Stoves Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Stoves

I have, and continue to use, an original Jetboil PCS stove from the early 2000’s. It has proven to be durable, reliable, and useful in two very specialized ways: it boils water exceptionally fast and it’s great for making coffee. (Other than that, it’s pretty much useless—as far as I’m concerned, the pot is just too…

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The Barocook system features an outer plastic container and inner cookpot that nest together. Photo: Matt Heid The small packet reacted ferociously within seconds of adding water, an entertaining display of chemistry that soon began pumping out enough heat to cook a simple meal. As my test of the Barocook flameless cooking system revealed, this…

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Hot food. Hot drinks. Hot coffee. Yum. To enjoy any of these in the backcountry, you’re going to need a stove, of which there are three fundamental types: canister, alcohol, and liquid fuel. Which one is right for you? Your backpacking style and needs will help you decide. CANISTER STOVES A solid choice for most…

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My canister stove is simple and convenient to operate, and has long been my go-to three-season option. But it sucks in the winter or any time temperatures start dropping below freezing, when they work poorly to not at all. Why? Why, stove, why??? Photo: Michael R Perry/Flickr Commons It boils down to some basic chemistry…

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When it comes to cooking in the backcountry, canister stoves—those that run on a compressed propane-butane blend—have been my go-to backpacking option for years. For me, their convenience and ease-of-use—attach stove, ignite, boil, simmer, done—more than outweighs the minor drawbacks of the canisters’ small additional weight and expense. These stoves do create one significant hassle, however….

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Alcohol stove fuel comes in two principal types: ethanol and methanol. Ethanol (ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol) is what we consume in beer, wine, and liquor. Pure ethanol burns the cleanest of any fuel, but is expensive and hard to find. Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) is ethanol that has been rendered undrinkable (and thus exempt…

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There’s ultralight backpacking, and then there’s hyperlight. It’s possible for all your backpacking gear to weigh less than 10 pounds (excluding food, water, and the clothes you’re wearing) but accomplishing it requires some notable sacrifices and expense. Here’s what it takes to experience the lightest, rightest, fastest backpacking experience of your life. Shelter: 0 to…

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