The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 26 June 2011

Hi-Gear Blaze Titanium Stove – 2nd Review

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago Go Outdoors supplied me with a Hi-Gear Blaze Titanium Stove from their range of camping equipment and, having used it on my trip in the Peak District , I gave my initial thoughts on it (click here to go to that review).

To recap: the feature that attracted me to this stove was its incredible light weight, at just 48g, which represented a 30g weight saving over our previous stove, but I also had a couple of concerns about it.

We took the Blaze with us last week for our five day Pennine Way trip, during which I formed the following opinions:

- There’s too fine a line on this stove between over-tightening the screw thread (bearing in mind that the shape of the stove means that there’s nothing to stop you doing so) and not tightening it enough. A few times now I’ve thought that I’ve tightened it as tight as was advisable, only to then later notice the smell of gas.  Aside from the unpleasant smell, and the potential dangers of having a gas leak, it seems counter-productive to save 30g on the weight of your stove, only to find yourself wasting valuable gas.The result was that every time I’d finished with the stove, I detached it from the canister, which is far from ideal.

- Despite the positive results of the (rather noddy) test that I carried out, I feel that this stove is more fuel hungry than my previous one. We almost emptied a 250 canister in four days, boiling on average 7 cups of water a day (which is our typical usage). I’ve never had a canister last fewer than 6 days before and our record is 10 days at this usage level. I see little value in saving 30g on the weight of my stove if we’re then going to need to either carry more gas or resupply more regularly.

So, even though there are things that I like about the Blaze, after just eight days use I’ve concluded that we’re going to revert to the Coleman F1 Lite. It may be 30g heavier, but it’s sturdy, has proved to be reliable, gives fuel efficiency that I’m happy with, and has returned excellent value for money (we paid £17 for it six years ago; I see that Go Outdoors are currently selling it for £22.50).

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