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Suzzz
10-24-2016, 10:43
After years of running an MSR Simmerlite, I decided to buy an Esbit stove. Not only is it ultra light but the fuel tablets are only 0.5 ounces. You can bring a lot of tablets before you start feeling their weight! Plus they won't spill in your pack like liquid fuel can.

I admit I was a little sceptical at first but since the stove and tablets are realtively cheap, I figured I could always buy it and toss it if I didn't like it. I cooked a meal for my family with it and I was pleasantly surprised at the results. The only drawback I can see at this point is that once you've gotten your water to boil, the flame is too hot to cook your food without burning it so I had to hold the pot higher until the meal was ready. I guess that means I'll need to figure out a better way of rising the pot off the flame. I also noticed a smell coming from the tablet as it was burning but that didn't bother me.

What are your experiences with the Esbit stove? Any other drawbacks I'm not seeing yet?

nsherry61
10-24-2016, 11:14
Esbit thoughts:
Pros: As you say, super light (able to be the lightest system anywhere that I am aware of), super simple (can use rocks as your pot stand, so only have to carry fuel and pot, no moving parts to break or jets to clog), super packable, shipable, quiet, great as fire starter, super cheap to start using even if slightly more expensive to use in the long run.
Cons: Slightly more expensive than other fuels, smellier (stinkier) than most other fuels, slightly dirtier than most other fuels, slow to heat (i.e. not a super hot flame, similar to alcohol), fixed fuel volume, can't just turn off or down, open-uncontrolled flame makes it unusable during certain fire bans, doesn't have that super manly torch sound or appearance when cooking.

Some other thoughts:
Can probably get esbit to simmer by placing a bit of heavy foil over the fuel lump to reduce oxygen availability rate. Maybe a bit of foil shaped like a table with legs dropped over the cube

I love Esbit some times, especially solo and summer. I wouldn't want to use it as my primary winter fuel source when I have snow to melt to make water.
Even if you can figure out how to simmer with it, it isn't as nice for cooking as my jetboil mini-mo stove (especially for more than one person) that can be super hot and fast, and still can simmer really nicely.

I almost always carry an esbit tablet or two in my emergency kit for multiple reasons.
1) great fire starter!
2) I can run tighter on the amount of my primary stove fuel that I carry because, I know I have an easy backup if needed.
3) If I am going primarily stoveless, I can still have a hot meal (or drink) now and then, if I want, at a very low weight cost.

Mouser999
10-24-2016, 11:31
You can buy esbit (off brand) in bulk from Sportsman's Guide ( no connection to firm).

10-K
10-24-2016, 11:40
I use esbit exclusively on long hikes. I'm currently using a Caldera Cone setup by Trail Designs and really like it.

Esbit doesn't spill, doesn't need a special container, I always know how much I have left, and when it's gone - it's gone. It's also useful for other things - like starting a fire.

On shorter hikes (4 days or less) I carry a canister stove because it's just easier and quicker.

Edited to add: Unless I'm stoveless. What I'm trying to say is that my cooking method is like everything else - I tailor my gear to the hike.

Suzzz
10-24-2016, 11:55
Nice to know Mouser999. Thanks for the tip.

Miner
10-24-2016, 12:57
As I freezer bag cook, all I use my stove for is boiling water.

Esbit can be blown out if you don't want to burn the entire thing, so does that count as an off valve during for restrictions? Doing so is like blowing out one of those trick candles so you have to put a lot of force into it. But conversely, esbit doesn't work well in windy conditions. To cook efficiently with it, you really need a good wind screen setup.

I find that they light easier with a drop of alcohol hand sanitizer on top.

My only complaint is the residue left on the pot. You have to rub off the loose stuff on sand or vegetation or it gets all over your storage sack. The remainder is a pain to scrub off at home, so my pot usually is blackened on the bottom.

nuknees
10-24-2016, 13:12
My only complaint is the residue left on the pot. You have to rub off the loose stuff on sand or vegetation or it gets all over your storage sack. The remainder is a pain to scrub off at home, so my pot usually is blackened on the bottom.

My only pet peeve also! That 'goo' is a real PITA!!!

Mouser999
10-24-2016, 13:34
44.99 for 100 right now on their site

Suzzz
10-24-2016, 15:13
44.99 for 100 right now on their site

Yes I saw that. $89.99 for 200. In both cases that comes to 45 cents per tablet. Here in town they sell them in packages of 12 at $12.99. Ordering online is a no brainer.

zelph
10-24-2016, 17:43
You can buy esbit (off brand) in bulk from Sportsman's Guide ( no connection to firm).

How does it compare with the original esbit?

Mouser999
10-25-2016, 09:44
I've used them and except for the packaging no difference to me.

Another Kevin
10-25-2016, 11:07
I'm sensitive to Esbit. Can't abide the fumes.

Venchka
10-25-2016, 11:52
Poor heat output.
No flame control.
Funky stink and residue.
Obscenely expensive.
White gas and isoButane are a no brainer. Have been since forever.
Wayne


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Secondmouse
10-25-2016, 12:27
I use Esbit as a backup with my Vargo Titanium wood stove. it's cool to be able to cook with just a handful of twigs or the Esbit when it's wet.

in this context the black residue on the pot is not an issue. and for those who don't like the smell, I understand it is a distinct chemical smell that can disrupt the ambiance or your nature hike but I just stay upwind as much as it is possible...

Deacon
10-25-2016, 14:14
I use Esbit as a backup with my Vargo Titanium wood stove. it's cool to be able to cook with just a handful of twigs or the Esbit when it's wet.

in this context the black residue on the pot is not an issue. and for those who don't like the smell, I understand it is a distinct chemical smell that can disrupt the ambiance or your nature hike but I just stay upwind as much as it is possible...

As far as the smell, I really think this is overstated somewhat. Yes if you put the cube right up to your nose you'd be able to smell it. I used Esbit on my entire AT hike and never really noticed any odor.

As far as the residue goes, I have a dedicated bag to carry my Fosters pot in which I allow to get dirty.

zelph
10-25-2016, 18:22
I'm sensitive to Esbit. Can't abide the fumes.

Same here, fumes are nauseous.

saltysack
10-26-2016, 06:24
I've been thinking about trying it on my next 3-4 day section this winter....I'm tired of partially used fuel cans in my closet. I'll never take a partially used canister on a trip again! Last time I took a half full canister the cold temps kept it from burning...yea in the teens during February it stunk not having warm food or coffee. All I do is boil 2 cups once or twice daily. Tried alchy..not a fan. Does low temperature effect ezbit?


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10-K
10-26-2016, 08:15
I've been thinking about trying it on my next 3-4 day section this winter....I'm tired of partially used fuel cans in my closet. I'll never take a partially used canister on a trip again! Last time I took a half full canister the cold temps kept it from burning...yea in the teens during February it stunk not having warm food or coffee. All I do is boil 2 cups once or twice daily. Tried alchy..not a fan. Does low temperature effect ezbit?


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Take those partially filled cans on your short hikes and use 'em up. Save the esbit for longer hikes. :)

Secondmouse
10-26-2016, 12:03
As far as the smell, I really think this is overstated somewhat. Yes if you put the cube right up to your nose you'd be able to smell it. I used Esbit on my entire AT hike and never really noticed any odor.

As far as the residue goes, I have a dedicated bag to carry my Fosters pot in which I allow to get dirty.

I agree but some people are sensitive. however, since the tablets are sealed in airtight packaging, the smell is only an issue when burning. I don't have a problem staying upwind of this but if I somehow do get a whiff of the odor, it's not so oppressive I can't live with it. the benes outweigh the bads for me.

residue? it's no worse than cooking over wood. different maybe, but easily dealt with in the same manner as you suggest. much ado about nothing, IMO...

Secondmouse
10-26-2016, 12:05
Same here, fumes are nauseous.

says the the maker of one of the premier alcohol stove lines in the business...

:D

Kaptainkriz
10-26-2016, 18:49
I use a copper strip and silicone band to enable small canister use well below freezing:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/115424-How-low-will-a-cannister-go!?p=2041964&viewfull=1#post2041964

I also use this device to consolidate canisters:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U2EE6M2/


I've been thinking about trying it on my next 3-4 day section this winter....I'm tired of partially used fuel cans in my closet. I'll never take a partially used canister on a trip again! Last time I took a half full canister the cold temps kept it from burning...yea in the teens during February it stunk not having warm food or coffee. All I do is boil 2 cups once or twice daily. Tried alchy..not a fan. Does low temperature effect ezbit?


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cmoulder
10-26-2016, 20:19
Another handy adapter is this one (https://www.amazon.com/Refill-Adapter-Tsumekaekun-T-type-Cartridge/dp/B015E2L84K?SubscriptionId=AKIAJO7E5OLQ67NVPFZA&ascsubtag=618165359-16-943631422.1477167842&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B015E2L84K&linkCode=xm2&tag=d_2b_a_p-20) which permits the transfer of N-butane to standard canisters such as MSR, Primus, Jetboil, etc (which are all made by the same Korean company, Tae-yang).

The N-butane 'donor' canisters are those used in the little tabletop grills. They are commonly available at Korean grocery markets.

Combined with the copper strip referenced above by Kaptainkriz, straight N-butane can be used well below 0F.

Kaptainkriz
10-26-2016, 20:39
Not to derail the thread any further and back to esbit, I prefer the 4g tablets as they smell much less and leave much less residue. Under a caldera cone with a small Ti pot, they do very well.

saltysack
10-26-2016, 21:13
I use a copper strip and silicone band to enable small canister use well below freezing:
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/115424-How-low-will-a-cannister-go!?p=2041964&viewfull=1#post2041964

I also use this device to consolidate canisters:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U2EE6M2/

Perfect....where you find the Cooper?


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Kaptainkriz
10-26-2016, 21:18
Many hardware store/roofing/lumber centers have it in stock as roof flashing. I got mine at a local home builder supply center.

Perfect....where you find the Cooper?


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MuddyWaters
10-27-2016, 06:40
What are your experiences with the Esbit stove? Any other drawbacks I'm not seeing yet?


Cant tailor amount used
Hard to light
Messy to try to save unused
Horribly messy residue on pot bottom....deal breaker for most. Any perceved wt savings offset by a special bag to put pot in to keep black goop off your other gear.
Not widely available on trail
Then the chemical smell..

The only advantage, is it cant spill or leak. Thats it.

Oslohiker
10-27-2016, 09:15
Cant tailor amount used
Hard to light
Messy to try to save unused
Horribly messy residue on pot bottom....deal breaker for most. Any perceved wt savings offset by a special bag to put pot in to keep black goop off your other gear.
Not widely available on trail
Then the chemical smell..

The only advantage, is it cant spill or leak. Thats it.

One drop of dish washer soap and a small piece of scrub pad fix the residue easily.
It is not hard to light. Take your tip of the knife and turn it around a few times, and it will light easily. Personally I use candle lighter.
I have a small loksak bag to store used and new esbits in.

It's light and small. It's the best.

scrabbler
10-27-2016, 13:38
I carry my cookpot in disposable grocery bag, or recycled priority mail bag. Throw out at end of trip. Couple grams weight at most for the bag. No worries.

cmoulder
10-27-2016, 14:21
If there is gooey residue from Esbit it usually means the cube is burning too close to the bottom of the pot. Should be about 1.25", which will of course increase a bit as the cube burns. I find the bottom easy to clean simply by wiping the bottom on some sand, grass or moss.

Another solution for difficult lighting situations is to use a tiny piece of PJCB — Petroleum Jelly Cotton Ball — and stick it right to the top of the Esbit cube, after which it can be lit very easily with a Bic, match or firesteel.
3672436725

bessiebreeze
10-27-2016, 16:04
I love my Esbit. It is the lightest weight stove, and very easy to work with. The residue on the pots can easily be removed with a few damp leaves or grass. It is probably not too good for serious cooking, but works great for heating water for instant meals. I have given away all my other backpacking stoves.

zelph
10-27-2016, 19:21
Brian Green came up with an easy DIY esbit stove:

http://briangreen.net/2015/05/bget-stove-in-production.html

MuddyWaters
10-27-2016, 20:23
One drop of dish washer soap and a small piece of scrub pad fix the residue easily.

More like tar than something that can be easily scrubbed off IME.
Depends on how tight airscreen, richer the flame the worse it is.

zelph
10-28-2016, 09:23
Wood is my goto fuel. Read how I clean my pot once a year:

http://bplite.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=4913&sid=bde146b1b8eae65cb105b0937c72daa8

George
10-29-2016, 14:40
I have been years with almost exclusively fuel tablets

a simple google search will find a wide variety of prices

$1.97 for 24 at this time:

http://adrenalineworld.com/coghlans-fuel-tablets-9565/?gclid=CJCy_L_OgNACFQqSaQodNXQFZw

2 coglans tabs are about the same as 1 esbit, so with shipping say .18 to heat water for a freeze dry meal or .09 for a cup of tea - so if you can buy them right the cost is negligible - what I have found when going stove less ( in my limited trials ) is the food is more expensive and heavier - the main advantage of going stove less IMO is time, but cooking to me is a good time killer when not moving

coglan tabs stink much less than esbit - and slightly less clean up

my normal clean up (about once a week) is wet the bottom of the titanium cup I use and grind it on a wet rock for half a minute

I keep the cup in a worn out ziplock so the black does not smear in the pack

pcasebere
11-05-2016, 08:02
I rather enjoy my knock-off esbit stove quite alot. I've made "walls" so that I can use it as a wood burning stove as well: 36844

zelph
11-05-2016, 21:56
says the the maker of one of the premier alcohol stove lines in the business...

:D

Thankee :D

HelloNeiman!
11-05-2016, 22:03
Con - it smells awful


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jjozgrunt
11-06-2016, 02:20
Esbit or hexamine is what I used for near 20 years in the army and still use now. Built a Ti windscreen/cone to fit my pot and I get water boiled a lot quicker than some of the suggested times. One trick is the break up the tablet, I usually break it in 4. It lights easier, burns quicker and heats quicker. I don't notice the smell or have a problem with cleaning.

earlyriser26
11-06-2016, 10:39
I use a MSR Pocket Rocket. A few years ago I tried both alcohol and esbit stoves. Neither put out the heat that a canister stove does. The esbit stove took forever to boil water and ate the fuel at an alarming rate.

Suzzz
11-06-2016, 21:20
Esbit or hexamine is what I used for near 20 years in the army and still use now. Built a Ti windscreen/cone to fit my pot and I get water boiled a lot quicker than some of the suggested times. One trick is the break up the tablet, I usually break it in 4. It lights easier, burns quicker and heats quicker. I don't notice the smell or have a problem with cleaning.

Can you get water to boil with only 1/4 of an Esbit tablet? (Under normal circumstances)

Oslohiker
11-06-2016, 21:45
Can you get water to boil with only 1/4 of an Esbit tablet? (Under normal circumstances)

No (he just said that you broke that one up). Two cups takes about 1/2 of an Esbit.

That it takes "forever" to boil up water with Esbit is not true. Two cups takes about six minutes. Do you want more speed, set fire to two or more (and blow them out when the water boils). (who needs boiling water anyway. Most of the times you only need warm water).

Suzzz
11-06-2016, 22:43
No (he just said that you broke that one up). Two cups takes about 1/2 of an Esbit.

That it takes "forever" to boil up water with Esbit is not true. Two cups takes about six minutes. Do you want more speed, set fire to two or more (and blow them out when the water boils). (who needs boiling water anyway. Most of the times you only need warm water).

Cool, that's what I thought. Depending on wind and temperature, about 1/2 of a tablet seems to be enough to get water to boil in a few minutes. I was just curious to see if he had figured out a way to do it with only 1/4 of a tablet. And you're absolutely right... in most situations getting water to a boil is more than what is actually needed.

scrabbler
11-06-2016, 22:56
I'll use a full Esbit tablet for a dinner, but I'll use the cheaper (per gram), half the size Stansport round tablet for a heating up a breakfast coffee that isnt requiring a full boil. And just for those who havent tried it, it's much easier to split an Esbit in two, than to re-light a half burned Esbit. They are harder to re-light in my experience.

jjozgrunt
11-06-2016, 23:13
Can you get water to boil with only 1/4 of an Esbit tablet? (Under normal circumstances)
Sorry Suzzz
Because this is an American forum I have been trying to stop myself writing with an Aussie accent, but bugger me if sometimes I don't stuff it up.

No I was not suggesting using a 1/4 of a tablet. Someone on here could explain it more in technical terms, using btu's etc, but here's the plain version according to me. A flame can only burn the fuel exposed, so by breaking a tablet you are exposing more surfaces/fuel to the flame and therefore more fuel is burnt and heat produced. If your stove setup is right, stove, wind shield/cone, pot surface area and height above the flame etc., then your water should boil quicker.

All that being said who really boils their water, unless it's unfiltered. I don't see the sense in boiling up water for a brew and then have to sit there for 5 minutes waiting till it cools so I can wrap my laughing gear around the lip of the pot and drink it. And if someone can make their brew 3,4,10 minutes faster than me with a jetboil or any other system then that just means I will have to walk 3,4,10 minutes longer at the end of the day for having the stupidity to waste all that time with an inefficient system, while enjoying the view somewhere waiting for the billy to boil, sorry not quite boil!

Leo L.
11-07-2016, 06:41
...
Someone on here could explain it more in technical Terms...

I think you put it perfectly right, the additional exposed surface does the trick.

Esbit tablets and the older military (foldable steel sheetmetal) Esbit stove is all I've ever used for hiking, but then I don't do real cooking, just heating water.
Love the smell in some way meanwhile (it tells me "supper is ready soon, get ready you hungry wolf!"), cleaning the pot is easy in sandy environment (desert or beach), wet grass/leaves works as well.
Re-use of partially burned tablets is super easy: Just blow out the flame, let the stove cool down, and fold it closed. The remainder of the tablet will stick to the inside of the stove.
Re-lighting used tablets is easier than lighting new ones, up to my experience.

Suzzz
11-07-2016, 10:40
Thanks jjozgrunt!

Like Leo L. said, your explanation was perfect. And I almost didn't notice your Aussie accent! I'm quite happy with my purchase of the new Esbit stove. The only obvious downside I can think of right now is the inability to use it during a fire ban, in which situation I can plan for uncooked meals. So far, the smell of the Esbit doesn't bother me but I can see how it would be irritating to some people.

StillMoving
12-09-2016, 12:28
I started using Esbit in the late 70s and sure was glad when they started packaging them different. They used to throw them all in a box. They'd rub up against each other and crumble, and then if I used 2 or so from the box at least one would break into many pieces from being bounced around. Always had to put the box in a Ziploc or I'd have Esbit tab floating around inside my pack.

I think there are more efficient stoves for use when it's real cold. Not that it's terrible, but I eat a lot of Mtn House-type food and there have been times when I got real impatient (design flaw of mine).

zelph
12-10-2016, 12:12
Today the weather is nice enough to do some testing. I'll try to boil 4 cups of water with one regular size esbit. I'll use a kmart grease pot with a DIY windscreen/potsupport. 70 degree starting temp for the water and 70 degree air temps. Calm conditions.

Venchka
12-10-2016, 13:03
How well, if at all, does the Esbit system work at altitudes of 10,000' and up? For backpacking meals that require soaking times of 25 minutes and up?
Wayne


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ScareBear
12-10-2016, 17:17
How well, if at all, does the Esbit system work at altitudes of 10,000' and up? For backpacking meals that require soaking times of 25 minutes and up?
Wayne


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I am curious as to how well it works on dehy meals with pasta, rice or bean components that require long soaking times(13 minutes at 5,000 feet) and specify boiling water. Say 2.5 cups of boiling water. Will less than boiling water work? If so, how much longer?

I've never used an Esbit. Changed from old school liquid fuels pressurized stoves to gas cans years ago. I will admit that the wood burner stoves have always intrigued me, but not enough to buy one. I would consider buying an Esbit if it worked for my purposes, which is solely boiling water for commercial dehy meals and coffee/tea/cocoa.

zelph
12-10-2016, 18:04
The power of esbit.

3 tests at 72 degree start temp. 58 degree air temp. calm conditions, 4 cups of water 1 regular esbit cube. Kmart grease pot.

1st test + no boil, water got to 209.9 degrees

2nd test = no boil, water got to 198.9 degrees

3rd test = no boil, water got to 210.2 degrees

Not too shabby for 1 esbit.

I used a Brian Green Esbit tray with bread pan corners to burn the esbit in.

Here is what the set-up looks like:

37373

ScareBear
12-10-2016, 18:25
Did you record the times?

StillMoving
12-10-2016, 22:17
I am curious as to how well it works on dehy meals with pasta, rice or bean components that require long soaking times(13 minutes at 5,000 feet) and specify boiling water. Say 2.5 cups of boiling water. Will less than boiling water work? If so, how much longer?
Good questions I don't have answers to.

But...burn enough tabs and it'll boil.

I've only eaten Mtn House, and I routinely put in less water...it's just trial and error. But I always use boiling water.

I took aluminum duct that was about 4" diameter and made a wind screen of sorts. Drilled a few holes so the tab/fire could breath...had to experiment a bit. Similar to that thing zelph has.

IMO the Esbit and the original stove lose too much heat in the cold.

FTR it's been a long time since I used Esbit...but back in the day that's all I used.

George
12-10-2016, 23:42
for freeze dry with brand name esbit 2- 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil (otherwise the FD meal takes forever to rehydrate) leave it burn and the tablet is able to heat up 6 oz of water enough for tea

if you blow it out and relight it has no power left

zelph
12-11-2016, 00:31
Did you record the times?

No times were recorded. Only interested in heating ability of the one cube.

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 00:56
Nice testing rig! I am interested in how long from 72degrees to max temp and how long total tablet burn time was...not asking you to do any further testing, though!!! Thanks for what you did!

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 00:58
I'll pick up some Esbit and run some tests in a day or two. I am curious as to boiling a max of 24 ounces of water...will post any/all results.

Venchka
12-11-2016, 01:53
I am curious as to how well it works on dehy meals with pasta, rice or bean components that require long soaking times(13 minutes at 5,000 feet) and specify boiling water. Say 2.5 cups of boiling water. Will less than boiling water work? If so, how much longer?

I've never used an Esbit. Changed from old school liquid fuels pressurized stoves to gas cans years ago. I will admit that the wood burner stoves have always intrigued me, but not enough to buy one. I would consider buying an Esbit if it worked for my purposes, which is solely boiling water for commercial dehy meals and coffee/tea/cocoa.

My experience between 10,000' and 11,000', white gas stove and rolling boil, between 190-195 degrees as I recall.
Mountain House freeze dried per directions. No problems.
Good To-Go Penne Pasta in tomato sauce. Dehydrated. 20+ minutes. Pasta was a bit crunchy and the sauce a little runny.
I guess Esbit hasn't been used at altitude.
Wayne


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Leo L.
12-11-2016, 04:34
My desert hikes go up to 2.700m (8.800ft) and I never noticed any difference in heat capacity of the Esbit between low and high elevation.
By far the biggest difference makes the wind, or the protection against it, when it comes to boiling time.

Its common knowledge that the boiling point of water drops significantly with elevation. Maybe this drop in boiling point equalizes the drop in heat capacity of Esbit due to lack of Oxygen in higer elevation, so that at the end the time to boil water roughly stays the same?
True, the water boiling at lower temp in higher elevation will cause an increase of rehydration time. But that effect has nothing to do with the kind of fuel you're using. The best fuel in the world cannot heat up water above its boiling point.

When doing high mountains in winter including multiple nights out in a tent I doubt if I would take Esbit, but would prefer to either go stoveless or take a powerful white gas stove including lots of gas.

Cheyou
12-11-2016, 07:17
Nice testing rig! I am interested in how long from 72degrees to max temp and how long total tablet burn time was...not asking you to do any further testing, though!!! Thanks for what you did!


I don't understand the concern on time to boil. The concern for me is how efficient a stove is.

Thom

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 09:33
I don't understand the concern on time to boil. The concern for me is how efficient a stove is.

Thom

When we are talking about one tablet, time to boil is a direct measure of one form of efficiency. The tablet burns at a constant rate, therefore time to boil is a measurement of thermal efficiency(time to boil). One quart of water weighs 2.08 pounds. It takes one BTU to raise one pound of water one degree. It therefore would take a slight bit more than four BTU to raise one quart of water one degree. We know the water base temp was 72 degrees and the volume was one quart. Therefore, we know exactly HOW MANY BTU will be needed to boil that quart of water....212-72=140 degree temperature change required to boil point. 140 x 4=560BTU required to heat one quart of water to boiling point with a starting point of 72 degrees. If we take my gas can, weigh it, boil a quart of water and time it, weigh the can again, we can calculate weight of fuel/BTU and then use the time to calculate how many BTU/second your stove puts out. Then you can determine how "efficient" your stove is. There are two efficiency calculations. How efficient(timely) is your stove in boiling a litre of water and how efficient(expenditure of fuel by weight of fuel not volume of fuel) is your stove in the use of fuel to boil water. Both calculations are important...

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 09:36
My bad. My calculations are off. If a quart weighs two pounds it will only take 280BTU to bring it to boil from degrees...

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 09:37
from 72 degrees....my number lock was off....my bad yet again....where's the fooking coffee?

Cheyou
12-11-2016, 10:02
I like applied science better then theoretical . Works better for me. ;0)

thom

nsherry61
12-11-2016, 10:21
. . .The tablet burns at a constant rate, therefore time to boil is a measurement of thermal efficiency(time to boil). . . There are two efficiency calculations. How efficient(timely) is your stove in boiling a litre of water and how efficient(expenditure of fuel by weight of fuel not volume of fuel) is your stove in the use of fuel to boil water. Both calculations are important...

Not to be too much of a dick, but surely a little bit of one:

No, the tablet really doesn't burn at a constant rate and thermal efficiency is NOT time to boil. Thermal efficiency is the amount of work done relative to the heat input, in other words, how much the water heated up relative to the heat provided by the tablets . . . work, not power in this case. The concern about speed is a measure of power which just isn't particularly important to some people.

I bet I can come up with more than two forms of efficiency that matter to some of us. And, let's not get too cocky since some of us don't care to much about a couple extra minutes to boil if it saves weight and other's of us don't care to much about a couple extra grams if we can boil our water or melt our snow a couple minutes faster.

In all honesty, I hope that anyone interested in using Esbit is not especially concerned with the speed at which their system boils. If speed (power) is an issues, use gas!

Hmm, types of fuel "efficiency" (i.e. output of something we care about relative the input required):
1) Time consumption relative to increased water temperature
2) Weight of fuel relative to increased water temperature
3) Volume of fuel relative to increased water temperature
4) Cost of fuel relative to increased water temperature
5) Fiddle factor frustration relative to weight of stove system
6) Fiddle factor frustration relative to speed of increase in water temperature
7) Fiddle factor frustration relative to cost of stove system and fuel

Do I really need to go on pointing out that what we can define stove and/or fuel efficiency a zillion ways and each of us will place different priorities on each different version of efficiency?

ScareBear
12-11-2016, 11:34
Not to be too much of a dick, but surely a little bit of one:

No, the tablet really doesn't burn at a constant rate and thermal efficiency is NOT time to boil. Thermal efficiency is the amount of work done relative to the heat input, in other words, how much the water heated up relative to the heat provided by the tablets . . . work, not power in this case. The concern about speed is a measure of power which just isn't particularly important to some people.

I bet I can come up with more than two forms of efficiency that matter to some of us. And, let's not get too cocky since some of us don't care to much about a couple extra minutes to boil if it saves weight and other's of us don't care to much about a couple extra grams if we can boil our water or melt our snow a couple minutes faster.

In all honesty, I hope that anyone interested in using Esbit is not especially concerned with the speed at which their system boils. If speed (power) is an issues, use gas!

Hmm, types of fuel "efficiency" (i.e. output of something we care about relative the input required):
1) Time consumption relative to increased water temperature
2) Weight of fuel relative to increased water temperature
3) Volume of fuel relative to increased water temperature
4) Cost of fuel relative to increased water temperature
5) Fiddle factor frustration relative to weight of stove system
6) Fiddle factor frustration relative to speed of increase in water temperature
7) Fiddle factor frustration relative to cost of stove system and fuel

Do I really need to go on pointing out that what we can define stove and/or fuel efficiency a zillion ways and each of us will place different priorities on each different version of efficiency?
Ummm....Thanks for making my point? Which was....the two efficiency factors that matter most to me(and as you pointed out, many people) are speed and how much fuel/BTU.

Of course there will be a big difference between cg and an Esbit cube. I am interested in how big the difference is. I also plan on weighing the Esbit. You can then easily determine all other factors you mentioned(except for #1 and #2-both of those would be obvious from my results) by using individual fuel variables that matter such as volume and weight. Well, really weight is all that matters here...
I don't factor in "fiddle factor frustration" as a scientific variable because....well...YMMV...just sayin...

And, I will also try to calculate the total energy potential of the Esbit, in terms of BTU. Since we are talking about water, BTU is the best way to measure a backpacking stove...just sayin...

StillMoving
12-11-2016, 12:19
As far as efficiency goes I'd like to see how much weight in Esbit tabs vs. how much weight in other fuels does it take to boil 1 cup of water. I don't have a scale that allows those measurements.

To get a total weight, you could see how many cups of water a canister would boil (based on the weight figure from above), then use that to figure out how many Esbits it would take to boil that same 1 cup. Then weigh Estibt/stove/windscreen vs. canister/stove.

To me, that's technical enough.

Leo L.
12-11-2016, 12:45
The thermal efficiency (I hope this is the correct English expression) of a stove I guess would be measured by the factor of amount of energy put into the system within a given time to energy stored in the water at the end (elevated temperature). I would guess that this thermal efficiency is almost independent from the fuel, but mostly dependent from the whole setup. There is an influence from the efficiency towards the time it takes to boil a cup. Half efficiency doubles the time. Unusual long boiling time indicates poor efficiency.

Setups like the Jetboil seem to be perfected in this respect, many Esbit setups (including my old Military one) are poor in this respect, and so the thermal efficiency is poor (estimated, without measuring it).

Or to put it maybe better, on many Esbit setups it widely depends on the user how skillful he is dealing with the location and the windscreen (or another day he's tired and doesn't care at all), and this user-factor is a factor that can hardly be calculated or defined in any so delicate a test setup.

Venchka
12-11-2016, 13:30
Thanks for all of the nuts and bolts.
For me, Esbit is not an option. YMMV.
I doubt seriously that Backpacker's Pantry and Good To-Go meals are an option for me at altitude. I will ponder the resources necessary to simmer those meals to shorten the time to eat variable. That's probably going to involve washing a pot. No worries. That's how I started. A SIGG pot and a SVEA 123 stove. Both are in the garage ready to go.
Thanks! Merry Christmas!
Wayne


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Deacon
12-11-2016, 14:36
Not to be too much of a dick, but surely a little bit of one:

No, the tablet really doesn't burn at a constant rate and thermal efficiency is NOT time to boil. Thermal efficiency is the amount of work done relative to the heat input, in other words, how much the water heated up relative to the heat provided by the tablets . . . work, not power in this case. The concern about speed is a measure of power which just isn't particularly important to some people.

I bet I can come up with more than two forms of efficiency that matter to some of us. And, let's not get too cocky since some of us don't care to much about a couple extra minutes to boil if it saves weight and other's of us don't care to much about a couple extra grams if we can boil our water or melt our snow a couple minutes faster.

In all honesty, I hope that anyone interested in using Esbit is not especially concerned with the speed at which their system boils. If speed (power) is an issues, use gas!

Hmm, types of fuel "efficiency" (i.e. output of something we care about relative the input required):
1) Time consumption relative to increased water temperature
2) Weight of fuel relative to increased water temperature
3) Volume of fuel relative to increased water temperature
4) Cost of fuel relative to increased water temperature
5) Fiddle factor frustration relative to weight of stove system
6) Fiddle factor frustration relative to speed of increase in water temperature
7) Fiddle factor frustration relative to cost of stove system and fuel

Do I really need to go on pointing out that what we can define stove and/or fuel efficiency a zillion ways and each of us will place different priorities on each different version of efficiency?

Thank you for that analysis.

If I may add one more to your list:

8) noise produced by the stove/fuel relative to...just about all of the above.

If there's anything I hate, it's the roar of a canister stove while sitting at a picnic table, that drowns out the soothing music of the woods. That's why I love Esbit. It has almost a calming, relaxing nature about it.

nsherry61
12-11-2016, 16:21
In case it answers any further questions, or saves some people some time in testing, here is an older thread addressing some of these same issues (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/121609-Stove-Thoughts-amp-Comparisons?highlight=).

zelph
12-11-2016, 16:48
noise factor is interesting....Shug's take on that :-)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKAFAsPfC4s

Venchka
12-11-2016, 20:03
Thank you for that analysis.

If I may add one more to your list:

8) noise produced by the stove/fuel relative to...just about all of the above.

If there's anything I hate, it's the roar of a canister stove while sitting at a picnic table, that drowns out the soothing music of the woods. That's why I love Esbit. It has almost a calming, relaxing nature about it.
On the subject of stove sound -
If I can hear my stoves I know that they have fuel, are working and I didn't forget to turn them off.
YMMV
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

zelph
12-11-2016, 22:51
At age 70 we need al the help we can get :-) I have an implant to help me hear the woodpeckers peckering and loons looning. Get an implant and use esbit LOL(or alcohol)

Venchka
12-11-2016, 23:11
I much prefer using white gas and Maker's 46.
[emoji41][emoji106]
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

rocketsocks
12-11-2016, 23:52
I personally like the sound of a white gas stove burning, it's like hearing bacon pop on Sunday morning.

Venchka
12-12-2016, 00:15
I personally like the sound of a white gas stove burning, it's like hearing bacon pop on Sunday morning.

There it is.
Wayne
Ps: A good stove isn't on long enough nor is it loud enough to be annoying.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

PennyPincher
12-18-2016, 14:40
Thanks for all of the nuts and bolts.
For me, Esbit is not an option. YMMV.
I doubt seriously that Backpacker's Pantry and Good To-Go meals are an option for me at altitude. I will ponder the resources necessary to simmer those meals to shorten the time to eat variable. That's probably going to involve washing a pot. No worries. That's how I started. A SIGG pot and a SVEA 123 stove. Both are in the garage ready to go.
Thanks! Merry Christmas!
Wayne


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I used to use esbit but lately I can't stand the smell of the tabs when they are not burning. I pulled some out of my pack recently and the smell was terrible. I have always had a strong sense of smell but it seems to have become especially sensitive lately. Thus my recent switch to a fuel canister stove.

Seems to me that all the talk recently about fuel efficiency shows there isn't a whole lot of difference between the types and thus the carrying weight for most people isn't going to make much difference whether resupply points are near or far. For me, I like the stability of the fuel canisters. I don't have to worry about spills or making sure I put enough fuel in the stove to get the result I need/want the first time around trying to boil water etc. And since the rest of my pack and supplies are getting so damn light I think I will definitely be carrying a large fuel canister on all my hikes from here on out. I also like the large base these canisters provide so my pot is stable. One less thing for me to be concerned about. The energy I save by not worrying is worth it's weight in GOLD.

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 13:09
If burning/burnt Esbit(hexamine) can leave residue on the bottom of a cook pot I question using it to start a grill or campfire where food is being prepared placed directly on the grill.

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 13:17
http://www.mountainultralight.com/2011/09/trail-cooking-with-minimal-fuel.html


I can always smell an odd fish like odor with stored and burning Esbit that I find attaches itself to ditty rags, Esbit stoves, rocks, cookware, clothes one cooks in using Esbit, etc.

Cheyou
07-04-2017, 17:32
http://www.mountainultralight.com/2011/09/trail-cooking-with-minimal-fuel.html


I can always smell an odd fish like odor with stored and burning Esbit that I find attaches itself to ditty rags, Esbit stoves, rocks, cookware, clothes one cooks in using Esbit, etc.


Smells better then most summer hikers ! ;0)

scrabbler
07-04-2017, 17:38
If burning/burnt Esbit(hexamine) can leave residue on the bottom of a cook pot I question using it to start a grill or campfire where food is being prepared placed directly on the grill.
Of course you would wait for it to be burned out. Do you usually start cooking with fire accelerants in place?

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 17:45
Smells better then most summer hikers ! ;0)

Indeed!

Interesting that a little debate ensued on a BPL thread regarding the smell comparing 4 g to 14 g Esbit tabs. I personally have only seen the smaller tabs very very rarely. One or two folks over there were saying the 4 g tabs have less(no?, questionable) smell. It was an old thread.

Some good threads on different fuel efficiencies.
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/70526/
https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/archive/index.php/t-120600.html

I was seeking some alchy fuel saving/alchy cooking/fuel wt reducing tips from those more in the know than me.

zelph
07-04-2017, 19:11
The 4 gram have very little odor, practically none in the opinion of my nose ;)

BPL has an indepth discussion(15 pages), smell, size, stoves, boil times etc. on esbit at this link:

https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/101822/

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 19:49
Of course you would wait for it to be burned out. Do you usually start cooking with fire accelerants in place?

Have you never tasted lighter fuel residue on grilled food long after the fluid and briquettes are just low embers? I have. Residue still persists despite human eye visual appearances all is "burned out" - gone and yes it can affect food taste. Odors are part of mouth taste too.

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 19:52
Gonna look for and try out the 4 g tabs for odor before making any conclusions on odor. Thx Zelph. Hoped you chime in.

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 19:54
In all fairness, and to repeat myself, I've little Esbit experience

earlyriser26
07-04-2017, 20:17
I tried an esbit stove, but I had to use so many cubes to boil water I gave up. Why do so many people look for a better stove when a canister stove is best.

Dogwood
07-04-2017, 20:54
Because what is "best" is differrntly defined by different peoeple having different priorities that change. What stove one wants on a winter hike or climb to 20k or for a weekend summer trip on the GA AT or a LD Eurppean multi wk or Andes multi month hike or one with a conventional weighted kit or with a UL/SUL philosophy or...can be different.

zelph
07-04-2017, 23:28
My latest adventure with a 14 gram esbit allowed me to raise the temp of 4 cups of water to 202 degrees using a Kmart grease pot. A 6" tall aluminum windscreen was used in close proximity of the pot. I'ts easy to boil 3 cups using a cone windscreen and Toaks 700 Light pot with handles. Calm conditions, 70 degree start water temp.

cmoulder
07-05-2017, 07:29
I tried an esbit stove, but I had to use so many cubes to boil water I gave up. Why do so many people look for a better stove when a canister stove is best.

Were you using a wind screen?

I also use canister and alcohol stoves but sometimes Esbit is perfect for short trips when the lightest possible gear is desired.

Leo L.
07-05-2017, 08:36
There are good resons why I use Esbit:
- readily available here in EU
- easy and save to use
- easy knowing how much supply is left
- no empty bottle/canister after use
- goes with check-in luggage (don't know if its legal, it just worked for me so far)

Some of the above does not apply for the US and your hiking style, so I doubt if Esbit would make so much sense on the AT.

Dogwood
07-05-2017, 22:06
THX Leo. I appreciate the reports of conditions outside the U.S and off the AT. :cool:

scrabbler
07-05-2017, 22:43
I wonder why Esbit is more popular in the EU? Im a fan, just wondering WHY.

Leo L.
07-06-2017, 02:38
In Germany and Austria, an Esbit stove and fuel is part of the mess kit you get when being in the service.
So every male here knows it.
Esbit is not a sexy fancy stuff, and most men have learned to hate it when leaving the military service.
But after many a year in civilian life, many people come back to Esbit - because they know it well, because it simply works, because its widely available.
There is no technical reason that would put Esbit over any other fuel - at least not any big one.

Esbit is a German company, btw.

zelph
07-09-2017, 22:16
Today 4 boil tests completed. Starting temps were 69-71 degrees avg. 3 cups in a toaks 900 ti pot with handles. Its the best size pot for 3 cups, has good amount of head room for ease of pouring water into freezer bags. The handles on a pot are a must when heating 3 cups. Using a pot gripper is old school and a PITA. Extra parts are a nuisance ;-)

Time to boil averaged 13.5 14.5 min, with approx 2 min. more of boil till flame out.I used the 3.250 dia titanium pot support and the titanium esbit concentrator. (weight 10 grams total for 2 pcs) With this set up I can say with confidence, one 14 gram esbit will boil 3 cups of water under calm conditions and summer time air temps. Todays humidity was around 75%(rain is imminent)

This is the set-up used today (no windscreen)
39826[/COLOR]

Deacon
08-15-2017, 06:20
Esbit is all I have ever used on the AT.

When cooking with others, everyone else had canisters. I always seemed to be the subject of curiosity with my Foster's Caldera Cone setup. A couple of people even made fun of my setup, with all the pieces and parts.

I use Esbit for all the reasons Leo L. listed in post #92 above. One additional reason, it's easy to blow out.

cmoulder
08-15-2017, 06:56
with all the pieces and parts.

I have been using this setup lately for Esbit... not too many parts! :)

Total weight including coffee cup (inCycle... 4.5g) GSI spoon, Bic and fuel for 3 dinners and 3 breakfasts and stuff sack is 6.7 oz. Boils 2 cups with 10g Esbit.

40071

Suzzz
08-15-2017, 13:02
I used my Esbit stove during my recent section and I'm now ambivalent as to whether or not I'll keep using it.

Main reasons being :
- On a few occasions I wished I could have controlled the intensity of the heat, however once the Esbit tab is lit, what you see is what you get.
- My canister cooking neighbor's meals always seemed to be ready much faster than mine (or was it just my hungry paranoid stomach who thought so?)

I got rid of my MSR Simmerlite because I found it was complicated to operate, high maintenance, and I always worried that the canister would leak in my pack. I also did not want an alcohol stove because of the same possible leak issue. The canister stove seems like a great no muss no fuss system but I don't like the idea of having to carry out empty canisters but also mostly because they're not reusable.

So I'll ponder on this during winter. I realize that all stove systems have their pros and cons... I just need to figure out which one is the best one for me.

Deacon
08-16-2017, 20:08
I used my Esbit stove during my recent section and I'm now ambivalent as to whether or not I'll keep using it.

Main reasons being :
- On a few occasions I wished I could have controlled the intensity of the heat, however once the Esbit tab is lit, what you see is what you get.
- My canister cooking neighbor's meals always seemed to be ready much faster than mine (or was it just my hungry paranoid stomach who thought so?)

I got rid of my MSR Simmerlite because I found it was complicated to operate, high maintenance, and I always worried that the canister would leak in my pack. I also did not want an alcohol stove because of the same possible leak issue. The canister stove seems like a great no muss no fuss system but I don't like the idea of having to carry out empty canisters but also mostly because they're not reusable.

So I'll ponder on this during winter. I realize that all stove systems have their pros and cons... I just need to figure out which one is the best one for me.

Yeah it's pretty much true that the most convenient, fastest systems are also the heaviest to carry. Got to pick the point you're comfortable with.

TKE402
08-17-2017, 15:13
I'm not sure if there is variability with the manufactures but mine smelled so bad that I threw them out. I mean really bad. I have my extra hiking stuff stored in an old pack. I opened it and it really smelled bad. I then thought OK it was in there for a while so the smell built up. I put some in my car and current pack and the smell was in the car as well. So it wasn't a build up issue. Needless to say I just threw them out.


As far as the smell, I really think this is overstated somewhat. Yes if you put the cube right up to your nose you'd be able to smell it. I used Esbit on my entire AT hike and never really noticed any odor.

As far as the residue goes, I have a dedicated bag to carry my Fosters pot in which I allow to get dirty.

jeremywerlin
08-28-2017, 12:41
Prefer alcohol over esbit.