Haven't backpacked since the mid 70's.

As the title states we haven't backpacked since the mid 70's and now upon my retirement we are getting back into it. Just to get ourselves ready for our next trip, we go out every other day and hike, fully loaded, at least 3 miles of rough terrain. And I'll tell you, it feels great !! I do have an equipment question... We have a Dragonfly stove and I'm thinking the very best way to carry the fuel pump is to leave it in the bottle. I carry the bottle on the outside of the pack and it seems to me that it is safer in the bottle there, then out of the bottle in a zip lock, in the MSR sack... It certainly keeps the smell and the mess of dribbling fuel at 0%.. I've done it both ways, ( removed the pump and into the bag ) but it seems to be more of a PITA than just leaving it in the bottle... Any opinions on this, pros/cons would be appreciated.. thanks !

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
First off, you can sure do lighter for backpacking than a Dragonfly!! I backpack with a stove that weighs 73 grams compared to the Dragonfly at 755 with an empty bottle. But...anywho.

I leave the pump in my bottle only when I know there is no chance of the pump getting smacked, poked, crunched or dinged. For the most part, I feel safer putting it away with the rest of the stove. After using my Dragonfly on a sea kayak trip for 97 days straight, I never had a problem putting the pump away. I think ether solution would be fine, but given how packs get tossed and bumped around, I'd rather it go inside my pack. But still, that is a ginormous stove to carry for two people.
I take the pump out also when underway. With the MSR cap in place, I hang the bottle off my pack with a carabiner.

There are definitely lighter stoves out there, but the Dragonfly is my go-to stove for most trips. Eventually I will get a Pocket or Micro Rocket for light & fast trips. My recent experiments with Esbit and alcohol stoves were underwhelming, to say the least.


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Yup, the dragonfly is a bit big and heavy compared to a lot of the newer designs on the market today, but I still come in at about 30 lbs total, and my wife at 25 lbs, (which is a whole lot less weight than I remember as a kid).. with enough stuff for 4 or 5 days in. Yesterday my bag slipped down off a frozen log while we ate lunch,, lesson learned, so I'll be taking the time and effort to stash it..

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
Another MSR stove tip - When you pack your stove, back off all of the valves by a half turn. It relieves the pressure on the o-rings and they'll last much, much longer. That's the other reason why I remove my pump each time.