Cooking and Lightweight Backpacking Stoves

[fusion_text]Most ultralight backpackers take stoves. Just small light ones. When I hike with others, I take a stove and do civilized stuff like make coffee & tea and hot dinners. Sometimes, especially when I solo, I go ultra simple with no-cook food.


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6 replies
  1. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    Hi Alan,

    I recently moved to Eastern Cascades of Washington where we tend to have burn bans lasting most of the backpacking season. The ban prohibits alcohol stoves (eg Fancy Feast), but allows canister stoves (eg Jetboil). I have and love my Jetboil but for search and rescue am looking for something lighter as the stove is carried much as a just-in-case item but used little, so lower system weight is more important than fuel efficiency. I am looking at something like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Snowpeak Gigapower and wondering if you have tested any stoves similar to these. Thanks in advance,


    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Jeff. Apologies for the late reply. Just back from a weekend of hiking in the Blue Ridge. Fall colors not quite there yet. About a week away.

      Anyway, a couple of thoughts. 1) you should checkout SEKI’s regs on alcohol stoves. They used to lump them with open fires and not allow them during fire bans. Since then they’ve revised their policy to lump alcohol stoves with canister stoves. If you check on thier site you should be able find this. 2) For intermittent use I wouldn’t worry so much about a specific canister stove–weight and performance is similar between most good stoves. I’ve always had good luck with the Coleman F1 but there is always the Pocket Rocket, or even Japanese clones of these stoves for as little as $12-$15. My major gripe with these stoves, assuming you can get them out of the wind, is the instability of the pot on the stove. Need to be very careful. All the best, and thanks for your SAR work! Warmest, -alan

  2. William Armstrong
    William Armstrong says:

    About to begin vt Long Trail. On your rec have had great experience with caldera ti tri sidewinder and toak 900 ml pot and modified zelph which is a bit slow but fuel efficient. Bought standard zelph for a two person 1 1/2 liter set up.
    Do you have a recommendation between standard and modified zelph with the 900ml pot?
    Caldera has been used in wind river (wow) and New England (I live in maine).
    Thanks and keep up the great work. You and skurka and werner have been terrific mentors in keeping me in the mountains at age 72 with conversion to ultra light including winter mountaineering

    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      William, thanks for the kind words! And more power to ya to be trekking along at the spry age of 72!

      As to your Q: I use the standard Zelph for both 900 ml pots. As far as I can tell, it is just as efficient for both as the mod’ed one and it boils a lot faster. And I have been playing around with a prototype replacement for the std Zelph. Similar non-spilling, re-cap-able, fuel saving design but possibly a bit more efficient. Not available yet tho. Best, -alan

  3. Roger
    Roger says:

    Alan, I’m curious about the slippers you’re wearing in the photo captioned “cooking and lightweight backpacking stoves”. Lightest sandal I’ve found so far is Bedrock classic ( 12 oz for size 12). Thinking I can do better. Love your website. Thanks, Roger


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