I didn't do any research before buying my stove. L.T. already had one and I bought a similar model on his recommendation. I'm very happy with it, it still works great and I recently attempted to give it a good cleaning and tune-up.
L.T. has a kit that he uses to maintain his WhisperLite and I thought he was a wizard with special skills. This spring I decided to buy my own maintenance kit and give it a try. I picked my kit up at MEC. And I didn't tell him. Shhhhhhhh, it'll be our little secret!
We carry both stoves when we travel. Primarily to always have a backup. I do most of the cooking and I prefer to use my own stove. But sometimes we fire up both stoves to cook more than one thing at a time. On our very first trip he tried to show me how his stove worked and it seemed very tricky. Once I bought my own stove and had a chance to practice with it, I eventually became more comfortable. Although I still don't like using his stove, it performs slightly differently.
The WhisperLite is a white gas stove, it's got a variable control for how high the flame burns, you're supposed to be able to simmer on it, although "simmer" is a bit higher than it would be on your stove at home. Here's a picture of a brand, new, shiny one from MEC:
|Once you use it, it will never be this clean again|
For the fuel, I finally went to Canadian Tire and just bought a large can of Coleman Fuel. I used to rely on L.T. buying fuel and filling my fuel bottle. The fuel bottle with the pump is carried with the stove but not connected. This stove also comes with a pliable metal windscreen and a round folded circular piece that goes under the stove when cooking.
When researching camping tips, I spied someone packing their screen wrapped around their bottle, which is how I pack mine. And I use three little bulldog paper clips to both hold the metal around the bottle when packed and to keep it circular when cooking with it.
|My entire stove kit: stove, windscreen, base and lighter|
|Stove in action with windscreen one clamp visible|
|This is the stove with the added "oven" portion|
|Usual set-up when cooking|
We have yet to have a stove not work on any of our camping trips (I hope I haven't jinxed myself here!). We don't carry the repair kit with us. L.T. has a good working knowledge of the stove's makeup, so if we needed it, he could probably do a repair on the fly as long as nothing was seriously broken.
The repair kit comes with a very good explanation booklet of what to do. Also I fished out the original booklet that came with my stove and it has some of the same content as well.
|The repair kit also has parts for the fuel pump|
|I made the icing at home|
|Cinnamon buns (not perfect, but delicious)|
|The diffuser is visible in this picture, it's sitting on the stove|
When I got back from this last trip I thought maybe my fondue set burner might work.
But I'd need something to support the pot on top of the burner. Hmmm. We did discuss using a tea light candle, again, it would need a support. Maybe a tin can with some holes drilled into it? This would be for the slow cooking of something like buns or bannock.
Here's evidence that I dirtied my hands cleaning my stove.