Comments on: Best Backpacking Stove System – Trail Designs Caldera vs. JetBoil The Ultimate Guide to Lightweight Backpacking and Backcountry Adventure Travel Thu, 08 Jul 2021 16:10:26 +0000 hourly 1 By: jt Thu, 08 Jul 2021 16:10:26 +0000 In reply to Alan Dixon.

Hi Allen! I’ve been using the refill adapter for years with never a problem or complaint. It takes less than 10 minutes to pull the gear from it’s storage space, fill a can as needed (easy to use a scale and fill only what I need for a specific trip) and put it all away. A definite must for any canister stove user. Since the can doing the filling is inverted and draining liquid fuel, I wonder if the gas separation is an issue?
P.S. I’m a huge fan of your site, it’s the first place I point folks to when they have backpacking questions. Thank you!

By: Alan Dixon Sat, 25 Aug 2018 01:24:34 +0000 In reply to Brent.

Sorry for the late reply Brent. Yes, with hotter summers and more fires in the West, Parks are going to look at ways to reduce fire hazards from backpacking stoves, no doubt! But FWIW I don’t think that the Kojin, TD is any more of a fire risk than a canister stove. Case in point, I know that SEIKI that has very strict fire restrictions but does allow alcohol stoves. They consider them in the same category and canister stoves. And FWIW the Kojin stove can be put out just as easily as a canister stove. You can blow it out like a birthday candle and cap it, essentially reducing it to a non-burning fuel container no different than a canister stove. And once the fuel is in the stove, even uncapped it will not spill. That being said, you must ALWAYS comply with park regulations.

As to your BRS system, it does some disadvantages vs. the Jetboil or the TD Caldera. 1) it lacks a heat exchanger so not as fuel efficient. 2) the pot can easily be knocked off the stove. 3) the 550 ml pot is quite limiting both in the amount of water you can boil and it is hard to simmer or cook a meal in the pot as their isn’t sufficient volume to contain the food and stir. In comparison, I can easily cook for my wife and I in the 900 ml Toaks TD Calera system. But to each their own. Wishing you a great year of trekking. Best, -alan

Best, -alan

By: Brent Thu, 23 Aug 2018 19:02:38 +0000 Alan-

Since this was written, another factor to consider, is that there has been some changing views on the fire dangers of alcohol stoves and the fact that they may not even be permitted in some areas. It’s tough to balance with the canister stove recycling issues vs the increased wild fire dangers and prohibition of non canister stove systems. Seems like a topic that should be included in the discussion when you update this page. Also, for UL cooking systems, it seems like the canister/BRS3000 and homemade wind protection (like a sit pad or finding a spot with rocks/trees) has become the gold standard vs the Jetboil. BRS Stove 0.88oz, Toaks 550 mL pot w no handle 1.5oz, DIY foil lid 0.1oz , 4 oz fuel canister 7.4oz, pot grabber–use buff or gloves, wind protection 0 oz for a total of 9.88 oz which allows easy boiling of water for re-hydrating meals. Thanks for all the great info on your site!

By: Randy Clark Fri, 03 Aug 2018 01:25:29 +0000 Thank you Alan.


By: Alan Dixon Thu, 02 Aug 2018 21:07:47 +0000 In reply to Randy Clark.

Randy sorry for the late reply. Have been out guiding for the last few weeks. My rule of thumb is about 0.5 fl oz of alcohol for every pint boiled in my Trail Designs Caldera System. That being said, it could be cold in Oct so some margin over this would be prudent. And remember that if you are doing “hot” drinks like hot chocolate at night or Via in the morning you can use treated water and only heat to 130-140F. That will save you some fuel. Wishing you a great trip. Warmest, -alan

By: Randy Clark Sun, 15 Jul 2018 02:30:23 +0000 Hi Alan,
My brother and I are walking for 6 days on the AT the last week of October. How much alcohol fuel would you take for trip of this length? I am thinking 14-16 oz..
I have a homemade kit weighs 10oz, I use a zelph stove. I also thinking of using my pocket rocket with a small canister kit weighs 14 oz..
Thank you for your Help,


By: Thorsten Wed, 06 Jun 2018 04:46:31 +0000 In reply to Alan Dixon.

> I am just wondering what your interest in simmering is.
Good question! Wanting to pack light doesn’t necessarily mean one has little time to cook. I was thinking about a risotto, for example. It’s light, easy, tasty. Also, it can be nice to stir the pot for 30 minutes while it cooks. But I assume the real issue it the fuel weight this adds.

I’ve been reading more about the fire restrictions in California and that is seriously dampening my excitement about alcohol stoves, sigh.

By: Alan Dixon Tue, 05 Jun 2018 13:54:45 +0000 In reply to Thorsten.

Hi Thorsten, good questions. Here are some responses

  1. First, Alison and I use a 0.9L Toaks pot on the Caldera using the new Kojin stove. It does everything we need it to do. We have no issues cooking dinner on it or boiling water for coffee in the morning. Boil amounts range from 500 ml to around 800 ml. Since the pot can be set to boil unattended, we are doing camp chores while the water gets hot. As such, a 6-10 minute boil time is not an issue.
  2. Calderas are always matched exactly to the diameter of the pot. And altho we never simmer for an extended period with any pot, we occasionally do simmer for a few minutes to fully hydrate a meal. In this case you do need to keep stirring so that food doesn’t stick to the pot bottom. Given this, I would guess you could manage a simmer for a while assuming that stir continuously.
  3. I have never used the simmer ring on the 12-10 but have faith in the folks at TD. If they make a simmer ring then it likely works.

Finally, I am just wondering what your interest in simmering is. For the most part, people interested in ultralight stove systems are usually interested in boiling water and either do cook-in-bag meals, or like Alison and I might do a 1-2 minutes simmer after boiling to complete hydration. That is, these ultralight systems are not designed with gourmet trail cooking as a first priority.

Hope this helps, Warmest, -alan

By: Thorsten Mon, 04 Jun 2018 22:21:48 +0000 Awesome info here, thanks so much for putting it together!
What I’m a bit lost about is:
– how do the trade-offs change when cooking for two, and heating up 1qt in a GSI tea kettle, for example. Does that take forever in a caldera cone?
– is it at all feasible to saute something on an alcohol stove, or does it only really work if everything is well closed? And the diameters of the cone&pot/pan/kettle are perfectly matched?
– I see that TD has simmer rings for the 12-10, do they work and are they worth it?

By: Alan Dixon Tue, 15 May 2018 20:15:00 +0000 In reply to Rob Moon.

Yes Rob, there have been impovements. And yes, I intend to update this with some of the better options. But note that none of the canister stoves (even the best ones) will be as light as an alcohol stove. Warmest -alan