Author Topic: Which type of mini stove?  (Read 22329 times)

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Offline michaelvac

Which type of mini stove?
« on: February 17, 2006, 10:50:34 pm »
My wife and I are planning a cross country tour and are deciding on which stove to purchase. I like the MSR Pocket Rocket because it is so simple; just screw it on to the fuel cannister, turn it on and light. No pumping no hooking up fuel bottles.  However, it runs on iso/butane which I understand might be more difficult to find along the TransAmerica route as compared to white gas.  Has anyone biked this route with this type of stove?  Were you able to purchase fuel along the way?  Any comments would be appreciated.

Offline scott.laughlin

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2006, 01:02:32 am »
I've always bought the cheap one-burner propane stove at Walmart.  It uses the fat propane bottle that can be purchased anywhere.  I've fired an Outback oven with it at 11,000 feet.  Baked a cake, even.  I also bought the small propane lantern that screws on the same bottle and I'm set.

It may be a little heavy, but stuff you can't use gets really heavy.

Offline michaelvac

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2006, 01:21:44 am »
Thank you, Scott. I haven't considered that type of stove, but I will look into it.

Offline ptaylor

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 09:56:36 pm »
I have a white gas stove; have had it for about 20 years. I would not buy a white gas model again. The fuel is readily available, but you can normally buy it only in the one gallon size. That's a 2 month supply, and weighs 8 pounds!


Offline Peaks

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2006, 06:48:11 pm »
Well, I haven't biked the Trans Am, but I did do the Northern Tier.  Generally speaking, the ACA routes go through small towns.  These towns generally do not have outfitters or Walmarts where you can buy replacement fuel canisters.  I suggest using a white gas stove so you can buy unleaded gas along the way.  

Offline Traveler

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2006, 04:35:41 pm »
I am interested in the Wal Mart brand stove.  Send me more information.  We can always carry bottles to the next city for a re-supply.  I want to make it sure that we have the stuff that we need and can use.


Offline michaelvac

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2006, 07:38:06 pm »
Traveler - I checked out the stoves at Walmart, and they have a Coleman single burner propane stove for under $20. It was a little too bulky for me and the propane cannisters a a bit heavy as well. While propane will be easier to buy than iso/butane, it still might be difficult to find.  What I ended up purchasing was the Coleman Sportster II single burner stove ($30).  It runs on white gas or unleaded fuel. It's fairly compact and unleaded gas should be readily available. I haven't used it yet, so I cannot comment on how well it functions. Hope this helps.

Offline RussellSeaton

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 12:01:11 pm »

Here is a link to a typical cheap propane stove.  The burner just screwsonto the top of the propane cylinder and you turn up the gas/flame with the knob on the stove.  Just use a match to light it.  No priming or anything else required.  Propane cylinders are widely available in the US.  Every little True Value hardware store in small towns has them.  Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. carry propane cylinders in the camping areas.  More general purpose convenience stores/truck stops/county grocery stores would have them.  Home Depot, Menards, Lowes has them in the plumbing area since they are used for plumbing soldering torches.

Offline BikingViking

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2006, 09:46:29 pm »
I am a firm believer in propane. Easy to get, easy to light, and not that heavy. Problems with fuel stoves are the bottles can leak, they are heavy also and if you resort to unleaded fuel you have to clean your stove very often. They are supposed to have an advantage at altitude, but I have cooked meals at 8000 ft. with propane.

Offline Ike

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2006, 10:06:35 am »
I rode across using the TransAm, Northern Tier, Pacific Coast and other various routes during the summer of '04, and I used an MSR Pocket Rocket almost exclusively.  I found that most moderately sized towns, or even small gateway communities near national forest/park areas, with an outdoor or camping store carry fuel canisters that are compatible with the Pocket Rocket.  The canisters are small and weigh very little compared to the Coleman propane canisters that are more easily obtained.  So, if I knew I would run out within a week, I just picked one up the next chance I got.  Or, if I was going to hit a real desolate stretch, I would carry an extra one along.

It may sound like they can be a pain to find, but if you are a fuel miser like myself (boil the water, shut the stove off, and just soak the pasta while being patient) the canisters for the Pocket Rocket last surprisingly long--close to one month of almost daily use, but I wasn't boiling water for drinking and only cooking dinner for myself.  Breakfast and lunch were cold meals.

However, in cold weather (below 40 degress F) or in high elevations, I found that the strove didn't perform optimally.  It still got the job done, just not as efficiently.


Offline Traveler

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2006, 11:24:04 am »

With the mini stove that I can get through outlet stores such as Wal-Mart, and the such, I probably will go with that brand for the time.  None of my trips will take me into the areas where I will be in freezing weather, nor above 5,000 foot level.  When that occurs, I have seen some other things that might be a boon, and that is I have checked in on the web page for the Pacific Crest Trail.  They have one forum that goes into the types of equipment that is feather lite and uses the pellets.  We may go that route, and use a lot of pellets, but at least we can have warm meals and carry two or three stoves.  The stoves are made out of the coke cans that you can toss away.  The fuel, the pellets, can be costly, but you can carry enough of those to last a lifetime in a panier or in the trailer.

Offline njdaniel

Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2006, 04:40:15 pm »

I'm not very familiar with BTU's and how much is needed.    I am comparing two stoves:

1) 1 lb stove piece that goes atop a propane tank
         8000 BTU's
         55 min burn time

2) 2.2 lb self standing stove (propane)
         5000 BTU's
         3.5 hours burn time

The extended burn time for model two looks great, but I've heard that 5000 BTU's isn't really hot enough to be worth it.  What do some of you experienced people think?? Thanks

Offline IndyPat

Re: Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 11:48:53 am »
Propane will work fine but the weight is just to much for me.  I ride with one other and we share an MSR Whisperlite and have the cleaning kit and windscreen from some scrap aluminum.  We us one MSR bottle and fill it at stores with white gas.  Someone is always pleased to get the rest of the can free and we build good will for help with anything else we need.

In a larger group where you can spread out the weight more than a light propane stove would be OK.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 12:24:55 pm »

There was a long stove thread that just died out, the end of last year.  It has some good info, and you might go back and review it.

I have always toured with an MSR Whisperlite International.  In theory you can burn almost anything that burns in it.  But I take along a cleaning kit too.  I have only had to refuel once, and that was in Nova Scotia, and I was able to buy white gas at a hardware store.  I think it was  a 1 or 2 liter can.

One of the things that came out of the last stove discussion was alcohol stoves.  I became enamored, and have built several.  I will be touring with an alcohol stove this year.  Alcohol stoves are lighter, simpler to operate, and fuel is safer to handle and easier to resupply with.  I got mine to work at temps in the low 30sF.  I don't see my self riding (much less touring) at temps colder than that.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Which type of mini stove?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 12:29:54 pm »