PDA

View Full Version : Alcohol Stove



johnnyjohnson2043
05-03-2018, 21:16
Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here. I attempted a hike in 2011 but my knee gave out on me around NOC. I'm hoping to attempt a second hike next year but I want to seriously cut down on my pack weight. One item I was looking at was my stove. I made a cat can alcohol stove a couple of years ago and used it on a couple of short hikes. It works great but I'm worried about how it would hold up on a longer hike. Has anyone used anything similar on their thru-hike? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Greenlight
05-03-2018, 21:19
Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here. I attempted a hike in 2011 but my knee gave out on me around NOC. I'm hoping to attempt a second hike next year but I want to seriously cut down on my pack weight. One item I was looking at was my stove. I made a cat can alcohol stove a couple of years ago and used it on a couple of short hikes. It works great but I'm worried about how it would hold up on a longer hike. Has anyone used anything similar on their thru-hike? Thanks for any help you can offer.

At least add a wind screen. If you want to go all pricey, get a Caldera Cone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

johnnyjohnson2043
05-03-2018, 21:22
I have a windscreen for it already.

Uncle Joe
05-03-2018, 21:33
I use a Trangia. I have a canister stove but haven't used it yet. I find alcohol so convenient.

Odd Man Out
05-03-2018, 22:03
Lots of people have thru hiked with such stoves. I don't think durability is a concern unless you step on it. But then, you can always make another.

shelb
05-03-2018, 22:28
I know this isn't what your post is questioning, but I am hoping your knee is doing fine. I say this because my last three trips on the AT have resulted in my hiking companions (three different individuals) getting off the AT due to knee issues. Plus, I now had a knee issue this past winter that I am having surgery for this next week - and Hoping my doctor is correct in saying I can do 200 miles on the AT in August.

My greatest advice: If previous knee injury - get it cleared with a doc. PLUS get your weight down. For summer hiking, you should be under 30 SKIN OUT~ that means weigh yourself naked, load pack with one day's water and 4 days doo, . Put hiking clothes on, put the pack on, get on the scale with clothes, pack, shoes, poles, EVERYTHING YOU will take. The difference between your naked body and your trail body should not be more than 30#. (I am now under 23# and I do not own cuban fiber expensive equipment... )

MuddyWaters
05-03-2018, 22:51
Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here. I attempted a hike in 2011 but my knee gave out on me around NOC. I'm hoping to attempt a second hike next year but I want to seriously cut down on my pack weight. One item I was looking at was my stove. I made a cat can alcohol stove a couple of years ago and used it on a couple of short hikes. It works great but I'm worried about how it would hold up on a longer hike. Has anyone used anything similar on their thru-hike? Thanks for any help you can offer.
Well I frequently use alcohol I don't use a pretend "stove".

But, it will last unless you crush it. How do you plan to keep from crushing it? A can stove is pretty durable, one of its biggest selling points, to crush that you basically going to have to accidentally step on it. And you can make a new one of sorts in any town or from any garbage can on the side of the road actually.

cmoulder
05-04-2018, 06:08
For crying out loud, just put it inside your pot. :rolleyes:

And sure, the stove works, and every alky aficionado has tried one, but they are FAR from the most fuel efficient.

chknfngrs
05-04-2018, 07:37
Cat can stove was Andrew Skurkas go to stove for most of his long distance jaunts.

As said before carried inside your cook pot you should have zero issues. And as also said before, making a new one is easy. So easy a caveman could do it.

johnnyjohnson2043
05-04-2018, 09:22
I know this isn't what your post is questioning, but I am hoping your knee is doing fine. I say this because my last three trips on the AT have resulted in my hiking companions (three different individuals) getting off the AT due to knee issues. Plus, I now had a knee issue this past winter that I am having surgery for this next week - and Hoping my doctor is correct in saying I can do 200 miles on the AT in August.

My greatest advice: If previous knee injury - get it cleared with a doc. PLUS get your weight down. For summer hiking, you should be under 30 SKIN OUT~ that means weigh yourself naked, load pack with one day's water and 4 days doo, . Put hiking clothes on, put the pack on, get on the scale with clothes, pack, shoes, poles, EVERYTHING YOU will take. The difference between your naked body and your trail body should not be more than 30#. (I am now under 23# and I do not own cuban fiber expensive equipment... )
I'm hoping to get my pack down to well under 30 this time. I was around 45 on my last trip but I was carrying a bunch of gear that I realized that I wasn't even using. I was taking a look at ultralight hiking lists last night and was able to take out a number of items.

As for my knee, it feels fine right now but all of that can change pretty quickly on the hills of the AT. It probably also didn't help that I was wearing Vibram Fivefingers for a portion of each day. Bad idea. I got rid of them as soon as I got back home. Never again.

Thanks everyone for the guidance. I always keep my stove in my pot and I didn't think that there would be a problem but it's better to ask and get the obvious answer than not to ask and find out the hard way. Thanks again.

nsherry61
05-04-2018, 10:00
. . . As for my knee, it feels fine right now but all of that can change pretty quickly on the hills of the AT. . .
In the spirit of thread drift . . .

If you haven't already included them in your gear list . . . TREKKING POLES! Greatest knee savers every created.

Back on topic: I'm sure there is some connection between trekking poles and alcohol stoves on thru-hikes, but darn if I can . . . wait . . . maybe you could use them to prop up your sleeping pad or other items(s) in a way that would help as a windscreen. ;-)

johnnyjohnson2043
05-04-2018, 11:18
In the spirit of thread drift . . .

If you haven't already included them in your gear list . . . TREKKING POLES! Greatest knee savers every created.

Back on topic: I'm sure there is some connection between trekking poles and alcohol stoves on thru-hikes, but darn if I can . . . wait . . . maybe you could use them to prop up your sleeping pad or other items(s) in a way that would help as a windscreen. ;-)
Haha. I'm sure I could MacGyver somethine together with trekking poles and duct tape but it wouldn't be pretty. And I always carry trekking poles, although I need to buy some new ones since the ones bought 15 years ago are starting to fall apart. Pretty good run on them, though. I have far too much gear that is starting to fall apart. Guess I need to get to REI before my trip.

zelph
05-04-2018, 12:53
The Starlyte Stove weighs 1/2 ounce, has a built in pot support. I'll have some available on Monday. Fuel is absorbed and won't spill out. Burns purdy:)
.
42622

Grampie
05-04-2018, 13:22
Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I've been on here. I attempted a hike in 2011 but my knee gave out on me around NOC. I'm hoping to attempt a second hike next year but I want to seriously cut down on my pack weight. One item I was looking at was my stove. I made a cat can alcohol stove a couple of years ago and used it on a couple of short hikes. It works great but I'm worried about how it would hold up on a longer hike. Has anyone used anything similar on their thru-hike? Thanks for any help you can offer.

Good luck on your next attempt. I thru-hiked in 2001. Had a bad knee , the results of a skiing accident. I wore a elastic knee support during my hike. It definitely helped me. I would start with one. Donít wait for a problem before you do. Used a alcohol can stove for over 1/2 my hike, after starting with a Wisper Light stove. I would carry 16 oz fuel that would get me through about 12 meals. My pack carry weight about 28 - 30 lbs. I was 66 years old And had a great injury free hike.
Happy trails to you on your next adventure.

johnnyjohnson2043
05-04-2018, 14:05
Good luck on your next attempt. I thru-hiked in 2001. Had a bad knee , the results of a skiing accident. I wore a elastic knee support during my hike. It definitely helped me. I would start with one. Don’t wait for a problem before you do. Used a alcohol can stove for over 1/2 my hike, after starting with a Wisper Light stove. I would carry 16 oz fuel that would get me through about 12 meals. My pack carry weight about 28 - 30 lbs. I was 66 years old And had a great injury free hike.
Happy trails to you on your next adventure.
I'll definitely look into it. My issue is more with my iliotibial band so I've been stretching and massaging it as much as needed. I'm hoping to just keep that up during the hike. Thanks again for the advice!

zelph
05-04-2018, 19:45
Maybe one of these with integral pot support, weighs 1/2 ounce.


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

Hikemor
05-07-2018, 07:35
Alcohol stoves are light, easily replaceable and quite indestructible but IMO too limited for LD hiking. Canister stoves seem to be the popular choice albeit with some hassles (purchase, disposal, remaining life). My choice would be a white gas Whisperlite or the venerable, reliable, versatile SVEA 123.

Greenlight
05-07-2018, 08:42
Alcohol stoves are light, easily replaceable and quite indestructible but IMO too limited for LD hiking. Canister stoves seem to be the popular choice albeit with some hassles (purchase, disposal, remaining life). My choice would be a white gas Whisperlite or the venerable, reliable, versatile SVEA 123.

I have a caldera cone to-tri with the inferno biomass insert, and I would argue that it is anything but limited. I can burn alcohol, esbit, or wood. The wood option really raises the stakes. I can opportunistically collect twigs and small dead branches as I hike and have enough to cook with. Using this option frequently really saves alcohol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

TexasBob
05-07-2018, 11:02
Alcohol stoves are light, easily replaceable and quite indestructible but IMO too limited for LD hiking. Canister stoves seem to be the popular choice albeit with some hassles (purchase, disposal, remaining life). My choice would be a white gas Whisperlite or the venerable, reliable, versatile SVEA 123.

I see from your signature that you hiked the trail 30 years ago when Whisperlites and SVEA stoves where very popular. Have you tried an alcohol stove on a hike?

chknfngrs
05-07-2018, 13:06
Anything other than alcohol stoves are too noisy fwiw

cmoulder
05-07-2018, 16:46
Wood and Esbit are fairly quiet. ;)

Hikemor
05-07-2018, 19:44
Not an expert but I have built several alcohol stoves. My beefs are the difficult ability to simmer, no "on-off" switch and not great fuel economy (result of my handiwork). Have not used a caldera cone but assume they have similar problems but a nice advantage of no fuel to carry. Selecting a stove is harder than it may first appear WRT weight, cost, convenience, fuel availability, petroleum v. renewable fuel, etc. The technology may be decades old but IMHO white gas is still an option to be considered.

cmoulder
05-07-2018, 20:08
There are some alcohol stoves that simmer. Dan makes a simmer ring for the Fancee Feest.

I made a simmer ring for a Starlyte XL-3 which is a simple disk with a 0.9" diameter hole in it and it simmers like a champ.

Fuel availability? Is there any convenience store along the AT that doesn't have HEET?

TexasBob
05-07-2018, 21:43
Not an expert but I have built several alcohol stoves. My beefs are the difficult ability to simmer, no "on-off" switch and not great fuel economy (result of my handiwork). Have not used a caldera cone but assume they have similar problems but a nice advantage of no fuel to carry. Selecting a stove is harder than it may first appear WRT weight, cost, convenience, fuel availability, petroleum v. renewable fuel, etc. The technology may be decades old but IMHO white gas is still an option to be considered.

Some alcohol stoves simmer really well. Check out this one from Brasslite. Not as well know as some of the other alcohol stoves but has been around for years and work really well. http://brasslite.com/products/brasslite-turbo-i-d-backpacking-stove/

zelph
05-08-2018, 08:51
Wood and Esbit are fairly quiet. ;)

Ahhh, the smell of esbit in the morning:D
Wood is my goto.

cmoulder
05-08-2018, 10:21
Ahhh, the smell of esbit in the morning:D
Wood is my goto.

I realize I'm a bit of a freakazoid but I don't mind the smell of Esbit. :)

Starchild
05-08-2018, 12:27
I realize I'm a bit of a freakazoid but I don't mind the smell of Esbit. :)

It really helps hide and perhaps partly neutralize thru hiker funk.

Traillium
05-09-2018, 13:31
I have a caldera cone to-tri with the inferno biomass insert, and I would argue that it is anything but limited. I can burn alcohol, esbit, or wood. The wood option really raises the stakes. I can opportunistically collect twigs and small dead branches as I hike and have enough to cook with. Using this option frequently really saves alcohol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Indeed! Wood is my fav. Alcohol in a Starlyte or in the new stove from Caldera is my backup.

zelph
05-09-2018, 19:29
I use a small, light weight, stainless steel pot support with my cone. It folds flat and can easily be bent to conform to the diameter of the pot for storage in its stuff sack.

4265542656http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/titanium-cook-kits-with-starlyte-stove.php

oferithen
05-11-2018, 09:03
As to using a cheaper fuel than Methyl Alcohol (gas line anti-freeze):
It's only $1.20 for 12oz. at my Wallyworld (Heet brand). It don't get much cheaper than that.

As to priming:
Alcohol needs to be heated to start vaporizing, it's the vapors that burn. If you only put a tablespoon in the stove you can prime it with a lighter or something like that held under it. If you want to fill it, you will need to "cook" the whole can for a few seconds. I do this by dumping a half-teaspoon or so of alcohol on and around it so the whole thing goes up in flames. After 5-10 seconds only the holes will be jetting flame.

Alcohol lights with the slightest spark, also. I use it in the woods to sprinkle on my tinder and then light it with a Sweedish Steel and striker (a dual use for the alcohol you pack).

zelph
05-11-2018, 15:07
As to priming:
Alcohol needs to be heated to start vaporizing, it's the vapors that burn. If you only put a tablespoon in the stove you can prime it with a lighter or something like that held under it. If you want to fill it, you will need to "cook" the whole can for a few seconds. I do this by dumping a half-teaspoon or so of alcohol on and around it so the whole thing goes up in flames. After 5-10 seconds only the holes will be jetting flame.

No priming needed for Starlyte Stoves/Burners. Don't roast the elegant lightweight heat sources :-)

nsherry61
05-11-2018, 15:15
. . . Alcohol needs to be heated to start vaporizing . . .
To add to Zelph's comment, any alcohol stove with a wick, which includes Zelphs Starlyte, the Fancy Feast stoves and many others don't require priming. It's the stoves that are burning a puddle of fuel that need to be heated up for adequate vapor production, like the Fancy Feast can stove Skurka has promoted in the past and most of your various alcohol jet type stoves to name a few.

Starchild
05-11-2018, 16:53
More specifically priming for a alchy stove is needed if it's design uses vapor pressure, not just vapor. Those are normally jetted stoves where the flame, or flames are coming out of 'ports' or orifices. Some stoves though ported don't require priming either, such as the fancy feast. The act of putting the pot on redirects the flame though the ports, and that one is a rather low pressure stove. Likewise any burning puddle doesn't need priming such as using a tealight candle holder, and as said a wick stove such as the Starlyte also does not need priming.

zelph
05-11-2018, 20:01
I realize I'm a bit of a freakazoid but I don't mind the smell of Esbit. :)

If you were/are a smoker, it's the reason you don't mind the stench :D

Esbit has power in more ways than one. Almost boiled 4 cups with one large cube.

BuckeyeBill
05-11-2018, 20:09
Zelph, you should be ashamed of yourself. When you give advice I always have to go your site and look through the various stoves, knowing that before I head out again I'm going to order one from you. Your stoves and accessories are all professional looking and even knowing I could probably make one, I want one. It looks like I am not getting out any time this summer due to business obligations so maybe in 2019.

Odd Man Out
05-11-2018, 21:05
I use an eCHS alcohol stove. It "primes" itself quickly, but because the pot does not set on the stove, you can start cooking immediately. I once did a boil test with my system at 5 below F to see how it performed in cold weather. I chilled the stove and fuel to ambient temp (-5 F). The water and pot was cold but not frozen. I lit the stove with a wooden kitchen. It took about 40 seconds (instead of 10 sec) for the stove to come to full power. After that it functioned at the same power and efficiency as at room temperature.

cmoulder
05-12-2018, 06:08
If you were/are a smoker, it's the reason you don't mind the stench :D

Esbit has power in more ways than one. Almost boiled 4 cups with one large cube.
Almost... ah, the elusive Holy Grail.

On the trail I have boiled 3 cups many times with the 14-gram. Now, I boil a little over 2 cups in the Toaks 550 and still use the 14g to account for bad conditions (read: Wind) and loss of efficiency. Even in sheltered areas, turbulent wind eddies can steal a bunch of BTUs.