If you have taken one of my fire backcountry skills classes you have heard me rant about the need for packing a stove, we you will hear it again. Making a fire takes time and effort two things that can be critical to a trip. The idea of building a ground fire while romantic lends its self to a litany of problems like, location, safety, fuel, legality, environmental impact and so on. The time it would take to get a fire going and water boiling is extremely prohibitive so often we suffer. Well we don’t have to and that’s where packing a stove even for day hikes makes perfect sense.
Today’s stove in particular, The Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Stove is a small easy way to have an on demand heat source for cooking on the trail or in the park. So abandon the idea of fire as an absolute last case for survival and consider carrying one like I do. During the winter the ability to make some coca of coffee on a day hike is absolutely amazing and can lift spirts, warm and hydrate you and members of you party, you get to be the hero… You can enjoy an enhanced day hike with a hot beverage and even a hot meal.
The Ion Micro is one of the world’s smallest stoves weighing in at 1.5 ounces and 1.25x1.875 inches. It folds down and fits into a tiny pouch it comes with and sites out of site until I need it. The irony is that the fuel canister takes up way more room (although they do fit into nesting cups like the Olicamp Space Saver Mug so you can set up a pretty cool trail cook set for on the go. Especially with a break down spoon you can have everything you need in one spot.
I have so far had the opportunity to test this bad boy out in the snow and it did a great job of processing the snow down to water, although like many other stoves of this type a wind break can be necessary to keep it going and for a more efficient burn. But it did great up on Mt Laguna and just as of this week had the opportunity to take it out on a couple day trip into the desert. It really did a great job of quickly boiling up my water for dinner, and did it in just a couple of minutes. I will say this though the extent of my use for this stove is for boing small amounts of water for a drink or rehydrating a meal, I really wouldn’t want to stick a fry pan on or cook thanksgiving dinner. While one added bonus is if I was in an emergency situation where I was trying to get a ground fire going this little guys makes a great torch and puts out enough flame to get something going (hopefully).
So I have enjoyed carrying the Ion Micro and will continue for day trips and overnighters requiring a boiling of water here and there, I am a huge fan and definitely advise picking one up for the bag. Just remember to check the weather, plan accordingly and you plan to enjoy your trips and that can include a cup of coffee or a warm meal. As always thanks for taking the time to check us out and here what we have to say, we look forward to running into you on the trail!