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  1. #1
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    MSR Pocket Rocket

    Seems like a neat little ultralight camp stove. Anyone here used one before? The only thing that looks bad about it, is that it could be a little top-heavy while cooking. REI has them for $39.99. I've never purchased a camp stove before, so I'm hoping for a little input. Thanks.

    -Karl

  2. #2
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsoultonesxx View Post
    Seems like a neat little ultralight camp stove. Anyone here used one before? The only thing that looks bad about it, is that it could be a little top-heavy while cooking. REI has them for $39.99. I've never purchased a camp stove before, so I'm hoping for a little input. Thanks.

    -Karl
    If you've never purchased a camp stove before, you might want to look into the advantages and disadvantages of canister stoves, and compare them with other types of stoves.

    If you are traveling into areas where the canisters are hard or impossible to find, it may be especially worthwhile to look into some of the other options.

    Multi-fuel stoves, like the Whisperlite International, are among the possibilities, and there are many others.

    Some people love the quickness and convenience of the canister stoves. Some of the Jetboil (canister) stoves have additional advantages (over most of the other canister stoves), and some people appreciate having them.

    Others plump for the advantages of some of the other options.

    *******
    There is usually one or more staffpersons at REI who are especially knowledgeable about stoves, and they are happy to go over the various advantages and disadvantages of different stove types, and of the different models within each stove type.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-05-08 at 04:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I used one all summer on the TransAmerica. It is a great little stove. The one bad thing is that isobutane is not easily available everywhere. We had trouble finding it from Pueblo Colorado to Kentucky. On long tours you need to plan ahead on this or buy some at home and have someone ship it to you via general delivery at locations along the way.

    To ship isobutane fuel via ground mail (domestic mail only) the package must have the following label attached on the address side of the package:
    "Surface Mail Only
    Consumer commodity
    ORM-D"

  4. #4
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    Pocket Rocket is a great compact & lightweight backpacking stove. The major downside is canisters. Canisters are typically sold at backpacking outfitters, including chain store like REI and EMS. But, if you are biking in rural areas, you may have trouble finding canisters.

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I have one. Works well. My only issue with it is poor performance in the wind. What I do is try and build a bit of a wind break around it with whatever is at hand. Because of the gas canister you can't use a normal MSR windscreen - the build up of heat would be a problem.

    I tend to use it when I'm flying somewhere and want a stove for light cooking tasks - heating water, soup, etc... If I'm going to do a lot of cooking I'll bring along my MSR Simmerlite stove.

    I'm going to try using an alcohol stove next trip as it is even lighter and I can buy fuel easily at my destination. My last trip with the Pocket Rocket getting a fuel canister turned out to be a pain when we landed late and were driving out to the campsite right away.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peaks View Post
    Canisters are typically sold at backpacking outfitters, including chain store like REI and EMS. But, if you are biking in rural areas, you may have trouble finding canisters.
    True, but in some parts of the country it is available in every little general country store and chains like WallMart. In other places no one has it.

    If you tour only a week or two at a time you can probably just carry enough for the whole trip. If you tour in areas where backpacking is popular then you will have no problem.

    In Kansas and places like that, you just won't find it anywhere though and will need to have someone mail it to you via general delivery.

  7. #7
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    My tour will start in June in Savannah, GA, and end in NJ. It should take 25-30 days. Will not be cooking every night. I don't think I will have trouble finding fuel.

  8. #8
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsoultonesxx View Post
    My tour will start in June in Savannah, GA, and end in NJ. It should take 25-30 days. Will not be cooking every night. I don't think I will have trouble finding fuel.
    If you want to go with a canister stove, you might want to have a look at some of the others as well, in addition to the Pocket Rocket. Jetboil has integrated wind protection, and some other advantages (including considerably greater fuel efficiency and shorter boiling times).

    It's certainly your decision. Good luck, and I hope you're happy with whatever you decide on....

  9. #9
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    I have used both and found that I far prefer a white gas stove. Years ago I purchased the MSR Whisperlite International and used it until if finally blew the hose down in Mexico. I just went to a auto repair store and got some gas line and some clamps and put it back together. It worked.

    I have since purchased a couple of Primos stoves that packed down really small, but had problems with the fuel shutoff at the stove on three of them. I opted to get the MSR DragonFly and love the way it cooks - simmers, sets up and find it very stable. You have the additional benefit of multi fuel.

    I own a couple of the MSR Cannister Stoves including the SuperFly, which will take a number of different cannisters, not only MSR Cannisters, so is a better choice for travelling.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
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  10. #10
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    I have one of these and dislike it for a few reasons. Canisters are a PITA because generally when i use my stove, i dont use up an entire canister. This means that the next time i go out, i generally will want to bring a full one and not bring the part empty one. I end up with a bunch of just barely full canisters around. They also don't work very well in colder weather (below freezing). I would definitely recommend the whisperlite shakerjet or international. I have used these stoves in all sorts of conditions and they are my favorite by far.

  11. #11
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    Everything I've read about Brasslite is positive. I do not own one, have never seen one in person, and am not affiliated with them. I have, however, been researching stoves. When I get one, this is the one I'm settled on at the moment.
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  12. #12
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    I've got a SnowPeak GigaPower, which is quite similar. It's great for flying somewhere for the start of a tour, partly because it's so compact and partly because there's no fuel tank to make airport security people nervous. the downside is that the canisters can be tough to find, although screw-on canisters are becoming more widely available. If you're willing to experiment a little, Coleman, MSR, JetBoil and SnowPeak all make canisters that more or less interchange, which makes it a little easier to find canisters.

    I still like my Whisperlite Internationale and, for cold weather or questionable fuel, my MSR X-GK. They both work better in the cold than any gas canister stove, and both will run on white gas or auto fuel. The X-GK will run on just about anything liquid and is easier to overhaul in the field, which is nice sometimes. The X-GK is one noisy little beast, though.

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    I'm trying to keep it on the cheap and light end of things, but would like to have the option of universal fuel....so what are my other options for under $70?

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Primus Multifuel looks good and I have hear others say they like it, but I have no personal experience with it.
    http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...115&mv_pc=r126

  15. #15
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    I use a Coleman Exponent F1, a cannister stove like the Pocket Rocket. Hard to beat the ease and simplicity and feather weight. A two week trip? Two cannisters if you cook every day. Still lighter than a bottle of fuel and all of the attendant assembly, mess, cleaning, repairs (and repair kits), etc. The Coleman Exponent Feather 442, a dual fuel stove, still one piece, self contained fuel tank, quiet, reliable, packs easy—is now my back up. MSR makes good stoves and no mistake, but screw all the hoses, windscreens, fuel bottles etc. Some folks swear by the JetBoil, but I'd just as soon take a coffee percolator if it came to that. When someone starts advertising "system," I look elsewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    In Kansas and places like that, you just won't find it anywhere though and will need to have someone mail it to you via general delivery.
    Isn't it illegal to mail fuel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsoultonesxx View Post
    Seems like a neat little ultralight camp stove. Anyone here used one before? The only thing that looks bad about it, is that it could be a little top-heavy while cooking. REI has them for $39.99. I've never purchased a camp stove before, so I'm hoping for a little input. Thanks.

    -Karl
    It's a great little stove. Compact. Easy to use. Easily adjustable. The only problem, as others have mentioned, is finding the cannisters. In the past I was able to get them at Canadian Tire, but on my last tour none of them carried the cannisters.

  18. #18
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    Isn't it illegal to mail fuel?
    My understanding is no it isn't. I think it is OK to mail small amounts (one report said up to 3 canisters, but it didn't specify size).

    What I was told was...
    It is possible to ship isobutane fuel via ground mail (domestic mail only). The package must have the following label attached on the address side of the package:
    "Surface Mail Only
    Consumer commodity
    ORM-D"

    This link seems to verify that isobutane qualifies to ship with the ORM-D classification:
    http://pe.usps.com/search/jsp/search...9&dtype=2#hit0

    More info can be dug up here:
    http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c_011.html

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    Brasslite:

    I bought a Brasslite from Aaron a few years ago at the ALDHA Gathering. It's a nice piece of work. However, it's not stable enough for me. It's uses alcohol. When it comes to alcohol stoves, I use a homemade pepsi can stove.

  20. #20
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2 View Post
    It's a great little stove. Compact. Easy to use. Easily adjustable. The only problem, as others have mentioned, is finding the cannisters. In the past I was able to get them at Canadian Tire, but on my last tour none of them carried the cannisters.

    If stuck then use the canisters sold at hardware stores for blowtorches. These us the same mixture of gases. It is also possible to buy a wider base that will fit these.

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbike 1939 View Post
    If stuck then use the canisters sold at hardware stores for blowtorches. These us the same mixture of gases. It is also possible to buy a wider base that will fit these.
    Huh? You must have something different than I have seen in hardwares stores on this side of the pond. There was nothing in a butane cartridge for torches that I know of, only propane or in a few places something called MAP gas in heavy steel tanks with an entirely different fitting. Like this:
    http://www.calormarineshop.co.uk/aca..._Cartridge.jpg

    Do hardware stores there have something else or am I missing something?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Huh? You must have something different than I have seen in hardwares stores on this side of the pond. There was nothing in a butane cartridge for torches that I know of, only propane or in a few places something called MAP gas in heavy steel tanks with an entirely different fitting. Like this:
    http://www.calormarineshop.co.uk/aca..._Cartridge.jpg

    Do hardware stores there have something else or am I missing something?
    The heavy steel tank in your link is pretty common in the camping section of US Wal-Marts, but I never saw anything like it when I was in Scotland or the rest of the UK. I got the impression that the screw-on fitting used in MSR canisters was pretty much the default fitting for gas canisters in Europe and the UK.

  23. #23
    eternalvoyage
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxsoultonesxx View Post
    I'm trying to keep it on the cheap and light end of things, but would like to have the option of universal fuel....so what are my other options for under $70?
    One thing to be aware of is that multi-fuel stoves can generate a lot of soot when they are used with most fuels other than white gas.

    An MSR engineer told me that his favorite fuel by far (for the multi-fuel stoves) is white gas, because it burns so much cleaner. He said that his colleagues at MSR feel the same way.

    I've tried some of the other fuels, and I have to agree with them. The soot can be strong and very messy, and somewhat difficult to contain. It's very easy for it to get into or onto other things, including your hands; and it is more difficult to remove (at all well or thoroughly) than one might expect. One can minimize it, but it's still makes things less pleasant. I really came to appreciate white gas.

    It is also a cost effective way to go. If you compare the cost with canisters, it is much more economical. The cost of canisters can add up to quite a bit more over time.

    *******
    You might be interested in some of the gear reviews online and in magazines. Backpackers have field tested many of these stoves, and they have written very detailed reviews. There are some excellent ones online. Google should get you there.

    MSR makes some excellent stoves.
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-07-08 at 01:58 PM.

  24. #24
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Primus Multifuel looks good and I have hear others say they like it, but I have no personal experience with it.
    http://www.backcountryoutlet.com/out...115&mv_pc=r126
    I picked up one of these this fall. It's killer price! I haven't used it on tour yet but in a garage test it worked well. The butane canister burned good and hot with great control and the white gas burned well with fair control. It wasn't as sooty as the MSR Whisperlite, I've used in the past and it had better control. You don't have to change jets to burn butane and white gas but you do if you want to burn diesel. I haven't tried that yet.

    I'll agree with staephj1 that finding canisters outside of metro areas can be very difficult.
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  25. #25
    eternalvoyage
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    Here is a review that might be of interest [there are some other reviews on this site as well, and some of them do an unusually fine and thorough job of it....]:

    http://www.backpackgeartest.org/revi...ark%20Roberts/

    *******
    He does say it can be noisy.

    One of my first stoves was an MSR XGK, which is a very fine stove in many ways. But it is noisy -- too noisy for me. I found that I much prefer quieter stoves.

    [The reason for the noise was explained to me once: These stoves use a very different engineering principle or design, for the area where the fuels are introduced to the burners (quite different from the other, quieter (white gas or multi-fuel) stoves). Was it called a 'pulse jet' design -- not sure of the exact terminology he used. There are some advantages to this sort of design, but the noise outweighs them for many people.]

    *******
    Review Abstract
    "This is a little jet engine sitting on a rock" - with the noise to prove it! The MSR X-GK Expedition fires right up, "melts snow in no time, and boils water in a flash." Simmering is more of a challenge. Some reviewers said it just takes practice to get the stove to simmer, others said "don't even try." This stove is described as a dependable "workhorse" that "burns just about anything, a timeless product."

    *******
    "Next, open the control valve to fill the fuel cup with a small amount of fuel, and then close the control valve. This is where my favorite line from the directions comes in. They say "a brief soccer ball size flame is normal." Flame on! Light the fuel and let it burn. I was a little disappointed by the fact that I didn't experience the "brief soccer ball size flame," but it lit up quite nicely. Once the flame begins to die down, slowly begin to open the fuel line until a steady blue flame appears. You'll know that you've done everything right when the stove emits a constant, thunderous roar. This is one loud stove, and the flame it emits is quite impressive! At this point, the windscreen can be placed around the stove to improve performance."

    *******
    "The only real drawback to the stove as far as I'm concerned is the insane noise output. It does take a bit more time to get the stove going than with a canister stove, but with white gas at around a tenth of the price of canister fuel (not to mention canister disposal issues), I feel this more than makes up for an extra minute of priming time."
    Last edited by Niles H.; 02-07-08 at 03:04 PM.

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