Nothing is better during a long day of snowshoeing on a cold day than taking a break and enjoying a hot drink or meal on the trail.
One of the limiting factors in truly enjoying this experience is the fumbling with campstoves, especially during cold temperatures. Not to mention the extra weight and bulk when you want to be traveling light.
In March, I had the opportunity to put the Jetboil Personal Cooking System to the test in some very challenging conditions at the Rock and Ice Ultra (www.rockandiceultra.com) in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in the Canadian north. I was competing in the three day 135 km stage race. We ran 45km per day on snowshoes, then cooked our own meals and camped on the trail at night. Conditions were tough and cooking after a hard day of racing can be a very difficult thing to do, especially when cold and feeling very depleted. Hot meals were a snap with the PCS though and meals included oatmeal, instant campfoods, and coffee or tea.
Jetboil has taken everything into consideration with the design of this very compact and easy to assemble stove. The fuel canister and burner base fit neatly inside the cooking cup, so when not in use it packs down smaller than the size of a Nalgene bottle.
The heat exchanger and burner base are super-efficient, with minimal heat loss thanks to the wind protection shroud. Cooking time is a very quick one minute to boil a cup of water.
A really nice feature is the one litre cooking cup which is covered with an insulated sleeve and webbed handle to protect your hands from burning, all while keeping your meal or drink nice and toasty warm. You can drink/eat right from it. The Piezo igniter is a nice bonus too as no matches are required – especially helpful in the cold or rain.
While some people don’t recommend a canister stove for the cold weather, I found that the Jetboil worked exceptionally well in temperatures down as cold as -15C, and have been very impressed with the ease and convenience of this great cooking system in temperatures and conditions warmer than that.
So, next time you are out on the trail and wishing you had a hot drink or meal, consider the Jetboil Personal Cooking System.