Super light espit and alcohol stove system. What other superlight hikers rig themselves together from cat food cans and aluminum foil (e.g. the soda can stove
) is available in perfected form. Stove system is tailored for a specific pot, but btw. the stove itself is still made out of a soda can.
The heart of the Caldera system is the Caldera Cone. The cone acts as a pot stand and windscreen. The cone suspend the pot by its lip at the right height above the stove and completely protects stove and pot from the wind while providing some air vents to allow for enough oxygen for the flame. The cone funnels any heat that misses the pot directly back up the sides of the pot to heat it from all sides and milk every BTU of energy out of the fuel.
Link to Caldera Cone System at Trail Designs Webpage
The stove consists of a superlight alcohol burner, your pot, and a customized aluminum windscreen/pot stand.
Burns denatured alcohol (paint thinner from your hardware store)
Needs to be ordered for (or with) a specific pot or mug.
Maybe except the bare bone espit stove
this may be the lightest & cheapest stove around. The mug & pot will be more expensive than the stove.
My stove is for a 500mL Evernew Titanium mug (i.e. single person system). The entire stove with mug has only 235g (8.3oz), this includes the empty 5.5oz fuel bottle, measuring cup, and plastic carrying container. Needs about 15mL of alcohol to bring 500mL to a boil. It is a tad slower to boil than the MSR XGK EX, but for a fraction of the weight. The 5.5 oz (squirt) fuel bottle is good for about a 2 day trip. No special fuel bottles are necessary for extra ethanol.
The windscreen provides a very stable stand. When very new the pot might lift the windscreen that fits snug to the pot, but that goes away soon. I have used it in camp at 11,000ft without problem. I have used it in windy conditions, the windscreen works amazingly. If it's windy, you might have to be creative with the windscreen for lighting it though.
Beware, the stove is so light, if not loaded with a full cup the wind will carry it away.
Have not tried melting snow with it, but I have doubts that would be efficient.
I normally have a few spare espit tablets along for just in case, but have not used those yet.