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Backpack Stove for patrol use

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I am looking for a recomended stove for a patrol for backpacking. Our troop is growing and we are down to two stable Coleman Xpert stoves, but these are obsolete, but there are still outfitters with the 2-burner version.

 

We rarely camp in extremely cold weather, but we have been caught out where the weather dipped below forecast and isobutane stoves lost their ability to work efficiently, so we are considering dual fuel stoves, but we have no experience with these.

 

Our main two requirements are stability and low cost.

 

Shower me with your ideas!

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Our Troop started out with the old stand by fuel stoves/dual burner. We converted a couple to propane. These are not really back pack style though.

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For patrol cooking, I swear by the simple, straighforward two burner Coleman stoves. I've taken mine cross country through deserts and high mountaints, used it in 102 degrees (that's nighttime Death Valley for ya) and in 6 degrees (our Klondike Derby last year) and never, ever had a problem. We have troop ones that have to be twenty years old and are still kicking.

 

For backpacking, I have a pocket rocket that I like just fine. The coldest weather I've used it in is about 40 degrees (in a rainstorm) and it worked lovely, but I can't vouch for it below freezing because I've never had to try it.

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Using the liquid fuel units gets a little complicated due to the GTSS requirements for handling and storing liquid fuels. However, the various ones that I've used work great and produce more heat for their weight than the propane and butane types.

When it gets too cold for my little SnowPeak giga, I pull out the M1942 gasoline stove that I used when I was a kid. It's still the toughest and hottest thing around.

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Any liquid fuel stove works for backpacking patrol cooking. I'd avoid fancy propane types like JetBoils. They work great for one/two man cooking but not so good for patrols. I love my JetBoil, but it would be tough to cook for 6-8 guys in it. My wife even bought me the JB pot for Xmas, but to tell you the truth, we never used it.

 

At Philmont, our crew cooked exclusively on a MSR Whisperlite liquid fuel stove. We had a second one for a backup, but never needed it. At Ntiers, we used the old Coleman liquid model. Had two stoves but only used the second one when we couldn't keep the first one running. You can patrol cook on one.

If its just me and eagleson, we take the JetBoil. Otherwise I pack my old Seva all fuel.

 

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MSR Wisperlite. I've got one that's over 30 years old and I let our Scouts use it on backpacking trips, it still works fine. Scouts need to be instructed in the proper use. Fuel is stored in the bottle which can remain attached to the burner during the trip. Adult supervision is required for liquid fuels.

 

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Way back when, when my troop would backpack, we had small "cooking groups" of 4 Scouts...one group would use one stove, and backpacking meals were sized for 4 people (I have horrible memories of the Maine Nat'l High Adventure Area, which used a certain brand of pre-packaged food that said "feeds 4 young campers" in fine print -- we went very hungry that week, as a group). When we went to Philmont, we became one group of 12, as I recall. I think we used our SM's Optimus stove.

 

So, a patrol of 8 having two backpacking stoves? That really isn't unreasonable.

 

JetBoil now makes something they call their "Group Cooking System", which seems to be sized for at least 4. I'm not so sure I'd be all that hot on using their specific isobutane canister. Some canisters types use some kind of a universal mount, and I'm not sure if theirs has that mount or not. The Snow Peak, and the Pocket Rocket, I think use the same universal mount.

 

I have an old Svea 123 that still works...I fired it up for a stove demo for the troop and I was surprised that after not having used it for 20 years that it still worked (no leaks!). Sounds silly, but there is a certain amount of comfort in the sound those old white gas stoves make. :-)

 

Guy

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We use the Coleman PowerMax for the patrols. It has a low profile so pot tipping is minimized.

 

We use simple $12 aluminum 4qt pots from REI for the patrols. That's usually sufficient size for most one pot meals.

 

We've used these stoves on our snow camping trips and they work fine. We keep the bottles insulated at night so they don't get too cold and this seems to keep them working efficiently.

 

 

 

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Yah, up here in da north yeh have to go with the gasoline stoves. Propane is weak and isobutane is just silly.

 

Most common I see patrols using are Whisperlites. Good tradeoff in value, practicality, easy of maintenance. Yeh see some of the Coleman/Peak One stoves too, but the Whisperlite folks always seem much happier ;).

 

For da Gulf Coast, yeh probably don't need to go with gasoline fuels, but yeh do have to look at da issue of fixed vs. variable cost. The butane/propane mix stoves are cheaper to buy up front, but those canisters can kill yeh over the long haul. They are easier to operate for the lads, though.

 

Beavah

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We have used the jetboils at Philmont and in the snow (probably mid 20s F) with no problem. I can't attest to any higher or colder. They do work with other brand isobutane (I have used the red MSRs with no problem) canisters. Jetboil makes a kit that allows you to use regular pots and also gives it a wider base. We primarily use them to boil water for dehydrated meals during HA trips.

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I've used my JetBoil below zero. It took almost 10 minutes to bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. I also take my JB whenever I backpack, just to make coffee in the morning. The crew stove is usually being used for food and I like my coffee. But for pure BTU output on a cold day, liquid fuel rules.

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The MSR Whisperlite is a great backpacking stove. If looking at stability and patrol cooking, consider the MSR Dragonfly. It is a little heavier, has a wider base than the whisperlite. Also, it has real simmer control, if cooking things other than boiled water.

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After using the Coleman Exponent Feather stoves at NTier, we have switched over to using them. Most of our Scouts have lighter options for backpacking, but some do use these if they don't have a personal stove. They are a little heavy for me for backpacking. I personally use a JetBoil Group cooking system for our adults. Several of our boys use the personal models (Jetboil Flash), in all the cool colors. My son uses an MSR Pocket Rocket. Most of our patrols opt for buddy-cooking on backpacking trips, instead of cooking as a full patrol.

 

 

Coleman Stove - pretty good price: http://www.meijer.com/s/coleman-exponent-feather-dual-fuel-stove/_/R-130490?cmpid=goobase&CAWELAID=341874527

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