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fastfoxengineering
01-28-2018, 01:37
Times are a changin. People look at me weird when I fire up my alcohol stove. Young hikers I meet look at me in disbelief. Sorry it's not a jetboil. Cause those are the "best" right?

I'm hiking the AT nobo in April. I have two cooksets I can bring. I'll definitely be bringing my

.9L evernew pot
MSR Titan Mug (yeah I'm one of those guys!)
Bamboo Spoon

I can either bring my CC Ti-Tri or my snow peak litemax. I run my Ti-Tri mainly in wood mode by also bring the alcohol setup for morning coffee or a quick meal. I really enjoy using it. Also I like carrying less fuel and cooking just using a handful of twigs.

I typically bring my litemax in colder weather, which is by far my favorite gas stove. Those little BRS stoves maybe a little lighter but in my opinion only good for boiling water. Too much jet. Also, the snow peak is quiet when on simmer. I like that.

Originally I was going to bring my Ti-Tri. Im now second guessing it. Not because of ease of use or finding fuel. But on the AT.. are wood stoves and alcohol setups kind of frowned upon nowadays?

5 years ago I would fire up one of my wood setups on a summit or at a Vista to cook up some coffee. If anyone came through they would ask for a cup.

I like to cook a hot lunch or sometimes an early dinner. Being able to burn wood gives me alot of flexibility in boiling up some water.

My main concern is ethics on the trail today. The AT is a popular place. Lots of hikers. Lots of regulations being thought of for the future years.

Should I leave my wood burner at home and bring the canister stove?

I'm thinking of a leave no trace/modern hiker etiquette standpoint.

Maybe I'll just bring both! But the last thread on wood burners is dated. And I would like to revisit the topic for a NOBO in 2018.

And on a serious note. I was considering bringing both. My ti tri for wood and my snow peak for gas. I know..gasppp. Leaving the alcohol at home. I know it's definitely overkill but I figured I would let the trail tell me what's best after a few weeks. I can always mail one home. And my pack is still very light.

Any thoughts or opinions?









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nsherry61
01-28-2018, 11:12
As the Wiccans say, "Do as you will, hurt none."
As Dan Savage says about ethics in love, use the campfire principal, leave it better than you found it.
As the backpacking world says Leave No Trace - LNT.

Personally, I think LNT in principle is great, in verbiage is CRAP! You can't leave no trace, but you can minimize impact.

Your TriTi stove isn't going to produce enough smoke to be a problem in most cases, it isn't going to burn enough fuel to have significant impact in most cases, and you should be able to always protect the ground and spread your ashes well enough that there is not sign that your little fire was ever there.

So, do as you will and make sure you aren't using your TriTi in any of those few if ever situations where smoke or wood use would be an issue.

As for litemax vs. alcohol, well, if you're not in high fire danger areas like California in most summers, do what allows you the most joy, especially since both fuel types are readily (and similarly as I understand it) available.

martinb
01-31-2018, 12:57
Really, who cares what anyone else thinks? Love my Ti-Tri and if I were on the AT, I wouldn't think twice about bringing it because my fuel options are much better. I also have the LNT plates for mine so it's a moot point.

colorado_rob
01-31-2018, 13:08
Times are a changin. People look at me weird when I fire up my alcohol stove. Young hikers I meet look at me in disbelief. Sorry it's not a jetboil. Cause those are the "best" right?

Not sure why folks keep bad-mouthing other people's opinions on here all the time. Sure, the JB is "best" for some of us, I would think those who use lots and lots of hot water, like myself, because of its fuel efficiency and convenience. Your plan sounds great for you though, as does the Esbit option or Alchy options for some. HYOH! But this concept also means don't bad mouth others' methods or opinions.

Starchild
01-31-2018, 13:57
The only reason it's unusual is because weekend warrior backpackers just see stuff in REI. I have not seen any negative reaction towards a cone setup or wood burning, mostly questions. That said discretion is key and if it's a popular spot it may not be a good time to burn, or be downwind, unless it's a campsite/shelter.

But more to the point on a thru the novelty of a wood stove wears thin due to the extra work involved, it has to be a labor of love, not a gram weinie move to be worth the trouble IMHO.

Just Bill
01-31-2018, 15:11
Alchy has developed a bad name due to issues. The main issue being user error.
Burnt rings in tables, shelters, etc. Burnt gear from folks cooking in shelters. Ruined gear from the fuel eating nylons. And most importantly- burnt folks.

Might even be a little pushback from western bans and the desire of folks to build a universal kit.

Also a bit of the post SUL boom swinging the other way and the rise of folks who have never backpacked before jumping into LD hiking that is altering the 'conventional wisdom' of hikers. People watch a youtube of a hiker who has 6 months experience and has become a grizzled veteran who loves their jetboil. Point of that mildly insulting point being: A few years of new to backpacking thru-hikers not using something can wipe it off the map much faster than ever before.

Sides you being a ginger :D... I tend to look at alchy stove users crosseyed only because I have no idea if you know what you're doing or read a Skurka article about cat food stoves, got one cause it's cheap and might have no idea how to use it safely.

It's a little more socially acceptable to roll over and fire up a jetboil in a shelter... but I really don't want somebody firing up pint of boiling water next to my head either way.

I know you know what you're doing and you've got several hikes over several years under your hipbelt that you've been spending being thoughtful about your gear and your style of hiking.

AND you're considerate enough to consider altering your choices in the interest of others... so if an issue does pop up I'm sure you'll find a way to move downwind or work with (or potentially educate) that person who may feel their rights at the shelter outweigh yours. Most of those folks will be gone after a few weeks at best... so don't plan around them.

Bring the Caldera Cone.
Consider Esbit if you can stand it as I think it fits the system better when focused on wood.

Building a campfire is more appreciated than some might think and will likely earn you more companions than a litemax stove will.

Besides- the gigapower stove is better than the litemax anyway so the whole premise of this thread is truly flawed. :banana


It's your hike. You may only get one.

TexasBob
01-31-2018, 19:54
Not sure why alcohol stoves are looked down on because countless people have hiked with AT with one, but why not take one along with your ti-tri instead of your gas stove? The alcohol stove weighs almost nothing and would give more fuel options. If you decide you don't need it just give it away. In fact I will send you a homemade fancy feast stove for free if you PM me (offer good for OP only :)).

fastfoxengineering
01-31-2018, 20:03
I was planning on supplementing my wood burning with my alcohol burner.

I have a few to choose from. Thanks for the offer though.

I just didn't know if using a wood burner would raise some unwanted questions or comments along the trail in 2018.

I think people just believe canister stoves are safer and more leave no trace than alcohol/wood setups.
Due largely to regulations out west. I think it's more the individual using the stove.

Trying to be considerate of others and the trail itself that is all.


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Starchild
01-31-2018, 20:04
Alchy has developed a bad name due to issues. The main issue being user error.
Burnt rings in tables, shelters, etc. ....

Alchy may get the blame, and I have heard that as well, but those rings are caused by white gas stoves, it would be quite amazing to get one of those deep rings with alchy even if you pre-grove the wood into the ring, it just burns so cold, add to that evaporative cooling and I don't think you could cause a good char layer.

TexasBob
02-01-2018, 10:07
When I am cooking on a picnic table I put a corrugated plastic disk covered on one side with foil tape under my stove to protect the wooden surface. It weighs 0.2 oz and also will reflect the heat back toward your cooking pot and it catches any drips when you put alcohol in the stove. You can buy the corrugated plastic or if you go to a store that makes signs they will give you left over scraps.

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Just Bill
02-01-2018, 11:07
Alchy may get the blame, and I have heard that as well, but those rings are caused by white gas stoves, it would be quite amazing to get one of those deep rings with alchy even if you pre-grove the wood into the ring, it just burns so cold, add to that evaporative cooling and I don't think you could cause a good char layer.
Some of those heavy deep ones are clearly done on purpose. Overall I have a hard time imagining any scenario where you'd mess up any stove so badly as to create that sort of burn.

I've seen some of the pressurized alchy stoves that get overfilled and do leak fuel in that sort of pattern. With no good way to put them out when you get a runaway burn I could see you getting a decent scar going.

I can't picture how you'd do it (on accident) with a white gas stove. I'm having a difficult time picturing how you'd do it on purpose short of overfilling a fuel bottle and then lighting the fuel bottle on fire. White gas is a bit too volatile to control the burn like that.

Though I could picture boiling a bottle, like the bushcrafters like to with a stainless bottle, and setting it onto a table right from the fire. Or boiling/cooking a can in the fire and using that to char a hole on purpose or inadvertently.

Either way...
Fuel spills and accidental burns/damage from not seeing the flame is pretty realistic with alchy and does happen.
I burned a cutting board of mine fairly deeply and easily when I was tinkering with various stove designs in a that exact ring shape.

But thinking on it more you may be right... even a runaway alchy stove shouldn't do the deep damage we've all seen. Vandalism is the more likely cause of those deep burns.

As TexasBob pointed out- plastic or a sheet of foil is an easy way to protect the surface and most folks carry something like that. I could see the corrugated giving you an advantage on cold surfaces too.

fastfoxengineering
02-01-2018, 15:18
Some of those heavy deep ones are clearly done on purpose. Overall I have a hard time imagining any scenario where you'd mess up any stove so badly as to create that sort of burn.

I've seen some of the pressurized alchy stoves that get overfilled and do leak fuel in that sort of pattern. With no good way to put them out when you get a runaway burn I could see you getting a decent scar going.

I can't picture how you'd do it (on accident) with a white gas stove. I'm having a difficult time picturing how you'd do it on purpose short of overfilling a fuel bottle and then lighting the fuel bottle on fire. White gas is a bit too volatile to control the burn like that.

Though I could picture boiling a bottle, like the bushcrafters like to with a stainless bottle, and setting it onto a table right from the fire. Or boiling/cooking a can in the fire and using that to char a hole on purpose or inadvertently.

Either way...
Fuel spills and accidental burns/damage from not seeing the flame is pretty realistic with alchy and does happen.
I burned a cutting board of mine fairly deeply and easily when I was tinkering with various stove designs in a that exact ring shape.

But thinking on it more you may be right... even a runaway alchy stove shouldn't do the deep damage we've all seen. Vandalism is the more likely cause of those deep burns.

As TexasBob pointed out- plastic or a sheet of foil is an easy way to protect the surface and most folks carry something like that. I could see the corrugated giving you an advantage on cold surfaces too.I use a zelph starlyte. Only way to spill is by overfilling it which I never need to fill all the way anyways. That's a lot of fuel.

I also keep a Titanium sheet that is cut to the diameter of my .9L wide evernew pot. It's substantially wider than my alcohol stove. Its also plenty large enough to use as the floor under my inferno insert when burning wood.

Combining the two makes for a pretty safe alcohol setup in my experience. You can also blow out a starlyte stove pretty easily. I've found the cones also to to be very stable.

Thanks for the input

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Shrewd
02-06-2018, 10:46
Youíll be fine using an alchy; I saw plenty on the trail and didnít notice any sort of judgement. Most people that brought it up were actually people who didnít know what it was and were curious.

My take on it is that maybe you should bring both and you may quickly decide to send one home.

Once the days get longer and you do bigger miles I suspect youíll opt for the canister stove because itís fast and all youíll want to do is eat.

If there was a good group and someone wanted a fire I was always happy to help gather wood....after Iíd eaten. Then of course Iíd use the fire to boil water for tea or something.

The other flip side is with the weight of alcohol - I think once youíre carrying enough for 4 + days itís not really lighter than a small canister set up.

But to each their own, just get out there and youíll figure out whatís important to you


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