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Best Backcountry Stoves for Above Tree Line

I was wondering which backcountry stove the community thought was the best to use for weekend backpacking / mountaineering trips at higher altitudes and above tree line? 


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Any iso butane canister stove protected from the wind will work since altitude is not generally a problem with that fuel although temperature can be once you get to freezing and below.  Some of these stoves perform better on the wind than others. Regulation makes only a marginal difference but may provide a more consitant flame or a long simmer. Piezo igniters work variously at 10000 feet and up. Always bring a backup ignition method. Forgetting a lighter is the most common stove failure. Personally I like the Soto Amicus Igniter.  Integrated Stoves like the JetBoil Flash work well for climbing since they can be suspended.

For very cold conditions white gas stoves like the MSR Whisperlite work better but they are heavier, require regular servicing and can be tempremental.

Thank you for the reply and information! Very awesome and exactly what I was needing to know! I just use my coupon on the Jetboil Flash so sounds like that will work out with the iso butane. The windscreen idea is excellent as well! Thank you again! 

just be careful if you use a windscreen with a canister stove. It can cause a build up of heat, resulting in the fuel canister exploding.

Personally, I would find a way to block the wind without the use of a screen. Or make my own screen that has plenty of ventilation at the bottom. 

I have the Soto Windmaster specifically to avoid the need of a screen. 

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As @Dad_Aint_Hip says actual windscreens can be an issue with canister stoves and that wasn't necessarily what I meant... more finding a protected spot.

If you want to geek out on windscreens for this kind of stove then FlatCatGear have the Ocelot range of windscreens for some popular stoves including the Amicus and the Windmaster.  These add cost, weight and extra bits and pieces so there usefulness my depend on your destinations. The Windmaster is one of the more wind resistant upright stoves but it is not impervious.

Of the integrated stoves, the Flash is supposedly pretty good in wind.. better than the uprights like the Amicus or Windmaster.  The MSR Windburner is supposed to be very good although it is heavier and not as convenient to use.  I also have an original JetBoil, similar to the current Flash and I never noticed a problem with wind but that maybe luck on my part. One thing to note about the Flash is that it is good at boiling water but not great at simmering.  I have cooked noodles on mine and it worked so it's not a total bust.

Thank you both for the information and concerns about windscreens! I would have never thought twice about them being unintentionally dangerous. I will certainly look into the one suggested and also sounds like the jetboil might be good to go on er own so will probably work out well it sounds. Thank you both again for the awesome information and advice much appreciated!! 

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