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Cook stoves

What stove do you use when weight and size matters related to stove and fuel? I am not talking about the super expensive, super light backpacking high end. Right now all I own is propane and curious about what others are using for canoe camping.

Oh, and price also matters! ; )



  • Coleman single burner
    I use the coleman single burner liquid fuel stove.
    I burn coleman fuel.

    now only available in the dual fuel model:
    1 Burner Dual Fuel™ Stove
    Model No. 533B705
  • Pop Can
    Pop can stoves are light, cheap, and they work great. Plus you can make your own in about 30 minutes.
  • Single burner canister
    I use single burner canister. Can be cheap as the primus on this page up to over $100. Is that the type of propane you are using now?


  • Been using a MSR WindPro for years..
    and I am very pleased.
  • The windscreen does matter
    -- Last Updated: Jul-07-08 8:36 PM EST --

    The Windpro windscreen is lacking in good design however. Its too easy to crinkle it out of round and then it catches pots which can lead to nasty accidents with pots of boiing water tipping.

    Those that do a couple of day outings may not quibble but for multiweek outings I made a much sturdier windscreen out of heavy aluminum flashing thats adjustable to pot diameter.

    Last trip we were out for six days on one eight ounce canister of Brunton isobutane.

    The WindPro is not bottom heavy..an oversize pot especially one that is not serrated on the bottom can tip it over. Its definitely for smaller parties or the more minimal kitchen (not as minimalist as the pop can stove though!)

    If you are talking these; http://zenstoves.net/Canister/Century.jpg

    Ontario Parks banned them last year at campsites.

    Too bad. I found that kind of stove useful. I could fly with the burner and pick up fuel easily at the destination.

  • tippy
    "If you are talking these; http://zenstoves.net/Canister/Century.jpg"

    Always found those to be rather tippy. The scout troop had them for a couple of years then abandoned them.
  • Options
    Iso-butane stove (Canister Style)
    We have been thinking ultralight for paddling for a while and have looked at a number of light -weight stoves. We use fire to cook on our 2 week plus trips here in Southeast Alaska, though we do bring a stove along for the quick cup of soup at lunch. Two stoves meet our needs and I think they will meet yours as well. Our winter stove is the MSR Superfly (4.7 oz) -- it can also be used on Camping Gaz canister and we have one of their small lanterns. The rest of the year its the Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight Butane Stove. It weighs 3.7 oz and puts out an amazing 16000 BTUs at full throttle. The Coleman fits in my 700 Ml Mug on top of a 100g snowpeak canister and along side of a spork. That set-up is our cooking kit for hikes; total weight is under 10 oz. I bought the Coleman for $40 in Juneau, you could do better anywhere else.

  • Snow Peak GS-100A
    was my choice because it is small, compact, comes in a plastic case and has a built in ignitor.

    It will fit in a shirt pocket.

    Sorry I don't remember the cost.

    Paddlin' on
  • An addendum
    If you canoe trip in below freezing temps white gas will work better. The canisters freeze up.

    I use a Coleman Peak One Exponent white gas stove (of course no longer made aargh) for cold weather. You can clean the tanks and fly with it.

    You cannot fly with canisters and they are hard to find if your canoe travels take you to the backcountry.
  • Options
    I have a msr pocket rocket. It was cheap under $50.00. Its super light, comes in its own plastic case, and boils water in a few minutes. I love this stove. I have 2, one for backup since my first one is about 6 years old.
  • Coleman 442 dualfuel.
    But I only use Coleman fuel in it now. Unleaded gasoline was totally unreliable.

    I also have a Jetboil and love it. Day trip soup for lunch and morning coffee before getting out of the sleeping bag is where it shines. Nothing like a hot lunch on a cold day, instead of sardines and cheese. The Jetboil is small, efficient and reliable. It's always in my daypack along with a bag of Ramens and some coffee.
  • Options
    Great discussions; thanks!!
    I have borrowed or used many of the stoves listed here and liked them. Some are new to me. I am borrowing one of the pocket rocket stoves for my next trip to see if I like it. I used one for a day but only to boil water.

    I also have checked out the pop can stoves, which really interest me because you can make them. Last Spring, I talked about having a 'pop can stove making' party but never did it! I should put that on my agenda for Fall.

    I also am fascinated by this Jet Boil-first time I have seen it. It claims to heat water faster than my electric one at my desk at work. Does it really boil two cups of water in two minutes? I could definitely see using that a lot. It says it is a fuel miser as well. How many cups per fuel canister? How does wind affect it?

    I appreciate all the comments and reviews. I really need to buy a stove & stop being the stove sponge. ; )

  • Options
    -- Last Updated: Jul-09-08 10:03 PM EST --

    I use a propane-isobutane Snowpeak Gigapower Micromax. It folds super compact, has only three prongs instead of four (makes the pots more stable), and heats up nicely. Plus, it fits inside any pot (or cup) you use! Since I don't camp in freezing temperatures, I don't have to worry about slow heat from cold fuel.

    Edited to add: Cost was only $59.95 regular, but I got it for a bit over $40. It also comes with an ignitor standard.

  • Options
    I got a whisperlite internationale and it is an absolute flaming pile. It's never worked well since the first lightly used year.
  • Options
    SVEA Trianga + denatures alcohol = $10

    I have one of the whole set up... Stove, wind deflector, pot & pan, and fuel bottle. Cost me $5 for the whole deal about 8 years ago & it has been excellent with only one function problem- I forgot the rubber seal on the stove rim when I lit it... 15 cents later it has run fine, since.

    Paddle easy,

  • Options
    SVEA Trianga... more info

    On the bottom of the "stove part" it is stamped SVEA. The ones I have run off of denatured alcohol ($1.35 per gallon, and lasts forever). Go back to www.cheaperthandirt.com & look up part # ZRW-170 Military 5 piece cook stove.

    Paddle easy,

  • Options
    I use a Coleman Apex II as a primary stove because I love the fuel delivery system.
    For day paddles I use a pop can alcohol stove exclusively. WARNING . . . making pop can stoves can become addictive!!!
  • I use an ancient Coleman Peak I
    The old Peak I is good enough for me. It really packs a punch at "full throttle" (better not even use the full-pwer setting unless the pot you are using is more than 14 inches in diameter or you'll get flames all up the sides), but it simmers better than most of the really expensive stoves I see other people using. The only reliablity issue I have had is age-related valve-seal leakage, which so far has been repairable simply by tightening the packings.

    In general, I'm a fan of liquid-fuel stoves because you get more heat production, relative to the amount of weight and space of your fuel containers, than with propane or butane. Also, you always know exactly how much fuel you have, and there's never any need to bring along extra containers carrying questionable quantities of fuel. Just fill the stove's tank (and maybe a reserve tank) at the beginning of the trip and off you go. Finally, as already pointed out, liquid fuel is reliable in cold temperature, while propane/butane is not.
  • the annoyance
    of having several mostly empty but not quite canisters in your garage...unless you want to take them all for your next week long trip.

    Liquid fuel doesnt pose that dilemma.

    Plus you can start a good fire with it if you need one for warmth. Carefully. Wont go into the details but when it has been raining for seven weeks straight, kindling needs a boost. (Northen Ontario is awash... thats north of Thunder Bay)
  • Options
    If you want a light weight, small, relatively inexpensive ($39) cannister stove it is hard to beat the MSR pocket rocket. Weighs 4 ozs and can be stored is a small quart pot. Cannisters are a little problem becasue you always seem to have a half full one but if you punch a hole in them after they are empty they can be recycled.
  • Options
    Jetboil is great stove!
    Especially if you're looking for boiling water. Not as useful for cooking up full meals, although some of their models are more suitable than the basic boiler. About $80.
  • Options
    Solid Fuel:

    Liquid fuel:

    MSR Pocket Rocket (Snowpeak is good but pricey).

    Consider: Pepsi Can Stoves....(Free), uses denatured alcohol as fuel (HEET automotive fuel additive in the YELLOW bottle), or from a Hardware store/Walmart.

  • Be aware
    that the above from Sportsman's Guide looks like only the stoves and windscreens/pot supports but not the pots themselves. It may be difficult to fine pots that fit inside the supports. The stoves could be used with makeshift pot supports and whatever pots you have.
  • Options
    I like this little jetboil stove. Good
    birthday present request. I really liked the pocket rocket stove too. That is what I used & I am definitely buying it. So compact & very stable.
  • Options
    yes I want to make my stove!!
    Stove party must be planned.
  • Options
    The cat stove is one of my
  • MSR Reactor?
    Anyone used one of these? Backpacker mag gave it a good review if I remember correctly.
  • Options
    Link to plans, templates and instruction

    Click on the Alcohol stove tab and check out the drop down menu.......
  • well
    Well the two burner coleman stoves are always good and durable..they have been the standard for camping stove for a long time. its big and may not be good for kayaking but for canoing...
    small version stove
    coleman apex---good and lightweight and have a simmer mode which is nice. ive used both above stoves for a long time.
    msr's whisperlight is good too.
  • Options
    Thanks for the links
    -- Last Updated: Aug-15-08 8:54 PM EST --

    I used the Pocket Rocket on my latest trip. One can of fuel lasted the whole trip practically (5.5 days). Gave out the last night. That was 3 people with light cooking, but boiling water every am & most pms. I thought that was pretty good!!

    now I just have to find people who will come to a stove making party. Maybe beer will help boost the guest list.

  • Options
    Long Drive....
    can we do the party by VTC?
  • Options
    I will just have to mail everyone their beer in advance. : )
  • Options
    I use a MSR XKG-EX. It's loud, doesn't simmer, not the lightest, doesn't pack as well as others, and cost around $130. However, it will burn anything you put in the tank, is the number one proven expedition stove worldwide, super fast boil times, and has never failed me. It's over kill for most trips but it's cool.Also, I'm not a canister guy, I prefer liquid fuel. I used a Peak 1 prior to this for 10 years.

  • Options
    Optimus Hiker
    has been my latest stove. I to am moving away from the canister fuels. Lately I have also been taking a Thremette to boil water using sticks and twigs, why burn expensive fuel to boil water? Another just tried option for the water is a Littlebug folding stove. It has the advantage over the Thremette by being easier to transport in the kayak. I use a pot I was already taking but now it has a black coat :)
  • Lightweight Camp Stoves
    I have used just about every type of camp stove on the market over the 50+ years I have backpacked, climbed, river run, and XC Skiied. As an Outdoor Living Instructor I purchased many different types of stoves so students would get experience using different models and types of fuels. I have used propane, butane, white gas, alcohol, and regular gas models.
    The best stove I have ever used for all around use at sea level to high altitude is the Optimus 8 R white gas stove. It has only one moving part. It is easy to prime and light. It boils a pint of water in under 3 minutes. It sits low in its windscreen and is indistructable. In forty years of using them I have never had a malfunction. Cost is $59.
  • Options
    Paddle easy,

  • Options
    Where might one find an 8R for $59? I've never been able to find one except on auction, sold as "vintage" for ridiculous prices.

    BTW, I swear by the Coleman designs. I have a Feather 400 (among others) that works like a charm. There's no complicated priming procedure to follow and I get a blue flame in under 30 seconds, max. For those really cold days, a bit of bark set alight under the generator, a blob of fire paste or a squirt of antibacterial hand gel (you should have it with you anyway, it's mostly alcohol) pre-heats it enough to light in the coldest weather. As for the MSR folks who exclaim, "but you can't field strip it", that's a load of crap. I can disassemble every piece of Coleman equipment I own with the Multi-tool I never leave home without. No tiny parts to lose. Just pack a spare generator and put a few drops of oil in the pump once a year. The real testament is though, that I've *never had to* field strip an "all in one" Coleman stove, so long as it was operated per the directions. Will my Feather 400 pack down to the size of a thimble and burn everything from ether to road tar and in between? No, but for canoe camping, it's not an issue. A few pints of Coleman fuel will last quite a while.

  • Options
    Optimus 8 R white gas stove
    How funny, I'd like to find one to display...
  • Options
    There are
    Russian copies out there for under $50, hard to tell from the real thing.
  • Jetboil PCS. All I need
    Small , efficient, cooks the type of food I eat and makes great coffee.
  • ditto Jetboil
    Easy on fuel, works fast, stores easy. If boiling water is your means of cooking it's excellent.
  • Options
    jetboil lover
    I have had my jetboil for three years now. I don't go anywhere without it (camping/hiking/kayaking). It will boil a liter in minutes. Super efficient equals less fuel. I have the coffee press addition, great. Coffee in minutes. Draw backs are, as repeated, doesn't simmer foods well (too hot). I will try the new jetboil cook pot this week.
  • Options
    Primus Multifuel
    I just picked up a used Primus Multifuel (Himalaya) stove. It has a metal pump unlike MSR's, will burn White gas, Coleman fuel, kerosene *and* butane cannisters. I've tried it with the butane and white gas and it works great. It's a real rocket, but can simmer with a little fiddling on white gas and perfectly with butane.

    Sierra Trading Post has these new from time to time for $70 bucks and geartrade.com has 'em "like new" for around $30 now and then.

  • Options
    I like my zip ztove
    I dont have to worry about packing fuel and it spilling all over my gear. Cleanup may take a little more elbow grease
  • Jet-Boil fuel use
    Mystical asked ...

    "I also am fascinated by this Jet Boil-first time I have seen it. It claims to heat water faster than my electric one at my desk at work. Does it really boil two cups of water in two minutes? I could definitely see using that a lot. It says it is a fuel miser as well. How many cups per fuel canister? How does wind affect it?"

    On solo canoe trips, I have been getting 6 days of use from one 100 gram cannister. That is boiling 3 cups of so of water in the morning, and 4 to 5 cups for dinner.

    For two people, I have used the 220 ? gram large size cannister, and get about the same usage, but just a bit less - I don't use the Jet-boil pot with the large cannister, just use a regular one qt pot on top of the por support they sell. Not as efficient as the heat-exchanger cup that comes with the stove, and more wind sensitive, so not as fuel efficient that way.

    I actually jsut got back from a hunting trip, packing in to 11,000 feet. Elevation does not seem to affect the performance much, if at all. Camped a few days at 11k, and a few at 8k. For cold weather, its a good idea to keep the canister in your sleeping bag with you, so it starts out warm - I haven't had to do that yet.

    I don't let the stove run on idle, rather I shut it off after the water comes to a boil.

    So far, it has worked fine at temps about freezing (some frost) - haven't tried it yet in colder weather.

    I also have two Peak 1 white gas stoves, and like them as well as hte Jetboil, but they are heavier and bulkier to pack for backpacking.
  • Options
    Kelly Kettle?
    Sorry I'm late to the party. I find it curious that no one has mentioned a kelly kettle. Apparently, this European marvel has not made much of an impact in the states. I read about them in an article and think that I need to give one a try. Looks fantastic. No waiting for coffee!!! Any thoughts... yes they really do burn real wood

  • Options
    Yes, I agree!!
    I have been looking into these aswell. You can get a perforated ring for the burner, so that you can cook over it too.

    I for one, though, have a SVEA Trianga that works well with fuel, but I can also use wood if I turn the windscreen over. I also have a canteen cup cooker that can be used with twigs & sticks aswell. So both of my cooking elements are "multi-fuel". With what I have, I can cook oatmeal, sausage & brew coffee at he same time with a unit that fits in a 6x8x4 container.

    Paddle easy,

  • Options
    Jet Boil - Dualist for Couples
    My husband and I use either the Jetboil or Dualist. We carried the Dualist on our AT backpacking trip in July and enjoyed this self contained cooking system for two.

    The Jet Boil is the way to go.

    We make the following meals:

    Flavored Couscous
    Tyson's Premium Chunk White Chicken (found in the section where they sell the foil packs of Tuna)

    Cheesy Pasta Chicken
    We use the Pasta packs from Walmart where you just add water. Takes 8 minutes to cook. We take powdered milk and add this to our water. We like the Cheese & Pasta and then add teh Tyson's Premium Chunk White Chicken.

    Great stuff for kayak camping or backpacking!
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