Once piece of kitchen gear I have had for at least a decade, is an Esbit Ultralight Stove. There are many ultralight stoves you can buy out there, and, many that you can easily make yourself (I fancy to build myself a Fancy Feast alcohol stove one of these days…), but, as a solid fuel alternative to my rocket fuel mainstay, I love the Esbit. And, at just under $10, worth trying it out.
Here are the pros, other than the price!
- It is small when folded up compact (4 x 3 x 0.75 inches)
- They are light (3.1 oz)
- Solid fuel tablets are light as well, at .5oz each.
- They burn pretty good (there are plenty of tests out there, roughly 5-6 minutes to boil 2 cups of water, which is what you need for Ramen!)
- The fuel tablets are cheap too, at ~12 for $5 or so. (Check amazon, lots of different retailers, and tablets out there.)
- A lot lighter than my normal kitchen setup…
And now the cons…
- Does not boil water as fast as my MSR Pocket Rocket
- Because it has a small footprint, 4×3 inches, and only the two sides, large pots can be an issue. Also, the larger the pot, the longer the cook time, as it is only a small area which is providing the flame.
- The tablets stink
And that’s it for the cons… so, if you are looking for a very light, very cheap, and fairly sturdy… look no further than the Esbit!
One thing you will notice about the picture above… it will let a lot of wind in… fashion a quick DIY windscreen with aluminum foil triple folded over itself for durability, and long enough so it can overlap. Fasten if needed with some duct tape on the trail, but just make sure you do it over one of the metal sides, so as not to burn it.