MSR XGK EX Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove – Must-Have


Photo credit: Jason Schwartz/Rocky Mountain Bushcraft ©2012/2022 All rights reserved.

Long popular for high altitude backpacking, climbing stove, MSR’s XGK EX Universal Stove Also great as a prep kit or cold weather bushcraft stove.

Being able to run on almost any liquid fuel, including diesel, unleaded gas, white gas (Coleman fuel), jet fuel, kerosene and aviation fuel, the XGK is extremely flexible and economical to start. The high heat required to quickly melt snow for drinking water in subzero high altitude environments is also very efficient at boiling large amounts of water for cooking in less extreme environments. This is an important feature when camping or relying on ramen for the majority of your food preparation!

using XGK to boil ramen In my basecamp:

The XGK’s ability to use a variety of fuels will be a great asset in the event of a disaster. Literally any vehicle, mower, tractor, train, or aircraft could be stolen as a fuel source to power his XGK in an emergency.

This same fuel flexibility also makes it ideal for backpacking trips to third world countries where diesel and unleaded petrol are common, but high quality white petrol is hard to find.

amazing efficiency

Another distinguishing feature of XGK is its efficiency. If you must camp to survive in times of economic hardship or SHTF, the XGK is far more efficient and cheaper than stoves that use pressurized propane/butane or alcohol. For just 0.43 cents of diesel fuel, he was able to boil a large pot of water three times a day for two weeks straight. What about efficiency?

Full! Fuel your XGK by filling MSR bottles with cheap unleaded gas.

The first word that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘diesel’ is ‘dirty! The flame is “dirty” only during priming and shutdown operations. The pot is not above the burner during these operations, so there is no impact.

Diesel fuel that burns hot, clean, and efficient in the XGK EX stove:

Proven: #1 choice for expeditions around the world.

Multi fuel: Reliably burns more liquid fuel than any other stove.

Reliable: Easy on-site maintenance. Shaker Jet™ cleans fuel jets with a simple shake.

compact: A flexible fuel line allows the stove to fit in a 1.5 liter MSR pot.

super fast: Boils 1 liter of water in just 2.8 minutes (using kerosene).

Super stable: Retractable legs and pot supports provide a secure platform.

Contents: Fuel pump, windshield, heat reflector, accessory kit, manual, stuff sack. (Fuel bottle not included.)

Minimum weight- 13.2 ounces / 374 grams

Packing weight- 1 lb 1.2 oz / 489 g

You can use these fuels − White gas, unleaded gas, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, jet fuel

Burn time per 600ml/20oz (white gas) of fuel 109 minutes

600ml / 20 oz per burn time (kerosene). of fuel 98 minutes

600ml / 20 oz per burn time (diesel). of fuel 170 minutes

Boiling time (white gas), from 1 liter 3.5 minutes

Boiling time (kerosene), 1 liter ~ 2.8 minutes

Boiling time (diesel), 1 liter- 4.5 minutes

country of origin- Made in Seattle, USA
Street Price – $189.95


The XGK EX comes with a carrying bag, owner’s manual, fuel pump, aluminum windscreen and ground protectors, and a basic maintenance kit.

Since my testing began many years ago, The XGK EX is backpacking travel and my old extended base camp Boiling large amounts of snow for drinking water, boiling pasta and ramen noodles, and heating water for washing dishes. During the course of this testing, the XGK EX proved very reliable using different types of fuel. The only problem I had was when I rushed through the priming sequence once and got the jet dirty. It worked.

Bear, please be careful. XGK “747” is ready for takeoff.

one time XGK EX is warmed up and running. It’s louder than other backpacking stoves and sounds like a miniature 747 jet preparing to take off. This effect is especially noticeable if you are using kerosene. Kerosene and jet fuel are fairly similar, so XGK burns noticeably hotter and louder. Between the roar and the “jet engine” smell, when this thing hits full throttle, the entire airport tarmac is truly an experience!

The good thing about this jet-type noise is that it seems to keep bears away when you’re cooking. maybe.

I was scared thinking this stove would blow my eardrums, so it’s actually not that bad. On a dark moonless night at base camp, I heard bears roaming the area and it actually became a bit of a companion when I needed to boil some water for my tea. never came close. Once you get used to it, it becomes almost unnoticeable.


Yes, just one. The XGK EX cannot be adjusted to low heat. It’s an all or nothing question when it comes to this stove. But that’s why it’s so reliable. Minimal broken parts.

I compensated for this by using an empty (steel) can of Bruce’s Yams and Great Value Roast Beef from Walmart and cutting open the ends (roast beef has a pull tab on one side so you only need to cut open the bottom).

The can sits perfectly flat in the inner ring of the XGK’s pot support leg. They raise the pot high enough over the flame for slow cooking and simmering. Canned roast beef is slightly lower, and canned yam is higher, so it can be cooked in a variety of ways and with different heat levels.

A Leatherman or Victorinox can opener works well for this task, but be careful not to cut your hands. Wear leather gloves.


Whether you’re preparing for natural disasters, traveling the world to developing countries, or just need a flexible, reliable, and inexpensive backpacking stove, the XGK is an excellent choice. Plus, MSR still makes this amazing stove right here in the USA.

5 out of 5 stars (highly recommended)

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