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Not happy with my cook setups.
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Nathan Custer

Locale: Tennessee
Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/25/2014 10:56:23 MDT Print View

I have two cooksets. A Titan kettle with supercat stove and aluminum flashing windscreen, and a Litetrail clone esbit setup. Both work fine for freezerbag cooking and coffee which is my main use. I normally go on 1-2 night trips. No thru hiking and no 10 day resupplies. I'm usually with my 5 year old son. Both setups are just more fiddly than I care to deal with. So I think I'd like to either keep my mugs and get a pocket rocket or gigapower, or sell both setups and get a Jetboil. I'm a minimalist guy so I'm not much abut keeping three different setups. Just one cook kit for all my needs. Lighter is better, but packed size and stupid simply use appeal to me the most. So what are the suggestions?

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/25/2014 11:11:53 MDT Print View

As long as you're ok with the greater weight & packed size of a canister setup vs what you have, then I recommend the Jetboil.

I have a Pocket Rocket and it's great; and I modded a Jetboil Sol Al pot to work w/my Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak canister stoves. But for the simplicity you reference, nothing beats the Jetboil. The pot's stability is tops in that regard. Quick, efficient, easy and cool!

Nathan Custer

Locale: Tennessee
dont likes on 05/25/2014 11:20:46 MDT Print View

I don't like all the components. Base plate, burner, wind screen, pot, pot grabber, fuel container. And I get flame creep bad enough on both mugs that it's borderline dangerous to remove the pot. I have both set up with a mug cozy both for dehydrating and for keeping coffee hot.

I would hate to double my weight and size though.

Stevie Patrick

Locale: Adirondacks
+1 Jetboil on 05/25/2014 11:23:39 MDT Print View

I've been using the LiteTrail Solid Fuel Cook Kit, and I'm happy with it. But, I had to pick up a canister stove for hiking out west this season. Ended up getting the Jetboil Sol Ti and I'm incredibly happy with it. It's so fast and convenient that I often find myself reaching for it over my much lighter LiteTrail kit. I was able to knock off about 0.8 ounces from the total weight by just trimming extras off the cozy and replacing the lid with a Philadelphia Cream Cheese lid (which is a perfect fit if anyone was unaware.)

shane sibert
(grinder) - F

Locale: P.N.W
stoves on 05/25/2014 11:28:06 MDT Print View

I'm currently a cat can stove user and I don't mind the longish boil times. I like the weight savings the most and not using a gas canister.Very little fiddle factor for me, but I understand your reasoning.
Jetboils are great and fast, but weigh much if you just want to boil water. My stove canister option of choice is a Monatauk Gnat that weighs about 1.7oz and has treated me well. Soto makes a stove that weighs 2.3 ounces with a built in wind barrier. Oilcamp makes a cool little stove called the Ion that weighs in at around 1.5oz and is said to be the lightest canister stove right now.

Edited by grinder on 05/25/2014 11:39:35 MDT.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Giga Power on 05/25/2014 11:29:42 MDT Print View

Bomb proof simplicity. Too many bells and whistles on the JB products. If you're just boiling water they all work fine.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Giga Power on 05/25/2014 11:44:41 MDT Print View

Consider a remote canister stove for the simplicity/stability/all-around use as well. It's not quite as light as the other setups, but I reach for it often over alcohol and esbit (Caldera Cone Ti-Tri or LiteTrail kit) on the kinds of trips you mention--1-2 nights and hiking with others.

The MSR Windpro II is excellent and well-made, but it's a bit bulky. The Kovea Spider is the same weight, a little less powerful, but more compact. Both would serve you well.

Edited by GlacierRambler on 05/25/2014 11:45:19 MDT.

Hobbes 1
Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/25/2014 11:57:26 MDT Print View

No wonder you're unhappy - cat stoves are a pain to light/manage, and the Litetrail (clone) looks less than stable.

Like everyone else, I went through a couple of different iterations until I finally clued in and got a Caldera Cone. Talk about bomber - you'd have to purposely try and knock this sucker over and/or blow it out.

The key is to have the appropriate cone for your specific kettle. I believe he supports 10s of different configurations - maybe more. In my case, I was willing to start from scratch, so I exchanged a couple of email with the owner describing my usual hikes, etc. He set me up with a Ti kettle suitable for 1-2 people boiling I believe .5L and the cone to match.

The version I got supports both esbit & alchy (he includes a cat burner). I've never used the cat, but love the esbit, especially the ease of carrying the little fuel tablets.

The whole thing - kettle + stove - weighs 9.6 oz (4.3+5.3). I used to hate dicking around with my cat stove & windbreak (especially above treeline) and actually stopped taking hot meals for awhile until I got the Caldera.

One other thing - if you can cook with wood, he's got a version that can handle that as well. I would consider sending him an email describing what you're looking for and what you currently have. Here's a link:

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/25/2014 12:10:51 MDT Print View

Nathan, for 1-2 day trip I would just use the thing that gives you the most pleasure. I'm guessing with you son you are not trying to do 30+ mile a day, and only a few lbs of food. Weight for that length type of trip is strictly for bragging rights only. Get a jetboil and be done. I have used all the above mentioned setups and many more. For simplicity which includes fewest parts, quickest speed and ease of use there is no comparison between a jetboil and any alcohol or esbit stove. I would suggest for someone in your situation, w/son and on extremely short trips, you try (while not entirely forgetting about weight) using simplicity as your main focus for a few trips. You might find that metric works for you much better that pure dumb weight.

I officially absolve you of the extra few ozs. * makes Pope-like waiving gesture *

Edited by millonas on 05/25/2014 12:14:56 MDT.

Nathan Custer

Locale: Tennessee
which one on 05/25/2014 17:34:16 MDT Print View

I know that this being BPL that the lightest is usually the best. But is the Sol worth the upcharge over the zip? Prices right now look like Zip is $64, Sol aluminum is $96, and Sol Ti is $128. If I've done my research correctly, the Sol gets you better cold weather performance (I live in TN and don't go out in temps below 20°) and saves between 1.5 and 3 ounces. Wondering where the cost/performance/weight curves intersect for a weekender?

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
I'm happy with this... on 05/25/2014 18:56:27 MDT Print View

POT-> 3 cup anodized pot & lid (fits my Sidewinder Caldera Cone stove)

BOWL-> cut down Zip Loc bowl (so it will barely fit into the 3 cup pot)

CUP-> classic plastic camping measuring/drinking cup (fits inside bowl)

UTENSILS-> long handled Lexan spoon, tiny Gerber Bear Grylls lock blade knife and aluminum pot gripper.

COOKSET STUFF SACK-> light ripstop nylon

That's usually it for me.

EXTRA STUFF: handless ceramic coated 7" skillet and tiny spatula for eggs and pancakes

EDIT: I use this setup with both my Brunton Crux canister stove or the excellent titanium CC Sidewinder stove.

I usually use ESBIT with the Sidewinder instead of the alky 12-10 stove that came with it because the ESBIT burner is SO efficient. In winter I use the Inferno insert for a really hot gassifier wood burner.

Edited by Danepacker on 05/28/2014 00:40:12 MDT.

Tony Campana
(Velodadi) - MLife

Locale: Lowcountry Carolina
Simple Cook Setups on 05/26/2014 18:20:28 MDT Print View

I've settled upon a combo setup that works for me- a remote canister kovea spider stove with a Toaks 900 ML wide pot with a caldera cone to match. I also bring the traildesigns esbit stove along with a few tablets as my backup.

I set the cone around the spider with the pot nestled in nicely. The 900 pot lets me boil 3 cups of water for the meal and the coffee in one shot with a minimum amount of time and gas. One gas canister goes a long ways with this setup. I could also have a twig fire later using the cone.

Simple, flexible, light and fast.


Bob Moulder
(bobmny10562) - M

Locale: Westchester County, NY
Re: Simple Cook Setups on 05/26/2014 21:16:05 MDT Print View

I am using an Emberlit Mini wood stove that I am pretty happy with, in combo with an Evernew 800ml kettle and a small plastic cup.

Stove and kettle weight are pretty close to 8oz total. No fuel weight, so with cup and spoon (folding MSR) the total cook set is about 10oz. The storage sleeve is a piece of Tyvek reinforced with a bit of packing tape, and a little Cuben sack for the kettle.

Yes, the kettle is a little sooty, but less than I would have imagined, and surprisingly even less after extended use leaves it with a shiny black glaze. The stove can be disassembled quickly handling just the edges, so not a whole lot of soot ends up on the fingers. With a little practice, of course.

For a fire starter, I am using the cotton balls dipped in melted Vaseline and then wrapped in waxed paper like a piece of hard candy. Very clean handling and very long burn which will ignite very damp twigs.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Simple Cook Setups on 05/26/2014 22:08:30 MDT Print View

I have the Soto ODR1 but I'm sure any of the usual suspects are fine and definitely won't say it's the best in its class.

I only use it when there's a fire restriction. I own the caldera cone sidwinder paired up with a 600ml Evernew pot but my Litetrail Solid Fuel kit is what I take on most of my hikes. This obviously doesn't work for you so to each their own.

The Jetboil Sol ti and Sol aluminum really appeal to me due to their fuel economy which is reportedly half of my Soto ODR1. I think the largest benefit I gain by pairing up my stove with a ti or steel pot is that in a pinch, I can boil water over a fire which I would not want to do with a Jetboil pot.

Nathan Custer

Locale: Tennessee
weights on 05/27/2014 08:08:17 MDT Print View

I'm still mulling this over and I decided to weigh both of my cook kits since I haven't done that.

Toaks 550ml/esbit setup: 4.83 oz
Add the mug cozy: 6.14 oz

Titan Kettle/supercat: 5.96 oz
Add the mug cozy: 7.33 oz

I average one .5 oz esbit tab per day. And 1.5 oz of alcohol per day. So for a 3 day trip I'm at 7.6 oz to 11.8 oz depending on setup. A jetboil sol ti with a full canister should weigh 16 oz if I've figured it correctly, dropping to 12.5 oz as I get close to empty. So for a net gain of roughly 8 oz I could gain a lot of simplicity and quick boil time.....and a net loss of $150!

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Some exact numbers for you on 05/27/2014 10:15:03 MDT Print View

As you will no doubt leave several components (tripod, pot stand attachment & totally useless measuring cup) behind for the sol Ti:

Weight of pot, stove and Jetboil lid: 8.5 oz(15.6 w/ full canister)
Weight of pot, stove and 1 cup ziplock lid: 8.0 oz(15.1 w/ full canister)

Also if you are crazy like a few of us and want to cut your jetboil down to a 2 cup capacity (I mentioned this because you mention only doing freezer bag):

Weight of modded pot, stove and 1 cup ziplock lid: 7.3 oz(14.4 w/ full canister).
Really the reason for the mod is actually not as much for weight but a better form factor for mug and packing.

Since it takes like 90 seconds for a full boil (16 oz), you can easily do multiple boils for more people. Of course no comparison on the fuel efficiency.

I think my CC sidewinder set up come to 7.1 oz.

Edited by millonas on 05/27/2014 10:22:02 MDT.

Nathan Custer

Locale: Tennessee
Thanks on 05/27/2014 10:28:31 MDT Print View

Thanks for those numbers. I don't think cutting the cup down is crazy. I cut my NeoAir xlite down the first day I owned it!

Zorg Zumo
(BurnNotice) - F
Re: Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/27/2014 14:31:07 MDT Print View

Well first thing would be to forget about light weight and focus instead on simplicity and reliability. That said, I really like the Jetboil Sol Al as it is the right size, excellent regulation and uber-fast. The only reliability issue I've ever encountered is the piezo igniter.

Freezer bag cooking is the best IMO for your camping durations. Whether you buy or make your own, all you need is boiling water and a cozy.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jetboil TI on 05/28/2014 00:28:28 MDT Print View

one thing jetboil says is to not do anything but boil water in their TI jetboils ... otherwise they may fall apart

i own and use an old jetboil, havent found the need to buy a new one yet


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Not happy with my cook setups. on 05/28/2014 11:50:56 MDT Print View

I didn't like waiting on alcohol stoves and having liquid fuel. I have the Optimus Crux (folding version) and a Ti 700 pot (Stoic i think) that works fast and easy for freezer bag cooking. 3min boil for 1.5-2c of cold water. 4oz canister lasts a few weeks with mostly dinner cooking. (did long trail on 1 canister)

i use a plastic Campbells cup-o-soup with the metal rim cut off for hot chocolate or oatmeal.

next to nalgene for size comparison