My family of 4 is going to yellowstone this summer. We are staying in hotels but in an effort to save money as well as give my son and I some practice for Philmont in 2012. I would like to by a canister stove and pot that for Freezerbag cooking and One pot type cooking. I am struggling with what size pot I will need for this purpose. Thinking 2L. with a MSR windpro or MSR Superfly. Is this adequate or do yo have other recommendations. Thanks
It depends on how many people he will be cooking for. With freezer bag type cooking for one person one seldom needs to heat more than two cups of water. That is about a half liter and, in my experience, most of us use a pot somewhere between 0.7 and 1.0 liters for heating water. I use a 0.85 liter MSR Titan Kettle for my cooking now; I used to use a 1.5 liter aluminum pot that I bought used for 50¢ about 15 years ago. It served me well.
As for stoves, the canister stoves are a lot less bother and, IMO, safer than are the white gas stoves. They don't work as well in cold weather and the fuel is more expensive but the fuss-factor is much reduced.
For shorter trips, ie. 1-7 days, canister stoves are lighter than are white gas stoves even when you factor in the weight of the canister. And, smaller pots are lighter than are the larger ones of course.
I agree with Pika. I also use the Titan kettle for my solo trips, but have used it to do freezer-bag cooking for two people. Anything larger than that, I switch to the Titan 2-pot cookset (usually using only the larger 1.5 liter pot.) The 1.5 liter pot easily boils enough water for 4 meals; if the group is larger than 4, you simply cook in two shifts, since it only takes about 5 minutes for the second boil. If you want water for hot beverages, boil additional pots while the food is rehydrating in the bags; the beverages and food will all be ready about the same time. (I do this with the Kettle, which doubles as an oversized mug, eliminating the need for a separate cup.)
I like my MSR Pocket Rocket stove with the kettle or pot. With the kettle, if I'm using MSR-brand Isopro canisters, it's fairly stable (the MSR canister has a bit wider base than most cylinders.) However, with the bigger pot's larger diameter, I usually add an MSR Universal Canister Stand, which makes everything a lot more stable.
The Superfly stove is similar to the Pocket Rocket in weight, function, and fuel efficiency. The main difference is that the burner head is wider, which spreads the flame out. That's a problem using it with the Titan Kettle: the wider flame pattern tends to let the flame lap up the sides of the Kettle, wasting some of the heat. The PR keeps the flame focused on the center of the kettle's bottom. (If I were doing "real" cooking in the larger pot, I'd use the Superfly to provide more even heat.)
The Windpro is probably a bit overkill for just boiling water, unless your son is abnormally clumsy for his age (it's a very, very stable stove), or unless expected wind conditions are unusual and you feel a windscreen is absolutely necessary. (I've never found one absolutely necessary, except with an alcohol stove.)
The Pocket Rocket, Superfly, or Snow Peak stove Pika mentions would work quite well, I think; with a titanium pot (and you might want to look at the Snow Peak Trek Titanium series, which has some nice 1.5 liter pots) it will be the lightest option.
However, if weight isn't critical, you might also want to look at the various JetBoil offerings, too. I've used them, but find them a bit fussy and heavy for backpacking when I'm only boiling water and cooking in a bag. But, my buddy wouldn't trade his for anything, and gladly lugs the extra half pound or so.