This means, for all intents and purposes, that the simple and very light alcohol stoves favored by lightweight backpackers may not always be a good option.
A person could take a traditional canister stove (roughly 3oz) or simply go stoveless.
Either options works. But now there is another option that may work well for solo backpackers. Mainly for the person who wishes to heat up a cup of water or two and still go very light: The Hornet BRS-3000t canister stove.
A simple stove of less than 1 oz (25g), the Hornet BRS-3000t uses the standard isobutane fuel canisters used by more well-known stoves such as the Jetboil or the MSR Pocket Rocket.
The Hornet BRS-3000t stove is also very small. Easily fitting in a cook pot with a 4 oz fuel canister.
I used the stove on a recent trip to make my food at night, make some tea, cook some oatmeal the following morning and heat up water for coffee.
Here’s what I found:
- The heat output worked pretty well with enough control from “blast” to “low flame“. My water heated up in a manner that was quick enough for me.
- A bit louder than my other canister stove of choice (the Coleman F1), however. Not terrible, but noticeable.
- Not nearly as wind resistant as the Coleman F1 either. But, that’s a downfall of most stoves of this type. Some strategic rocks or a homemade windscreen could address this issue.
- No Piezoelectric starter. Not a negative for me; may be for others.
- Though the flame does go very low, I would not call it a stove for simmering. The small head of the stove means the flame is concentrated and not spread out. In other words, would not be ideal for cooking.
- In a similar vein, the small head does not allow for good pot support. A one-quart pot is about as big as a person may want. Have to be careful.
Overall: The stove is good for simple, “boil and cook” type meals when solo backpacking. The stove is not as versatile as other canister stoves, but the stove could be a very good alternative to an alcohol stove for the solo backpacker in many situations. At only ~$15 +/-, the stove is very affordable too.
I see this stove as a good tool to have in the kit. I don’t always want to go stoveless during fire bans. And on trips with a friend or two, sometimes I just want to have hot food.
If I am going on a trip with more cooking/bigger pots, I’ll continue to take my trusty Coleman F1.
UPDATE APRIL 2018: Three years later, I’ve used this stove consistently. No issues. Not as fuel efficient as other stoves, but for simple “boil and cook” type meals, it works just fine.
Wanting more technical details about the stove? Check out this link.
Disclosure: This stove was purchased with my own funds.