I work for the Canadian Armed Forces, and as such, rucking is something that is an almost mandatory part of fitness for me. It doesn’t have to be I suppose – there are other ways to maintain operational fitness, but it dovetails quite nicely with my backpacking hobby.
Back when I joined in 2015, one of the first exercises we went on overnight, I loaded up my beastly 82 pattern ruck with all my issued kit and headed out. And once things got dark that night I began to see all the other troops come out with their “gucci” kit – aftermarket items that make everything easier in the field. I saw headlamps instead of the antiquated torch, overboots instead of mukluks, and I saw personal stoves, instead of trying to fight with the gigantic, stone-age white gas Colemans that I had first seen at my grandfather’s house, purchased some time in the 60’s I am sure.
It was then that I met the Jetboil. And what a sweet experience that was. Compact, simple, and just works. Like it was meant to be used by the army or something. I immediately saw that it would not only be useful when we go on EX and I want a hot drink, but it would also be a feature player in my overnight hiking kit (and winter dayhiking for that matter! Though I learned a lesson about that too… but that’s a blog post for another day.)
However, time marches on and I began to question. Was the Jetboil the best option for my ever-lightening pack? Many people love the MSR Pocketrocket, and I also ran across the Biolite, which not only runs on sticks but also doubles as a power source and light. And then in the spring of this year, Jetboil upped their game and released the Stash. So, I asked myself, which would be the best for me, the average Joe backpacker/UL wannabe who isn’t quite ready to cold soak everything?
Jetboil Stash vs Biolite Campstove 2+ vs MSR Pocketrocket vs BRS Ultralight Burner
TL;DR: The BRS UL Stove that can be found on Amazon for $25 CAD or thereabouts, when combined with a Toaks Titanium cookpot and an 8oz MSR gas can is the cheapest and lightest cook system of the four analyzed, but it has limitations that should be considered before rushing out to buy one.(more…)