Stoves for a thru-hike

As I collect gear for my upcoming trip, I spent a lot of time thinking about what kind of stove to bring into the wilderness.  I have visited various forums, seen arguments for and against all kinds of stoves, even as to not bring one.  However, as I seek adventure, I still remain a coffee drinker, hot tea drinker, and I enjoy the sh*t out of hot food from time to time..  I will be bringing a stove.  From what I read, I decided to buy a Snow Peak Giga Power.  Weighing in at 3.75 oz.  (Fuel canister 8 oz.) I have used it on camping trips already and have not been disappointed.  I purchased a mini solo titanium cook set to go with it.  (Another 5.5 oz).  Mass really starts to add up!


Because of the weight/cost of the fuel canisters (5 oz. roughly when empty) I have been thinking about switching to an alcohol stove.  I have read some blogs of people that have successfully thru hiked with alcohol stoves, and talked with the owner of Lower Gear (also an alcohol advocate).  A past thru-hiker I emailed responded with this message.

“I loved my alcohol stove (fancy feast can). It worked very well, was very light, and very cheap. I used about 1oz of denatured alcohol per meal and I never had difficulty finding denatured alcohol for sale. The fuel costed roughly 20 cents/oz or as much as 35 cents/oz, but many times it was free. I carried a child-proof bottle to seal the fuel inside and carried about 10-15 oz of fuel at a time. (You can carry much less to save weight, but a few ounces of extra fuel will never be regretful.)  You can make your own cat food stove (google the DIY instructions), or you can purchase one online. I think of all my gear, this was the one thing that performed best for the least amount of money.” -Rayo

The alcohol you need to purchase seems to be cheap, and readily available in almost every trail town.  You can carry exactly how much you need in a small plastic container with a lid.  Now I am just thinking out loud here.

I may just end up starting the hike with the Giga Power, (very happy with it’s efficiency).  And I MAY get talked into an alcohol stove at some point.  I am not opposed to feedback (in fact, I love it).  I am trying to go light.  I just wanted to post my ideas as to what I will be taking this upcoming March.

Thoughts welcome,



About shwayze23jbj
Live for the outdoors

4 Responses to Stoves for a thru-hike

  1. Forrest says:

    I’ve been thinking about an alcohol stove, too. The weight is really attractive, and being able to get more fuel just about anywhere is nice, too. Seems like a little more hassle, though. In the meantime, I’ve been using a Jetboil, it’s about 10 oz including the pot you boil the water in. Works pretty well.

    • shwayze23 says:

      I have a lot of friends using the jetboil and they love it. I do want to try the alcohol stove out also, I think I’m going to give one a test run pretty soon. I’ve heard one oz. of alcohol is good per use. We will see! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I have a stove I made out of a pepsi can. Takes some time but it’s very light. I made it out of a guiness can and a pepsi can and it weighs in at .46 ounces. I made a potstand out of some hardware cloth and a windscreen out of a piece of aluminum duct work. Rolls up and all fits in my pot. Check them out. 1 oz of fuel will give you enough for coffee and a cup of oatmeal.

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