MSR WHISPERLITE CAMP STOVE
BY BRANDON BEYER
July 12, 2009
NAME: Brandon Beyer
EMAIL: docfreezy at gmail dot com
LOCATION: Nashville, Tennessee USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)
I have been backpacking for about 12 years now. I have done everything from day trips to long weekends, to multiple week trips. I rely heavily on my gear and I take it very seriously. I like to pack light so weight is a large factor in my decision of what to pack on my treks. I have backpacked in the Colorado Rockies, Michigan, Tennessee, Arizona and Washington State.
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Manufacturer: MSR (a division of Cascade Designs)
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://cascadedesigns.com
Listed Weight: 11 oz / 305 g
Measured Weight: 11 oz / 305 g
Packaged Weight 14.5 oz / 410 g
Burn time (white gas) per 600 ml / 20 oz. of fuel = 136 minutes (manufacturer specification)
Boil time (white gas), 1 L / 33.9 oz. = 3.9 minutes
Water boiled (white gas) per 3.38 oz / 100 ml of fuel = 172.45 oz. / 5.1L
Water boiled (white gas) per 1 oz / .029 L of fuel = 50.72 oz. / 1.5 L
Made in Seattle, Washington USA
What is included
The Whisperlite camp stove comes in a nylon bag which includes:
-Aluminum wind screen for windy conditions
-Aluminum Heat ring to deflect heat from the ground
-Repair kit with multi tool and pump cup oil
-Stove with attached fuel line
-Fuel bottle pressure supply valve
The Whisperlite camp stove is a lightweight, well-built stove for backcountry camping and mountaineering. Made of durable stainless steel and brass it's easily serviceable by unscrewing the primer cup and removing the legs. It has three legs, which are also the potholders which I found to be plenty wide for most backpacking cookware.<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Not connected">><<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Connected">>
It connects easily to the MSR approved fuel bottle using the included and attached fuel hose. MSR fuel bottles can be purchased in the same place the stove is purchased and are available in multiple sizes to accomodate varying needs. The fuel hose fits snuggly into the fuel bottle pump assembly and has a metal clip that swings around the top of the pump to secure the hose to the pump. (see image) The stove stands about four inches tall and is very stable.<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Fuel Hose">><<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Fuel Valve">>
To light this stove the fuel cup on the bottom of the stove must be primed. This is achieved by pumping the pressure valve attached to the fuel bottle a few times. Once there is a little fuel in the cup, the fuel is getting where it needs to be. Next, the fuel in the cup must be lit and allowed to warm up the stove valve. Once the valve is warmed up it will start to hiss and the burner will ignite. This usually takes about a minute. The fuel valve may then be turned up and the stove is ready to cook when a blue flame comes from the burner.
I have used the Whisperlite stove in all kinds of conditions. Ranging from its intended use, cooking; to a heat source in rainy conditions. I have used it year round for about 10 years. It fits nicely into my MSR cooking kit. If it's windy the supplied wind screens do a good job of blocking some of the wind. The foil wind blockers also do a great job of preserving heat and directing it to the pot, therefore making the stove more efficient and saving on fuel consumption.
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It has performed excellent in all scenarios I've thrown at it and the fuel makes a good fire starter in wet conditions. I have used it in the woods of Michigan, the mountains of Washington, the deserts of Arizona and the hills of Tennessee. It boils water in about 3 minutes at sea level. I have boiled water in about 5 minutes at around 11,000 feet / 3353 m above sea level. This stove has made camp meals for me and my comrads in the winter, summer, spring and fall with little to no problems. It also makes a very good hand warmer and heat source when it's cold out. I have cooked; Mac-N-cheese, pancakes, Ramen noodles, pan fried steaks, steamed vegetables and even roasted hot dogs with this stove. A .59 L / 20 oz fuel bottle will generally make about 10 meals consisting of the items mentioned above.
Simmering can be a bit difficult with this stove but if the pressure is relieved from the fuel bottle and the jet is turned on low it will simmer. It just takes a bit of getting used to. I also found it to be a bit difficult cooking on uneven surfaces. This is easily remedied however by finding a level surface to cook on.
I recently encountered my first problem with it but it was very easily fixed. I was in the field and I had a fuel leak coming from the fuel supply valve. Luckily I kept the repair kit and the pump cup oil in my cooking kit. With the multi-tool supplied in the kit I tightened the valve and it was just like new. I have owned this stove for quite some time. I have put it through its paces and it still remains my favorite piece of gear.
The MSR Whisperlite camp stove has been a good stove for me. It has proven reliable and efficient in a variety of scenarios. A competitive price and good construction make this one of my favorite pieces of gear. Any altitude, any conditions. I never hit the trail without it.
Things I Like
Fits into most backpacking cooking kits.
Windscreens are very helpful for preserving heat and blocking wind.
Things I Don't Like
Priming can be a pain but can be a good hand warmer.
Cooking on uneven surfaces can be tricky but do-able.
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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.