I rarely use this one, because I usually prefer to bring snacks that I can eat instantly as they are, instead of having to cook and clean stuff afterwards. Anyway, I’m happy to have this tiny stove from the swiss army, and when I stay somewhere outdoors overnight, I have it with me - just because it’s so small and doesn’t take away space in the backpack.
The M71 Notkocher (emergency stove) is an extremely simple piece of gear. It’s basically a little can with fuel paste inside. You just open it, light it (it even comes with a book of matches stuck to the can), then put the frame on top to get going. The frame is made from very thin aluminium or sheet metal (I think) and kinda shaky, so you wouldn’t put a heavy pot with tons of food on top. If you need to, you can of course build your own pot-holding construction or just put the stove between two rocks or whatever. When you’re done, just put the lid on top to choke the fire. This means you can reuse it and don’t have to use up all of the fuel at once, like with ESBIT chunks.
I read somewhere that the fuel paste of the M71 is enough for eight hours of cooking, but I can’t quite believe that. Then again, I never managed to empty one. If you’re an avid outdoor chef and manage to burn all of the fuel inside, you can refill it with some third party product. I personally just throw it away though, and get a new one, as they’re so cheap - from about 5 EUR down to about 1.50 EUR a piece, if you buy them in bulk.
I clearly recommend the M71 stove for short trips with some “emergency” cooking. For a full-fledged camping trip over several days you probably want a more sturdy camping gas stove though.Check M71 Stove prices on Amazon. Look for cheap M71 Stove on eBay.