MSR Whisperlite international


How I lost my Whisperlite internationl

I lost my Whisperlite international… it happened on a flight from JFK to Seattle back in 2005. Some over-enthusiastic-security-officer didn’t allow me to get it on the flight. Not in my hand carry and not in my suitcase. We had a really long debate. I couldn’t convince him. The thing is, that the guy didn’t know what an MSR is from the first place. In fact, he didn't know what is a multi fuel stove…

Eventually, I left it on the check-in counter. I urged the woman who worked there to take it… it's still worth around 80$ and it was in a perfect condition.

But let's get to business:

MSR is a well known backpack gear manufacturer. Whisperlite international is the enhanced version of the old and well proven MSR Whisperlite. It supports white gas, unleaded fuel and kerosene. It's considered to be a very reliable stove. Just keep in mind that it's a multi fuel stove after all. It does take maintenance now and then.

Whenever you want to use it, it requires some assembly. You need to lock the pot holders in place (there are three of them). Then you need to connect the fuel line to the bottle. It got a patent that locks it into place. Note that the bottle is in the right direction and not up side down. It's important since the fuel pump in the bottle is designed to reach the bottom of the bottle when it lies.

Lighting the stove

Lighting the Whisperlite international is really not a big issue. it worked like most multi fuel stoves.

1) Use the pump to build some pressure in the bottle. This pushes the fuel through the fuel line.

2) Open the fuel valve and let some fuel out in order to wet the preheat cup. You will hear the sound of the fuel as it starts flowing. Close the valve right away. This amount of fuel should be just enough to later heat up the fuel tube that runs through the flames.

3) Ignite the fuel. The flame will heat up the fuel tube that runs through the flames. This should take something like 30 seconds. You might get pretty impressive flames, watch out!

4) Just before the flames die, open the fuel valve again, this will allow the fuel to run through the flames, to vaporize, and to catch fire once it's out of the jet.

5) It might take a few more seconds to get a stable flame.

The heat from this stove is very high. It's very difficult to control the flames. It might require additional pumps from time to time if you use it more than few minutes.

light-bulbSimmer with Whisperlite international

Whisperlite is not the best in class when it comes to controlling the flames...
A tip that can help - it takes a few seconds from the time you close or open the valve till you actually see the reaction on the flame. It requires patient and a bit of practice to get it right.

Here is what I like and dislike about Whisperlite international:


  • Like other multi fuel stoves, it can run on unleaded. Whenever I fuel my car, I get fuel for the stove. I find most convenient.
  • It's reliable.


  • It takes a minute to get it started. You have to assemble it and then preheat before you can really start using it.
  • The fuel line is pretty stiff. You have to place a pot on the burner to hold it in place.
  • It takes long seconds from adjusting the fuel valve till you see the reaction.
  • Very difficult to get it simmer.

Some technical details:

  • Weight: 11.5 oz / 330 g
  • Boil time of 1 liter (white gas): 3.5 minutes
  • Water boiled (white gas) per 100 ml of fuel: 4.4 liters

For more numbers, refer to  Whisperlite international on MSR website...