Gear We Use: MSR Reactor Stove


Picture this: you’ve been on the go before sunrise, navigated over three mountain passes and boulder hopped 2 of the 20 miles. The sun set 10 minutes ago and you are still searching for a campsite.  You unload your pack and start the stove.  Water is boiling before you finish setting up the tent. You get your dinner hydrating while you finish assembling camp. Afterwards you sit down to enjoy a nice hot meal, take a moment to lean back and enjoy the stars before slinking off to bed. And you’re stoked to do it all over again.


MSR’s Reactor Stove really helps make these long days in the backcountry bearable. A three-minute boil time makes it the closest thing to having hot water on demand at camp. This really speeds up our mornings when we just need to make some coffee and hit the trail to catch the first glimpse of light. We also keep it handy on colder days for that midday pick-me-up. The 1.7L system works for 2-3 people.  We paired the 1.7L with the 2.5L system to fuel our team of six on the Sierra High Route.  Being able to quickly get meals prepped and ready took stress off our group and put everyone at ease at the end of 16-hour days.  Nothing gets the job done faster.


The Reactor is great when you want to keep it simple.  There are times you want to enjoy a gourmet meal in the backcountry and then there are times you prefer to take in the beauty of your surroundings.  That’s when you bring the Reactor.  The right tool for the right occasion.  But it has been hard to leave it behind. When we’re actually cooking in the backcountry, we still bring it as our hot water machine.  It’s easy to fire it up to get drinks going in the morning. And if people want a second round of coffee while waiting for breakfast it’s no problem to add a little more water and start it up again.

Happy Trails – The Hages

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