MSR WhisperLite™ Stove

The MSR WhisperLite™ Stove seems to be the de facto stove for more serious outdoor enthusiasts.

I have used a Campingaz stove for a few years. It is starting to malfunction, so I started looking for a replacement. I decided to invest in a slightly more “serious” stove, and the WhisperLite™ seems to be the go-to unit.

I must admit that the lengthy instructions and complicated look of the stove put me off at first, and it was some time before I summoned the courage to do a test run at home before heading off into the mountains.

Truth be told it is simple to use and I had boiled a kettle of water in no time at all. You can’t switch the stove on and off like a gas cannister-type stove, so have all your ducks in a row before you light it. For instance have extra water on hand if you are making tea and then going to boil something so that you don’t waste fuel whilst someone goes to fetch more water from a tap or stream.

Read up on what fuel can be used in the stove. I used benzine (bought at any hardware store). It is a clear, flammable liquid so please take care when storing and using it.

I didn’t quite get the amount of fuel for our 3 day trip correct: we ran out when heating our final lunch so it was no great disaster, just a good lesson for next time. The fuel bottle has a capacity of 887ml. I had it almost half full, and we made coffee and boiled 2 litres of water to wash on the first night, egg and bacon breakfast the next morning, coffee and a Back Country Cuisine dinner and another 2 litres of hot water for washing that night, and coffee the following morning. It ran out after boiling a litre of water to heat noodles for lunch the final day.

I used a Coghlan’s Flint Striker to light the stove with no problem, though matches are sure to be easier to start out with.

The official site lists the following stats:

Minimum Weight 326 g
Packed Weight 431 g
Burn time (white gas) per 600ml 136 minutes
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter 3.9 minutes
Water boiled (white gas) per 100 ml of fuel 5.1 liters

The official product page includes videos on use and maintenance: http://www.cascadedesigns.com/msr/stoves/simple-cooking/whisperlite/product

For an in-depth article on this and other camping stoves: http://www.switchbacktravel.com/best-backpacking-stoves

MSR logo

David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.