View Full Version : Wood Stove on the PCT

10-30-2009, 12:56
Has anyone hike the PCT using a wood stove? Any advice to be had or suggestions? Maybe a blog of someone who has done it? Thanks a lot.

Time Traveler
11-01-2009, 10:48
Hey, me and my boyfriend have been considering taking too... we were thinking that through the desert section it could be difficult. Well I hope someone has some good advice.

11-01-2009, 13:54
At least one guy that I knew on the trail this year had a wood stove. I'm sure it's doable--look for more info. on http://www.backpackinglight.com.

Lucy Lulu
11-01-2009, 13:55
I started with a wood burning stove in 08, but due to the wind and dry conditions, I ended up sending it home after a few weeks.

11-01-2009, 17:17
The PCT can be incredibly dry and high winds are common, a combination that makes a stray spark likely to start a fire. I wouldn't take a wood stove. I carried an alcohol stove the whole way and it worked fine, but I was extra careful only to set it up in a protected location with its windscreen and to avoid spilling fuel or kicking it over. I didn't want to be the guy responsible for a closed section of trail due to a forest fire.

Better might have been a canister stove like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Jetboil. These guys always ate first. It is possible to send canisters ahead to oneself, but you have to allow extra time as they must go via surface mail. You can't sent them via Priority Mail.

11-03-2009, 13:48
I used a wood stove for my pct thru this year and loved it. It takes more time but it was a lot of fun.

There's a few places which didn't allow wood stoves. I can recall Mokolumne and Desolation Wilderness didn't. There's also the 10000 ft restriction in the sierras. I dealt with the last problem by gathering wood below 10000 ft and then burying the ashes when I lit a fire above the line.

I too was worried about wood in the desert. But to my surprise it wasn't all sand and cactus. Lot's of shrubs and trees and finding wood was never a problem. I had carried an alcohol stove as backup but sent this home from Julien.

As for concerns starting a fire that's real. I used a homemade job that combined stove and windscreen so not many sparks escaped but there are always some. I was sure to have extra water, but there's never a guarantee.

11-05-2009, 11:20
For fire danger I use a PR. I want to keep my BP down and not have a heart attack worrying about starting a fire.

11-06-2009, 01:08
I used a wood stove part of the way. There's lots of wood in Southern California and it burns hot. You do have to worry a little about starting a fire, but not really any more than with an alcohol stove. I actually started fires several times with my alcohol stove. I put the fires out quickly, though.