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Cold weather cooking - stove choices
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Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 09:29:05 MST Print View

I have an assortment of upright canister stoves (Snow Peak Litemax being my favorite) and recently picked up an alcohol stove to try out (still waiting to use it on an actual trip...). But I do a fair amount of cold weather camping and have experienced the challenges of butane/propane uprights. Which leaves remote canisters capable of inverted operation or a white gas setup.

I have a primus paclite which can operate in inverted fashion but is a bit bulky and the position of the adjustment knob directly on top makes inverted operation difficult at best as it sticks straight into the ground.

And I've used a Brunton Bantam white gas stove that is finicky at best - and pretty heavy and prone to flare ups...

So I've thought about either getting a better smaller lighter white gas setup, or a different remote canister (Kovea Spider if they ever become available again).

What do most people use for cold weather cooking? Have most gone to some form of remote canister and if so which one? Or are many still breaking out white gas when conditions dictate and what models?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 09:40:00 MST Print View

I use either a Primus Omnifuel or a Optimus Vega for winter use in inverted mode.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 09:48:18 MST Print View

The Primus Express Spider has kept me happy for the last few years. It's not especially heavy and it always works, which is all I ask.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 09:57:40 MST Print View

Spiders supposedly coming in mid-march here:

probably good to get in line now, he seems to seel out pretty quick every time he gets a batch

(jpovs) - F - M

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 10:04:38 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/15/2014 13:56:37 MDT.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 11:55:00 MST Print View

I love my old MSR and Optimus stoves. If you could afford it, get a MSR Dragonfly, they simmer unattended for a long time. Some of the old kerosene stoves work very well, but may not simmer well, especially for small pots. I collect stoves, so I could go on and on. White gas stoves are inexpensive to run, isobutane is convenient but fuel canisters are quite a bit more.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
white gas on 03/03/2014 12:11:55 MST Print View

I've had good luck with my MSR Whisperlite and a Simmerlite (a gift). White gas is a bit of "voodoo magic" in the sense that is it not as intuitive as a remote canister stove.

In some ways, a canister stove is superior. But, I really don't need yet another stove and my white gas stoves had worked well enough. Plus fuel is cheap.

Edited by PaulMags on 03/03/2014 12:13:18 MST.

John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 12:37:43 MST Print View

I have a MSR Simmerlite and it works well in the cold and has been reliable. However the name Simmerlite is a misnomer because it has two speeds. Full blast and 80% full blast. Good for melting snow though. If you want simmering in a white gas stove go with the MSR Dragonfly.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 13:44:03 MST Print View

“What do most people use for cold weather cooking?”

Still a patient alcy stove user here. I use HEET like our dog mushers up north. Always light on first match at 0F. No flare ups. Nothing to maintain or get clogged or to connect or to disconnect. Nothing to strip. I don’t even keep my alcy warm. No special container or fighting with that last 10g left. Easy to refill.
I triple the amount that I use in summer.

An alcy winter loaner,

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
MSR mostly on 03/03/2014 15:15:44 MST Print View

MSR Whisperlight, especially when I have to melt snow.

Optimus 8R when on cycle tour and need to operate the stove on automotive gas.

3 season, a Trangia alcohol stove.

I have an old SVEA 123 I'm fixing up, and it may replace the 8R and Whisperlight.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

kerosene stove on 03/03/2014 18:25:45 MST Print View

Once in a while when I feel nostalgic I'll use my DIY mini kerosene stove :-)

This is a photobucket video, click on it to view.

 video MiniKerosene2013_zps38510bf2.mp4

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 19:23:29 MST Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/21/2015 10:11:05 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/03/2014 20:17:47 MST Print View

Maybe people haven't had enough time to get out and use them and then make reviews. Hasn't it just been a few months?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
TRUE winter stoves on 03/03/2014 21:22:36 MST Print View

1.MSR Dragonfly is my choice for decades.
2.The MSR Simmerlite is also good.

1. Trail Designs (Caldera Cone) Sidewinder and Tri Ti with Inferno woodburning inserts are true "gassifier" stoves and burn very hot.
2. Bush Buddy makes a very hot gassifier stove as well but it's not as efficient as the cone stoves B/C they let a lot of heat escape. Good for multiple sized pots use.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Dan's stove on 03/04/2014 15:20:44 MST Print View

That is an interesting kerosene stove ya got there.
I'd be interested to learn more about it. Does it use a wick?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/05/2014 14:19:00 MST Print View

The MSR remote white gas stoves are tried and proven. My preferences are the DragonFly or WhisperLite. Not finicky... just need to read the manual several times and follow directions. Never, ever had a problem in the field.

Everyone seems to be enamored with the light Korean/Chinese remote canister stoves. But I keep reading about the field failures and taking out filters and replacing them with toilet paper, etc. Not a good feature when you are cold and need a stove right away.

I am very happy with my MSR WindPro II, which is basically a WhisperLite that can run on an inverted canister. Same MSR dependability. Not the absolute lightest for your spreadsheet though. And you could do double duty with an MSR WhisperLite Universal that runs on white gas or a canister (upright or inverted)- not to mention kerosene or unleaded gasoline.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Dan's stove on 03/05/2014 16:40:15 MST Print View

Hello Bawana,

Yes, the kerosene stove uses a wick. It needs to be primed also with a wick that is at the base of part that has all the holes in it. I use alcohol to prime it. I use a 3oz aluminum cat food can as the base. The flame height is controlled by the amount of air fed into the inner wick area. The flame is wind/breeze sensitive as you can see how the flame varies in color as it moved by the air. I spent many hours in it's design and enjoyed every min. of it. I light it up a couple time every year just to see it burn so nice and clean under calm conditions. DIY stove making is a very rewarding hobby. Thanks for your interest in it Bawana :-)

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Interesting! on 03/05/2014 17:36:09 MST Print View

I figured it was a "wickie"!

I'm something of a stove enthusiast myself and wouldn't mind if you could post a few photos and details of the unit so I could maybe copy it. I've often wondered if I could make a lightweight kero stove myself, and figured it would have to have a wick rather than be pressurized.

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @
wood is good on 03/06/2014 09:54:09 MST Print View

In my Eastern woodlands, I find that a wood burning stove works well for me in winter. Plenty of fuel around; if I need to melt snow I have no worries about bringing enough fuel. If not using wood, but needing to melt snow, I'll go with white gas (MSR Simmerlite). If not using wood, but not needing to melt snow, I'll use alcohol or Esbit in a Caldera Cone.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Cold weather cooking - stove choices on 03/06/2014 10:17:29 MST Print View

I use a Jurey-design Penny alcohol stove sometimes for boiling water for a quick breakfast, otherwise I use a campfire.