Having been a skeptic of alcohol stoves, I was pleasantly surprised with the Caldera Cone on a 5 day backpack in “cool to cold” weather, over spring break of 2009. I used the aluminum version of the Caldera Cone on that trip, and cooked solo. With cold mornings and occasional snowy conditions, the scouts compressed gas stoves were pretty punky, especially when they were half full or less. The Caldera was reliable and immune to wind.
I got a Ti-Tri Caldera Cone before our 8 day backpack in the Sawtooths, along with an Evernew 1900ml pot and lid set. This Caldera cone has a titanium cone windscreen, which supports the pot at the edge of the pot. That way the pot bottom and sides are exposed to the heat of the stove, for fuel efficiency. The Ti-Tri comes with a Gram Cracker esbit fuel holder, and since it is made of titanium, allows one to use wood as a fuel inside the cone. Thus it works with three fuel types, hence the “tri” in the name.
Our first dinner on the trail is shown below, with the cone and cookset clean and new. The stove was cooking for two adults, with dinners of rice, pasta, or one night we cooked pizza. We were cooking breakfasts of bagels toasted in the fry pan, with Canadian bacon and cheese, or scones, and a few cups of coffee for me.
Our second night we caught the first fish of the trip, and tried the stove’s wood burning option. A pair of titanium rods supports the fry pan or pot in this mode. We put the cone in our coals from a campfire, and added small sticks to fry the fish. The pot could handle one fish at a time, cut into sections. They were delicious, and having the wood fuel option saved a bunch of fuel.
The final result of the trip was that it worked perfectly for two adults for an 8 day backpack. One night our fellow hiker’s MSR Dragonfly clogged up, and we saved the day by finishing cooking their dinner on the Caldera. So for our menu, which included actual cooking (not just heating water), for 7 dinners and 7 hot breakfasts, we used 24 oz of fuel. The stove, windscreen and the plastic screw together caddy weighs 5.3 oz. The Evernew cookset weighs 10.4 oz. Both are sold at Trail Design.