Here is the molle patrol pack my son Scott hauled the stove in for today it was -3 degrees out. Shown here preparing to get the equipment out. He does the physical stuff for me & I do the shooting as I have a back issue.
Before using or setup for the first time I placed them in the snow to cool off a bit from being in the house. The fuel canister not will be kept in the snow for approx 20 minutes to see what effect that has. Almost like the hiker who forgot to put it in the tent or bivy condition. I will also use kettle or pot interchangeably here.
Stove was lit and our first attempt to melt some snow was underway. It took a flame instantly and I only turned the knob maybe ½ turn for this test. It sounded like a small jet engine.
From the one minute to the two minute mark was very boring waiting for the snow to melt. The process was better than expected given I have done this over open flames before for my personal comparisons. During this time I noticed a small reddish hot spot develop in the kettle. I am not sure if this is common for titanium products? So the pot was moved around a bit from here on out.
At the 3 minute mark Scott added more snow to fill the kettle as by now all the snow was melted. 2 minutes to melt the first cup full was not that bad.
At 7 minutes it had a nice boil and Scott added a few pine boughs
After this we shut the stove off and one can notice the snow sticking like on outdoors propane tanks for comparison. This would be a problem if sticking it back in the pack right away. The tank was also starting to have a slushy sound now if you shook the tank that was.
At the 20 minute mark we tried the other tank that was placed in the snow behind the test area. It was so frozen with a slushy sound that it would not ignite when placed on the stove head and tried to ignite. This could be a real problem if this was all you had and was counting on it for your survival in an extreme cold weather condition. I may try a reflective material under the stove to help keep the canister warm but not enough to cause an explosion. I was warned about using a wind deflector with this model surrounding the stove.
I chose to go with this MSR Pocket Rocket stove as it had fewer working parts. It is also so dang compact and light. I was worried or at least concerned that something would give up the ghost when least expected on the Whisperlite. My choices as mentioned were these that I had decided on. When I got to EMS the sales associate informed me that the freezing of the fuel canisters was not really that bad. So I took his suggestions and keeping in the back of my mind that WW uses his all winter unless he brings a woodstove. They had a special on the pocket rocket & the titan kettle for only $2 more. That sweetened the deal after the rep told me that the Whisperlite was overkill in most conditions.
Too many parts on that model I felt when looking them over. I knew that the real concerns for me about this model were the requirement for fuel canisters and the possibility of those freezing. Other than that the instant ignition was a bonus I thought. I now think I will have to get the Whisperlite International and try that one out. Its advantages are the cold weather operation. Today would have been ideal to test that out as well. I used to be outdoors in all conditions and this is something that I can not accept. I guess I will have to live with knowing the Whisperlite has that warm up stage and is a bit bulkier. So look forward to that one as well.
The things I found out is that the fuel canister must be protected from the direct elements. Even if not in use in must be done: setting up camp, hiking etc. Woods Walker and a couple of others always have theirs placed on tree branches etc while using it. Placing the fuel canister on the frozen snow or ground had a serious impact on the fuel. It seemed to be slowing down in velocity as to the output power. Slowed right down in about 8 minutes.
I now feel it is the pressure from the freezing effect that renders the fuel canister useless. The gas pressure forces the fuel out... After leaving one canister in the snow for 20 minutes it was completely useless. It took about 30 minutes after being inside to get that canister to ignite afterwards. This could be serous in the extreme cold. I would hate to put one in my coat to get it thawed.
I have thought about how to insulate the canister and maybe you want to try this. I am going to take an old ragg wool sock and cut it down to fit over the canister. I am going to place the fuel canister in that, when I have to use it, I will simply roll the sock down so it only covers the side & bottom. This should still hopefully protect it from freezing with out also gathering the heat from the unit operating and causing an explosion, by overheating the fuel canister.
So here is the review of the MSR Whisperlite Internationale. This is the stove to be used for when one travels abroad or desires to use various fuels as I wish to do.
MSR Whisperlite Internationale & fuel bottle as purchased for my local EMS.
Contents of MSR Whisperlite Internationale Box. Everything one needs is there at no additional cost except the fuel bottle which needs to be purchased separately. I went with the 20 oz bottle/tank as it seemed to be the ideal choice Sizes are 11, 20 & 33 oz’s respectively.
Fuel tank next to Heet bottle for comparison purposes. In my test I am using regular unleaded fuel. I have some white gas but it in the storage locker and do not feel digging for it in the dead of winter.
Pocket rocket versus Whisperlite Int. Here I have attempted to provide a visual to the size differences.
Stove & Fuel Comparison again what one would haul given the stove chosen.
Stoves side by side to show the drastic difference in size and weight. Both serve specific needs in my humble opinion. The Pocket Rocket for any season that is not below freezing. The Whisperlite for any season if one does not mind hauling the extra weight or has room to do so.
Fuel side by side like the stoves. In my area the JetBoil brand of canister fuel is only available. So if there is a difference between brands I can not make that call.
Fuel pump installed and pumped about 30 times until a noticeable hard pump was felt.
Whisperlite setup complete before I attempt ignition for the first time. I am a bit nervous with any new toy and especially one that uses gasoline.
Warm up phase is more than expected. The flame really jumped up there. I think the possibility of too much pressure is the cause. 20 may be best for starters.
Ignition was a bit tricky to tell just when to crack the valve on. There is a distinct sound that happens when the burner is ready/ warmed up. The gasoline burned so clean I stuck my hand over the burner to verify the thing was really lit. Yes there was noise but it was the first time LOL.
About on minute of burn time I started to notice a nice plume of water vapor/mist coming off the pot. I only turned the control valve maybe ½ turn fro this test.
Nice boil going and I shut the stove down from here.
The Whisperlite today in my test on the back patio deck showed me that the stove may need at times the windscreen. At least this is provided. The little bit of wind today was causing the flame once lit to blow around towards the tank…In the photo you can see the foil I use for soldering is bent up to block some of the direct wind. One also has to accept the warm up stage of the stove as opposed to the pocket rockets instant ignition.
The control handle on the Pocket rocket has a nice smooth feel to the valve. The Whisperlite feels as if one has to force it a bit to get it to respond to the pressure for the hand. I was able to almost get the PR to simmer versus the Whisperlite seemed to intense for this initial run.
When removing the canister form the PR one can hear a noticeable sound of gas escaping when removing the stove head. On the Whisperlite one can be sprayed with fuel for the built up pressure. I am sure if I would have used the stove for more than only 2 minutes some of this would have lessened. So wrap a rag or your hand around the threaded ring when removing the pump for the fuel bottle on the Whisperlite.
On another aspect I feel the Whisperlite can and will support a larger pot or what so ever for cooking. The Whisperlite retails for around $89 as opposed to the retail of the Pocket Rocket for $39. This does have considerable heft to it also. The manufacturer claims it is about 15 oz. Not counting fuel bottle & fuel. The Pocket Rocket is about 3oz. So there is a night and day difference for ones needs. The canister fuel will last maybe an hour and the tank fuel will last almost 2 hours. The canister fuel is prone to freezing and the other well…
So I have learned that each stove has their own situations where they shine. One uses any available fuel and the other causes the owner to be dependent upon the fuel canisters. Where along the LT or AT or in the backwoods are these things available I will have to research? It would be easier to stop at a local gas station or beg a farmer to buy fuel from them, than to have a specific item that can not be readily obtained.
I feel like I am leaving something out & hope I have not bored you all to death. Thank you for letting me submit my comparisons.