It seems it is time for the hiking blogosphere to start posting their “Christmas Lists” – I have already seen three or four just in the last week.
I had an article about 95% of the way written, and decided to delete it and do something different. The idea pop’ed into my brain to write up ‘my favorite piece of gear from my sponsors‘, but the more I thought about that, the more I realized I just could not decide on a single piece of gear from a couple of my sponsors. For instance, I have over 2000 days of use with the Montbell Dynamo Wind Pants and my absolute love for the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap Jacket would make it impossible for me to pick between the two. (opps, guess I just gave away that companies two favorites, doh!). The same could be said of companies like Six Moon Designs and ZPacks. So I figured the only way I could make this happen is if I picked two pieces of gear from each company that sponsors me!
Since I posted my original review of the WindBurner, a bit over two months ago, I have had to chance to put it to use a lot more as the end of the summer season and start of the shoulder/winter season starts up.
The MSR WindBurner is quickly becoming one of my favorite stoves systems. In a market that is continuing to get more and more myopic by companies flooding the market with nearly identical products, it has been a refreshing change to see MSR actually try to solve some problems and not just put to market something that is the same’ol’same’ol that everybody else is spewing out.
I remember when the MSR WindBurner was first announced and the internet was being flooded by hikers complaining about the weight of the system – comparing it to xyz-other brands, without even stopping to consider some of the advantages of that extra bit of weight – but, that is just typical hiker hyperbull and ignorant attacking that seems to be all too common these days by hikers, I suppose. It was a shame that those folks focused so much on the weight, yet utterly failed to stop and really take a look at the design.
Yes, when it comes to talking about gear, the purpose of the hikelighter.com website has always been to focus on some of the lightest of the lightest weight gear out there. But as my readers well know, I have on many occasions been a hiker that is willing to stand up and say that sometimes adding weight in order to get a better performance, experience, durability, and quality of life while out on the long trail, is a perfectly acceptable decision.
Over the course of this article, and future articles on the MSR WindBurner, I am going to be clear and honest about exactly how I think the MSR WindBurner is when it comes to that statement.
While the MSR WindBurner is a tad bit heavier than most other all-in-one systems on the market – and this really is key to understanding why the MSR WindBurner deserves some serious consideration — MSR put some serious thinking into solving problems.
Wood stoves – there are wood stoves, and than there are wood stoves. Today I want to talk about a wood stove unlike any other that I have encountered, called the “Suluk46 Collapsible Titanium Stove“.
This is not just any wood stove. It is not a fancy double wall stove. This is not a stove where gasification plays a part. It is not a big wood stove. Just the opposite. It is a very small wood stove, with lots and lots of ventilation. It is a pot stand and stove. It is made of titanium. It is made in Canada. It is awesome.
The Collapsible Titanium (CT) Stove is a 4 piece titanium stove that easily assembles and disassembles to make a nice small package that fits inside your pot or slips into your pack. 3 of the 4 pieces are used as the walls and pot supports. These pieces fit together with 2 small tabs on each side that interlock with the neighboring piece. In order to maximize space and limit parts and weight, each piece is bent in the center to enlarge the firebox, creating a hexagon shaped stove.
Here are some photographs:
As you can see from the photographs above this is a very small wood stove. The cup used in the photographs is the MSR Titan Cup, one of my favorite cups, and probably my most used cup over the last few years.
At 32 grams the CT Stove it is the lightest wood burning stove I have held in my hands.
It is designed to engineering perfection.
Adding together with a 45 gram cup and you can easily have yourself a three ounce cook-kit.
Not a fan of wood or hiking in a location where there is a wood burning ban? Just pull out an esbit cube or a candle alcohol stove and place them inside of the stove and use the stove as a stand.
The first time I used it I grabbed my camera and went out into my backyard. This was awhile back and I have become a bit more proficient using this stove. I will admit I am still a fan of esbit, but sometimes it is just nice to sit down in camp after a day of hiking and fire up a little wood to heat up some water for a cup of tea – without having to waste an esbit tablet.
When I got close to reaching the SUL weight I knew that none of those were going to be able to keep being used so I made the switch over to using water bottles such as Gatorade, than to the Smart Water bottles which were a bit lighter and proved to be durable enough. This meant that not only did I get to reduce the weight of using a reservoir but I also no longer needed to weight of the reservoir sleeves within backpacks. (extra perk: no longer needing a backpack with a hole in it to push your tube through, thereby making it just a weebit more water resistant)