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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Coleman Xtreme Stove and Maintenance Kit > Leesa Joiner > Initial Report

Initial Report
Coleman Exponent
Xtreme Stove

October 12, 2005

Personal Information:
Leesa Joiner
Southwestern Maine
44 years old
5'7" (1.7 m)
160 lb (73 kg)


    My camping, hiking and backpacking experience has included trips varying in length from one day hikes to two-week trips. My experience hiking began with my father when I was about six years old. We hiked along the river pathways  in northeastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. While enjoying the outdoors with my Girl Scout troop, friends and family, I spend time hiking, geocaching, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. Although I am not a lightweight backpacker, I am trying to 'lighten up' and primarily use a hammock for sleeping.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: The Coleman Company Inc.
Product: Xtreme Stove and Maintenance Kit
MSRP: $59.99

Advertised weight: 11 oz (312 g) (Stove and Maintenance Kit)
Weight as delivered: 11. 7 oz (332 g) (Stove and Maintenance Kit)

Product Description:
    The Coleman Xtreme is a three legged canister design stove.  The footprint has about a 7 in (18 cm) diameter.  The pot stand itself features curved supports, that are designed to provide more stability on unlevel ground.  The fuel canisters attach by screwing on to the stove valve assembly.

First Impressions:
    The stove lit on the first attempt.  The flame adjusts from a full flame to a low flame.  It was able to maintain a slow simmer, without the flame flickering.  I found that the stove held pans steady, and allowed for quick heating of water.   I am looking forward to doing some real cooking on the stove over the next few months.  

Test Locations, Conditions and Time Frame:

    During the fall I will be hiking in western Maine and central New Hampshire, with my children, scouts and with a group of friends. We typically either set up camp and hike out from the base camp, or we backpack in to a camping area. We are fortunate to live in an area where we can drive just a short distance and take advantage of some great hiking and camping. Most of my hiking is done below 3000 ft (914 m), but some spring climbs go over 4000 ft (1219 m). There is a wide range of types of terrain on these hikes - everything from well maintained trails to hiking through heavily wooded areas. Some trips involve backpacking into campsites and at other times I set up camp and hike out from there.

    My Girl Scout troop is made up of young girls who are just getting their first experience with being outdoors for extended periods. We do at least one full day hike a month, and an over night trip every other month. This allows me time to get out with my own children and a group of friends. We were planning on hiking Mt. Chocura in New Hampshire with my family and some friends over the long Columbus Day weekend. Unfortunately, we ended up getting heavy rain the whole weekend.

    Other backpacking trips will be of a more spontaneous nature - day hikes and geocaching, along with fishing in the Saco River. We fish frequently both locally in fresh water lakes, and in the Atlantic Ocean which is only about a 45 minute drive from our house. Later in the fall I will be camping with my sons' Boy Scout troop in western Maine for 4 nights (where I am the cooking merit badge counselor). My Girl Scout troop's Fall Camporee will be held in mid-November and will be for 3 nights.
    Weather conditions will be changing rapidly over the next four months, going from fall into winter before the test ends. In Maine, that means going from current day temperatures of 65 F (16 C), to temperatures well below freezing and most likely into the teens. Fall is usually rainy, and blustery. By late November/early December we can usually count on having a measurable snow cover. These varied weather conditions would give me the opportunity to compare the stove's functioning in different conditions.

Cooking Experience and Style:

    I love cooking - inside or outside! I experiment a lot, using food I dehydrate myself, spices and unusual combinations of ingredients. I want the food I prepare to taste good and be nourishing, especially when we are outdoors. There is nothing more rejuvenating than a great meal after a long day outdoors. I use a Brasslite D stove, an old Coleman camp stove, a homemade Pepsi can stove and believe it or not, I do cook over a fire also. Although I sometimes use dehydrated foods that only require boiling water to reconstitute, I also cook 'real' foods while camping or ice fishing. Cooking while outdoors has taken some experimenting, but I've made many meals - from Venison with Garlic and Onions, to Chocolate Lava cake while camping. Having the right equipment is one of the most important parts of being able to cook well. A quick lighting, well made stove is the place to start.

    Nothing will ruin a meal (and a good time outdoors) quicker than not having a working heat source.  While ice fishing I have cooked fresh caught fish using my Brasslite stove (I know, that's way beyond what it was designed for, but it was great!) During a recent power outage, I was able to make scrambled eggs for 12 people using my Xtreme stove and a small pan, because it heated quickly and I could use all of the pans surfaces to cook the eggs. It also helped that I have my own egg production company (chickens). I am not a gourmet cook, my meals are usually fairly simple and hardy, with ingredients that are as fresh as possible. I am always trying new recipes and ways of cooking - this stove would be used in many different ways - with different types of foods, and under many different weather conditions.

Test Plan:

Some of the things I would be looking at while testing the stove:

How easily will it light? Again, what effect does wind, dampness or extremely cold temperatures have on its ability to light?

Does the stove connect to the fuel source easily, with a complete seal?

How easy and accurate is the heat control?

How efficiently does it burn fuel?

How accurate are the company's claims?

What is the actual burn time under ideal conditions?
Less then ideal? Really bad conditions?

How quickly does it heat water? Soup? Other foods?

How easy is it to regulate the flame and keep a steady temperature?

How easy is it to use the maintenance kit? Does it have an obvious effect on the stoves function?
Is the stove steady? Can an appropriately sized pot be set on the stove with confidence that the stove won't tip, and that the pot won't slide off?

How difficult is it to stir something in the pot, while it is on the stove?

How hot does the stove get? How quickly will it cool off, and be ready to go back in my pack?

Besides the above test questions, I try cooking different types of food, under different weather conditions. I am curious as to how quickly I could not only boil water, but also make some more complicated meals. I would try to make fry bread, which takes a medium heat, that is evenly distributed. I would also make some fried foods, such as eggs and potatoes. For a slower cooking meal, I would make a meat dish, since meat of any thickness would need to cook thoroughly.

During the Field Test stage, I will have the opportunity to use the stove on at least 3 overnight trips, and more than 6 day hikes.

During the Long Term Test stage, I will have 3 overnight trips where the stove could be put to use, and at least 6-8 day hikes or ice fishing trips. While testing the stove, I will record the amount of time, type of cooking and the weather conditions, in order to give the reader of the reports an idea of how efficient the fuel consumption is.

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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Coleman Xtreme Stove and Maintenance Kit > Leesa Joiner > Initial Report

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