When you travel the wilderness simply, you still have to carry a good amount of gear to survive with some comfort, because without, say a hatchet, a tent, and a stove, you will be without shelter, a way to work with firewood, and a way to heat water and cook food. Survival is always the first priority when venturing far out, but that doesn’t mean it has to bog you down either. For a good soul-searching, peace-finding mission into the bush, I suggest keeping it to necessities, like a knife, a hatchet, a backpacker tent and lightweight sleeping bag, a stove, some food, and a few other belongings, like clothes, toiletries, and whatever else you think you really need (i.e. you need a book, trust me, reading in nature is a beautiful way to pass the time; besides exploring, of course).
You may be wondering how you can lug a stove around with you, and not be burdened by it? While most things, like tents and sleeping bags, can be found in lightweight models, stoves can be another animal entirely. I have worked with a range of camping cooking options, and I’ve learned that the most successful ones, ready for just about any environment, are the ones that are made specifically for backpackers, where all the pieces work together ergonomically and have the capability of closing down nice and tight, and lightweight. Otherwise, if you purchase the cheaper models, you may struggle with wind and setup and consistency, as well as be forced to carry a larger gas container than what is absolutely necessary. Plus, you then need to consider carrying heavy, bulky cooking pans. My goto is the WindBurner by MSR, because it was built for my kind of travel, for this kind of backpacker approach to packing, where burden of weight and space matter greatly.
The WindBurner is a minimalist stove system, perfect for soloists, with a radiant burner for fast boiling, which is enclosed in a windproof design; which is so important when you’re trying to cook or boil water in very cold temperatures. It’s an all-in-one system that nests inside its own pot, so you have easy packing and assembly, in one tight knit package. Put simply, MSR’s WindBurner is a great little stove that I found to be quite efficient and easy to use, and very well designed for my specific style and approach to camping and backpacking.
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Article written by Brandon Scott / Outdoor photo by Ben Matthews / Product photos by © MSR.