Dual Fuel Stoves or canister(butane)

Luked

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Apr 3, 2014
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which cook stove do you all prefer, Dual Fuel or butane?
looking to get a stove and not sure which would be best.
first timer for backpack hunting and want to get one that I wont have any problems with.
I like the fact that the Dual Fuel can burn anything but is the extra weight worth it over something like a plain MSR Pocket Rocket or similar?
 

mmccolloch

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Oct 11, 2015
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I actually have both. Initially, I bought a dual fuel stove to cover myself in pretty much any situation. High elevation, low elevation, extremely cold, dual fuel, backpacking over seas, etc. That being said, I picked up a Soto Wind Master (butane) last year and haven't used my dual fuel stove since, & don't really plan on going back to it anytime soon.

The only time that I would look at taking my dual fuel stove is if I was planning on doing more actual "cooking" with pots, pans, etc. on a canoe/fishing trip (or something similar) where weight isn't an issue. Other than that, I don't really have a use for it because it is so heavy and it really is a pain in the butt to use. Pump up the canister, prime the fuel cup, start it, let it warm up, blah blah blah. Just to much work at the end of a long day of hunting when all you really need to do is boil water. In my opinion, for backpacking/hunting, a butane stove is definitely the right choice, unless you are doing something really crazy at extremely high elevations or in extreme cold.

Also, my MSR whisperlight comes in at 14.1 oz. just for the stove itself, not include the fuel bottle or fuel. My Soto Wind master comes in right at 13.1 oz including the stove, fuel canister, & 900 mL titanium pot, so it is extremely light weight. The stove itself weighs 2.4 oz.

As far as durability/reliability are concerned, my Soto has held up well over the last year and I've heard of guys having thier pocket rockets for 10+ years with no failures, so you should be covered there.
 

rayporter

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i have both but almost always grab a 15 year old pocket rocket knockoff.

if you plan on flying in a bush plane you may need a gasoline stove.
 

realunlucky

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Convenience of canister stoves makes it tough to choose anything else unless it's a situation where it's difficult to get canister or attitude where it's less efficient

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

Yellowknife

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Basic canister stoves are usually going to be lighter, simpler, more compact, and cheaper (initially). Most people are well served by them. Only time you might consider white gas option is:

1. Frequently hunt/camp in weather at or below freezing. If only done occasionally, then you can make a canister work. You can also use a remote canister stove like the MSR Windpro, etc to push the temps down quite a bit for only a small weight/size penalty.

2. You cook for 2+ people / longer periods of time. White gas is dirt cheap compared to canisters and will quickly pay for the more expensive stove if you are burning lots of fuel. Broadly speaking, the wider burners also stabilize bigger pots and have a wider flame spread for more even cooking if you are doing more quantity. For basic water heating, not really an issue and smaller flame spreads waste less heat on small 1-2 person pots.

3. You travel to areas where canisters may be hard to get (bush Alaska, etc)

Since you state you are a beginning backpacker, I'd get a basic canister and upgrade to duel fuel or white gas only if needed. They are cheap, and have a short learning curve. Main things to know is that they need to be protected from the wind and the canister needs to be kept warm when the temps fall. Also helps to buy four season fuel.

As a side note. Although white gas stoves require pumping, priming, fiddling, etc... I timed it a few times and the truth is that it only takes me about 4 min to go from bag to cooking. It SEEMS like a long time when I want dinner, but it's really no functional difference in the scheme of things. Just seems like it when I'm tired and hungry!
 
OP
Luked

Luked

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thanks for the tips and info fellas. ill just stick with a canister stove like the Pocket Rocket
 

Tsnider

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look at the pocket rocket 2. sweet little stove ive been pretty impressed with so far. packs down much better than the first generation.
 

EasilyExcited

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i had a pocket rocket for years great small little stove but takes along time to boil water if there is any wind. i have had the msr reactor for a couple years now and not sure how i survived so long without it . the butane bottle and the stove fit inside the pot. so it tucks away nice.
 

Yellowknife

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MSR also has a detailed breakdown here:

Canister Stoves vs. Liquid Fuel – The Summit Register

As a related note, I just got back from a Kodiak trip where we used both a Whisperlight and a Soto cansiter stove basically side by side. The Soto was fantastic for a cup of coffee in the field or splitting a MH on the spotting knob. Turn the knob, click the piezo, and instant heat. However for "real" cooking the canister would get cold and the power would start to taper off after a few minutes. Also had to hide it from the wind and take care not to tip the pot on uneven ground. It took up no space in my pack though, and traveled with us every day into the field.

Whisperlight handled the big pot like a champ and ran like a blow torch regardless of wind or weather. A gallon of white gas was a free left over from the air charters shed, and we could top the bottle off as needed. When it came to making real food, sometimes old school is good!
 

Middleofnowhere

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A multi-fuel is only cool if you are traveling someplace a canister is difficult to come by. I used an MSR XGK for years, great stove to have in a foreign country. I have been using a homemade alcohol stove for a few years, it works surprisingly well, but you can't really just shut it off.

My hunting buddies use Jetboils. I recently decided to switch over to MSR's Windburner. The speed and lack of hassle are what sold me on this type of stove.
 

stratofisher

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Caseyville, IL
For me I have both. I use the liquid fuel stoves for cold weather or high altitude cooking as my old jetboil doesn't like to work below about 20 degrees. Prefer the canister stove as it is easier to use, but I have the MRS Whisperlite international for when the temps fall. Had looked at upgrading the MSR Whisperlite, but it has worked for 20 years. Just picked up a Soto Windmaster for this year and a new MSR Windburner. Going to see how the new equipment works. Likely to keep the liquid fuel stove for colder days.
 
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gudspelr

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Nov 16, 2016
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SW Idaho
I'm new, too and had the same question. I have a friend who had spent a decent amount of time in South America where canisters few and far between, so he loved the alcohol stove he made because he could always have fuel. I did a bunch of reading and research and I have a Kovea Spider on the way. It has the ability to turn the flame up and down so I can get away with (hopefully) cooking some fresh fish from time to time, along with the tube that the canister screws onto so the stove sits on the ground. I can make a windscreen to use without worrying about the canister overheating and if I'm out in really cold weather, the Kovea has the option to invert the canister and apparently, it works well.

You can take all of that with a grain of salt-I have zero experience. The info I gathered was from numerous reviews of the stove and different articles and blog posts when googling. I figure if the whole thing ends up sucking, it didn't cost me an arm and a leg and maybe I'll get lucky and it will work well :).

Jeremy
 

mrgreen

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Jul 23, 2013
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which cook stove do you all prefer, Dual Fuel or butane?
looking to get a stove and not sure which would be best.
first timer for backpack hunting and want to get one that I wont have any problems with.
I like the fact that the Dual Fuel can burn anything but is the extra weight worth it over something like a plain MSR Pocket Rocket or similar?

As always, some great information provided above.

"which would be best" ? The answer to these two questions will help you decide.

-Where are you going? Cold=not canister (few exceptions).

-What are you cooking? Boil water add to bag style= Windburner/Reactor

Somehow I have collected enough stoves that I could spend my annual vacation time camping and use a different one each night.

What I've learned; 1.simple works 2.Alcohol and solid fuel are only slightly faster then using Solar 2a. If you want to practice WFA/Burn Management, hang out with people that use alcohol stoves 3. If you start with an integrated system (WindBurner/Reactor) you may avoid collecting pots and pans like an alley cat collects fleas.

Oh, I almost forgot. Join REI if you're not a member. They have an awesome 'buy it, try it, return it' one year policy. Although I think they have a different term for it.

Another great link to add to those listed;
Adventures In Stoving
 

afdiamond1

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Sep 9, 2016
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Location
Texas
I use a jet boil or a pocket rocket on the majority of my trips because they are user friendly. I use a an MSR dragonfly during winter trips. Its great for melting snow.
 

Tbob

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Jun 17, 2016
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I have a jetboil and an MSR Simmerlight. I love both stoves for different reasons, but if I'm not up high (10k or so) or out in really cold weather, I always grab the jetboil. It's just easy man. I had a hunt in AZ this past December and man it got flippin cold. Mid-teens. My poor jetboil barely made coffee in the morning. Cold weather puts a hurtin on those things. Love the Simmerlight when it's me and the wife (she likes to cook real food, not MH). That little stove is great for actual cooking of food... I always say, might as well get both! Just in case.....
 

Flashmo

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Nov 30, 2016
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Location
Midway, UT
I am down to only 4 stoves since the kids moved out and took their picks with them.

Two are liquid fuel, two are canister (one with remote tank).

My favorite is a Svea123 from 1971, that I use most, but rarely from a backpack (dual sport motorcycle).

If I could only have one stove it would be the new MSR Pocket Rocket II. Just did a week long test run on it. Make a windscreen for it and it will simmer as low as anything, and will boil fast. Weighs nothing, takes no space, and works very well.
 
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