Snow Peak LiteMax Ti Stove + An Ultra-race Cook Kit
When optimizing your gear list for a quick bikepacking trip, an ITT (individual time trial), or an ultra-race, the kitchen is one area you can fine tune for weight and speed.
Even when pace is a priority, it’s hard to subsist on bars and goo. And more remote routes don’t always offer consistent resupply points. A simple cook kit paired with lightweight dehydrated meals can provide a hot and hearty menu, with little weight penalty. Just need to boil water for a Mountain House Lasagna, Backpacker’s Pantry Red Beans and Rice, some mashed potatoes, or a quick cup of joe? This is about as light and fast as it gets.
The Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium Stove
At less than 2 ounces (54 grams) and 3 inches long when folded (7.6 cm), the LiteMax stove is about the size of a Twix candy bar. This is a seriously light and compact stove. The only thing lighter would be a beer can stove, but with that there may be a weight penalty for alcohol, not to mention the added bulk… and several more minutes of time to boil water.
The stove is made of titanium and aluminum and runs on isobutane/propane canisters, such as the GigaPower 110, also from Snow Peak. The LiteMax easily screws in to the GigaPower canister and lights with the turn of the 1.5-inch-long wire flame adjuster, which is easy to reach even under a large pot. Mounted to the canister, the stove is fairly stable with three folding titanium braces.
The GigaPower 110 fuel canister weighs 200 grams (7 ounces) and is about 3.5” in diameter by 3” tall (8.9 x 7.6 cm). Based on my usage and calculations (at lower altitudes), the 110 paired with the LiteMax will boil 500ml of water over 10 times. This amounts to a five day lifespan when only boiling for a dehydrated meal at dinner, and coffee with oatmeal for breakfast.
The best thing about a canister stove is the speed. It takes all of a few seconds to set up, and at lower altitudes will boil 16 ounces (500ml) of water in less than 2 minutes (in zero wind). If you are in it for quickness and just need to boil for a dehydrated meal, or a cup of morning coffee, the LiteMax is perfect.
The LiteMax stove retails for $60 and the GigaPower 110 runs anywhere between $5 to $15.
An Ultra-bikepacker’s Cook Kit
Here is the cook kit that was packed for a recent trip on the TNGA. This trip was hardly an ITT, but time and pace were factors. A few things that were left out from my usual setup include an alcohol stove, titanium wood stove (which doubles as a pot stand), 2 bottles of alcohol, a titanium cup, salt/pepper, and an additional rag. The total kit (with a full GigaPower fuel canister) weighs 365 grams (12.9 ounces) and is nicely contained in the Vargo BOT. It could be made slightly lighter by replacing the BOT with a 750ml titanium mug, but it would lose the ability to be self contained.
- Pot/container/lid: Vargo BOT
- Stove: Snow Peak LiteMax
- Utensil: Vargo Titanium Spork
- Fuel: Snow Peak GigaPower 110
- Pot lifter: Vargo Titanium
- Other: Lighter and small rag
- Windscreen: Tinfoil (not shown)