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small camp stove recommendations for boiling water

I am looking for a small camp stove that can quickly boil water. It would only be used by 1-2 people (often just a solo trip), and mainly for boiling water when backpacking for coffee/adding to prepackaged meals.

I was recommended the JetBoil Zip Fast Boil System and the Camp Chef Stryker IsoButane Backpacking stove.  

Would love any thoughts and recommendations as I have traditionally only used campfire heat previously.

 

15 Replies

There are two general schools of thought on stoves... White gas vs canister fuel. Canisters are simple and easy, and there's pretty much nothing to break, but the fuel can get pricy after a while and of course the canisters have to be thrown away. White gas (Coleman fuel) is readily available and cheap, but the stove requires a pump (which can of course break) to get enough pressure to push the fuel out of the burner, and the stoves can sometimes smoke. Personally, I've used white gas for decades, in several different types and brands of stoves (MSR makes some great ones, Coleman makes some moderately priced ones), and have been happy with it. (I've also used propane on occasion, and you can get small refillable propane bottles if you decide to go that route, instead of the tiny canisters that many stoves require.)

The biggest difference in speed and efficiency is, how much heat goes into the pot? Lightweight pots don't absorb much, so nearly everything goes into the contents. Shielding it from the wind helps a lot, and the various shielded heat exchanger cook systems are basically just a fancy (and generally more effective) way of doing that. I recommend looking for something that works with various stoves rather than a stove-pot "system", because you never know what life is going to throw at you. As we saw with toilet paper last year, sometimes shortages affect the darnedest things. A little flexibility goes a long way.

 

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I would look into a small stove "coleman style" that will take one of the small 1-pound propane bottles.  It's a bit of a compromise between the backpacking canister stoves and the bigger white-gas stoves. That way there's some room to grow & up your cooking game in the future. Some of these in-between stoves have just a single burner.  

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second on the brs 3000 "burner" type stove, have been using this for about 4yrs now, weighs 1 oz. I just boil water, never more than about 2 cups at a time.

forget fuel analysis, you're probably not going to run out on a trip anyway.  It takes a tad longer than the jetboil to ....uh...boil, but jetboil is the fastest - and heaviest of the bunch, so you have the time, so why worry about it.

Again....it weighs 1 ounce. It's $17....boom (mike drop)

Philreedshikes_0-1628011664922.jpeg

 

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes

@Philreedshikes My only concern with the BRS (and why I added the Windmaster to my gear) is that the pot supports are a bit short. My pot is the GSI Halulite 1.1 and it's just too unstable on my BRS. 

But I also have that budget pot/kit from Stanley (the pot, lid, and two mugs). That's a perfect size on the BRS. Again, If all I need to do is boil a couple cups of water then the Stanley pot and BRS combo is fine. It does weigh more but an extra three ounces or so isn't a big deal. But it also consumes fuel at a slower rate. You're absolutely right about not running out of fuel (I go for one or two nights at a time) but I am cheap and I hate to waste it. 🙂 

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I've had a Snow Peak Gigapower stove for almost 15 years, and it's never let me down.  It's been backpacking, motorcycle touring, and also served as my primary stove while working in the Sierras.  The price is good and it packs extremely small.  Highly recommended!

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I started out with a Coleman dual fuel stove. I'm a car camper so weight is not an issue. But the setup to just make a quick cup of coffee, or cup of noodles,  got very tiresome. I still have the Coleman and use it for some meals. 

Doing a bit of research I settled on the Jetboil. Yes it's heavier than the others. But it comes with a dedicated container and a stand for the fuel canister. The container becomes the storage for the stand, burner head, and a smaller fuel canister. Packed neat. The container will hold 1 liter of water which the stove will boil in 90 seconds.