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Stove recommendations for first backpacking trip? Vegetarian meal suggestions?

Hi!

We are planning our first backpacking trip ever. I have a pretty good list going, but I'm stuck at meals and a backpacking stove. We are vegetarian. Do you have any tips or favorite brands or best stoves? Thank you for your help!

15 Replies

If all you're doing is rehydrating meals, I couldn't recommend the BRS stove more. It's inexpensive ($15 ish) and simple to operate. Boils water within a few minutes.

I found it's main disadvantage is in windier conditions, so I recently replaced it with the Soto Windmaster stove. It's a lot more expensive at $65 but it will also enable me to actually cook when on trail and not just boil water.

But, again, for a first stove, you really can't go wrong with a BRS. I dehydrate my own foods but for brands that are out there, look at Mountain House, Peak Refuel, and Good to Go. I am pretty certain all three of those will have vegetarian options.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I have een using the MSR Pocket Rocket eveer since it came out a couple of decades ago.  I like it a lot, but I suspect any of the burners that screw onto iso-butane canisters will get the job done.  I have also useed alcohold stove quitee well where only boiling water was an issue - lightweight and cheap (there are instructions for DIY alkie stove from a couple of soda cans all over the internet).  Give your system a dry run before you are cooking dinner in the dark with rain and wind everywhere.  Wind can e a real problem....

 

"dinner in the dark..." sounds like a song title

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Another reason for the dry run is to try out your meals and make sure you actually like them - I know it sounds funny but at the end of a long day on trail when you're tired and hungry, there's no greater disappointment than the meal you were looking forward to ending up tasting gross. 

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I simply must interject that if you are REALLY tired and hungry there is no such thing as bad, gross, or inedible food.

You don't want to know how I came to this conclusion.....

 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
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Challenge accepted! LOL

Although the "You Think THAT'S Bad..." thread gives me pause about how bad food can get.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
0 Likes

The most convenient to use are Iso Butane canister stoves.  These come in three main varieties, upright, remote and integrated.  Iso Butane canister are standard coming in 3 nominal sizes.. typically 100g, 250g and 500g.  Generally 100g and 250g are used for backpacking with 100g preferred.

The green "colman" 1lb propane canisters are only used for car camping...too heavy for backpacking.

Unless you plan to do a lot of winter camping I don't recommend Liquid fuel stoves.

Upright canister stoves are good for boiling water and some cooking (eg noodles)... Good ones include:

MSR pocket Rocket 2

Soto Amicus...I have this.

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe

Soto Windmaster

If you use a canister stand, these kinds of stoves are good for pots up to about 2 liters and 8 inch pans max but are happier with 1L or smaller pots.  Some include piezo igniters which are very convenient but can be unreliable and have a limited life (basically a service item).  You should always carry an alternate why to light the stove (or fire)

There are various budget options generally not sold by REI.  Personally not a fan of the BRS3000T mentioned except for minimalist backpackers who want the lightest to boil a 500ml cup.  It is cheap and works much better than it should but is very small and can be a bit dangerous to use plus there are quality issues since it is made by various factories.

If you are sharing and want to actually cook then remote canister stoves are a better choice for larger pots. Examples include the Optimus Vega and the Kovea Spider.

Integrated stoves as made by JetBoil make convenient packages which use fuel very efficiently.  They are a bit heavier but are nice to use.  Mostly best at boiling water for solo use although the Minimo can simmer and can work for two.  I have used these.

May have some more thoughts later.

Couscous provides a good basis for many vegetarian backpacking meals.  It can be easily cold soaked so does not necessarily require a stove.

 

The biggest problem with the BRS from a safety standpoint is that the support legs for the pot are small. That can make for a pretty unstable rig even with a 500 ml pot. To combat that, I use a canister stand (the lightweight one from MSR) and make sure the rig is on flat ground. Otherwise you could get a pot of boiling water to suddenly topple over. Losing your hot water for your meal is bad enough but a bad burn in the back country can be very serious. From an LNT perspective, boiling water spilled on the ground and killing some plants certainly goes against the guidelines.

Mine has been bulletproof and hasn't caused any problems although, as we all know, gear that hasn't failed is gear that hasn't failed yet. LOL

 

 

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

i upgraded from the brs to the pocket rocket deluxe recently and its been great so far.

0 Likes

I have one of the 1L Toaks cookpots and I use the AOTU stove I found on Amazon.  When I bought it  I was being told by a friend to buy an $80 MSR for reliability.  I bought 2 of these for $9.99 per and haven't had any problems.  They don't have a regulator and can be persnickety in really cold weather but I'm happy with it 

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07NJYV3NP/ref=ppx_yo_mob_b_inactive_ship_o0_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.