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GREAT GEAR by stephen regenold Keepers of the Flame

Get cooking with six hot stoves perfect for whatever’s on the menu.

CAMP STOVES ARE a caveman’s dream: Instant fire from a portable source, controllable heat and flame, and cooked food or hot water ready in minutes. For today’s primitive adven- tures, namely camping or backpacking deep in the woods, a reliable camp stove can still be a dream—turn on the gas, touch a match to the burner, and a blue flame pops to life, a torrent of channeled energy ready to do your culinary deed. Hot soup, coffee, and even warmed

desserts are doable anywhere outdoors with a stove and a pot. Over the years, I’ve ignited a dozen types of stoves on picnic tables in state parks or the frozen flanks of Mount Rainier. Each fire-maker is distinguished by its size, weight, fuel type, and flame output for its intended task. This spread of stoves represents cat- egories and types intended for varying weight, transport, and climates; fuel sold separately unless noted. Strike a match and give life to a flame. Your inner caveman will thank you. ¿

STEPHEN REGENOLD is founder and editor of

MSR POCKET ROCKET $40, MSRCORP.COM I’ve used this basic backpacking stove for years. Screw the inverted tripod onto the top of a butane canister and twist a control arm to flood the burner with vaporized gas. A match ignites the stove. Caveats: The little arms only balance small pots, and the stove’s unshielded design keeps its flame exposed to wind. Don’t forget: Freezing temps reduce the performance of pressurized canister fuels.

ENTER TO WIN two separate stove prize packages—one for backpacking ($150 value) and the other for car camping ($170 value)—at

38 SCOUTING ¿  

ESBIT POCKET STOVE $10 (includes six fuel cubes), INDUSTRIALREV.COM Hexamethylenetetramine: It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But the chemical compound is the basis for the tiny fuel cubes that power this stove. The decades-old design includes a foldable shell of galvanized steel that hinges open to create a platform for a pot. Put a cube inside and light it up for an approximate burn time of 13 minutes. A pot goes on top, and now you’re cooking over an open flame. One cube will bring a pint of water to boil in about eight minutes.

BACKCOUNTRY BOILER $100, BACKCOUNTRYBOILER.COM Sticks, grass, and kindling you find in the woods are the fuel for the Backcountry Boiler, a stove designed for the single purpose of heating water with no fuss. Made in Pittsburgh by a former Scout, the unit combines the function of a stove and a boiling pot into one. To heat water, put the aforementioned sticks and grass inside, fill the top reservoir with water, and ignite. The Backcountry Boiler forces flames to roar out through the top, fire licking the inside metal surface area with water on the other side of a thin wall. Hot water comes quick. The boiler weighs about 8 ounces and is a bit bigger than a 1-liter Nalgene bottle.

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