Kayak Camping Stove

-- Last Updated: Mar-29-09 12:15 PM EST --

I am just starting kayak camping, or camping for that matter, and need some advice on stoves. I have a CLC 17 so weight is not the first factor, however I guess I would like the option of using the stove for backpacking someday.
My kayaking will mainly with other family members so I will need a stove for "group" cooking. I would also like to be able to cook something other than dehydrated packaged foods. Say frying fresh fish. I am looking for high end since my experience has usually been you get what you pay for.
In the event that the stove does not have a self lighter what lighters/waterproof matches work well.
I would like a butane/cannister stove only.

It is going to be hard to find one stove that will really do a good job of group cooking and be a good backpacking stove too.

Having said that, check out the JetBoil stoves.


depending on how much room you have

– Last Updated: Mar-29-09 4:08 PM EST –

it's hard to go wrong. If you have enough room, you could go with a classic two-burner propane stove (http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/789902). Flatpick does that. Or, if room were at a premium, you might carry more than one camping stove (http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/785314; http://www.rei.com/outlet/product/777967). I do that. If you're totally new to camping stoves, you'll want to learn as much as you can about the various fuels. That will effect which stove you choose. I like to bake so white gas doesn't work so well for me. All the best! It's a brave new world. You'll have to cook up a few practice creations in the back yard first! ;-)

Not very expensive or . . .
. . . glamorous or high tech is the Colemean Peak 1, either the regular or the 442 multifuel. They are bulletproof, simmer nicely, are self contained and will cook about as well as any single burner.

I use a small MSR and carry the gas containers for both yak’n and hik’n.

MSR Dragonfly
that’s what I’m getting when the cash becomes available. Until then I have a tiny WhiteBoxStove that burns alcohol.


Just got the MSR Superfly because I love the idea that it takes multiple brand canisters-not locked into one brand. I don’t like the idea of disposing of these canisters though so hopefully will find a recycling option for them.

those canisters may be recycled
My town does take them. When the can is empty puncture it with a nail and flatten.

Check with your town.

The one lb propane canisters are another matter.

Its hard to get a stove for backpacking and group cooking.

If you are going to use oversize pans, beware of the fuel tank underneath. Potentially it can overheat.

I use one of the MSR stoves…the Windpro. It can take canisters from one of a number of manufacturers. For some reason the Brunton canisters last longer.

Another for the Coleman 442
Not the lightest, but durable as heck. Cooks/Simmers efficiently. Not real sexy, though.


– Last Updated: Apr-07-09 10:50 PM EST –

Dragonfly.... been using it for years now and its never let me down. Very reliable, simmers great and field repairs are simple.

White gas over butane
White gas always wins in my opinion. I have the Coleman dual fuel. Burns unleaded gasoline or white gas. Not impacted by cold weather and never fails to light and roar. REI sells it, cheap and simple, but not sexy.

I’ve busted 3 Dragonflies in ~10 years
Very nice stoves, but they do not seem to hold up to my usage. I would never trust my life/safety to one. My wife’s XGK is 15+ years old and has never let us down. Unfortunately it has only two settings: Off and F16 engine…

Optimus Hiker+

– Last Updated: Apr-08-09 11:51 AM EST –

Optimus Hiker+
An expensive monster - but burns almost any flammable liquid.
Hot, simple, rugged, compact, dependable --- called the "Himalaya Stove."
It’s the upgrade of the stove I’ve used since 1975.

(Note: Users tend to rate this either 5 or 1 stars - there may be some production problems on this new model)

(Sorry - I hate butane/canister stoves - we can do better than create all that trash)

I guess

– Last Updated: Apr-08-09 11:51 AM EST –

Each application shows different results with reliability. I've been beatin on mine for a long time and only had to deal with regular maintenance, ie o rings, pump and cleaning...

just curious, how have your dragonflys "busted?" And what broke?

I like my Superfly too
My stove has the auto ignition and is so hassel free that I am willing to put up with the extra ounces when backpacking. One 4 oz canister lasted 6 days last spring–hot drink, oatmeal, lunch drink, one pot supper and evening drink each day. Also had to boil water as treatment a few times and heated water for bath on last day. Did not need the smaller canister I took as back-up but would take it anyway.

It is quick to boil two cups of water–find a solid flat place out of the wind and use a lid. As mentioned, canisters might overheat with large pots or tight wind screens.

My usual backpacking stove is a homemade alcohol burner like the White Box.

Two things to consider when camping with more people are safety and diversity. You want a stove that is safe if kids are close and you want to be able to bake, boil and roast. Rather than taking a larger stove you might take two different small stoves with different strong points but the same fuel and repair kit–a Superfly and a Pocket Pocket. Also consider that sometimes you may be able to use a campfire.

I have a small aluminum dutch oven that I would not carry for myself but take when I have friends to share the burden and baked goods. If I can make it at home–I can make it in camp.

If I get to camp tired, wet and hungry I love the Superfly–hot tea or soup in five minutes or less.

Optimus Nova
I like the hiker, but for making pizza with an outback oven hood and a fry pan…the seperate fuel canister is safer.

always fond memories of the old blue box optius’s…no pump…some got a little scarry as they aged

Best wishes


good and cheap

i had one of these for 20 years and it worked great. its pretty compact for a two burner stove. it would probably still be cooking if i had not destroyed it trying to convert it for a 20 lb propane bottle.

Primus EtaPower
Primus EtaPower stoves come in a model that has a 2l pot and frying pan. This is a very efficient and nice canister stove. They can sometimes be found on sale for roughly $50, or retail for around $100.


Sierra Trading Post has had the burner for this stove on clearance for almost a year. You can then use it with any burner. I use this with larger pots and frying pans. It is a very nice stove that starts up easily, simmers well, and roars when you need it to roar.


The have the Primus EtaPower on sale too:


I have one of each of these and plan to take both when kayak camping. The Sierra Trading Post ad says for Primus fuel only, but I use both of them with MSR, SnowPeak, and generic fuel canisters that have the same fitting. This is the most common fitting for canister stoves.

If you want to run with large pots you’ll want to get a stove with a remote fuel canister (instead of one that sits on top of the fuel canister).


I have used an Old Apex II for years works great and simmers well. Used a jet boil, works great for boiling water is fast an efficient but does not simmer, used a Coleman Firestorm, its not as good as the older Apex when used with gas, how ever it can also be used as a canister stove, the Apex cannot, however I like using White gas stoves, you can get fuel at any gas station!!!

Siege Kayak camping stove
Check out Siege Stoves. They have an ultralight collapsible stove that packs flat and fits in a small sandwich bag. It is perfect for a group and you can grill with it. It’s easy to use and doesn’t take ages to assemble with loads of parts like some stoves.