A few weeks ago, a few friends and I were going to go up to Glacier National Park. In the end, it was just one friend and I. We did a little backcountry camping and were both excited to try out new gear. In this article, however, I want to go over the stove that I’ve been using for several years. I recently bought a new one, and it looks like they’ve dropped the weight a little bit. I’ve used it plenty of times on short day hikes, but I haven’t used it too much while backpacking, so I was excited to give it a go.
Our first day at Glacier, we pitched a base camp in the Two Medicine Lakes campground. This sounds deceiving. There are actually Three “Two” Medicine Lakes, an Upper, a Lower, and one that is just Two Medicine. The first day isn’t too important. I want to focus on the second and third day. We hiked up to the Upper Two Medicine Lake and stayed in a backcountry campground up there. The third day was a crazy long hike over three passes.
While up at Upper Two Med., we cooked on my new MSR Microrocket stove. I’ve used several different stoves over the past year but have ultimately settled on the MSR. The main reason for settling with this stove is the weight and size. I have used a Jetboil system before, but it takes up a lot of space in my pack. Space and weight I can use for other things. Whereas, the MSR Microrocket is a total of 2.6 oz. I have a GSI Minimalist .6 L “cook set”, which adds 6.3oz. But, it also fits my fuel canister and stove in there, if I don’t use the hard case that the MSR comes with. So I can fit my whole cooking system in a 4″ x 4″ x 4.5″ cylinder, roughly. It doesn’t take up too much space in my pack, even though I was using a smaller pack, which I will review in my next piece.
Another reason for choosing the MSR was the boil time. Just over two minutes to boil .5L which is usually more than I need for the freeze-dried meals I take. This equals the JetBoil Minimo and beats the Flash system as well. The simmer control is amazing as well. I don’t really cook, per se, while backpacking, it’s mostly just adding boiling water to meals, but every once in a while, I like to make a little herbal tea (of my own blend) in the mornings. I like to simmer the guarana seeds before adding in the rest of the blend to steep. The MSR’s simmer control is amazing for this. I can see using it for frying up some trout in the future.
In conclusion, the MSR is a perfect lightweight cooking solution. I have recommended it to my friends and co-workers. At $59, it’s a steal. Not too expensive, but not cheap enough that you would question whether or not it is a quality piece of equipment. Just make sure you find a cooking system light enough to compliment your 2.6 oz stove.