Stoves & Kitchen

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Laughable: I started an AT thru-hike with a 4-lb stove system

By Andrew Skurka / January 4, 2016 / 14 Comments

For a reason I’ll share at a later point, last night I looked up the stove system with which I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2002. It was my second backpacking trip ever and I didn’t know much — and it shows. The entire kit weighed more than four pounds. In addition, I also started with…

My most popular & favorite posts of 2015

By Andrew Skurka / December 31, 2015 / 0 Comments

To close out 2015, I’d like to share my most popular posts. My method in creating the list was only partially scientific — I started with total page views for 2015 in Google Analytics, and then I loosely accounted for publishing dates, since posts released earlier in the year have had more time to be viewed than those released…

Gear List || Winter backpacking stove system for 1-2 people

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2015 / 35 Comments

To have water for drinking and cooking when backpacking in the winter, I use a stove system that can efficiently melt snow. My gear list: Relevant conditions I pack my winter stove system when I have no or unreliable access to natural water sources — i.e. less than several times per day, and not necessarily…

Gear List || Stable backpacking stove system for groups & Philmont

By Andrew Skurka / December 27, 2015 / 17 Comments

With a few tweaks, my favorite solo backpacking stove system, The Cadillac, is a viable 2-person setup. But it’s a good solution only for those who are highly weight-conscious and/or who have unreliable access to pressurized gas canisters. Another go-to setup, Fast & Light, could also be used as a group stove, but for large pots…

Gear List || Premium & ultralight backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / December 18, 2015 / 72 Comments

Between 2006 and April 2015, I made over one-thousand meals and hot drinks with The Dirtbag. Clearly, that system works. But it’s also imperfect. I was particularly tired of its poor performance in non-calm air; its unreliable stability was not a winning quality, either. So I upgraded to The Cadillac, and I don’t foresee going…

Gear List || DIY, ultralight & cheap backpacking alcohol stove system

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2015 / 20 Comments

Before I upgraded this year, the Dirtbag had been my go-to 3-season backpacking stove system. I used it for the length of the Great Western Loop, during the non-winter portions of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, and for hundreds of nights on shorter outings and guided trips. The stove and windscreen are DIY, and the system is…

Backpacking Stoves: Five complete systems for soloists & groups

By Andrew Skurka / November 27, 2015 / 35 Comments

What are the backpacking stove systems that I use in 3-season and winter conditions when solo, as a couple, or in a group? In this multi-post series I will detail them, with complete gear lists and in-depth explanations of my selections. This is not meant to be a definitive list of viable stove systems. There are literally…

Flaws of the Super Cat (aka Fancy Feast) Alcohol Stove

By Andrew Skurka / July 20, 2015 / 86 Comments

For many years I have used and promoted the Super Cat Alcohol Stove. You may know this design as the Fancy Feast Stove, a plain description I started using since I was unaware that it had a name or that it could be traced back to a creator, Jim Wood. Sorry, Jim, no ill intent…

Make your own: Fancy Feast Stove + Twig Stove Hybrid

By Andrew Skurka / November 28, 2012 / 86 Comments

By Matthew DePan I want to thank Matthew DePan for sharing with me his creation, and then generously submitting this article and the photos. His hybrid alcohol/twig stove (“the DePan Stove,” perhaps?) is an elegantly simple solution to addressing the pitfalls of each stove. If you have feedback or questions about Matthew’s design, please leave them…

A skeptic’s review of the BioLite CampStove: it’s neat but mostly impractical

By Andrew Skurka / August 8, 2012 / 280 Comments

A major attention-grabber at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (ORSM) was the BioLite CampStove, a unique biomass-burning stove that will boil water and charge your electronics via USB. The CampStove was featured by many of the most popular online media outlets, including Outside, GearJunkie, and TrailSpace; Brian Green has also written about it a few times.…