DISCLAIMER: I purchased these products and was not given any compensation by any of the companies. I am conducting this review solely to pass the information to others that may be interested.
I recently overhauled and replaced nearly everything in my cook kit so I thought I’d do a review to show you what I’m currently using. Here is a picture of everything I now use.
From left to right top row: 4 oz fuel bottle in ziploc bag, bandana (pot grabber), mini scrub pad, mini Bic lighter, and Refletix Cozy
From left to right middle row: Snow Peak 700 Trek modified lid, Snow Peak 700 Trek (Titanium) pot, wind screen, and Mini Ring of Fire with attached Fireplug gravity feed.
Bottom: Sea to Summit Titanium long handle spoon and cuben fiber stuff sack from ZPacks (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml).
As you can see above, my cook pot of choice is the Snow Peak 700 Trek in Titanium (Ti) (http://www.backcountry.com/snow-peak-trek-700-titanium-cooker). My one and only utensil is the spoon (http://www.backcountry.com/sea-to-summit-long-titanium-spoon) but I do carry a small knife. It seems like the Snow Peak 700 Trek and spoon from http://www.backcountry.com are out of stock at this time.
I did a small modification to the lid. I cut off the large “tab” on the lid and used a piece of wood from the yard and a screw to attach a knob for the lid. I filed the edges down so there were no jagged edges.
I’ve had a canister stove for several years that has served me well, but I wanted something newer (and lighter) in the never ending quest of the perfect gear. Alcohol stoves are very light, but I didn’t want the standard soda can type stove. After much research, I chose the Mini Ring of Fire with integrated Pot Stand from smokeeater908 (http://www.outdoortrailgear.com/featured/mini-ring-of-fire-alcohol-stove/) as well as the Fireplug gravity feed (http://www.outdoortrailgear.com/cottage-industries/smokeeater908/fireplug/) for extended burning time. As with any alcohol stove, a windscreen is needed. Smokeeater908 makes some very high quality stuff and I don’t see having to ever replace this stove. You should check out his Youtube channel for all of the details. In addition to the four oz bottle that is shown above, I also have a one ounce bottle that is not included in the picture. I haven’t yet decided which one to take, but I’m sure a lot of it depends on the length of the trip. I also carry a Campbell’s Soup “On The Go” that weighs 1.15 oz and is carried in my food bag that is used for coffee/hot drinks that also didn’t make the picture and is not included in most of the weights as this is an optional (but appreciated) item that is carried in my food bag.
So, how does this stove perform and what is so special about this stove? Other than the amazing quality (think solid metal – aluminum I believe). This stove has the unique ability to easily switch from high heat to low heat (or the other way – low to high) just by rotating the stove in the pot stand. Below, the high heat is on the left and the low heat is on the right.
I tested this stove outside by heating a 16 oz bottle of water straight from the refrigerator to a rolling boil. While on high heat the entire time, this took just under 14 minutes to achieve. While this is a rather extreme example or test, some of the mountain springs where I spend a lot of my time contain water that is cool (if not almost cold). Also, I normally don’t achieve a rolling boil as my food takes too long to cool down. My “normal” temp water was achieved in about half of that time (7 minutes).
I love how small this stove breaks down. When everything is cool and clean, I disconnect the fuel bottle and store in a Ziploc bag separately from the stove for added protection (spillage). I then put the bandana inside the Snow Peak 700 Trek, followed by the windscreen, the stove with the gravity feed still attached and then the lighter. In the picture below you can see how much room is still left in the pot.
I then put the mini pot scrubber on top, top off with the edges of the bandana, and put on the lid. The filled cookware with cozy then go into my stuff sack with the spoon along one side. This is everything except the fuel and coffee cup.
I don’t think that’s too bad – all but fuel and coffee cup comes in at 14.2 oz. Including approx 2 oz of fuel (that’s all I have available at the moment) and coffee cup the total weight climbs to 18.1 oz
Overall, I really like this stove and believe with a little practice and fine tuning this could be an awesome addition to my kit and replace my heavier canister stove. If you have this set, questions, or comments please feel free to send them my way!
EDIT: I conducted another round of testing and did some fine tuning of the stove so it burned more efficiently. This time, I heated 16 oz of room temperature water to a rolling boil in 9 minutes. This was conducted inside where the air conditioner is set to 73 degrees F and of course, there was no wind involved. I used 0.7 oz (by weight) of fuel for priming and during the actual boil test. By my calculations, my small bottle will hold enough for 2.7 burns under these conditions. The small fuel bottle filled with fuel and with the cap only weighs 2.4 oz which will easily be enough for 2 burns in the woods, possibly even three as I don’t heat my water as hot as I did during the test.
I also cut down my bandana to 1/4 the size because I really didn’t need the whole thing. Now with the small full bottle of fuel, my cook kit weighs 16.3 oz. I was aiming for 1 lb. Maybe I can cut my pot scrub pad down or see what else I can modify to cut 0.3 oz….
I hope you enjoyed my cook kit, and I’ll see you between the trees!