Selection: I was after a stove for a 6 day backpacking trip to Scotland taking in a number of munros with a possibility of camping quite high. The weather can be quite rough, even in May, so I decided to take a liquid fuel stove that would be reliable in cold and wet weather, and fast when I needed it to be, the Fire Maple F5 is our lightest liquid fuel stove by quite a distance, furthermore it will fit neatly into an MSR Quick Solo Pot making a neat package.
Performance: I purchased some White Gas (Coleman fuel in fact) as this is the cleanest form of liquid fuel for camp stoves. I filled the 330ml fuel bottle to the fill line and took some extra fuel in another container. Operation of the stove is simple, pump about 20 times, turn the knob until some fuel leaks into the pre-heat pan then turn it off, light the pre-heat fuel. Just as this is about to burn away turn the stove back on and the fuel vaporises and roars into life.
Its fast and powerful, even though I generally have a varied diet on my trips the cooking I do still comes down to boiling water and for this the F5 is as good as anything and better than most. You can turn the heat down quite low but this still may be too hot to simmer with - although its fine for cooking pasta or boiling other stuff.
As the flame is so hot and the heat is focused on a small area I find a wide bottomed aluminium pan is better than titanium for use with a liquid fuel stove as the heat is carried away from the source much more efficiently.
I was amazed at the low fuel consumption, I used it morning and evening for boiling a litre and 0.7 litres respectively and the 330ml bottle lasted all week - 6 days and there was still fuel left at the end. Weight at the start was 203g of fuel and 112g bottle, at the end of the 6 days I had 34grams of fuel left. So, for a weeks backpacking fuel and stove weigh 555grams - compare this with a lightweight gas setup (gas cartridge weighs 386g) plus remote stove around 150grams, and you have a very similar weight profile.
A recommended fuel by Fire Maple is unleaded petrol, if you intend to burn this then always choose the highest quality unleaded available (#97 in the UK). The stove is supplied with spare jet nozzles but these are the same size, which suggests that the stove may not perform well if used with Kerosene or other fuels that are not on the recommended list.
In common with all liquid fuel stoves the preheat tube will get sooty and you need to be careful when disconnecting the fuel pump from the fuel bottle as residual pressure means you get a spray of fuel over your hand. Working with these problems is not an issue and typical fare for this type of stove.
Other Comments: The F5 is extremely lightweight and although its not a universal 'burn anything' liquid fuel stove it does an excellent job when treated to quality fuel such as unleaded petrol and white gas.