Looking for ideas for a winter stove

Discussion in 'Kitchen' started by Phil-s, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Phil-s

    Phil-s Backpacker

    Looking for a winter stove to cook on, must be able to work in sub freezing temperatures and able to simmer for frying, what your thoughts I normally use meths, but thinking of white gas or gas
  2. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    My winter favourite is the MSR Whisperlite. Runs fine on unleaded.
    Phil-s likes this.
  3. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    How cold is cold, I was using my Trangia on Swedish meths at -23 :)
    yadkcin likes this.
  4. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Sub-freezing plus simmer sounds like remote gas feed with a reheat tube. Kovea Spider is a good lightweight stove but there are many others.

    White gas is very 20th Century. ;)
  5. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Yebbut, with unleaded, fuel availability is great and you can use the stove as a space heater without watching too much of your hard-earned going up in smoke.
  6. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I’ll normally use a MYO Speedster style alcohol stove in temperatures well below freezing but find there’s two issues with use: getting it to light in very cold weather can be a pain but I’ve never had a problem when using a ‘turbo’ lighter others keep a small bottle of alcohol warm (inside the jacket or SB); the output can be reduced (thermal feedback), easily over come by standing the stove on something when on frozen ground or snow. Big plus is there’s very little to go wrong. I always carry twice as much fuel than ‘normal’ for winter (liquid or gas, to cater for snow melting) so this does add up (my carry is 120ml/ day).

    I used to use the MSR Whisperlight International for longer trips in winter & expecting to melt snow as the fuel (unleaded) is more energy dense than alcohol. IME they don’t simmer well, take time to get going (priming), have been known to flare (user error) & has a bit of a ‘dirty’ burn. There’s always the risk of mechanical failure so best to carry a spares kit & know how to service (doesn’t solve a leaking hose though).

    The Whisperlight has been supplanted by the Kovea Spider remote canister gas stove, fairly light weight (stove plus a couple of canisters is probably less net weight than the Whisperlight), clean & easy to use. Again, the stove doesn’t simmer well (doesn’t bother me) & there’s the risk of mechanical failure. I carry the necessary tools to service in the field & on a longer trip carry a tiny (28g) BRS stove as a backup.
    Phil-s and edh like this.
  7. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    I used to the same problem sometimes lighting a meths stove, then I stumbled across a YT that I can't for the life of me remember who it was, anywho, in with the plastic bag I keep my burner in now goes a dozen or so matchstick size ish rolled up toilet paper, place one of them in the burner and it soaks up fuel, lights easily and sets the pot away, happy days :)
    Birchlover and WilliamC like this.
  8. benp1

    benp1 Trail Blazer

    I took my Primus Omnilite to the alps with me last year, used it to melt snow (and then boil it). I mainly use it with gas as it's just easier but the other main fuel I put through it is paraffin/kerosene. Its more expensive than petrol but still not a lot, and it doesn't have all the additives that petrol has in it

    As it's a liquid burner it'll also take an inverted cheap gas canister (the aerosol type ones) without any drama. I've used that to good effect in a trangia set up - stable, windproof and nests up nicely. Not light though
    Balagan likes this.
  9. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Alpkit Koro - a bit lighter and cheaper than the Kovea Spider although not quite as good quality.
  10. Lemming

    Lemming Trekker

    For simplicity and reliability, alcohol.

    As noted above, white gas and kerosene have a higher energy density, but in real use this is offset by the fuel used for priming. Unless you are doing real cooking or melting large volumes of snow, fuel use with a Trangia compares very well with white gas (the only limitation is the amount of fuel held in the burner).

    The Trangia winter attachment is extremely efficient - do not try it for the first time inside a tent!

    I do not like anything involving screw threads in cold temperatures - which excludes gas, but also a lot of the current multi fuel stoves. It's too easy to get it wrong with half frozen hands (just don't ask...).

    My choices are a very old Trangia 27 (without the gas cut-out) with the winter attachment or a slightly more modern Trangia 25 with an old Optimus Nova burner (with the 'click-in' CEJN coupling). I carry (but have never needed) a spares kit for the Nova.
    Aspen 4 in preference to kero for the Nova, as no separate priming fuel is needed.

    And full agreement with the "carry twice as much fuel as normal" comment.
    tom and Phil-s like this.
  11. Jan marten

    Jan marten Hiker

    eBay item # 143271809632

    Carry a 100gm* canister on hikes, refill VERY CAREFULLY** from larger/heavier/cheaper 500g canister at home. Put the canister in your sleeping bag overnight and there won't be any problems with the cold.

    * Will easily last 3/4 days, a week if you're only boiling water.

    ** Google for procedures.
  12. Phil-s

    Phil-s Backpacker

    UK cold - 7 and a cold wind last weekend after a run on helvellyn, I had my trangia last weekend, only took the mini and suffered with lack of windshield
    Jim_Parkin and Bopdude like this.
  13. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    IME a 100g canister (Pocket Rocket stove) will only boil around 5-6L of water in summer = 2.5 - 3L of snow melt. I'll normally trust a 230 canister to only last 3 - 4 days in winter.

    UK cold was -13C last time I was out in the 'gorms (10 days ago)..........Caldera Cone + MYO alcohol stove worked fine.
    Bopdude likes this.
  14. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    What's this run business? Why wasn't I invited? :writing::whistling::D
  15. Nigelp

    Nigelp Ultralighter

    That’s works for me at low temperatures. Or a jet boil. Canisters can easily be kept warm in a sleeping bag but down to -5 or so they seem to work fine.
  16. OwenM

    OwenM Ultralighter

    MSR Wisperlite universal, I got it thinking I'd run it on white gas on Scandinavian ski trips but to date I've just used winter gas canisters with it. As the canister is inverted it's not so effected by the cold but you do use up fuel very quickly. Not very light but I've had no problems with it, so quite reliable.
  17. Foxster

    Foxster Ultralighter

    That's my choice too.

    You can run it with the fuel bottle inverted and so eliminate the problems of trying to evaporate gas in the bottle when its cold.

    Not sure I'd agree on the lower quality. I had a Spider that leaked out of the box which I replaced with a Koro that has been fine.
    dovidola likes this.
  18. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    Torjets work well (if not at high altitude) but the beauty of Speedster type stoves is that you can hold them upside down over the flame of a standard lighter in cold weather.
    tom, edh and Bopdude like this.
  19. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    There is only one brand of stove for this and it's Primus with their Omnilite Ti.

    It's much lighter than the rest, also more fuel efficient with a very controllable flame. It's my stove of choice for winter trips, beats the rest hands down. Only pure snow melting use at prolonged low temps sees me take the much heavier and stronger Omnifuel.

    Whilst other stoves are quiter, more powerful, quicker to service, less prone to blocking and some will simmer; none have the fuel efficiency, simmer capabilty and light weight of the Omni. It's particularly capable on liquid gas, but will burn anything if needed. The low mass of it means it primes very quickly; it's a 2 second squirt of fuel to load the priming wick and it's going in 30 secs.

    Mine must have had more than a 100 litres of fuel through it over the years and countless cans of gas, it's a trusty old friend now.

    The Soto Muka is far too complicated and drinks fuel. The Optimus Nova valve is a massive pain if it's iced/fouled and the screw thread breaks on the base leaving a useless stove. The MSR's are generally good, but also drink fuel..the best, the XGK is a guzzler and doesn't do cooking well.

    FWIW, I'd avoid parafin and especially vehicle fuels..stick to one clean liquid fuel (Primus powerfuel is very clean) and gas. If you swap between fuels, you get flaking problems which causes blockage nightmares.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    Big Si and Phil-s like this.
  20. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I liked that stove you had which sent out little fine jets of burning fuel in a six foot radius :)
    Big Si, Chiseller and Teepee like this.
  21. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    ^Ah, that comedy fuel. Unleaded and lead replacement treatment from the lawnmowers. :)

    That was fun.
    Big Si and Chiseller like this.
  22. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    >>Checks forecourt for Primus powerfuel in village petrol station <<

    Ah well, unleaded it is then...
    Heltrekker likes this.
  23. benp1

    benp1 Trail Blazer

    Teepee, have you tried any panelwipe in your omnilite?

    Not worrying about it in the short term as aerosol style gas canisters are cheap enough for the time being, but having a known source of cheap fuel would be nice to know

    Aspen 4t sounds good but not particularly cheap, though cheaper than coleman type fuel
  24. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    Good point. Unleaded flavoured dinner and stinky hands is a pure delight and who fills their fuel bottles before a trip, anyway?

    Panelwipe is good, better than a lot of fuels as it doesn't leave a residue. Aspen is Alkylate petrol, it's a fave over in Scandi as it comes in 5l cans for £12. It burns very cleanly, but realy causes some hassle if you use it after parafin. Our prices here in the UK are crazy for Alkylate. There are a few other light hydrocarbons that burn cleanly and well. My fave I won't name in public as the price will shoot up like it did for panel wipe.
  25. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    You see, that plurality of fuel bottles is partly why your pack weighs 10kg more than mine. Anyway, bikers drink petrol when there's no whisky left, so a bit of seasoning on supper doesn't worry us.
    Teepee likes this.

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