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!
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