Camp stove

I’ve been a long time white gas user, been happy with that. But, I need a new stove 'cause my existing one is leaking. Any good reason to switch to the canister ones?

Can’t quite figure out what’s the advantage of canister. So decide to ask those who had used both before I go ahead with another white gas stove. What makes you switch to canister? Or vice versa?

It depends on your intended use. Canisters are convenient, no priming or pumping. BUT, they don’t work well in low temperature at low altitudes.

If you intend to use your stove below freezing at elevations below 15k feet, stick with liquid fuel.

If you intend to use your stove only for above freezing, or for high altitudes (15k’+), canister stoves can be great.

Beyond that, it’s a close shave. I tend to favor my canister for shorter trips. It’s nice to eliminate the pumping and priming associated with a gas stove. With a liquid fuel stove, taking a small bottle (or regular bottle with most the fuel poured out) to get the weight down to single canister level = LOTS OF PUMPING. Either it’s the small bottle that depressurizes quickly or the big bottle with so much air space you need to pump forever to pressurize it.

For long trips packing a liquid stove tends to be more efficient as far as bulk and weight.

And if you do go canister, get an isobutane/propane mix stove, not a older butane/propane mix stove.

They don’t work well in the cold
getting sick of hearing it yet? Stick with an MSR Wisperlite and you won’t need 3 or 4 stoves. But then again some people just like to collect stuff.

I like my MSR Whisperlite – it works up every time and is very compact. The only problem with that particular model is that it’s either on full blast or off – there is no flame adjustment. That’s not a big deal for things like boiling water – but it’s a PIA for food that would be easier cooked over low heat (think cream sauces for instance). MSR also makes a similar model that has a variable flame control called the “Simmerlite”. The downside is that it costs $30 more than the Whisperlite. Still, I plan to pick one up this year. The Simmerlite will become my main stove and the Whisper will be demoted to back-up stove status. When I’m on extended trips I always pack two stoves (it’s the ol’ “be prepared” Boyscout in me I suppose). My back-up now is a single burner Coleman that just won’t die… Which brings me to another stove that works great and is fairly inexpensive. Coleman makes a wide range of single burner stoves. Mine is a “duel fuel” model which will run on either white gas or less pure regular unleaded gasoline – though I always use white gas anyway. The downside to the Coleman is the size. It’s not huge… but it isn’t as compact as the MSR. MSR is also probably better quality.

As to canisters stoves. I always looked at them with raised eyebrows. As has been mentioned they may not work well at extremely low temperatures. The big downer for me is that they lock you into proprietary fuel canisters - NOT a good idea in terms of easy availability. White gas on the other hand is available all over North America – even Wally World white gas will work. At the end of the season I just dump my left-over fuel in one of my pick-up trucks and burn it up rather than bothering with fuel stabilizers.

Why Choose?

– Last Updated: Dec-27-05 8:37 AM EST –

There are a number of multi fuel models out thtere that will work both with a cannister and with liquid fuel/pump.

MSR makes a fine stove, but I have seen numerous failures with the plastic pumps. The wilderness program I work for averages two pumps per stover per year (granted with 25+, 30 day trips per year our gear gets heavy use).

For my personal use I opt for a Primus multi fuel stove, that uses an all aluminum pump assembly. During the warm months I use iso/bute cannisters for ease of use and degree of heat control. During colder weather I use white gas and the pump (which has been trouble free for 5 years of moderate use)

stoves are less wasteful. The canisters are not re-useable and I don’t think they’re recycleable.

Also, if you run out or run low on fuel on a long trip, you may not be able to find a canister, but you will always find fuel. Even if it’s not white gas you’ll get your tea made.


I use
a MSR Dragonfly Stove. It burns all kinds of different fuel, it’s light in weight, has an awesome flame adjustment that can go anywhere from simmer to -oh my gawd- and it’s rated for use in the cold. I have never had a problem with it in any weather. That puppy puts out one heck of a flame!

I don’t like canisters. I backpack a lot and have to pack out what I pack in. If the canister is gettin’ near the half full level, I’d have to bring two or a full one and not unlike those damn green propane bottles for my small BBQ, I’d have a butt load of half empty containers lying around to trip over. Don’t have that problem with liquid fuel as I could just fill it up.

That’s my opinion, anyway.

svea 123
my ol svea 123 is 30 years old and still works great. it nests inside my sigg tourist cookset. what a wonderful design : ) i see no reason to get another stove and would not get one that needs extra stuff (the canister) to carry.

Camp Stoves
I have a Whisper-Lite that was donated after a crew of guys insisted it was dead. The pump and lines needed to be cleaned. Works great. A little tippy.

Have single burner Coleman propane tank stove. Fast hot flame, very easy to start. The canisters can be a nuisance to find.

And a Peak-One single burner stove. Heavier but durable, the stability is nice. These are the Grummans of camp stoves. The new dual-fuel stoves are quite practical. Worst problem: the pump gasket was dry and letting to much blow by in pumping (-20 F winter camping). Chapstick around the gasket saved the day.

I agree
The Svea 123 is a great stove and so is the Optimus 8R.The Coleman single burner stoves are always reliable and I have about 5 of them that I have never paid more than 5.00 for at garage sales and flea markets.If I was buying a new stove it would be the Svea 123


Why use a backpacking stove when you own a boat? All small stoves suck when comes to cooking. I have a backpacking stove that’s I’ll use only if I’m backpacking.

You can buy a converter for a propane tank that accepts small stoves. That way you don’t have to use disposable bottles and will have plenty of pressure.

I have both types.
I like the canister Msr Wind Pro the best but take the white gas one on long trips. A small canister costs around $4 while a gallon of white gas cost less. I can use four or more canisters on a long trip so the economics of using white gas is obvious since I’ll never use the whole gallon of white gas in a week or more. So for a week trip I can either spend $16 or $4 on gas depending on your stove. The longer out the bigger savings. But, considering the cost of a trip and the convinence of the canister, I wouldn’t let that entirely influence my decision.

The boats
I own don’t have a whole lot of room and I paddle solo so I’m it. Either it fits inside the boat or I don’t take it. I don’t think that one has to “go big” because you have a boat, though.

Someday, if I win the lotto or one the folks that bought themselves a buttload of paddling gifts for Xmas adopts me, then I’ll get a nice touring yak with lots of room.

MSR Dragonfly
if you only plan to have one stove. It works in cold temperatures and packs small.

I have and like the Jetboil, too. I use it for winter day trips when I’m going to want a hot cup of coffee and/or hot lunch. It is also useful on long kayak camping trips for making coffee or tea (hot buttered rum?) while the Dragonfly is cooking dinner. It is very fuel efficient which is good because the cannisters are pricey.

Sometimes we carry along a Pyromid and a handful of charcoal briquettes so we can barbecue. The 12"x12" model folds down to 1" deep.

Same Topher
Had same experience with MSR stoves in program use. Like em for careful private use. XGK’s worked well for me in Alaska Range. Whisperlite’s carboned up a lot in the small vaporizing tube - needed lots of cleaning (yes clean fuel). International model was better.

Went to Primus as did you and love it, but had a part on the pump fail last year that could not be replaced. Sent me newer pump which looks better…time will tell. As for canisters, I use a Snow Peak for weekend trips and ski tours etc.

BUT, they do suck in the cold. Just a few days ago tried to use it in Jackson Hole at -10. Terrible…

Second the
Dragonfly. I’ve used this stove in a variety of conditions and we’ve cooked just about everything on it, including the use of our outback oven. I paddled on a recent 10 day trip and I was amazed how little fuel I went through, even using the stove 3 times per day and boiling water after dinner for cleanup.

after reading all these threads, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m the only one out there using a Optimus Nova…Love my Nova…field serviciable, low fuel use etc, etc etc,…don’t care for canister stoves. to many unusable situations and drawbacks don’t really find them any more convenient, they do seem to simmer better. I don’t care for a cantainer that can’t be refilled, needs to be carried as garbage, and you can never really tell how full it is for taking on the next outing, can’t buy them everywhere you might be. White gas is by far more convienient for me. I think that if you buy a canister stove you will also need to buy a White gas/all fuel stove too. The converse is not necessarially true…The people that I know that have the canister stoves love them, but don’t tend to go for long trips with them. to many canisters to carry I believe…

Best Wishes


lightest liquid fuel stove out there!

Why use a cannister

– Last Updated: Dec-27-05 11:35 PM EST –

Quicker to a boil (no priming) easier to use in your vestuble when its 10 below. Just dip the cannister in water. easier to simmer

why use my whisperlite: save $$$ when I go out on the big trip. (you can really notice the difference in volume and weight on a week, for a month long trip solo cannnisters are absurd unless you only boil water. Given a weekend jaunt I'm packing my MSR firefly (cannister).

For solo use of my msr wisperlite I've never had a problem; I use as instructed and replace parts as diagnosis suggests. Never cooked for a party bigger than two for more than one day but I went out for a full year once, (coming to cities for food, recreation and creature comforts for up to a week then hitting the road and trail again. Did I carry spare parts? YOu bet I did.

I have a SVEA Trianga…
No pumping, no canisters!! I pour the denatured alcohol into the burner & light it. It boils water in about 3 mins & doesn’t have hassle or alot of carry-ables needed.

Only $5 and it comes with a burner, a windscreen, a 2 quart pot, bowl & a fuel bottle. It all stores into itself & has room for a small camp rag, utensils, roll of tape & anything else you want to cary in it… All in a self-contained 6"x6"x4" container…

Paddle easy,