A:Indeed, things have changed since you and I were in college. That whole Internet thing, for instance. Think that will last?
Anyway, sounds like a great trip. Id absolutely recommend a canister stove. Butane/propane canisters are available just about world-wide, particularly in a place with a lot of backpacking such as New Zealand. So there wont be any issue there. Plus a canister stove should be easier to get through airport checking; sometimes white gas stoves get flagged. Even at that, check with your airline first to make sure there will not be a problem. Ive heard stories from travelers who have had their clean stoves confiscated.
Vargos Jet-ti ($65; vargooutdoors.com) would be an excellent choice to take. Its a fairly new, super-light (2.7 oz.) stove that uses a butane/propane canister with a Lindal valve. Its easy to use and puts out plenty of heat. And its stove supports are sturdier than most other canister-top screw-in stoves. MSRs SuperFly stove ($60; msrgear.com) and Snow Peaks Giga Power ($50 with piezo lighter; snowpeak.com) are comparable in use and performance. They are very slightly heavier, though an ounce will hardly make much difference.
Tell your son to send us some photos!
The 2008 Winter Outside Buyers Guide is now online. From snow sports to trail-running to camping, get reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves.