How to Choose a Stove – Part 2 by Rudy Hassall
In my previous post I went over the different fuel types for stoves. So, now that you have selected the fuel type for your stove, it should reduce the number of stove options to choose from.
Some items to consider when selecting your stove are:
Average Boil Time – This test is usually performed by bringing 1 liter of 70*F water to boil. It then takes the average from 3 timed boils. Most companies perform this in a controlled environment. This does not account for moisture, wind and temperature which can affect all of these tests.
Burn Time – How long you can cook before refueling. In conjunction with average time to boil water and number of liters boiled, it provides an overall picture of the stove’s performance.
Fuel Capacity – You can alter fuel capacity and burn time by using different sized fuel bottles
Large Knobs – If you plan on using the stove in cold weather, large knobs are very useful and easier to turn while wearing gloves.
Liters of Water Boiled per 100g of Fuel – This is the equivalent to the “mpg” of an automobile. It tells you how efficient the stove is, while at full power.
Piezo Igniter – This is a push button spark conductor. This is a nice feature to have, if your matches get wet.
Another point to consider is that most companies perform this in a controlled environment. This does not account for moisture, wind and temperature which can affect all of these tests.
Some safety tips:
- Don’t cook inside your tent, this could cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If the stove can use gasoline, do not use oxygenated gas.
- Always verify that the stove is on a flat, stable surface. Some stoves offer stabilizer legs which increase the footprint of your stove to increase its stability.
After researching, testing and talking with users I have settled on 2 stoves to use in my backcountry adventures. And I say settled as there are at least a dozen stoves that met my requirements. The two stoves that I selected are the Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove and the Jetboil Flash Java Kit.
Some of the reasons that I selected Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove are that it is very packable at 2.6oz and 4″ x 3.5″. The Piezo igniter runs inside the post of the stove, protecting the igniter from damage and reliable lighting. What sets this stove apart from the others is that it has a Micro regulator. This allows a consistent flame in cold weather and throughout the use of the fuel canister, so your heat will not “die down” when the canister is near empty.
Some of the reasons that I selected the Jetboil Flash Java Kit are that it cam with a French press to assist in providing fresh-roasted coffee whenever I would like some. I know that Starbucks has some instant coffee called VIA, I am still determining if I like it or not. It has a color-change heat indicator display that turns orange to show you when the water is hot. This is visible from a distance so I can start tearing down camp or doing chores while this happening and not have to go over to the stove every few moments. It has an adjustable burner with Piezo igniter. I really like the new drink-through lid. The bottom cover can also act as a measuring cup. The whole kit weighs in at 14 oz, it packs neatly and securely inside the pot. It has been very reliable even in temps down to 15*F.