APPLICATION TO TEST MSR XGK EX STOVE
Please accept my application to test the MSR XGK EX Stove. I have
read Chapter Five of the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide, version
1202. I will follow all requirements. My tester agreement has been
received by Shane.
Name: Andrew Henrichs
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 190 lb (86.2 kg)
Hand Length: 9 in (23 cm)
Hand Circumference: 9.75 in (25 cm)
Email address: a_henrichs@...
City, State, Country: Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA
Date: October 31, 2005
I first started backpacking about 4 years ago when a friend and I
took a road trip out west (I was living in Wisconsin at time). I
was hooked immediately, and have taken many, many trips since then.
Most of my trips are 2-3 days, but I have taken several trips of 5-6
days. This past summer, I was fortunate enough to have thru-hiked
the 476 mile Colorado Trail over 35 days.
Recently, I have been leaning more and more towards the
lightweight side of the spectrum. I shave ounces when I can, but I
still prefer a solid frame in my backpacks, and usually take a
couple luxuries on trips. Most of my backpacking has been in the
mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, as well as the desert in the
southwestern US. I've gone winter camping several times, but I
still prefer backpacking in the warmer months.
Based on information from the manufacturer's website, this stove
seems to thrive in cold, high-elevation climates. I will put this
stove to the test in the Elk Mountain Range of western Colorado. I
will use this stove at elevations ranging from 7000 ft (2134 m) to
over 14000 ft (4267 m). I would expect to experience a variety of
weather on my trips. This may include sun, clouds, wind, snow,
sleet, hail, and possibly rain on spring trips. Temperatures on
these trips could range from well below 0º F (-18º C) to over 60º F
If selected for this test, I will use the MSR XGK EX Blowtorch, I
mean stove, on all of my overnight trips this winter. I currently
have plans to take at least 2 overnight snowshoe trips per month
this winter. There is a trail that snakes its way up into the
National Forest land just down the street from my house. I plan on
snowshoeing up to some clearings and spending the night under the
stars. Elevations on these trips will range from 7000 ft (2134 m)
to 8500 ft (2591 m).
I also plan on taking several overnight snowshoe trips to a small
hut in the cross-county skiing/snowshoeing area next to our local
ski resort. The hut is first-come, first-serve and has a small wood
burning stove inside, along with a supply of dry firewood. It is
located in a small clearing among the pine and aspen forest. The
hut lies at approximately 9000 ft (2743 m). Despite the wood
burning stove, I will use the XGK EX to cook my meals and melt snow
and ice for drinking water. It's a beautiful location in the
forest, and I will definitely spend several nights there this
winter. These trips will take place in the White River National
Forest or other nearby National Forests, and elevations will range
from 7000 ft (2134 m) to over 11000 ft (3353 m).
I also intend to climb at least two 14000 ft (4267 m) peaks in
the Colorado Rockies this winter. This will be a great opportunity
to put the stove's high-altitude performance to the test. I would
also expect to experience significant wind and cold temperatures on
In addition to the cold-weather and high-altitude testing, I
would like to test how this stove performs at a more moderate
elevation and temperature. I would like to take a long weekend trip
to Bryce Canyon National Park. I've longed to see the hoodoos of
this park frosted with snow, and it looks like I may get a chance
this winter. The elevation of Bryce Canyon National Park is
approximately 7500 ft (2286 m), and the average winter high is
approximately 40º F (4º C).
The aspects that I will be paying particular attention to include:
1. Ease of Use What is the learning curve for this stove? Is it
easy to prime and light this stove without losing any eyebrows?
2. Temperature Control Is it possible to simmer on the XGK EX, or
is this just a blowtorch? Will I be limited to "boil, add, and
wait" meals, or could I prepare a gourmet feast on this stove? Does
various fuel affect the output of this stove?
3. Durability How tough is the stove? Will it resist scrapes and
dings while traveling in my pack? Will the pot and stove supports
stand up to use and abuse? Will the hinge mechanism of the supports
4. Boil Time How accurate is the 3.5 minute boil time (using
white gas)? Is this time only attainable when boiling indoors at
room temperature? How long will it take to boil a similar amount of
water when the temperature is below freezing? What about in the
5. Stability Do the retractable legs and pot supports do their
job? Do I constantly have to worry about centering my pot so it
doesn't slide off the supports, or do the teeth on the supports hold
everything in place? If I bump the fuel bottle or stove while it's
on, will the pot go flying?
6. Fuel Consumption How much fuel will I use in a day on a normal
backpacking trip? What will the daily fuel consumption be when I'm
melting snow for drinking water?
7. Maintenance What tools does this stove come with? Are
maintenance directions included? Are the directions easy to
follow? How quickly will I become proficient at disassembling and
reassembling the stove itself and the fuel pump? Will the ShakerJet
save me from having to clean the stove constantly?
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp (IR due on 11-4-05)
Previously Completed Tests:
Outdoor Research Motion Fleece Watch Cap (October 20, 2004)
Gregory Z-Pack (October 31, 2005)
Montrail D7 Shoes (October 19, 2005)
Mountain Hardware Dome Perignon (February 29, 2004)
GoLite Cave 1 (January 21, 2004)