, but they have better performance in cold weather in that the gas fractions don't separate as in other gas(vapor)-fed stoves.

Just checked TOTT

Canisters:
MSR
Primus
Optimus
Coleman Powermax

Available at:
Tooth of Time Traders (Base Camp)
Ponil (North Country)
Baldy Town (North Country)
Ute Gulch (South Country)
Phillips Junction (South Country)

Edited by dzierzak on 01/12/2012 08:27:23 MST.

David Ebert
(ebertdb)

Locale: Midwest
Stoves will be my own..... on 01/12/2012 12:37:37 MST Print View

As much as I'd like to run out and get canister stoves if they are the easiest (and I guess they are - I've got a pocket rocket for solo use), or use the MSR WhisperLites that my troop has, I'm in this for the long-haul and want to get stoves for myself and my sons that will last forever (figuratively) and run on any fuel in any weather, not just at Philmont. Considering all those factors, the MultiFuel (and its replacement the OmniFuel) is what I have gotten the best reviews and strongest advice on. But mainly from other backpackers and not necessarily from Philmonters. That's why I made the original post.

Dave

Mark Rash
(markrvp) - M

Locale: North Texas
re: David on 01/12/2012 13:25:20 MST Print View

David:

As long as your stove works reliably, it doesn't matter. At Philmont you will be able to purchase IsoButane canisters or White Gas. Pick one fuel, set your stove to use that, and go for it.


Our troop is taking two crews.

The crew led by our troop committee chair is taking Whisperlite white gas stoves. He is a former Philmont Ranger who has used those stoves for years and that's what he's comfortable with.

My crew is using two canister stoves because that's what I prefer. I took an MSR Windpro stove to the top of Wheeler Peak in New Mexico last year just to prove to the other adult leader that it would work.

Carl Zimmerman
(CarlZ993) - MLife
Philmont Stove on 01/12/2012 14:27:34 MST Print View

I've used Whisperlite Simmerlite on three different Philmont Treks (one was a Cavalcade). No problems with it. Our Crew will probably make the cut for a 2013 trek. We're planning to use canister stoves on that trek (MSR WindPro and/or MSR Reactor w/ 2.5L pots). If you want to have a liquid fuel/canister fuel combo, you might consider an upcoming new release from MSR: Whisperlite Universal. Looks very promising.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RjQbiGddV8

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Stoves will be my own..... on 01/12/2012 15:00:16 MST Print View

Dave,
Search the forum for the many threads on using remote canister stoves inverted. Then they will work fine well below freezing if that's what you're worried about. If it's just potential fuel availability wherever you go, a multi-fuel may be wise, but I still wouldn't bother personally.

Since you state it's for you and your sons (outside Scouting), I'd just use alcohol stoves (or your PR) for non-winter and a remote canister or liquid (whichever you prefer) for winter. Check the gear lists of the many thru-hikers here, too.

Edited by topshot on 01/12/2012 15:01:41 MST.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Primus Omni-fuel on 01/20/2012 08:34:10 MST Print View

Dave,
Here's a review from a BPL member.

The other popular choice for multiple liquid fuels is the MSR XGK-EX. If you want it to do canisters also the Brunton/Optimus Vapor AF is the only other one I found. There are several posts here that talk about all of these stoves.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: re: David on 01/20/2012 11:21:07 MST Print View

My crew is using two canister stoves because that's what I prefer. I took an MSR Windpro stove to the top of Wheeler Peak in New Mexico last year just to prove to the other adult leader that it would work.
There are these weird but persistent rumors that for some reason gas stoves don't work at altitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is, that the higher you go, the better the pressure inside your canister will be.

Now, of course, as you ascend, it gets colder, so the cold could render a gas stove inoperable, but that's a temperature issue not an altitude issue.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Primus Omni-fuel on 01/20/2012 11:30:53 MST Print View

Here's a review from a BPL member.

The other popular choice for multiple liquid fuels is the MSR XGK-EX. If you want it to do canisters also the Brunton/Optimus Vapor AF is the only other one I found. There are several posts here that talk about all of these stoves.
There are three stove readily available on the US market that can run on liquid or gas:
The Primus Omnifuel
The MSR Whisperlite Universal
and
The Brunton Vapor All-Fuel.

I haven't ever used an All-Fuel. I've read mixed reviews on the All-Fuel, but some people really like it.

On eBay there are other such stoves. I'd be extremely leery of anything coming out of China except for stoves made by Fire Maple. Fire Maple has a pretty good reputation. Kovea has a gas and liquid stove as well. I don't know anything about that stove, but Kovea has an excellent reputation.

Edelrid is apparently now entering the North American market. Their Hexion stove looks interesting, but I know nothing about it.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Mark Rash
(markrvp) - M

Locale: North Texas
Altitude on 01/20/2012 20:31:50 MST Print View

Jim:

Sometimes people won't believe logic and science... they have to see something with their own eyes. My buddy (the former Philmont Ranger) swore a canister stove wouldn't work at Philmont, so I showed him on a neighboring mountain at 10,000 feet in 40s degree weather that a Windpro stove would boil water.

I knew altitude wasn't an issue, but HE thought it was. And he's STILL taking Whisperlites with his crew even after witnessing the miracle of a canister stove boiling water in the Rocky Mountains. Not that there's anything wrong with Whisperlite stoves... I just think canister stoves are a more elegant solution with Boy Scouts.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Altitude on 01/20/2012 21:30:06 MST Print View

Tell your friend that they've been using gas stoves in the highest places on earth for quite some time -- 8000m peaks. The air is so thin there that gas stoves work despite the extreme cold.

I have nothing against Whisperlites either. A Whisperlite was my first stove all my own. I still have it after all these years. But I recently saw a Boy Scout practically immolate himself and his dad with a Whisperlite. They had seriously over-primed. Flaming white gas everywhere. You never saw a bunch of scouts move so fast. Humorous if it wasn't so dangerous. I definitely think gas is a better option for Scouts, particularly the younger Scouts.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Boil Time on 01/20/2012 21:39:54 MST Print View

The boiling point is lower at an altitude so food may not cook as well, especially with "boil in a bag" techniques. Plenty of people do it but I'd suggest getting some input on food choices before you commit. Than again crunchy Ramen noodles never killed anyone.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Boil Time on 01/20/2012 22:56:56 MST Print View

Luke,

Yeah, I've eaten some "crunchy" meals at higher elelvations.

What I usually do is bring some type of cozy along. If I put whatever it is that I'm rehydrating into a bowl or pot and then put that into some kind of cozy, more heat is retained, and it usually turns out a lot better.

Alternatively, you can simmer things on your stove, but that takes fuel.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Primus Omnifuel on 02/02/2012 09:36:38 MST Print View

Dave,
See Hendrik's review.

Jon Leinen
(jonleinen)
White gas - switched to canister on 02/16/2012 06:35:21 MST Print View

We trained with MSR Whisperlites for our Philmont trek last year. We also started the trek with them but switched to a Snow Peak canister stove I had taken as a backup. Why? After watching our boys struggle with priming and having to clean the jets too many times (because the boys would start/stop the stoves without getting them hot enough) we decided life was too short to keep hassling with them. Plus, if you've ever witnessed a "near miss" on priming a Whisperlite with 14 year olds, you will immediately look for a safer way.

We had no issues with the canister stove working at altitude and it gave the boys much more time (and the adult leaders "peace of mind") to be boys and enjoy the trip. We are switching out our Whisperlites for the new Universal Whisperlites that use canisters or white gas bu changing the jets. These still have the wider base which was the only issue we had with the Snow Peak. When a 6l pot was on top of the Snow Peak it was not stable. The width of the Whisperlite U will address that.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: White gas - switched to canister on 03/07/2013 13:54:33 MST Print View

We trained with MSR Whisperlites for our Philmont trek last year. We also started the trek with them but switched to a Snow Peak canister stove I had taken as a backup. Why? After watching our boys struggle with priming and having to clean the jets too many times (because the boys would start/stop the stoves without getting them hot enough) we decided life was too short to keep hassling with them. Plus, if you've ever witnessed a "near miss" on priming a Whisperlite with 14 year olds, you will immediately look for a safer way.
My impression of younger Scouts working with priming is not a good one. I've seen a lot of flaming white gas go all over.

I think canister stoves are the better way for scouts, particularly the younger ones.

We had no issues with the canister stove working at altitude and it gave the boys much more time (and the adult leaders "peace of mind") to be boys and enjoy the trip.
There's a persistent myth that somehow canister stoves are going to struggle at higher altitudes. Not really, or at least no more so than any other stove and that's mainly due to the conditions not the altitude itself.

We are switching out our Whisperlites for the new Universal Whisperlites that use canisters or white gas bu changing the jets. These still have the wider base which was the only issue we had with the Snow Peak. When a 6l pot was on top of the Snow Peak it was not stable. The width of the Whisperlite U will address that.
The Whisperlite Universal isn't a bad choice for a gas stove that will handle big pots (indeed, it's a good choice). The MSR Windpro II will also handle a pretty good sized pot (WAY more than a Snow Peak GigaPower) but is less expensive than something like a W'Lite Universal or a Primus Omnifuel or OmniLite.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Canisters on 03/08/2013 12:38:20 MST Print View

I have a Primus Paclite that when my son gets stove qualified will be his stove - I like the very stable base more than my Gigapower or Coleman F1. His patrol leader used it last trip and they loved the stability and easy operation - much moreso than white gas stoves or even pocketrockets.

Jim - what do you think of the Kovea Spider for Scouts? Obviously the legs aren't as substantial as some other choices (the Primus included) but it is a lot smaller. The Paclite packs into the pot it came with along with the windscreen but no room for a canister...