View Full Version : Stoves

03-26-2003, 17:01
Has anyone tried hiking the trail with a propane stove (the kind that screws to the top of a container about the size of a coffee can)? Two containers of fuel are lighter than a full container of alcohol or white gas, but how long will they last and can you buy fuel along the trail.
Of course seasoned hikers will realize from this question that I am very inexperienced at backpacking. These stoves seem to be very easy to use and care for, and I have enough to learn starting in about 12 days.
Al Holtsberry

Papa Bear
03-26-2003, 22:11
Yes, I have seen and heard of a number of thru-hikers using the MSR pocket-rocket. I (a section hiker) used one last year for over 700 miles of the AT. There are other brands that are comperable but MSR seems to have the lion's share of this particular market. (They also make heavier models than the P-R).

They are the lightest and hottest stove around. Also can simmer. I trypically used 1/4 oz. of fuel per meal (just boil 2 cups of water - I cook the simple way).

Fuel is generally available in most trail supply points.

Yes it is a viable and (some would say) superior cooking solution.

At 12 days to go, I would think you would have settled on most major items such as your stove by now.

Whatever, have fun.

03-26-2003, 23:03
I have everything. Even have the stove but was questioning my decision. Thanks for the info!
Al Holtsberry
aka: Grandpa Bear

03-27-2003, 09:51
I think some people would dispute that cannister stoves are the lightest stoves around. I think alot of people would question their utility when it gets cold out. If will just be hiking on the AT during the prime time (spring, summer), this won't be a problem.

I saw cannisters for sale at NOC, Hot Springs, Erwin, and Damascus. I assume they have them at Neels Gap as well. Some people had difficulty finding them last spring between Neels Gap and NOC, though.

Papa Bear
03-27-2003, 10:34
Originally posted by chris
I think some people would dispute that cannister stoves are the lightest stoves around.

Well, you're right about that. In fact I think some people would dispute anything! ;)

I generally stay out of stove wars. But for myself the statement is true. The stove at 3 oz. is heavier than an alcohol stove (say 1 oz.) but the killer is the amount of fuel burned. Evey account of alcohol usage indicates about 1 oz. is used per burn. Since I usually go at least a week and sometimws 10 days between resupplies, the weight of the alcohol much more than makes up for the stove weight. Besides the usability advantages: speed, ability to simmer, etc. makes it my choice. This is partly due to my cooking style and perhaps just 'cause I think Pocket Rocket is a sexy name ;).

I also realize that those who have actually made their own stove (tin can) from scratch have invested a piece of themselve in their creation and this is very cool, very good.

I think alot of people would question their utility when it gets cold out. If will just be hiking on the AT during the prime time (spring, summer), this won't be a problem.

True. I wouldn't use it in winter. OTOH it was fine down to 20 degrees which we experienced a few times last Spring.

As one poster said, "By the time you get to Maine, everyone loves their stove and everyone hates their water filter".

I would make one last point: if you read these forums every day and also subscribe to AT-L as I do, you would think that everyone on the trail uses a Golite pack, a Nomad tent and an alcohol stove. My observation is that in reality there is lots more variety and these items are just a small percentage of what's out there. Basically you will see everything imaginable, and more. And most people are contented with their choices (at least those I saw in NH and Maine which is the "survivor" group)

Whatever you use (within reason) will be fine after you work out the kinks.


03-27-2003, 10:36
I don't know if anyone has used a propane stove, but many people have used stoves that use a mix of butane and propane. (That is what the Pocket Rocket uses).

They are easy to find in most towns. You shouldn't have any problems finding the butane/propane canisters, but straight propane might be a problem if that is what you are looking for.

One more thing, two containers would be heavier than using an alcohol stove.

03-27-2003, 12:31
By some people, I mean more than just myself or one or two other isolated cranks. There are a variety of articles which concern stove weight over extended periods of time. I resupply fairly frequently and use the alcohol stove most of the year, except for very cold winter trips or when I'll have to melt water. For longer trips or in the cold or for melting water, the whisperlite comes along with me.

The only person I personally know who uses a go lite pack is A#1, who carries the largest one I've ever seen. I did find out last spring that the people (and their experiences) on the AT-L were vastly different than what I actually experienced. In some ways, this was (or contributed to) one the most eye openning experiences for me on my trip. This was one of the reasons why I don't bother with the list anymore.