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Thread: Best Sheep/Backpacking Stoves??

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    Member Randy907's Avatar
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    Default Best Sheep/Backpacking Stoves??

    Ive got some money to burn after this christmas and I need to purchase a good lightweight stove for sheep hunting coming up. I thought I would ask people with a lot more experience. Are MSR stoves any good? they seem reasonable in price. Maybe a list of pros/ cons would be helpful as well. What would you all recommend??

    Thanks, Randy

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    Default jetboil

    It's light, idiot proof (I need that), boils wter quickly and able to be used for multiple needs..... its all I use now for all my outdoor adventures...

    Greg

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    MSR stoves are awesome. All I use. If you are using isobutane cannisters, look at the Wind Pro. Great for simmering and cooking. If you are only boiling water, get the Reactor. If space is really tight, take a Pocket Rocket. If you are flying commercial, get the Whisperlite International. You can't fly with the isobutane. Many ways to skin a cat. I own all these except the Reactor. I have been using MSR stoves for years and have no complaints.

    Some good insights in this thread too...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=25042
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGreg View Post
    It's light, idiot proof (I need that), boils wter quickly and able to be used for multiple needs..... its all I use now for all my outdoor adventures...

    Greg
    I have a jetboil and like it a great deal! All I do with it is boil water which it does as good or better than just about anything on the market. If you want to actually cook food on your stove then there may be better options. For me though I use freeze dried food and all I need is hot water.

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    Default international...

    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    If you are flying commercial, get the Whisperlite International. You can't fly with the isobutane........................... I have been using MSR stoves for years and have no complaints.

    Some good insights in this thread too...

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=25042

    I think theres probably alot in the archives about this but dan's comments above are spot on. You can burn about anything in a whisperlite international. I have yet to see a canister stove that works when its 0 without sleeping with the canister. Also if you are airplane hunting you don't need extra gas. just quickdrain some avgas in your bottle and you're full again. (I guess this would apply to boat hunting or whatever else too)
    I've owned a whisperlite international for over 10 years and haven't had a problem one. Everything else someone brings to camp never seems to work quite as well. Also the stove folds up and fits inside a small titanium pot for when I'm backpack hunting. That's nice as well.
    I'm sure some stoves boil water faster but there always seems to be a "cost". My .02.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    I think theres probably alot in the archives about this but dan's comments above are spot on. You can burn about anything in a whisperlite international. I have yet to see a canister stove that works when its 0 without sleeping with the canister. Also if you are airplane hunting you don't need extra gas. just quickdrain some avgas in your bottle and you're full again. (I guess this would apply to boat hunting or whatever else too)
    I've owned a whisperlite international for over 10 years and haven't had a problem one. Everything else someone brings to camp never seems to work quite as well. Also the stove folds up and fits inside a small titanium pot for when I'm backpack hunting. That's nice as well.
    I'm sure some stoves boil water faster but there always seems to be a "cost". My .02.

    Another vote for the MSR Whisperlite.
    I got mine about 15 yrs ago. A hunting guide (at least he said he was) that worked the off season in a sporting goods store told me that it was the "only" stove for "real" backcountry Alaskan hunters. A little hype no doubt, but in those 15+ yrs it's only slowed down once due to a piece of grit in the jet & that was my fault. Don't remember why, but for some lame reason the filter wasn't on the pickup tube. I have their rebuild kit & have never used a part.
    there are probably stoves that accell in one area or another over it, but I think overall it is a winner. I'd buy another in a heart beat... If I ever wear this one out!
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Good point above about the expedition repair kit. On my float trips, I take two MSR Whisperlite Internationals, an expedition repair kit, and an extra pump. If you take two weeks worth of dehydrated food and loose your ability to boil water, you are in bad shape. The pump is plastic and is the only part of this stove that could fail in my opinion. Made of plastic for safety reasons, it could break if stepped on. They make it that way so heat on the fuel bottle (from improper use) can not cause an explosion. Logic is that this unusually high amount of heat will melt the pump, allowing the fuel to escape before pressure builds up in the bottle. Granted, you would likely have a fire, but no explosion. You know how stupid people are though. Big companies have to protect themselves by limiting legal liabilities. Long story short, carry an extra pump and just follow the directions for proper stove use. Below is a link to an article about maintaining/using/preheating the stove properly. Focus is on cold weather use. The preheating part is important. The only complaints I have heard were from people who did not know how to preheat the stove. A simple thing if you do it correctly. Below is the article and a picture of a typical preheat flame.

    http://therucksack.tripod.com/rations.htm#msrstoves


    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member Randy907's Avatar
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    thanks for all the replies so far, for those msr stoves do you just have to buy extra tanks as you go? Or refill them?

    EDIT: scratch that last question. But what do you recommend for refills? white gas, coleman gas? unleaded?

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    They use a light-weight aluminum tank that is refillable. You simply take the screw in lid off & screw the pump in.
    There are many sources.
    http://casanovasadventures.com/catal...lbottle_xl.jpg

    By the way, I generally use auto gas straight from the pump.
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    White gas burns the cleanest, but as mentioned above you can burn several different fuels. A great feature of these stoves.

    The MSR superfuel is just very clean white gas. I have used it. Can't tell that it is any better than Coleman's white gas sold in the gallon container. I have noticed that Coleman's white gas is now being sold in smaller red plastic containers. Convenient if you don't need a gallon. By the way, a gallon of white gas is A LOT of fuel for these stoves.

    The bottles come in 11, 22, and 33 ounce. I like to keep a 11 ounce on the stove to cook with due to it being small and portable. I store fuel in a couple 33 ounce bottles and fill the 11 ounce bottle off them with a small yellow Coleman filter funnel. Keep the spare pump in one of the 33 ounce bottles (it serves the same purpose as the cap) and that way you don't have to worry about the spare pump being damaged (it rest almost entirely in the fuel bottle).

    The fuel tanks are very high quality and are refillable. After use, just rinse with water and store with the caps off. If you store the caps on the bottle tightly, the rubber seal will decompress (train itself) over time and this could likely be a safety hazard when the stove is pressurized on your next outing. I keep all the caps in a zip lock bag and attach the bag to the fuel bottle with a rubber band.

    You can get the bottles at REI, Campmor, etc...
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  11. #11

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    White gas stoves definately have their place but these lighter weight cannister fuel stoves have come a long ways and are really hard to beat for fall weather sheephunters that really just need to boil water. I have a Whisperlite , a Pocket Rocket and a Jetboil, and I would say hands down a guy can save some weight and benefit greatly from the ease of use from the cannister type stoves over MSR's liquid fuel stoves.

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    Ya, Roland is right. I like and trust my MSR XGK and have never been a fan of canister stoves but.... I have changed my mind given the new stoves. Here are the weights of my XGK and fuel:

    XGK Stove/base/shield 1 lb 3 ozs
    24oz MSR w20oz fuel 1 lb 5 ozs
    20 Bottle full fuel 1 lb 8 ozs
    Aluminum Pot 6 ozs

    Total: 4 lbs 6ozs

    Where as....

    JetBoil 1 lb
    Fuel 7 ozs each

    Total weight with 2 fuel cannisters- 1 lb 14ozs

    That's a HUGE weight difference no matter how you slice it. I suppose a pocket rocket and a titanium pot would weigh even less. Not sure how the fuel efficiency compares though.

    Anyway, I think I'll trash my old school canister stove and pickup a Jetboil or MSR Reactor or a Pocket Rocket. A 100 bucks to save about 3 lbs of weight (depending on length of trip and amount of fuel) is a pretty good trade!

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Take a Pocket Rocket if you want lightweight. They come in small triangular shaped red poly carry cases that protect them well. Not much to go wrong on them. This is of course assuming you don't have to fly commercial to get where you are going.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  14. #14

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    I have had my Whisperlite for years and do not intend to get rid of it anytime soon cuz its a great colder weather cooking type stove like fo rmoose and bou hunts when its near freezing or colder, but momma got me a Jet Boil for X-Mas and its pretty **** cool. I am gonna do a test in the next week to see what the difference in time is boiling water between the Pocket Rocket and the Jet Boil. I'll even throw in some side afects like a fan blowing on it and some cold air from outside. But me thinks that the Jet Boil's design will be more fuel efficient than the little pocket rocket. Will let you guys know when I do it. but I dont think you'll ever catch me carrying fuel bottles and the Whisperlite again for August sheep hunts.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    But me thinks that the Jet Boil's design will be more fuel efficient than the little pocket rocket. .
    No doubt the Jet Boil will be more effecient. The MSR Reactor would be a better comparison to the Jet Boil for effeciency. Apples to apples
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I'll never buy a canister stove because when in the boonies I've never come across a stash of canisters. On the other hand, a multi-fuel liquid gas stove will burn almost anything. I still carry my XGK. White gas works best, but I've used avgas a bunch, and car gas, and old 4-wheeler gas, and old boat gas, and..... You get the point. A Whisperlight International is incredibly small and very reliable. The newer XGKs with the flex fuel line are pretty easy to pack as well. If you're a gourmet cook you may prefer the Dragonfly. With me it's full-blast or off. No middle ground. The XGK is bullet proof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I'll never buy a canister stove because when in the boonies I've never come across a stash of canisters. On the other hand, a multi-fuel liquid gas stove will burn almost anything. I still carry my XGK. White gas works best, but I've used avgas a bunch, and car gas, and old 4-wheeler gas, and old boat gas, and..... You get the point. A Whisperlight International is incredibly small and very reliable. The newer XGKs with the flex fuel line are pretty easy to pack as well. If you're a gourmet cook you may prefer the Dragonfly. With me it's full-blast or off. No middle ground. The XGK is bullet proof.
    I can see on remote fly out hunts there may be some advantage to liquid fuel stoves and if/when I do a flyout hunt I will probably take my Whisperlite or take that in addition to my Jet Boil and leave the Whisperlite at the strip just in case. However, when I am doing hike/backpack in hunts, never have I come across stashed liquid fuel or canister fuel. On any of my backpack hunts if my stove had ran out of fuel or lost fuel would require me to climb down to tree line/brush line for fuel to cook over a fire or head back to my truck or wheeler to get more fuel as I always leave an extra canister in my truck or wheeler for that reason.

    So the ability to burn different types of fuel in my whisperlite doesn't really have any appeal for where I backpack hunt. However, when I am fourwheeler, boat, etc where I am taking fuel anyways then its kind of a no brainer to through in the whisperlite as backup stove weight isn't an issue.

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    Ya, Pid, I know what you mean. The XGK is bullet proof and reliable and it is nice to know you can burn other fuel if need be, like on an atv or boat hunt where weight is not an issue. I also agree with Alaska_Lanche's view for backpack hunts. I'll keep my XGK for sure, but I'm thinking that for those august sheep hunts a jetboil or reactor might be a nice setup.

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    No argument, I was just reporting what I prefer. I've tried other stoves and keep coming back to the XGK. I cook with it, preheat my airplane with it, warm my hands, dry my gear, take it on winter trips, summer trips, fishing trips, hunts, etc. I don't want a shelf full of designer stoves. I want one that I can count on every time I need a stove. I found it a long time ago.

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    And I just love that sound. It's like an old friend saying hello every time you fire it up

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