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Winter stove update?
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christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Winter stove update? on 09/29/2012 01:54:24 MDT Print View

Hiya. I've been reading previous posts about winter stoves and I was wondering if there have been any updates. Sounds like Coleman Xtreme stoves are gone, and I don't see the MSR simmerlite on the MSR site anymore.

I'm hoping for something light, easy, and good for boiling water and melting snow in temps as low as 0 F or so.

(Btw, last year I used a jetboil pcs at about 5 degrees and it worked!...barely. Sputtered a lot and took perhaps 8-10 minutes to boil 3/4 liter of water.)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Winter stove update? on 09/29/2012 02:07:35 MDT Print View

> Sounds like Coleman Xtreme stoves are gone
Snuffle. Yeah.
Actually, it's those beaut canisters which I will really miss.

There are some very interesting stoves in the pipeline, but some distance away. In the meantime you have a choice of:
Primus Express Spider,
Primus Eta Packlite,

or several very nice little remote canister stoves which do NOT have pre-heat tubes. You can use these in the snow IF you know how: you have to warm the canister somehow, without getting it too hot. Never let the canister get too hot to touch, but having the canister 'cool' is good. You must monitor the stove while it is running.

The Fire-Maple FMS117T and the Kovea Spider Stove are reasonable examples.


Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Winter stove update? on 09/29/2012 13:43:52 MDT Print View

The Optimus Vega has been announced, so presumably will be available for this winter.

steven franchuk
Re: Winter stove update? on 09/30/2012 00:15:58 MDT Print View

MSR now sells the Wisperlite universal that run on white gas or inverted butane canisters. Kovea also sells the Camp 5 that can also run on inverted butane canisters. Both have preheat tubes so thay should work better than the jetboil in freezing conditions. I don't have any inverted canister stoves so I am only going from what I have read.

christopher smead
(hamsterfish) - MLife

Locale: hamsterfish
Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 01:44:07 MDT Print View

Thanks guys. I do love the convenience of canister stoves. Will the inverted setup work down to 0 deg F or so?

jason quick

Locale: A tent in my backyard - Melbourne
Inverted canister stoves on 09/30/2012 02:56:54 MDT Print View

I have a MYOG canister inverter stand for my MSR winter expedition stove when hiking with friends. I used the Jetboil tripod stand with some MYOG channeling on it for canister inversion.

This combination has; 1. the Jetboil canister tripod stand MYOG inverter, 2. the Windpro, 3. a Jetboil Group cooking system pot, in which the flux ring slots in beautifully to the pot stand on the Windpro...great surface area for the Windpro flame too.

Quite simply, it works a treat. Reliable, mega fast boils, and the whole lot packs in together in the Jetboil GCS pot (bit like the TD Ti-Tri Sidewinder system).

One thing I have noticed since inverting the canister, is that the burner control has become significantly more sensitive to change. Before inversion, it took quite a few turns of the knob to adjust/change the flame intensity. Now however, it takes very little adjustment to change the flame. So simply, it's just a matter of being aware of this.

Otherwise, I get every little last drop of liquid ...and gas...from the canister before it runs dry, every time.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 07:29:54 MDT Print View

If you take a piece of solid aluminum or copper wire, maybe #18 or #16, 1.5 feet long, wrap it around the canister and bend the end up and into the flame, it will warm up the canister some. Probably get a regular upright stove to work down to 10 or 0 F. You'de have to warm the canister up in your sleeping bag first to get it started. Somebody here referenced some hiking book that suggests this and I've tried it.

The only thing about inverted canisters is, they aren't really designed for that. Maybe there's some stuff in the liquid that will clog up the stove. And they're heavier.

I'm not saying inverted canisters aren't the best choice for cold, but this is another possibility.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 07:49:26 MDT Print View

An inverted canister will easily work down to 5F, and 0F at a push. That is the temperature of the canister: you can use an inverted canister in colder anbient temperatures provided you keep the canister above 5F.
I've never yet had any problem with gunk coming out of inverted canisters.

steven franchuk
Re: Re: Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 11:32:30 MDT Print View

the key reason these stove work at very cold temperatures is that the fuel is heated by the flames before it is sent to the jet and burner. As to the Gunk problem I have only seen one report of this and that was with a modified stove. Basically something got mixed in with the fuel and then plugged up the jet causing the stove to stop working.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 12:35:53 MDT Print View

the key reason these stove work at very cold temperatures is that the fuel is heated by the flames before it is sent to the jet and burner

Sorry, but that is utter b0ll0cks. They work at low temperatures because when the canister is inverted the propane does not get used up faster than the butane (as happens with an upright canister stove) and it's the propane that provides most of the pressure. Take a read of the Effect of Cold on Canisters article.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Winter stove update on 09/30/2012 13:09:56 MDT Print View

Upright - fuel evaporates from liquid to gas inside canister which cools down the canister below the temperature where it will evaporate so the flow slows and the flame goes down to almost nothing.

Inverted - you need only a tiny bit of evaporation inside the canister to displace the liquid that leaves the canister so there's only a teeny bit of cooling. Almost all the evaporation is happening at the burner where it's hot. This would happen if it was all butane and no propane.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Heavy v.s. Light(er) on 10/02/2012 12:07:49 MDT Print View

My MSR Dragonfly is my winter stove but it's HEAVY.

Were I to do it over I would probably get the Whisperlite International for a winter stove. Remote fuel supply stoves permit baking and are just plain safer than, say, SVEA or older Primus stoves with the fuel supply near the burner.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Adaptor with Xtreme stoves on 10/02/2012 17:25:32 MDT Print View

I have all three Coleman Xtreme lineup of stoves now and 16 canisters before they took a giant leap up in price last Spring on eBay. You can buy the adaptor for them that allows you to use those 1 lb. propane bottles, kinda heavy but will work so you can keep on rolling if you go that route. The Xtreme, Xpert and Xpedition really throw the heat out. White gas fired stoves would be much cheaper to use. I collect stoves, so my biggest decision these days is which stoves to use on trips.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Winter stove update? on 10/02/2012 22:19:55 MDT Print View

The new Kovea Spider KB1109 has a preheat tube, is light(6 oz) and compact, looks really slick. But not being sold in the US yet, at least not officially.

Does look like the Simmerlite has been discontinued. But a used one ought to be out there somewhere. I use a simmerlite for my snow camping sove, works great. From what I can measure, white gas and canister will end up abut the same total weight for week-long trips or longer, while canisters can be lighter for a shorter trip. the reason is that once you need more than the amount of white gas you wuld carry in one pint fuel botle, you can put it in plastic bottles, which are much lighter empty than a canister. Thus your fuel and container combined weight per unit of fuel goes down as the trip gets longer, while canisters stay steady once you get to the largest canister.

EDIT - just noticed there is a kovea Camp 5 remote canister stove (has preheat tube)on the gear swap for $40

Edited by paul on 10/02/2012 22:25:38 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Heavy v.s. Light(er) on 10/02/2012 22:56:33 MDT Print View

For me the jury is still out on canister stoves (inverted) for winter. The past two years I have used a WindPro for sub-freezing/snow weather. It really is a pain to keep it inverted, as it isn't designed to do so and I don't want to tinker with loosening and re-positioning the fitting. I bought a WindPro II for this winter and am just waiting for the snow to fall in the local mountains. However, I have a feeling I might end up going back to white gas.

I have used a Whisperlite for many years in snow and it works well. I have a DragonFly and it is even better, but heavier so I usually go back to the Whisperlite.

I am going to disagree about them being safer than a Svea 123 (at least the old ones). I never had a problem, although I maintain my gear well and follow the manufacturers instructions. But the the MSR stoves are much better for winter work. One caveat, I never bake... even at home :)

Dave Ploessel
(mailesdad) - F
do you really want to mess around in extremes? on 10/02/2012 23:42:11 MDT Print View

Just curious... Why not just go white gas or esbit in really cold temps? Both work, and I would hate to be without a stove when temps get extreme. Seems like canisters just arent the right call, even inverted, for winter temps.

In winter hiking the margin for error is knife thin... not the time to mess around with maybes IMO.

saving an oz or 2 just isn't worth your life.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: do you really want to mess around in extremes? on 10/02/2012 23:58:47 MDT Print View

Good advice, but in a real tight spot a campfire is always an option below treeline and I always have a way (or three) to get a fire going. The stove is for easy cooking and leave no trace, IMHO. I would have someone in the group with a road flare for really getting a fire going.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: do you really want to mess around in extremes? on 10/03/2012 00:02:34 MDT Print View

My MSR Whisperlite failed a couple times. Valve or burner clogged. The fuel is a mixture of various chemicals. If it was just straight ethane or octane or whatever it would be better.

Canister fuel is more pure and less likely to clog. But you're right, below some temperature it becomes difficult to make work.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Winter stove update? on 10/03/2012 00:08:33 MDT Print View

Melting snow with Esbit ???
I'd like to see that