What's you preferred stove for backcountry trips?

Just wondering which stove you prefer when lightweight and packability is a concern. We started with the Trangia kit and are adding the MSR Pocket Rocket this year.

I prefer the simplicity of going primarily with freeze dried meals and coffee which require nothing more than boiling water. For that purpose I use a Jet Boil stove with an accessory coffee press.


For a group, I usually bring a Brunton propane 2 burner stove. For solo or a 2 person trip, a 1 burner Opimus propane stove. For colder weather an MSR gas stove.

I use a msr pocket rocket with iso pro. Combined with a titanium cup, it’s a very light kit and can easily boil plenty of water or cook a meal

I’ve used Pocket Rockets for years with good success.

I still have my Optimus 99 that still works great. I bought it new in 1972.


1972! That’s great. I still use my MSR Whisperlite that I got in 1985 or 1986. It was used when I got it, but since they first came out in 1984, it isn’t as old as your Optimus.

I have an old Chouinard rack and his first climbing harness that date back to the late 60s before Black Diamond bought them and he started Patagonia. Damn, I am getting old and sorry for getting off topic.

I have gone through a whole succession of stoves over the decades: original Coleman Peak One, Optimus 8R box stove, MSR Whisperlite and a few others. I also have an MSR Pocket Rocket.

I sometimes will fry eggs and sausage and toast bagels and for that purpose I have found the Jet Boil Mini Mo burner to have the best “simmer” control for that purpose. Although it still takes some practice to use.

I have thought seriously about getting a Kelly Kettle and using that to boil water where dry tinder is widely available so as to conserve on isobutane-propane but I have not yet pulled that trigger.

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I agree with pblanc

Has anyone tried the BioLight stove?

I’ve had a MSR Dragonfly for about 20 years. Multifuel, compact, and will handle up to a 10" pot. Fully adjustable flame, so perfect for simmering. Only con is this type of stove can be pretty noisy when run on high.

I prefer liquid fuel stoves in spite of them being slightly more work to assemble as it runs for a very long time on a quart of fuel and it’s easier to tell how much fuel you have. Also in many jurisdictions used propane canisters are considered hazardous waste and are not recyclable or refillable.

For car/kayak camping we have really old Coleman 425B and a 425E two burner stoves Still work fine but a bit balky in very cold weather. Useful during power outages as the idiot who owned the house before us installed an electric oven and range, although we have a gas furnace and water heater.

A friend of mine who is an avid back country hiker swears by a handmade soda can alcohol stove Can’t get any lighter or cheaper…

Like many here, I’ve used a variety of stoves over the years, including, Svea, MSR, Coleman, and Trangia, My go to stove is a Mini Bull Design alcohol stove.

The MSR Whisperlite was a big improvement over the old Svea 123, but still loud, required preheating, and if the fuel line got contaminated (silt) it was all but worthless.

The Trangia alcohol stove worked but I wasn’t that impressed with it. Messy and didn’t put out a consistent flame.

We now use a tiny MiniBull Design Bongo Pro alcohol stove with a Big Gulp reservoir system. Denatured alcohol is readily available, easy to pack, and the stove is completely field serviceable so it’s reliable. Works well for boiling water and it simmers nicely using the simmer ring, but it doesn’t like temps below freezing. It’s not as hot, as quick, or convenient to use as a butane stove.

We also use a Coleman single-burner propane camping stove. It’s not small and requires the disposable propane canisters that aren’t always recyclable. But it’s convenient, quiet, and simmers well. We have an adapter kit for using a 1 gal. refillable tank and we use that if canoe camping with a group.


Heard nothing but it being a waste of money on long trips
There are reviews on Canadian Canoe Routes
You have to run it in high and spend hours dedicated to feeding it and do nothing else for it to recharge anything
I use an old Coleman Peak 1 and a newer Windpro and a backup Pocket Rocket

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I’ve got a series of stoves depending on the situation. Usually I use a no name canister stove for the kayak. I’ve got a twig stove I’ll bring sometimes and I just bought an MSR dragonfly for when it’s cold and compressed gas doesn’t work as well.

For group meals kayak camping I like a MSR Whisperlite. I don’t think you can beat white gas for power to weight ratio for 2 or more people.

I did recently pick up a Kovea Spider which is a remote cannister stove which I think will work well for soli weekend trips. I will also use it when camping with my 7 year old son as it’s far more stable than a top of cannister type stove and I don’t need to worry about spills.

I have a tiny titanium cannister stove for backpacking when I just want to heat water.

Peak 1 Apex ll

Ohuhu Backpacking Stove.

It’s very low profile. All the pieces fit together into one ring.

Runs on either twigs or alcohol (or in this case, hand sanitizer) and works great.

You poor kayakers. In our canoe, we carry a wonderful 2-burner Coleman propane stove. It comes with a case into which we add plates, cutlery, can opener, etc. We make delightful meals with fresh veggies in our 10 inch frying pan. Oh, we paddle on the ocean, so we don’t portage.

For hiking and winter camping, I carry an MSR Whisperlite. Works well.

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If I’m only cooking for myself or one other and river tripping, I just use a Trangia alcohol or Kelly Kettle. I camp on sand a lot and appreciate not having to keep sand out of stove orifices, fuel, O rings, plungers, or threads. If a fuel container leaks or spills I’d rather it not leak white gas like I used when I was younger. I also like a quiet stove.
If paddling out of a base camp, like paddling club trips or Pnet gatherings, or if cooking for a bunch of people, a two burner propane stove and cast iron skillet is nice. I don’t cook anything very elaborate while camping so I try to keep it as simple as possible. Eat to live, not live to eat, especially when camping.

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