MSR Windburner Personal Stove System $300
Used by: Quick-cooking trips and family featureswriter Jo Stilwell
Used for: Three years
I absolutely love this cooker, though I know it won’t suit everybody and wouldn’t have suited me at other stages of my tramping life either.
It’s not really a cooker for food, rather it’s an efficient and lightweight water boiler. It can’t be used easily to cook food from scratch, or to boil water for large groups, but it is perfect for my current requirements: tramping alone or with one or two others.
I make and dehydrate most of my own tramping meals and therefore my food preparation in the hills requires boiling water for rehydrating meals, porridge and hot drinks. The MSR Windburner excels at this. The windproof radiant burner and pot form an integrated unit that allows for efficient heat transfer from the burner to the pot. It works well in snow and high winds and still runs strongly even when the gas canister is nearly empty.
The 430g weight includes the cooker, the 1-litre pot with an insulated sleeve and handle, the lid and a 400ml cup which fits onto the bottom of the pot.
One downside with this system is the pot cannot be used over a fire, so you can’t supplement your fuel with fires on a long trip.
The first pot we owned was faulty and the ‘fins’ on the bottom of the pot melted, but it was returned and replaced for us. We haven’t had any problems with the second pot and it has been used well over 200 times.
Verdict: An excellent efficient cooker if using dehydrated or freeze-dried food and boiling water for one or two people.