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January 2017 Issue
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Backcountry stoves

The MSR Whisperlite Universal is a gas and liquid fuel stove suitable every trip
Cooking up a storm in the backcountry has never been easier with these modern stoves and cooking accessories.

Fuel types
Gas stoves are simple, convenient and inexpensive to run and maintain. Many models now have regulators or use inverted canisters to provide consistent output and improve efficiency in cold and alpine environments. Liquid and multi-fuel stoves burn almost any flammable fuel. Solid-fuel stoves that burn twigs are heavier, but the fuel source is plentiful and free.

Gas stoves require little maintenance whereas liquid fuel models should be cleaned and serviced regularly to ensure optimum performance at higher altitudes and when cooking for larger groups.

Piezo or similar ignition is convenient, but not infallible, so always carry matches or a lighter. Liquid fuel stoves often need to be primed and can take practise to light.

Flame control
Flame adjustment should be glove-friendly and allow fine-tuning from simmer to boil.

Canister-mounted stoves have a high centre of gravity and can be unstable when oversized cookware is used. Expedition-style liquid fuel and gas stoves have legs beneath the burner, providing a lower centre of gravity. Large pot struts will support bigger pots and pans – ideal for larger groups.

Although some models have a built-in windshield and are designed to work effectively in windy conditions, a separate windshield that wraps around pot and cooker will improve performance and reduce fuel consumption.

Burner size
A larger burner will spread heat more evenly over the base of the pan. Smaller burners, although possibly more powerful, concentrate heat in one location, requiring more attention while cooking.

Boil times
There are many variables to take into account when testing boil times: air temperature, wind, altitude and burner size – even gas quality and quantity in the canister – have an effect. Advertised boil times can even be averaged over the life of the gas canister. Boil times in this feature are for one litre of water.

Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose a model


MSR WhisperLite Universal $349.99
Canister and liquid fuel stove, burns white gas, kerosene, unleaded gasoline and IsoPro canisters, can burn inverted canister. Boil time 3m30s-4m24s Water boiled 4.4-15-litres Burn time 75-110min (times dependent on fuel type used) Weight 268g-388g depending liquid fuel, canister gas or both.



MSR WindBurner Stove System $299.99
Utilising MSR’s award-winning Reactor stove technology and featuring a radiant burner, enclosed windproof design, all-in-one system nests inside the 1-litre pot for easy packing and assembly. Boil time 4m30s Water boiled 18-litres (227g canister) Burn time 95min Weight 432g.



BioLite CampStove 2 $259.99
Generates electricity for charging LED lights, modern smart phones, and other personal devices. Burns wood, is smokeless, fan-stoked flame. BioLite FlexLight included. Boil time 4m30s Water boiled 46g of wood per 1-litre of water Weight 935g.



Soto Windmaster Stove + 4Flex Combo $134.99
Micro regulator provides consistent output through life of canister, built-in windshield, concave burner head protects flame from wind, Stealth ignitor, glove-friendly flame adjustment. Includes interchangeable 3-prong pot support and 4-prong support for larger pots, carry bag. Boil time 4m2s Burn time 90min (250g canister) Weight 67g.



Macpac Ultra Light Titanium Stove $129.99
Compact, corrosion-resistant titanium construction, small burner head, 2.6kW output, wide spread distributes heat, glove-friendly flame control, storage pouch. Boil time 3m30s Weight 45g.



MSR Pocket Rocket 2 $99.99
Canister-mounted stove, compact design, glove-friendly flame adjustment, folding pot supports accommodate wide range of pot sizes, hardshell carry case. Available February. Boil time 3m30s Water boiled 16-litres (227g canister) Burn time 60min Weight 73g.


Cooking accessories
x-set31Sea to Summit X-Set 31 $169.99
Collapsible set includes 2.8 litre X-Pot for camp stove cooking, two X-Bowls and two X-Mugs. X-Pot’s clear lid has an integrated strainer, pot collapses to 4.5cm with the bowls and mugs nesting inside. 609g.



GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist $159.95
Two-person cook set including two bowls with graduations, two telescoping ‘Foons’ (fork/spoon), two insulated mugs with sip-through lids, 1.8-litre boiler pot with fold-over locking handle and strainer lid, stove bag and welded stuff sack that doubles as a sink for washing. Integrated nesting for stowing stoves and fuel canisters. 612g.



Macpac Heat Exchange Pot $69.99
One-litre hard anodised aluminium pot designed to evenly disperse heat. Features folding rubberised handles, internal measurement guide, mesh storage bag. 190g.



GSI Glacier SS Minimalist $69.95
600ml stainless steel pot with lid which flips to become a sip top, miniature silicon pot gripper attaches magnetically to fuel canister, telescoping ‘Foon’ (fork/spoon), insulating sleeve. Can stow a gas canister and small folding stove. 215g.