Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gear Review 1: Primus Classic Trail Stove

The Primus Classic Trail Stove is an inexpensive and versatile stove. At a low price of $30.00 it easily lives up to the standards set by stoves twice its' price. I've used this from 1,500' to 6,000' and from 5°F – 80°F with no issues. I've been using this stove for over a year and would continue to use it for years to come. The stove is lightweight, weighing only 8oz and measuring a mere 5" x 2.26" fully assembled. It uses a unique blend of fuel known as Isobutane-Propane. This type of fuel comes in primarily two sizes of canisters 4oz or 8oz. These fuel canisters are inexpensive as well, costing about $4.00 or $5.00 respectively. I personally carry two 8oz canisters during 3-day backpacking trips. I use them for all my cooking as well as boiling all my water while on the trail. The stove is rated to boil 6.8 liters of water per 100 grams of fuel. The 4oz canister has 113 grams of fuel and the 8oz has 227 grams of fuel. This translates to about 7 liters of water boiled for the small canister and about 15 liters of water for the large canister. The average person needs 3 liters of water daily to stay fully hydrated. I personally have survived with less but always try to keep as hydrated as possible. One small canister would be enough for two days if you don't use it for cooking. I use 8oz canisters only because they are only $1.00 more and carry twice the fuel. An important note about the stove is that its says it only works with Primus canisters but they are hard to come by in the Pacific Northwest. I use MSR canisters because of their availability. Also, nearly all Isbutane-Propane canisters on the market today have universal threads. Another note is that this type of fuel is recommended for 5,000 an lower and also 32°F or higher. A way to help keep your canisters warm is to throw them in your sleeping bag once your camp is set up.

The MSR canisters (8oz and 4oz right/left)

I conducted an experiment on boiling times at home using 16oz, 1 liter, and 2.5 liters of water. The water was 45°F in all three tests to ensure uniformity. Below are the listed boiling times:

4.7 L cooking pot w/ 2.5 liters of water – 16 minutes 22 Seconds

1.4 L cooking pot w/ 1 liter of water – 7 minutes 40 seconds

18 Oz titanium mug w/ 16 Oz of water – 4.25 seconds

Its important to note that you should test different pots that fit what you need because the times will change depending on the type of metal, thickness, and color.

The stove has excellent stability because it has a cross section on the top, just be sure you put your can on something stable. It doesn't have auto-ignition like your grill does so a flame of any kind must be used to light it. Once lit you can control your boil rate easily by just turning the stove up or down using the side knob.

The stove is also excellent for the beginner because of its easy cleaning and maintenance. Here is a link to my dis-assembly video. Other than a small O-ring in the bottom of the stove, the rest is solid metal making it nearly fool proof.

All in all this stove is quick to set-up and highly efficient for it price and size. I would recommend this stove to anyone. I hope you enjoy your Primus Classic Trail Stove as much as I do.Feel free to add your experiences with the stove in the comments section. What's your favorite outdoor stove?

Learn. Explore. Survive.

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