My camping trip may have failed this weekend, but I still wanted to test out a few products, even if I had to do it at home.
One of the items I decided to test was the MSR pocket rocket. This is a compact portable camping stove that runs off of a 70/30 mix of propane and butane (opted for the Coleman 7.75 oz. bottle).
I got this nifty little tool because it was lightweight and compact. I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the amount of heat this stove can produce. Even though I didn’t get to use it to cook anything outside, I was still able to brew up a great cup of tea in just a couple of minutes.
-Quick start: the fuel mixture is highly flammable, the smallest spark will set it alight (I used an empty fireplace lighter and it caught on the first try).
– High heat: Boils a liter of water in under 4 minutes.
– Lightweight: under 4oz.
-Compact: the stove fits in just about any pocket, the fuel takes up minimal space in a pack.
-Energy efficient: depending on the flame intensity that you set, one 8oz bottle will last up to an hour.
-Sensitive flame adjustment: The directions tell you to open the fuel valve ¼ of a turn to light it. In my experience ¼ of a turn was enough to burn off a few eyebrows. (About 1/16 of a turn was more than enough)
– Hard to tell when it is fully off: The flame adjuster is also the on/off trigger for the stove and it is a bit hard to tell when the valve is completely shut.
-Goldilocks balancing: The triangle shape of folding wings that hold a cup or small pot make it seem as though it may tip over if it is not placed carefully or if it is bumped.
-Great for use in inclement weather.
I think that every outdoorsman/survivalist should have one of these and a couple of cans of spare fuel.
These things put off an insane amount of heat and actually boiled the water for my 1-cup of tea in just over a minute. Just be careful when adjusting the flames. If you have a pot on the burner and accidentally make the flame too large it will spread along the bottom of the pan and make the adjuster too hot to handle. If you are careful with it, the MSR pocket rocket can be an invaluable asset to your supplies.
P.S. This tool came in at a hefty $39.99 on amazon which is a little high for me, but after a little research I found one that may work better for the more budget conscious person, the Ultralight Backpacking Canister stove. This one is a bit of an off brand but it has a crazy amount of positive reviews and comes in at only around $9.00.
It even has a piezo ignition switch so that you don’t even need matches to get it started. The only drawback is that it is a bit bigger than the pocket rocket, but it seems to make up for it with having a fourth addition to the pot holder. If you have used either of these please let me know what you think, or if you think something else might work better.