Cold Weather Backpack Stoves

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by Litehiker, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Many backpackers love their gas cartridge stoves due to their ease of use.

    For those of us who use them on hunting trips I'd suggest that the INVERTED canister stoves are the way to go. This is because they will work in very cold weather when the upright canisters will not.

    Look at REI and other backpacking online stores to find these stoves.

    If you already have a decent white gas stove like an MSR Whisperlite, Whisperlite International or Dragonfly then just use that for the ultimate in cold weather reliability.

    Of course there's always wood. But here I'd suggest buying a Trail Designs Tri Ti or the shorter Sidewinder stove with the Inferno woodburner insert and matching pot. (This is a must for maximum efficiency.)
    This stove is HOTTTT! because it uses gassifier stove technology which burns initially unburnt combustion gasses between the double walls of the stove. These stoves use finger-sized sticks and keep flying sparks to a bare minimum while utilizing the wood fuel to the max.

    Plus these two stoves are very light and will burn ESBIT fuel tabs more efficiently than any other ESBIT stove. I've experimented a lot with ESBIT and these stoves are by far the best. Nothing else is close for saving fuel and giving fast boil times.
     
  2. 1100 Remington Man

    1100 Remington Man Well-Known Member

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    What do you consider Cold ? I have a $25 Coleman Peak upright & it has been flawless to 9F. That is as cold as it has been while out hunting in CO.
     

  3. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    A Coleman Peak 1 white gas stove is great to even -50 F. White gas is utterly reliable in winter. I have an MSR Dragonfly that can use white gas (Coleman Fuel), auto unleaded gas or, if you change the jet size, kerosene or jet fuel.

    It's the canister isobutane gas stoves that struggle in very cold weather, even the "upside down" cylinder setups when it's around -15 F.
     
  4. Super_r1

    Super_r1 Active Member

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  5. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    I have used a simple little MSR pocket rocket for the past decade in the coldest temps that Colorado has thrown at me (below zero), and I"ve never had a problem. The only thing I"ve had to do is screw the stove down tighter onto the fuel canister to get the gas to come out properly. But I've never even given it a second thought... is there something I've been ignorant to considering cold temps and IsoPro fuel ??
     
  6. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered one of the BioLite camp stove with the charger set up that burns wood. I picked up the grill attachment as well as the water boiling set up. I will also be taking my jetboil. (I am a sucker for new gear so I am going to try it.).

    Also ordered a Mr Buddy portable 9000btu heater. I already have the sport cat and it works well in my one man tent, but I am doing a drop camp in Montana with a buddy. We are staying in an 8 man tent. What we found last time is that the small tent heaters we have keep our small area that we sleep in comfortable. But getting up on cold mornings sucks. So I am going to take the bigger unit to warm up the whole space a few hours before we depart so that it's a little less of a discomfort getting ready to go in the am. (Got spoiled hunting with my cousins in Wyoming with their outfitter series tents and wood stoves!):D
     
  7. Super_r1

    Super_r1 Active Member

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  8. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Hognuts,

    I looked at the Bio Lite setup at my local REI store and liked the idea for car camping. It's too heavy for backpacking but a great idea and well made. Your JB stove is the one for backpack hunting IF the canister is kept warm before use when temps go below freezing.

    BTW, I'm in Henderson and get Sin City Precision e-mails. When I get my 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger American Predator all set up I'll come out and watch your matches to see if it's for me. Got some stock work to do on it. Waiting for a good aftermarket target stock for it.
     
  9. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    We have horses to get it into our base camp, then it will depend on what other gear I have with me whether I take it on day hikes or not. I am dumb enough to pack in a 26.5lb rifle to a high spot, so a heavier stove doesn't bother me too much! :) I just got it today in the mail, looks like the stove itself wouldn't be too bad, but the attachments for boiling water/grilling would be too bulky to pack around. Looks like the Jetboil will be the way to go. Not bad for a base camp setup though.

    Look forward to seeing you out on the range! After hunting season I will be back in the saddle for shooting matches. We have a blast. Bunch of good guys, I have learned a lot shooting with them over the last few years.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  10. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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  11. mtnclimber

    mtnclimber Well-Known Member

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    I am a HUGE fan of the soto micro regulator stove. Its been on all my sheep hunts the last 3 years in august and september. used it all the way down to 10f and its worked really well.

    its only 2.7oz or maybe less.
     
  12. Marble

    Marble Well-Known Member

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    I always thought altitude played more of role in the stove's operation than temperature. It's not uncommon to have single digit temps in CO, our little propane bottles have worked just fine. We are usually at 10000' elevation. When I was looking at stoves I saw some advertised as high altitude, but not low temp. 10000' is the highest I have camped overnight.
     
  13. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Propane stoves are OK for cold weather but the steel bottles are heavy. The stoves that use small iso-butane canisters are the problem around -10 F.. Inverting them is helpful because the liquid runs through the hose to the burner before vaporizing. BUT you must still keep the canister warm to use it properly.

    All this is to say that white gas stoves are the best for winter conditions. And stoves that can simmer are even better for cooking control and saving fuel.

    And finally, as I mentioned before, the Trail Designs Caldera Cone titanium stoves with the Inferno insert like the Sidewinder and Tri Ti are the very best backpackable wood burning stoves.
     
  14. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Timber,

    You have either been lucky with your butane stove or kept the canister warm until you needed to use it. Either way an inverted canister setup is far better in cold temps and worth the investment. If this is not in your budget then keep your canister warm and maybe sew up a fleece wrapper for the canister. Get the fleece at any fabric store.

    As I mentioned above I only use my MSR Dragonfly white gas stove in very cold (below 0 F.) weather. It's a bit heavy and so is the fuel but, per BTU energy density, it's lighter than butane.

    Sometimes I use my Trail Designs Sidewinder with the Inferno wood-burning insert. Works very well and I only have to carry a few quartered ESBIT tablets for fire starting.