27 responses

  1. Mazzachusetts
    July 3, 2012

    Most important reason to me is the number of people using it.

    I have a few pots for solo or group boiling and sometimes mix in an esbit stove when I feel fuel canisters are overkill and I’m solo.

  2. Ron Small
    July 3, 2012

    I primary use the Jetboil and now the Jetboil Ti. I will use a Snowpeak Ti pot if I am going to be cooking something other than the freeze dried meals for dinner. Breakfast is usually a cup of coffee or tea and oatmeal. I get 5 to 7 days on a small canister.

  3. Ben
    July 3, 2012

    I find that alcohol works just fine in the winter if you don’t need to melt snow. In PA/VA/WV where I do my backpacking in winter the streams are usually still running in winter. The trick to using alcohol is warming it up. Obviously cold alcohol is a pain to light but I find if I put my fuel bottle in my jacket pocket and let it warm up I have no trouble lighting it with the touch of a match. I use the caldera cone as well, it is a brilliant little device. Come to think of it I haven’t used any thing but an alcohol stove the last year and a half of monthly backpacking.

  4. Grandpa
    July 3, 2012

    I’ve used many stoves over the years, from the Svea 123 to the Coleman Nuke 1 (that’s what we called it after the memorable conflagration in Boquillas Canyon involving toasted buns not of the wheat variety), the original JetBoil, Caldera Keg, titanium Sierra Zip, and others. I recently bought an Esbit but haven’t gotten to use it yet.

    I’ve used the Caldera Keg on several trips and have mixed feelings about it. It’s light but slow when heating water for three people. The last time, my grandson asked, “Grandpa, why didn’t you bring the JetBoil?” The cone also bound and flexed on me and is now very hard to assemble properly.

    My brother and I use the Sierra Zip stove when doing extended trips because the fuel is on the forest floor. I’m looking at some other wood burning options as well.

    After a few ill planned and executed recipes fused into the Caldera Keg and JetBoil, I switched to freezer bag cooking. Since my prep is now mostly heating water, the JetBoil has been my favorite for its convenience and speed. I just bought a JetBoil Sol Ti and will try it on an upcoming trip.

    My biggest issue with the JetBoil has been finding canisters in small towns on fly and drive trips. My wife and I once flew into Seattle late at night and immediately headed out of town for a few days in Canada and Washington. We stopped at twenty two stores over the next several days and couldn’t find a single one. The last day of our trip, a Ranger at Mt. Baker gave us a canister that had been turned in by someone heading to the airport. Locally, our Walmart just recently started carrying them.

    • Jarra
      July 4, 2012

      Speaking as a local, I would say you’re incredibly unlucky to not find canisters in the state of Washington. The place is crawling with outdoor stores and even my supermarket has them.

  5. Paul Osborn
    July 3, 2012

    Would that Olicamp pot be compatible with an alcohol stove. I’d like to test the efficiency.

    • Earlylite
      July 3, 2012

      Should be completely compatible. It’s quite inexpensive as well, under $30.

  6. Paul Mags
    July 3, 2012

    Another option is simply “no stove”. :)

    There is almost not futz factor, resupply is a breeze and such meals as dehydrated beans, cous cous, hummus, mashed potatoes and others rehydrate quite nicely without heat.

    Besides the lack of a futz factor, there is a weight savings if the correct food is chosen.

    But, at least for me, it is the simplicity. No need to be out in the rain getting a stove going. Don’t have to walk around town trying to find HEET or a canister. And it is quiet.

    During hot weather, the stoveless approach works really well. And right now alcohol stoves are banned in most places in Colorado.

    The “no stove” option is not for everyone or all situations, but it is another great tool to have in your backpacking kit of knowledge.

    ps. as a confirmed caffeine addict, I can tell you Starbucks Via works quite well with cold water!

    • Earlylite
      July 3, 2012

      I do this once in a while too, but for short trips. It’s a real option.

  7. Jim
    July 3, 2012

    Something like this for your 2L pot:

    http://www.amazon.com/Esbit-2-35L-Pot-Heat-Exchanger/dp/B003V03EAY

    the only issue is that it goes against your no pot gripper edict.

    I have the Optimus Terra Weekend HE (.95L) and HE 3 piece cook set (1.65L) which I like a lot. Both have heat exchangers.

    • Earlylite
      July 3, 2012

      That looks good, but for winter I definitely don’t want to touch metal grippers. I’m much prefer a pot with a top wire handle that I can hold with a heavy mitten on or a stove stand that has a heat exchanger built into it. I know a guy with an arc welding setup – might just make my own!

  8. grannyhiker
    July 3, 2012

    Just a note that a number of Rocky Mountain jurisdictions have banned alcohol stoves during the current extreme fire danger. The latest (I’ve heard of) is the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. I think the idiot that started one of the big Colorado fires with his alcohol stove was the last straw! Those going to the Rockies this summer need to pay special attention to the specific rules for the jurisdiction they are in, because the rules do differ!

  9. Bird Legs
    July 4, 2012

    I prefer a Zelph Super Stove for an alcohol stove. It requires no priming. In fact, you could set the pot on the stove unlit, and then light the stove, it makes no difference. Because it requires no priming, it is one of the most fuel efficient of alcohol stoves. The Zelph crinkly windscreens are very easy to manage also.

  10. Blitzo
    July 4, 2012

    Bah – I loathe foldout handles, so all my pots need pot grippers.

    My stove selection is similar – except I don’t use isobutane at all, I still think the supercat is the best alcohol stove, and also use white gas for altitude or cold.

    I loathe pot grippers, so my pots always have foldout handles.

  11. Dave
    July 4, 2012

    I am surprised that there has been no mention of the wick alcohol burners pioneered by Minibulldesigns. Small, lightweight, not effected by altitude. I just got my M2-SB but have not encountered winter or high altitude conditions yet. Shug, known to the hammock hangers, does fine in sub freezing weather with a MBD Elite. At a third of an ounce, no pot stand needed, it can’t be beat. Who wants to pack out empty canisters? Alcohol can be stored in plastic containers, unlike white gas.

  12. Dave
    July 4, 2012

    Post Script. RE the Colorado and Wyoming fires. Using any kind of stove requires clearing out a reasonable radius radius of any flammable material. I am reserving judgement until I get the details about what stove and the circumstances. Today is the Fourth so I may have trouble getting a hold of any one at the Forest service. http://www.firerestrictions.us is the link for the forest service. The only restrictions I could find were pertaining to petroleum based stove and lanterns that cannot be turned off. They do recommend having a bucket of water near by. And a three foot diameter cleared. Please correct me if I am wrong. I did survive the Yellowstone fires so I know the type of damage that can occur.

    • Dave
      July 5, 2012

      Post Post Script. RE the Colorado and Wyoming fires. The name of the fire in question is the Hewlitt Gulch fire in Colorado. I have talked to a person that said it was a commercial stove, due to respect to the manufacturer, I will not mention the name. I do know it holds only two ounces of alcohol. The stove was left burning unattended. Therefore the fact it was alcohol had nothing to do with it. I suspect the camper had not cleared he area.

  13. Bill
    September 26, 2012

    Check out the Backcountry Boiler, too.

    • Earlylite
      September 26, 2012

      In fact I’ll have one for sale shortly used. Sadly – it just doesn’t cut the mustard if you like to eat non FBC meals.

  14. Phil Poirier
    September 26, 2012

    I have been doing freezerbag cooking for the last couple of years for my three season outings. Mostly under a week long trip. I boil about 3 1/2 cups in the morning to cover breakfast and coffee and another 2 cups in the evening for dinner. I love the Jetboil Ti for this purpose and found one small canister to last me for a full week! It is hard to beat the simplicity of this system and it just packs so nicely too! Another option I have is the Snowpeak 600 mug with a lid from Smokeeater 908 paired with one of his 6 gram rollover stoves no pot stand needed. This is also a very easy to use, light and packable set up for use with alcohol and my freezerbag style of cooking.

  15. James
    January 1, 2013

    What’s the best stove for outside USA use? What did you use in Scotland?

    • Earlylite
      January 2, 2013

      Depends where you go. Some places jet fuel is more accessible than unleaded gas.
      For Scotland, I took an canister stove, but I wouldn’t do that again unless you have a reliable place to get a gas canister. The guy who was supposed to bring mine didn’t show up. The most reliable solution would be an alcohol stove (they call it meths), or esbit – which you can take on a plane.

      • Mark
        January 3, 2013

        Not in Scotland ! Meths is Not widely available. I know this from bitter experience with a trangia….bought a whisper lite later.

      • Earlylite
        January 3, 2013

        Denatured alcohol is probably available in every small town hardware or paint store in Scotland, or so I’ve been lead to believe. Otherwise grain alcohol or isopropyl will work about as well. To be safe, esbit or whitegas will work of course.

  16. James
    January 3, 2013

    This international stove selection is quite tricky. I’m looking into bicycle touring Iceland this summer which will involve a fair amount of camping. Fuels commonly available, based on my research include:

    - Coleman 70/30 butane/propane canisters (as in the US)
    - Campingaz canisters
    - white gas
    - auto gas

    Stoves compatible with the unthreaded Campingaz canisters are rare in the US. There are other caveats though. The white gas that is sold in Iceland is only in 5 liter containers. And the auto gas pumps often impose large minimum purchases. So, based on what I’ve read so far, it looks like canister stoves are the best choice for an American visiting Iceland.

    • Earlylite
      January 3, 2013

      I’ve never been able to find them but it’s claimed that there are adapter kits between US (threaded) and European (bayonet) style canisters so you can switch countries and til l use the same stove. If you find one anywhere, let me know about it.

  17. david Saunders
    January 3, 2013

    Alcohol stoves work with methanol or ethanol, (grain alcohol). I don’t know what the availability is in foreign countries is but being an automotive additive or paint thinner I am sure methanol is available almost anywhere, contrary to previous posts. Also grain alcohol, (Everclear) should also be available as it is potable. :)(Don’t the Scots drink?) Isopropyl sucks because of the soot but should work.

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