nsherry61

11-01-2016, 17:43

I just spent the afternoon playing in my kitchen with some different stoves and fuels, and I thought I'd share my observations. I doubt they are all new. But, what the heck. Maybe some people will still find it interesting.

Stove systems:

1) BSR300T with MSR Titan pot and windscreen & empty canister = 255g (stove alone = 25g)

2) JetBoil MiniMo system with empty canister = 400g

3) Fancy Feast stove with IMUSA 12 cm pot & foil lid & windscreen with empty fuel bottle = 150g (stove alone = 14g)

Observations of time to boil 2 cups of tap water:

1) 2.5 minutes

2) 2.125 minutes

3) 5.5 minutes with denatured alcohol (6.5 minutes with Heet).

Fuel to boil 1 L of water (estimated as 2x the 2-cup fuel use):

1) 16g

2) 12g

3) 30g

Thoughts on weight over time, assuming the user boils 1 L of water per day and any canisters only have the exact amount of fuel in them needed for the number of days out.

- The lightest option by far is the Fancy Feast stove and IMUSA pot set-up, until you are carrying more than 7 days of fuel.

- After 7 days, the BRS becomes the lighter option, but, it is only lighter until you have less than 7 days left, then because you use more alcohol each day, the alcohol is lighter again until the end of your trip or the next resupply.

- At the point you are carrying about 14 days of fuel, the JetBoil becomes a bit lighter than the Fancy Feast.

- At about day 35, the JetBoil becomes lighter than the BRS.

For the vast majority of people in the vast majority of cases, even one of the lightest canister stove on the market (BRS @ 25g) cannot be justified over alcohol for weight savings. . . if you start melting snow in winter, using, say, double the fuel, a canister would start saving weight over alcohol on about day 3 or 4.

A couple of other notes:

- The MSR Titan pot is a little smaller and roughly the same weight as the IMUSA 12 cm pot.

- The Fancy Feast stove I used was made with a Fancy Feast can, a Budweiser aluminum beer bottle, and paper towel as wick. My paper towel wick is going on about its 15th boil and still working just great. The paper just doesn't burn down below the lip of the Fancy Feast can and the little bit of black ash along the top edge doesn't seem to have any negative affect.

Finally, if I did my math right:

Esbit is about $0.50 per tablet so ~$1/L to boil water

Alcohol, either Heet or Denatured is about $0.01/g or ~$0.30/L to boil water

Canister fuel averages about $0.05/g or ~$0.75/L to boil water

One final note: Since Esbit is 14g per tablet and it takes about two tablets to boil a liter of water, and my Esbit cooking system is almost identical in weight to my Fancy Feast system, you can almost replace all the Fancy Feast numbers above with the name Esbit, and not be too far off . . . except boil time of course, which is a bit longer with Esbit.

Stove systems:

1) BSR300T with MSR Titan pot and windscreen & empty canister = 255g (stove alone = 25g)

2) JetBoil MiniMo system with empty canister = 400g

3) Fancy Feast stove with IMUSA 12 cm pot & foil lid & windscreen with empty fuel bottle = 150g (stove alone = 14g)

Observations of time to boil 2 cups of tap water:

1) 2.5 minutes

2) 2.125 minutes

3) 5.5 minutes with denatured alcohol (6.5 minutes with Heet).

Fuel to boil 1 L of water (estimated as 2x the 2-cup fuel use):

1) 16g

2) 12g

3) 30g

Thoughts on weight over time, assuming the user boils 1 L of water per day and any canisters only have the exact amount of fuel in them needed for the number of days out.

- The lightest option by far is the Fancy Feast stove and IMUSA pot set-up, until you are carrying more than 7 days of fuel.

- After 7 days, the BRS becomes the lighter option, but, it is only lighter until you have less than 7 days left, then because you use more alcohol each day, the alcohol is lighter again until the end of your trip or the next resupply.

- At the point you are carrying about 14 days of fuel, the JetBoil becomes a bit lighter than the Fancy Feast.

- At about day 35, the JetBoil becomes lighter than the BRS.

For the vast majority of people in the vast majority of cases, even one of the lightest canister stove on the market (BRS @ 25g) cannot be justified over alcohol for weight savings. . . if you start melting snow in winter, using, say, double the fuel, a canister would start saving weight over alcohol on about day 3 or 4.

A couple of other notes:

- The MSR Titan pot is a little smaller and roughly the same weight as the IMUSA 12 cm pot.

- The Fancy Feast stove I used was made with a Fancy Feast can, a Budweiser aluminum beer bottle, and paper towel as wick. My paper towel wick is going on about its 15th boil and still working just great. The paper just doesn't burn down below the lip of the Fancy Feast can and the little bit of black ash along the top edge doesn't seem to have any negative affect.

Finally, if I did my math right:

Esbit is about $0.50 per tablet so ~$1/L to boil water

Alcohol, either Heet or Denatured is about $0.01/g or ~$0.30/L to boil water

Canister fuel averages about $0.05/g or ~$0.75/L to boil water

One final note: Since Esbit is 14g per tablet and it takes about two tablets to boil a liter of water, and my Esbit cooking system is almost identical in weight to my Fancy Feast system, you can almost replace all the Fancy Feast numbers above with the name Esbit, and not be too far off . . . except boil time of course, which is a bit longer with Esbit.