Cooking Stove - high altitude / cold weather

Discussion in 'Backpack Hunting' started by Vandy321, Feb 2, 2019.


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  1. GreenDecoy

    GreenDecoy Well-Known Member

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    The Whisperlite is the only way to go in cold temps. You should have no problem in single digits. Propane/Butane and other gas pressure stoves are utterly useless in the cold. Above freezing, I prefer them.

    That optimus 99 looks interesting!
     
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  2. TexasFrog

    TexasFrog Member

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    MRS reactor... boils water FAST at extreme altitude...
     
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  3. Vandy321

    Vandy321 Well-Known Member

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    Sold the whisperlite and took an MSR Pocket Rocket 2 to save space and weight..single digits (hit zero the 1st night), camped at 12,500 for 1st rifle, kept fuel in my bag overnight and cooked on their tripod like stand, stove never skipped a beat in 5 days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  4. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    For winter ski camping I use the new MSR Universal stove (gas, kerosene and inverted canister) in the white gas mode. Never failed, even at -22 F.

    I've also begun to take along my titanium Trail Designs Sidewinder wood stove with the Inferno gassier insert. Very hot (shite ashes) and I use it for melting snow.
    The "Tri-Ti" stove is a bit larger if you want even more heat.

    Eric B.
     
  5. graywolf

    graywolf Well-Known Member

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    Isobutane/propane stoves work work fine in the cold if you’re at high elevation. The pocket rocket is tough to beat for weight and size for short trip. But the whisper light or better yet, the MSR International, are much more practical and efficient for multi day trips. I have a pocket rocket and an international, pick one or the other depending on the situation.
     
  6. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    graywolf,
    Gotta disagree bit about isobutane ("canister") stoves in the cold, even at high altitudes. The very best operating canister stove system in cold weather use an inverted canister together liquid fuel into the burner together heated into gas. This requires a primer fuel to heat the tube a bit for initial vaporization.
    But even then I'd rather take along a white gas stove for utter reliability. Winter is a time for "belt and suspenders" reliability.

    Eric b.
     
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  7. GreenDecoy

    GreenDecoy Well-Known Member

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    Concur. Canister stoves can completely liquefy at cold temps (isobutane boils at 10F) and are utterly useless without the liquid burners. You might as well just carry white gas like the MSR Whisperlite. There's a reason mountaineers have used it for decades.

    If you can keep your canisters warm, I like JetBoils/Reactors. But for extreme colds, there is just nothing better than an MSR Whisperlite.
     
  8. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Graywolf,
    For winter snow camping I made a circular 3/16" thick plywood base for my MSR Whisperlite Universal stove. I used hardware store screen door tabs & bolts to hold the 3 legs in place by swiveling them over the flats of the legs. Also I painted the plywood with a few coats of silver high temp engine paint to waterproof it and in case burning gas from priming came in contact with it. This gives the stove a solid footing in snow.

    Wind or not in winter I use the MSR windscreen to conserve heat.

    Eric B.
     
  9. GreenDecoy

    GreenDecoy Well-Known Member

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    ^^^
    This is why I love the internet!
     
  10. graywolf

    graywolf Well-Known Member

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    The wood platform is a good idea but I am usually jettsisoning everything possible to keep weight down when climbing. I usually use my snow shovel blade and get it as stable and flat as possible to make a base for my msr XGK international. That stove is bombproof. Still need to be careful not to spill the soup...
    Re isobutane/propane stove cartridges, you’ll find they work significantly better at higher elevations because the boiling point is very dependent on elevation. Granted it’s usually colder as well but warming them in your bag or coat pocket is easy. I’ve never been unable to start one at elevation. That said, I agree that if you need to melt a lot of snow it’s more efficient to have a white gas stove.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  11. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as a geezer I'm all about saving weight and I always take my avy shovel when winter camping. But... I can't trust its slippery surface enough to put my stove (and food) on it so I take the stove base. My weight savings is using a solo tent (Tarptent Moment DW) and other light gear like a -20 LL Bean down bag and REI FLASH All Season air mattress.

    In fact I did sell my MSR Dragonfly stove B/C it was too heavy, even though it is still the best simmering stove made. And sometimes I take my Trail Designs Sidewinder titanium wood burning stove which is great for melting snow because I don't have to carry fuel, only a few ESBIT tablets and Vaseline covered cotton balls for tinder. This stove is a "gassifier" design and thus very hot and also very light. It rolls up and fits into a small sock sleeve.

    Eric B.
     
  12. Litehiker

    Litehiker Well-Known Member

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    AND, during winter I can take sausage and bacon with me for great breakfasts with pancakes or freeze-dried omelettes.

    Also I like to take fruitcake (the good kind;) because it is so rich with both fats and proteins.

    Eric B.
     
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  13. DereckO

    DereckO New Member

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    MSR Reactor is absolute bomb proof reliable.
     
  14. cohunt

    cohunt Well-Known Member

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    Anyone use a biolite stove? They are heavier and bulkier but no need to carry fuels as just twigs, sticks, branches burn well...no issue with wind as it burns I eternally plus you can charge your USB devices off of it. Only issue I find with them is if you are in deep snow then finding twigs and sticks could be troublesome, but they do offer fuel blocks if you wanted to totem those around