Backpacking stove

collage2-1.jpgA stove is nice to have. Life is just better when you have a hot beverage to drink. A hot meal is not necessary but psychologically a hot meal can be both soothing and uplifting. And life is all about where your mind is.

The backpacking stove I now use is the Brunton CRUX Compact Foldable Canister Stove, it weighs 3.1 ounces. The reason I bought this one is it’s higher than average BTU output.

It’s a canister stove.  I like canister stoves because I can use them anywhere, from on the trail to a vehicle to a hotel room and they heat water fast. They also pose less of a fire hazard than other backpacking stoves. I have found the canisters in Thailand and in most places in the US. Worldwide they probably are available but you might have to spend a day finding them once you arrive.

You can’t bring the canisters on the plane but you can mail them to yourself, domestically, by writing on the box: “Surface Mail Only, Consumer commodity, ORM-D.”

One medium 8 oz (12oz total weight) canister will usually last me 10 days for all my meals and hot beverage needs. When traveling and using it just for a cup or two of coffee in the morning and the occasionally pot of ramen, 2- 8 oz canisters lasted me more than 3 months. The small 4 ounce canisters barely last 3 days.

The canisters are recyclable, though you may have to puncture them first. The biggest draw back on the canister stove is the price of the canisters, ranging anywhere from 3.00 to 6.50 apiece; acceptable when I’m traveling but pricy for cabin use. Sometimes discount stores like Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer have an off brand of fuel for much less then the outdoor stores and works just as well.

All I ever do is boil water on it: I add food and water, heat to boiling or almost boiling, turn off the stove and let the food sit in the pot with the foil lid on it and finish cooking without the stove going.

There are lots of lightweight stove options ranging from wood to gas, some you make yourself, at

If you get a canister stove that comes with a peizo igniter, remove it, it weighs more than a small Bic lighter and is less useful and less dependable. Also, carry a spare Bic lighter. I also threw out the case that the stove came with. It’s just unnecessary weight. The canisters fit in my pot for storage all though with some of them I have to turn them upside down to make them fit. I store the stove, can opener and lighter in a light plastic sandwich bag before storing them in the bottom of the pot, so they don’t get wet, and then put the fuel canister in the pot and keep everything in a 8? x 9? nylon ditty bag.

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Hermit, long distance hiker, primitive cabin dweller, seeker.

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