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#95469 - 05/01/08 08:27 AM Hiking the AT for 2 weeks...what stove to use?
coppertex Offline

Registered: 05/01/08
Posts: 2
Ok I'm a total beginner and setting off for two weeks on the AT this summer in North Carolina. I'm really confused about stoves. My main concern is what type of stove to select that isn't too heavy and has a fuel that will last 6 days on the trail. Also, how easy is it to find fuel in towns along the trail?

#95470 - 05/01/08 03:32 PM Re: Hiking the AT for 2 weeks...what stove to use? [Re: coppertex]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
What kind of meals do you plan to prepare? How many meals a day do you plan to cook? When we know this, we can start suggesting stoves. The amount and type of fuel you'll want, which will depend on how much cooking you do, is probably the first consideration. Once you figure that out, you choose a stove accordingly.

#95471 - 05/02/08 11:06 AM Re: Hiking the AT for 2 weeks...what stove to use? [Re: Glenn]
SBParks Offline

Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 8
Loc: Upstate New York
Another consideration is how many days on the trail will you spend before restocking? Will you spend the entire two weeks on the trail or are you planning to 'stop into town' for supplies?

The answers to these questions will dictate how much fuel you need to carry.

If you carry a liquid fuel stove you can take your stove kit and as many fuel bottles with you as you think you'll need. The empty fuel bottles are very light, but do take up space in your pack.

I was on the trail for almost two weeks at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. My crew of 13 people carried two stoves and two fuel bottles. We probably could have done with a single stove, but we did need two boittles of fuel. I purchased a fuel fill-up half way through the trip.

Good luck with your choice. I know there are many types of stoves (and cooksets) to consider!
My Campstove website...

#95472 - 05/02/08 11:38 AM Re: Hiking the AT for 2 weeks...what stove to use? [Re: coppertex]
Trailrunner Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
No one has recommended a specific stove because your question is not very specific. It depends on your exact needs and priorities. Decide which of these is most important to you. Can't have all of them in one stove.

Weight. What is "too heavy"? For some one ounce is too heavy.

Capability. Do you want Cordon Bleu cooking or do you just want to boil water?

Capacity. Will this stove serve many or just you?

Cost. You can spend 40 cents to a couple hundred dollars.

Fuel availability. Any stove will last 6 days if you carry enough fuel.

Type of fuel. Alcohol? Liquid gas? Canister? Wood burning? Solid fuel? Each has its own advantages and limitations.

Reliability. An alcohol stove will never let you down. No jets to clog. But it has other limitations.

Environment for use. Cold weather? Windy? Some stoves are better than others in certain situations.

Confused? Sure. Everyone is at first. But once you nail down your exact needs the picture will become much more clear.
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

#95473 - 05/02/08 07:10 PM Re: Hiking the AT for 2 weeks...what stove to use? [Re: coppertex]
Bearpaw Offline

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 1732
Loc: Tennessee
My advice for an AT section is a simple cannister stove like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Snow Peak Gigapower. Cannisters are easy to resupply in places like Erwin or Hot Springs or Gatlinburg or at the Hike Inn or Fontana Village on the southwest side of the Park or Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) or Franklin, NC. This pretty well covers the entire NC corridor.

I recommend a cannister stove despite the somewhat extra weight because of the flexibility it provides. You can buy lipton dinners or mac 'n' cheese at any grocery store en route, which require a decent bit of boil time, something esbit tabs or alcohol stoves are not so great with. If you send maildrops to yourself with simple add-boiling-water meals, you may find alcohol or (my personal lightweight favorite) esbit tabs work fine, are very lightweight and relatively cheap compared to buying a $30-40 stove plus cannisters.


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