I like to travel light when walking and camping.
Keeping the weight of your equipment to a minimum is a good way to preserve energy and remain comfortable while on the trail.
This thinking not only applies to my clothing, boots, rucksack but, as the title suggests, to my cooking equipment as well.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Stove
I have owned and used many different camping stoves over the years and they have all shared a similar problem – they have all been fairly bulky and heavy.
This issue has always made me think twice on whether or not I should squeeze one in my pack for a day walking in the hills but that was until I bought the minuscule Pocket Rocket 2 from widely respected outdoor equipment manufacturer MSR.
This 73g stove has been designed to be both lightweight and compact. The stove consists of all the elements you would expect to see in a camping stove.
The regulator valve has been precision machined from brass and has a formed wire tab to allow to you control the gas flow which is of sufficient size to allow you to adjust the flame even when wearing gloves.
The supporting arms cleverly unfold from the body to reveal the burner head and provide a very stable and surprisingly large platform for your pot or mug. At first, unfolding and folding the arms can be a slight head-scratcher but once you figure out the order you can quickly move them into place ready for use.
The burner head looks at first to be of a standard design but upon closer inspection you will notice that the nozzles have been well machined and the head itself is split into three segments by a small integrated windshield which MSR have named WindClip®.
This shield prevents the wind from blowing out the flame entirely and allows the stove to continue burning during gusty winds and will even allow the burner to reignite any extinguished segments itself. The addition of the shield also makes the stove far more fuel efficient
The stove is supplied with a small but tough red plastic storage box. The box will keep the stove nozzles clear of dust and dirt when not in use and also keeps the stove protected from damage.
The Pocket Rocket 2 is incredibly easy to set up and use. The stove is designed be used with standard camping gas canisters. When set up and ready to use, the stove is fairly stable when using a small pot or mug.
If you were wishing to use something larger then I would suggest you purchase a separate canister stand. These inexpensive folding plastic stands increase the footprint of the stove setup and give it greater stability especially in windy conditions.
The burner when on full flame is capable of boiling 1 litre of water in approximately 3.5 to 4 minutes which is very effective and surprising for a stove of this size. While this performance is very good it does burn through your gas supply at an alarming rate so I have tended to use the stove at 50% to preserve fuel.
It is important to note that this stove does not have an integrated ignition system so you do have to carry matches, a lighter or a fire steel (my preference) in order to light the burner.
I have used the stove in really foul weather on numerous occasions and the windshield has performed really well. To give it greater protection from the elements, I surround the stove with a folding aluminium windshield. This lightweight addition makes the stove far more fuel efficient in poor weather.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stove is well designed and perfectly engineered. I thoroughly recommend this stove to walkers wishing to travel light without sacrificing the essentials. Top Kit!
Review by Sean Makin.