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5 things to look for when buying a pack stove for hunting
By WHJ Staff
From multi-day backcountry meal prep to a simple caffeine kick on an afternoon hunt, a compact, canister style stove should be at the top of every outdoor adventure seekers ‘must-have’ list. Able to boil water in just over a minute, hot food and beverages can be had quickly and easily no matter the setting or activity. Here’s a down and dirty look at what to look for in a canister stove that fits in your hunting pack.
- Fuel Type: Packable stoves can operate on a variety of fuel types from twigs and pine cones to propane or liquid fuel. One of the most common is isobutane which performs well in a wide range of temperature, weather and altitude conditions. Isobutane is readily available from most outdoor and sporting goods retailers in a range of canister sizes, and is also very affordable.
- Size: Most canister style stoves are designed to hold a fuel canister, the burner assembly, and a few accessories within the cook pot for a tidy, easy to pack unit. The cook pot capacity is measured in liters or cups. A 1L pot is great for a single user, and provides enough volume for popular dehydrated meals without being too bulky for smaller backpacks.
- Fuel Consumption: Fuel consumption can vary widely among stoves, especially if used in windy conditions with no wind screen. Higher fuel burn rates are of little concern for day-use activities, but can require the need to pack additional fuel on extended backcountry trips. Many stoves will state an approximate number of boil cycles which can be achieved with certain sized fuel canisters.
- Ignition: Some stoves will feature a Piezo style ignition system which performs well in wind and inclement weather, and eliminates fumbling with matches and lighters. Most stoves can also be lit with auxiliary methods such as matches, lighters or Ferro rod strikers.
- Features: Key features that make some stoves stand out from the pack include wind screens, a secure fitting lid with strainer and pour spout, the ability to add a coffee press, and a pot support system which allows use with cookware aside from the pot. Pots with volume markings on the inside make for easy measuring of water for dehydrated meals, as do lids with graduations which double as measuring cups or eating bowls. Canister support stands add security and stability, and insulated pot sleeves are also nice.