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Owner Review: MSR Whisperlite Backpacking Stove

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  • Ryan Christensen
    Taking Roger s advice, I have selected another piece of equipment for my second owner review. It follows below. MSR Whisperlite Backpacking Stove Owner Review
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 3, 2005
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      Taking Roger's advice, I have selected another piece
      of equipment for my second owner review. It follows

      MSR Whisperlite Backpacking Stove

      Owner Review October 4, 2005

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Ryan L. Christensen
      Age: 41
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6’ 2” (1.88 m)
      Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
      Email address: bigdawgryan@...
      City, State, Country: Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A

      Backpacking Background:

      I began hiking, camping, and backpacking when I was
      twelve, and continued until 25. After a long hiatus
      due in part to a bad back, I resumed hiking, camping,
      fishing, and biking three years ago. Now, I have
      early teen-age boys with whom I can share my love for
      these sports. The past three years, we have hiked, or
      camped, nearly every month, year-round. We vary our
      experience: desert, forest, meadow, and mountain; in
      the spring, summer, fall, and winter; be it sunshine,
      rain, wind, or snow. Together we took up backpacking
      this summer. I am not an ultra-light packer; I carry
      a full array of gear.

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
      URL: http://mountainsafetyresearch.com
      Year of Manufacture 2005
      Limited Lifetime Warranty should product fail during
      its life, MSR will repair or replace, their
      option, free of charge to the original
      Packaged Weight 14.5 oz ( 410 g)
      Minimum Weight 11 oz (305 g)
      Dimensions 6" x 4" x 4" (15 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm)
      Material of Construction stainless steel and brass
      Fuel Type white gas
      MSRP $69.95 US (requires a MSR fuel bottle which
      is sold separately)
      MSR Fuel Bottles designed to work with the threaded
      pumps of the MSR stoves
      Material of Construction a single-piece of
      impact-extruded aluminum
      Available Sizes 11 oz (325 ml), 22 oz (650 ml),
      33 oz (975 ml)
      MSR Fuel Bottle MSRP $9.95 US, $10.95
      US, $11.95 US

      Product Description:

      I was looking for a compact, easy to use stove that
      would function at higher elevations and in all
      seasons. After much consideration, and an article I
      read online which recommended liquid fuel stoves, I
      decided on the MSR Whisperlite backpacking stove.
      The Whisperlite comes in a simple, triangular-shaped
      cardboard box. The box contains the stove itself, a
      fuel pump, a windscreen, a heat reflector, a small
      parts kit, an instruction booklet in six languages,
      and a nylon stuff sack.

      The stove does not look like much. It is comprised of
      stainless steel wire tripod legs that also serve as
      pot supports. These three legs fold around the
      bowl-shaped, stainless steel burner. Below the burner
      are the brass mixer tube and the stainless steel
      priming cup, into which fuel drips and is burned to
      prime the stove. The fuel line connects the priming
      cup to the fuel pump and the fuel bottle. Nearly half
      of the fuel line is flexible brass hose, the balance
      is rigid stainless steel tubing. The stainless steel
      catch arm connected to the fuel line secures the line
      to the fuel pump. The pump assembly, including a fuel
      filter, fits inside and securely screws into the
      threaded top of the MSR fuel bottle.

      Field Information:

      I have successfully used my MSR Whisperlite stove on
      numerous backpacking and camping trips. I primarily
      camp in southeastern Idaho. Occasionally, I venture
      into Grand Teton National Park, which is located in
      western Wyoming, or Yellowstone National Park, which
      is located in eastern Idaho, western Montana, and
      western Wyoming. The elevations of the areas I
      usually camp range from 5,500 feet (2,000 m) to 8,500
      feet (3,000 m) above sea level. The summers in these
      areas are usually dry and warm (80 to the upper 90 F
      (27-32 C). Winters are usually cold and snow depths
      vary from the high-plains desert to the higher
      elevations. Springs can be somewhat cold and wet. In
      addition, the wind blows frequently, regardless of the
      Assembling and operating this stove are quite simple.
      First, uncap the MSR fuel bottle and fill with white
      gas. Next, insert and snugly screw the pump assembly
      into the MSR fuel bottle. Make sure the control valve
      is closed. Then pressurize the fuel bottle via the
      pump plunger until you feel firm resistance. Next,
      lubricate the end of the fuel line and insert into the
      pump assembly. Secure the fuel line to the pump via
      the catch arm. Make sure the catch arm “clicks” into
      the slot on the pump. Now rotate the three legs/pot
      supports, making sure they “click” into their
      designated slots on the burner. In dry areas, or in
      snow, it is a good idea to place the stove on the foil
      heat reflector.
      Now you are ready to prime the stove. First, you open
      the control valve and allow about a teaspoon of fuel
      to drip into the priming cup. Next, you close the
      control valve, and check for fuel leaks. If there are
      no leaks, you ignite the fuel in the priming cup.
      When the priming fuel has burned down to a small
      flame, you gradually open the control valve until you
      get the desired flame. The stove design is such that
      the fuel line passes near the flame to enable the fuel
      to be preheated and vaporize. The vaporized fuel
      passes through the balance of the fuel line and out
      the fuel jet. The vaporized fuel then ignites as it
      passes through the corrugated burner plates.
      Unfortunately, it is quite easy to allow too much fuel
      to fill the priming cup. Lighting the stove then
      results in a massive yellow fireball. In addition, if
      you have left the fuel valve open, things can get out
      of control in a hurry. My teenage sons often over
      fill the priming cup. I am not sure if this is
      accidental or intentional, as they like the inferno.
      The first time I used this stove, I was amazed at how
      quickly it boiled water. I was eating my freeze-dried
      chicken enchiladas quite a bit sooner than my friends
      who were using different stoves. Such is the case
      whether I am in the snow, rain, or sunshine. Because
      of the frequent winds in southeastern Idaho, I find
      that I use the foil windscreen quite a bit. It keeps
      the flame from blowing out, and I believe it also
      increases the efficiency of the stove. .
      I boil a lot of water on the stove, as I eat a lot of
      many freeze-dried food when I am backpacking and
      camping. However, I have cooked omelets, fish, and
      other foods quite well on the stove as well. MSR
      claims that the Whisperlite will boil one liter of
      water in about four minutes. From my experience,
      especially when using the heat shield and the wind
      screen, I am able to boil water in about 3.5 minutes
      My MSR Whisperlite has a self-cleaning shaker jet.
      For quick cleaning of the fuel jet, simply shake the
      stove up and down. The “rattle” you here is the
      shaker needle doing its thing. This seems to work
      most of the time. Occasionally, a more extensive
      cleaning is required. However, I have not had any
      major problems with this stove.


      I believe the MSR Whisperlite is a great backpacking
      stove for the non-ultra light backpacker. It is
      simple to use. The white gas fuel is easy to light in
      all weather conditions, and burns efficiently. It is
      quite durable, and maintenance, other than the quick
      shaker cleaning, is seldom required.

      My Likes: My Dislikes:
      easy to use stove, fuel bottle & fuel heavier than
      butane stoves
      heats up quickly very easy to over prime and create a
      fire ball for a few minutes durable
      fairly compact
      burns efficiently

      Ryan L. Christensen
      E-mail: mailto:bigdawgryan@...

      "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

      Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
    • chcoa
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 5, 2005
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        Thanks for your Owner's Review. It has been added to the Owner
        Review Queue and will be picked up by an Edit Moderator soon. Do
        not worry if nothing happens with it for several days. All our
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        official edit within fourteen days. If you have not had a response
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        To assist in this process, if this is your first Owner Review we ask
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