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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Two Stoves?     

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jdddl8
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04/27/2018 08:11PM  
On my trip last year the plunger on my stove broke in half on my 6th day and consequently I had to find alternatives for the next 17 days. Years ago it wouldn't have been a problem as grills were left at many campsites, but no longer.

Fortunately I was coming out of Bentpine towards Sturgeon and at the last portage before Sturgeon I found a piece of rebar on an old hydro dam. Then on the river toward Sturgeon I remembered there was an old barge so I boarded and pried out a 15 inch nail. With these two pieces of metal I was able to balance my pots for 17 days. Since this happened to me about 20 years ago I have now decided to carry two stoves.

My question is how many of you carry a backup?
 
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04/28/2018 12:26AM  
I carry a small backpackers folding grill for cooking fish wrapped in foil. I would use this if my stove failed. This grill is handy because of the folding legs so I just set it inside the fire pit and get a level surface not too high for a fire.

Coughlins Pack Grill


 
04/28/2018 06:18AM  
The small canister stoves are light enough that carrying a spare burner does not add much weight or bulk.
 
gkimball
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04/28/2018 08:36AM  
I cook with a Trangia alcohol stove set in a titanium ClikStand - very compact and light. I carry two small titanium cooking pots for all cooking. I use a home made 3 lb coffee can stick stove to heat water for cleaning and as a back up for cooking.

Everything nests together in the pot dedicated for heating water. Total weight for both stoves and ClikStand is about 8 ounces.

Alcohol stove in ClikStand with titanium pot.

Coffee can stick stove
 
mpeebles
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04/28/2018 07:42PM  
I carried a 'twig' stove as a backup to my gas stove.
 
04/28/2018 08:56PM  
mpeebles: "I carried a 'twig' stove as a backup to my gas stove."

I have considered this, but am uncertain if it would work and how well.

What gas stove and what twig stove do you have? What pot do you use? How much does the twig stove weigh compared to the gas stove? Have you used the twig stove on a trip or did you take it strictly as a backup that never got used?
 
OCDave
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04/28/2018 09:12PM  
jdddl8: "...My question is how many of you carry a backup? ... "

A small wood fire is my back-up.

You can't carry 2 of everything. When something breaks, you use your wits to make what you have do the job.

 
Ajoutdoors
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
04/29/2018 07:24AM  
I’m only carrying a twig stove this year??
 
04/29/2018 07:31AM  
Ajoutdoors: "I’m only carrying a twig stove this year??"

If it's your first time doing that, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts afterwards on the experience.
 
Ajoutdoors
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
04/29/2018 08:00AM  
I’ll probably regret my decision when I’m waiting 10 minutes to boil water for coffee in the morning. Lol
 
04/29/2018 09:07AM  
OCDave: "jdddl8: "...My question is how many of you carry a backup? ... "
A small wood fire is my back-up.
You can't carry 2 of everything. When something breaks, you use your wits to make what you have do the job.
"


Do you carry a grill? The little coughlins grill with folding legs is easy to get a level surface. I'd invest in a top of the line purcell trench grill but getting the right height and balancing the sides can be more trouble than I want.

Also, I go where there isn't a forest service grill so I guess a grill isn't necessary in the BW.



 
04/29/2018 04:41PM  
Too much here for my tiny brain to compute. Going back to the giant two burner Coleman that I knew so well as a younger man. Of course, that means I am going to hire a Sherpa to haul the gear and fuel, and I might as well tap into my inner Stu and bring nothing but fresh!
 
04/29/2018 05:21PM  
I don't bring an extra stove, or water filer, or most other things. Fire is my back up. In the worst case, dehydrated food can rehydrate with cold water, it just takes longer. If my stove broke and fire was either banned or very hard, I could just paddle out. If I were going on an extended, more remote trip I might consider it.
 
04/29/2018 05:28PM  
I carry spare parts in a kit for my MSR whisperlite. I've carried two of these on occasion when I've been out with my family. Generally speaking thought, I rarely carry a second.
 
04/29/2018 08:38PM  
Frenchy19: "Too much here for my tiny brain to compute. Going back to the giant two burner Coleman that I knew so well as a younger man. Of course, that means I am going to hire a Sherpa to haul the gear and fuel, and I might as well tap into my inner Stu and bring nothing but fresh!"

Don't forget to wear your blue jeans and dry foot it too!

 
mastertangler
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05/01/2018 06:06AM  
Ajoutdoors: "I’ll probably regret my decision when I’m waiting 10 minutes to boil water for coffee in the morning. Lol"

Well i cant speak for all twig stoves but the solo stove was rock solid and dependable for a 24 day trip last summer. Of course it was August, and not a shoulder season where 3 days of rain might be an issue. And there is no long wait time..........the thing fires up quick enough and with the gasified air boils water in fine time.

I have brought a back up stove before and a pocket rocket is a good choice as a back up with canister stoves. Small, light and doesn't take up much space. I can't picture using a twig stove as a backup choice as it takes up considerable room.

I have also brought a second stove if I was cooking for several folks.........especially with an Outback Oven. You can be cooking lemon poppyseed muffins on one burner and frying fish with the other.

I only take the twig stove on longer trips where lugging several canisters starts becoming impractical. Less than 10 days and I'm going with Iso.
 
OldFingers57
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05/02/2018 04:07PM  
No I don't carry an extra stove. I figure as long as I can get a fire going I can set my pot on the rocks next to a fire and get the water boiling. It doesn't have to be right over it on a grill. If in the BWCA you don't have to worry about it unlike Quetico where there is none.
 
4keys
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05/02/2018 07:52PM  
We usually do take 2 stoves. One has very little adjustments, great for boiling water. The other is more adjustable so simmering is possible. So it depends on what we plan on eating, how many people are going, how long we are going, and weather predictions.

It just occurred to me that while we have upgraded and decreased weight on much of our gear, we have not done so with our stoves - a peak 1 and a Coleman dual fuel. They have been pretty reliable, but not the lightest or most compact. After 30 years it might be time for a new stove.
 
mpeebles
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05/03/2018 07:00AM  
boonie: "mpeebles: "I carried a 'twig' stove as a backup to my gas stove."


I have considered this, but am uncertain if it would work and how well.


What gas stove and what twig stove do you have? What pot do you use? How much does the twig stove weigh compared to the gas stove? Have you used the twig stove on a trip or did you take it strictly as a backup that never got used? "


Boonie.....

I used an old Coleman single burner that screws onto a tank. I have other stoves but these are pretty bulletproof. I took the 180 twig stove (pretty sure that's the name of it) as a back up. I take one small sauce pan to boil water and one small fry pan for fish, etc. The twig stove weighs a few ounces and measures about six inches x six inches and about an inch thick when folded. I did not have to use the twig stove on the trip but used it on a trip prior to that just to see how it worked. I boiled water in no time flat. The trick was to have dry tinder/twigs/small sticks ready to go. I was impressed how good it worked when I did use it.
Good luck and safe travels.......Mike
 
RetiredDave
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05/03/2018 07:47PM  
I take two (I solo). One is a twig burning Emberlit. I actually had to depend on it a few years ago when the other stove was no longer operational. I know I could just build a fire (I was a Scout!) but the twig stove really is simpler.

Dave
 
05/04/2018 03:33PM  
mpeebles: "boonie: "mpeebles: "I carried a 'twig' stove as a backup to my gas stove."
I have considered this, but am uncertain if it would work and how well.

What gas stove and what twig stove do you have? What pot do you use? How much does the twig stove weigh compared to the gas stove? Have you used the twig stove on a trip or did you take it strictly as a backup that never got used? "


Boonie.....

I used an old Coleman single burner that screws onto a tank. I have other stoves but these are pretty bulletproof. I took the 180 twig stove (pretty sure that's the name of it) as a back up. I take one small sauce pan to boil water and one small fry pan for fish, etc. The twig stove weighs a few ounces and measures about six inches x six inches and about an inch thick when folded. I did not have to use the twig stove on the trip but used it on a trip prior to that just to see how it worked. I boiled water in no time flat. The trick was to have dry tinder/twigs/small sticks ready to go. I was impressed how good it worked when I did use it.
Good luck and safe travels.......Mike"

Thanks, Mike - that's good information. Along the same lines as your experience, I came across a blog where he stated that the wood-burners were much quicker and more efficient than building a fire.
 
05/04/2018 03:36PM  
I just wanted to add to my post above that if you're using a canister stove, there are several that are very small and light - you could take two for 5 oz. or less and even for 2-3 oz. for two!
 
GraniteCliffs
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05/04/2018 08:59PM  
On solos I always think about bringing a back up stove but never do. But my trust Pocket Rocket is likely 8 years old so this year I may decide to bring the spare. Good reminder, thanks.
 
blackdawg9
distinguished member (135)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/15/2018 12:05PM  
good thread.
i love my svea 123.
this is my preferred stove
i got it because of my coleman 442 failed on day 1 of a trip. the needle cleaner being the weak linkage, broke and wedged into the valve.

i have picked up a couple $6isobutane stoves for a backup. their only weak point is using large heavy stainless steel pots and melting thepiezo igniters. then you need matches.

if i was going to use my whisperlite.i would brind a spare pump.
 
jcavenagh
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06/15/2018 03:21PM  
I have put a wire bale on my pots. So, if my stove doesn't work (not likely since I use alky burners) I can hang the pot above the fire.
 
bwcasolo
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06/16/2018 06:13AM  
my fancee feest is my main alcohol stove, backup is vargo stick stove.
 
GearJunkie
distinguished member (158)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/18/2018 09:51AM  
This year I have my MSR pocket rocket and then a back up twig stove from Pathfinder. It lines the bottom of my water bottle so it takes zero space in my pack.

Also have a 1 foot by 6 inche grill to use if I want to make a small grill using two rocks.
 
06/18/2018 12:26PM  
I own about 2 dozen stoves that use all the common fuels, mostly MSR, a few primus and oriental burners, wood and alcohol. Never took a spare in 4 decades of camping/tripping.
I do clean and maintain them at home and check function prior to any trip. Even the repair kits are seldom taken.
I mostly use MSR liquid fueled stoves. About the only thing that may go wrong is a clogged jet from a boil over, I do add the MSR wrench and jet tool for that purpose and clearing a jet is easy. The MSR pumps get maligned regularly mostly because of the early brittle plastic version supplied for the last 2 decades the pumps are nylon reinforced and redesigned and are very reliable. Honestly I have more trouble with Primus pumps, the pump "leathers" are fussy, and the check valves not as dependable (many internal pump parts are plastic). The most unreliable stoves in my use are the Coleman liquid fueled singe burners, the in the tank fuel/air system is easy to clog and what is used as a jet is difficult to clean or disassemble if it's the lever variety.
Canister stoves have very little to go wrong, except the boil over thing cleaned the same way. More likely a bad fuel canister valve will be out of alignment or stick open.
Alcohol and twig stoves are are reliable as a rock, long as ya don't step on them.
Only backup I use is a fire which I often prefer to cook over.

butthead
 
KarlBAndersen1
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06/21/2018 07:56PM  
I use the Peak One and have a new Solo Stove as my back up. I just did a solo trip and did not use the Solo stove. But! I did use the pot into which it nests.
 
JJ396
distinguished member (207)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/23/2018 06:46AM  
I like my emberlit twig stove. I use that for coffee and water more than my pocket rocket. It folds flat so it doesn't take up much space.
 
06/26/2018 10:52AM  
I own:
Whisperlite
several alcohol stoves
MSR Pocket Rocket
Esbit stove

They all stay home these days. Just bring a little canister and a BRS-3000.
 
06/28/2018 12:20AM  
When on a trip in the BWCA, I don't bring an extra stove because there's always (well, except for PMA's) a fire grate I can use if need be.

In the Q, because there are no fire grates, I bring a small canister stove and a LittleBug, which takes up zero room in the pack.

For tandem/group trips, I have a Primus and the twig stove for backup and fuel savings.
 
mjmkjun
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08/01/2018 03:28AM  
I always take MSR pocket rocket as secondary to Reactor stove. Takes such little space/weight.
It is uncanny how you were able to improvise with rebar & nail...usually not a chance of finding in most locations.
 
08/01/2018 08:34PM  
MSR Windpro is my main stove, but I always bring a PocketRocket as a backup. I have several small stoves that only weigh a couple of ounces, so there may be one of those in there too. Altogether the extras are probably less than an pound. Never had to use them so far, but better safe than sorry
 
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