So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Backpacking is more than just about gear. Here's a forum to talk about the "philosophy" of lightweight backpacking.
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Mags
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So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby Mags » Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:16 pm

Yesterday, I called in sick with a head cold.

Besides catching up on some reading, my mind wandered a bit. (Effects from too many cough drops? ).

One topic I thought of us was a post for this thread.

What made you start to go towards lightweight stoves?


For me, it was my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail in 1998.

In 1996, I took my first backpacking trip.

My first stove (one I still use for car camping) was a mini-propane stove! Egads..as that heavy and bulky! :)
http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/store ... &langId=-1

I knew there had to be something easier..and I saw the way cool MSR Whisperlites other people used. A "real" backpacking stove!

So I bought one in 1997, somehow managed to not burn down Mt. Greylock on a Mothers' Day Weekend backpacking trip with my buddy Tim and
used it on the Long Trail.

Boy..was it loud, heavy, bulky (and balky!). But it was a REAL backpacking stove. I was a real backpacker now. :)

I used it in 1998 on the AT.

After humping a 40-50lb pack for 2200 miles, I never wanted to do that again!

In 1999, I started hearing about these "cat food" can stoves. Hmm... I also read about lightweight gear.

So my buddy Tim and I made some alcohol stoves and bent a coat hanger into a pot stand. The stove was light, simple and boiled two cups of water in ~5 minutes.

When I did the LT again in 1999, the people on the trail were wondering about my small pack (3300 CI) and esp. this odd stove I was using. Was it sterno? What was it made of? What kind of fuel was I using?

So that is how I started using lightweight gear and stoves in particular.

I still use the propane stove for car camping...but I can't remember the last time I used the Whisperlite. :)
The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched
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Skidsteer
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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby Skidsteer » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:13 pm

Oh man, I carried that same propane stove Mags. :lol: :oops:

It's amazing how creative a mind can get after that.
Skids

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby zelph » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:09 am

Most of the time I heat with wood. Very seldom is there a fire ban here in Illinois. Even then I would take the trais along the rivers and make camp near the shore lines, fires in the sand. Plenty of driftwood.

Too many times my fuel got rained on and continued to do so for days.

Cold ramen and Spam don't make it. My favorite alcohol stove is the Ring Of Fire with a Fosters pot. I'm thinking of switching to a cut down Snapple pot and an appropriate Ring of Fire to fit. It's not lighter, but it's more compact. I like the stoves that are one piece. I'm in a simplicity mode. My wife would call me simple if she was reading over my shoulder. :mrgreen:
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby Mags » Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:09 pm

zelph wrote:My wife would call me simple if she was reading over my shoulder. :mrgreen:



I think ex-girlfriends will say the same about me. :)

Re: Mini-propane stove Yep..can't believe I carried that monstrosity! Still good for car camping esp. when I want to brew a quick cup o' joe. Hmm..maybe I'll go neophyte school and grab the K-mart tent, the propane stove, cotton khakis, a lot of canned goods and the "Rambo knife" I used on my first backpacking trips. ;) Er...maybe not.
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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby russb » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:01 pm

Like zelph I usually use a wood fire. Even in the wettest of times I never had a problem though. My main reason for a lightweight stove is as a backup for times when I might need to make camp in an area which I would not want to make a fire either for environmental sensitivity or for stealth. An alcohol stove fits this bill perfectly as it is the lightest weight since I do not need to carry much fuel (as it is a backup only).

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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby samh » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:53 pm

Used a Whisperlite for a couple years because I didn't know lightweight stove existed. My first ultralight stove was one of the pop can types with the little screw in the top. I didn't like that you had to prime it so I next got an open top one. I then didn't like that you had to use a pot stand with it so I got an open top sideburner one.

When I do a super ultralight trip I carry a pop can stove and a Caldera cone. But for the most part I carry my Bushbuddy now. No fuel weight and a little campfire is cool by me. I still use the Whisperlite in the winter.

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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby billinmt » Thu May 22, 2008 9:55 am

Years ago I had a Coleman Peak 1 and thought it was the greatest thing ever made. Had a lot of friends jealous because of the small size. Then a couple of years ago I got a Simmerlite. Always liked that stove but it was a pain with the hose and priming the fuel tank and then I never could figure out how the take it all apart without fuel spraying all over the place. Anyway to make a long story short I started making pop can stoves and graduated to the White Box design a couple years ago. Can't beat the weight savings or simplicity of use or the costs compared to a MSR style stove.

I've been thinking about a wood stove like the Bush Buddy but in Montana almost every summer they close the forests and national parks to wood fires. A plume of smoke in the late summer around here is sure to bring you a trouble with the powers that be.

Bill Ballowe

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Re: So...what made you go to a lightweight stove?

Postby Ridgerunner » Fri May 23, 2008 4:46 pm

I've hiked, camped, hunted, and fished all my life but never did any backpacking until about six years ago. I had accumulated so much gear that a storage building was bought to try and stay organized :lol: . I had talked about backpacking with my brother-in-law as a challenge to get by with just the bare minimum as we constantly would go on our hunting trips and find out we each had brought 2 or 3 stoves and 2 or three lanterns and so on and so on. Then I ran into an old friend at work who had boys who went thru scouting and were active in backpacking but they were in college and he was missing the trail. I told him I would love to give it a try and we decided in the spring, we would have a go at it. That gave me some time to research it and i figured I had most the gear I needed except a backpack. I remember buying a new off brand pack on ebay that had this huge zipper that went all the way down the center of it and was about 5 different colors. Boy, did I take a ribbing for that. I was told I looked like a Christmas tree coming down the trail. We went on a two night trip to East Fork Lake and I thought my 50 lb. pack was a piece of cake. I had already started collecting stoves, so I took a Taykit stove, which my buddy had never seen. It did the job and was pretty lightweight compared to some stoves. Well, after about 15 miles, I was a little sore in the legs and back and realized pretty quickly, I needed to do some more research :lol: It has been a slow progression to getting lightweight as "it ain't cheap" ! :o (except for the stove) ;) I finally have my big four under 10 lbs. I still like to take those luxury items that add up but I have yet to be out more than a week at a time so the extra weight really does not play that big of part. The alcohol stove really helped saving ounces. The other key is calculating very closely what provisions you can get by with. We had a newby with us on our most recent trip to the Smokies and I bet he had every bit of 20 lbs of food for 2 nights and 3 days in the woods. Needless to say, he learned a big lesson the hard way. Fortunately, we were not doing any big elevation climbs, so he survived his second trip with about a 70lb pack. (almost half his weight) I had told him that the hike was fairly easy ,as trout fishing was the main goal, so we could take a few luxury items. I did not realize he took me at my word and was bringing a food pantry. :oops: :lol: My next goal is to get him geared towards lightweight hiking. ;)
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