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firefly
01-22-2004, 12:24
OK guys..I love my Snowpeak Giga stove but there are too many of you out there singing the praises of Alcohol. So I took the plunge and ordered the antigravity stove with the cozies and the cookset. I got that stove because you do not need a potstand-you can stick the pot on top. I have been playing with it at home. At first I could not keep it lit. Then I read the directions and discovered you have to let it warm up first (duh) Then I discovered less is better-you can actually get a faster boil with less alcohol in there. The trick is finding the magic combination of water/wind/tempature/fuel. I am having so much fun. Now I think I understand why so many of you use alcohol. Cooking with my Snowpeak cannister stove is a-point and click-fast affair. Cooking with Alcohol is a art. So I am now solicting Alcohol Stove Tips because I am hooked.

icemanat95
01-22-2004, 12:48
The biggest advantage of the Alcohol stoves is weight and cost. They generally cost little to nothing and they weigh only an couple ounces. FOr the super weight conscious this is a major advantage and performance issues are put aside. An Alcohol stove would not be my choice if I needed to melt and boil snow for water, but as a three season stove for boiling small amounts of water for cooking, I like mine.

chris
01-22-2004, 13:01
Iceman hit most of the advantages of an alcohol stove right on the nose, although there was one that he left out. On longer trips, where you'll need to resupply your fuel, it is usually pretty easy to find something like HEET or other methyl (or isopropyl) alcohol products, whereas cannisters can be harder to find. I understand that this is not the case on the AT and that cannisters are fairly common. But, on something like the PCT, there are about 6 places near the trail where you can get cannisters, and three of those are in the first 450 miles. But, almost every town has a gas station with HEET.

2Ply
01-22-2004, 13:30
Does anyone else have trouble getting isopropyl to ignite? I have been using denatured alcohol and love the heat output and ease of lighting, but when I try the isopropyl I always have to add some denatured to it so it will burn. Am I doing something wrong?

chris
01-22-2004, 14:15
If you use rubbing alcohol, it might only be 70% isopropyl and the rest water. I could be incorrect here, but I believe that methyl (HEET) has the fewest BTUs, followed by ethyl (denatured), and then isopropyl. Everyone's favorite soldier wrote something about this on some board at sometime in the past. Isopropyl will burn with a sooty flame, leaving a quasi-greasy film on your pot. Occasionally you'll find something called IsoHEET, which is like HEET but with a lot of isopropyl in it. Sometimes generic gasline antifreeze (like you find at Kmart) will throw off soot, indicating the presence of isopropyl, despite listing only methyl as the ingredient.

Rain Man
01-22-2004, 20:13
The biggest advantage of the Alcohol stoves is weight and cost. They generally cost little to nothing and they weigh only an couple ounces.

I think my Antigravity Gear stove weighs in at a whopping 4/10ths of an ounce.

Rain Man

.

firefly
01-23-2004, 09:13
You do save alot of weight with this one-I love the windscreen that comes with it. I was going to use a plastic soda bottle for my fuel container but I read in another post that someone uses a plastic flask using the jigger for their measuring cup. I found one of these-it weighs 1.5 oz versus 1 oz for the soda bottle. Soon I think I will be able to "eyeball" it and I might switch to a platy little nipper bottle with the pop-top.

SGT Rock
01-23-2004, 10:12
Then I read the directions and discovered you have to let it warm up first (duh) Then I discovered less is better-you can actually get a faster boil with less alcohol in there. The trick is finding the magic combination of water/wind/tempature/fuel. I am having so much fun. Now I think I understand why so many of you use alcohol.

Read my site. I have been playing with this. My experience with a similar design stove is 18ml for one pint of water at about 60 degrees.

bearbag hanger
01-23-2004, 10:13
Just be sure you don't use the same type of container for your alcohol as you do your water. I know of one otherwise intellegent and highly respected backpacking person who just put some colored tape over one of her nalgene bottles to tell it from the water bottle. After a long day of hiking, going up and down PUDs, etc., tired and exhauseted, she managed to "boil" a quart or so of alcohol and pretty much ruined her whole dinner.

Lilred
01-23-2004, 18:20
Just be sure you don't use the same type of container for your alcohol as you do your water. I know of one otherwise intellegent and highly respected backpacking person who just put some colored tape over one of her nalgene bottles to tell it from the water bottle. After a long day of hiking, going up and down PUDs, etc., tired and exhauseted, she managed to "boil" a quart or so of alcohol and pretty much ruined her whole dinner.


I wrap my duct tape around my fuel bottle. Even in the dark, I can tell what I'm holding.

lowthesd
02-08-2004, 10:29
I currently own the Snow Peak Giga Power Titanium, The MSR pocket Rocket and the MSR whisperlite International 600. I used the pocket rocket once and now it is dusty... once I bought the giga power ti. Enough of that now, I was thinking of taking the Whisperlite for my thru hike, however the weight and complexity (clogging/ repair kits etc...) I am really tending to lean towards getting an alcohol stove. I would like to know, ONLY stove, as I have baclites and titanium pots, what are peoples opinions of which is the best alcohol stove to buy. Going South starting mid july 2004.

firefly
02-08-2004, 11:06
If you want a storebought stove I vote for the antigravity. I have used the trangia and have also tried the Etowah alcohol stove out but they are heavier and also require a pot stand. BUT I believe the only fuel tinman says to burn in it is denatured alcohol. I do not know about using other fuels in it.

slabfoot
02-08-2004, 15:18
just about any pepsi can stove rocks. you can buy em, youcan build em in about 10 minutes. I used mine down to 10 deg. F on a breezy day and got my meal just the way I like it. I tried to build just about every homemade alchohal stove design available and I keep coming back to my pepsi stove.

jlb2012
02-08-2004, 18:53
Currently I am using probably the simplest alcohol stove to make - the aluminum cup from a tea light (aka tea candle) with two circles of fiberglass pipe insulation stuffing to bring the fiberglass up to the level of the top lip fo the tea candle tin. For pot support I use a cylinder of 1/2 inch hardware cloth - 3 squares high by 14 squares around. Total weight for the burner plus pot support is 0.3 ounces. Add a bottom reflector/table protector from aluminum foil, a windscreen from flashing or soda cans and away you go. Fill the cup all the way up and it is just right for boiling 2 cups of water.

Youngblood
02-08-2004, 20:28
Like HOI, I use the aluminum cups from tea light candles as burners except I don't use fiberglass or any type of wick. I have been pleased with the stove but I feel that it is real important to use a ground reflector/preheat pan and a full windscreen to get acceptable performance. Without the wick, I can blow-out the burner(s) when I am done and pour any unused alcohol back into my fuel bottle.

Youngblood

lowthesd
02-12-2004, 20:46
I bought the anti-gravity stove and MSR backlite cozy... My goodness is it light!!!!!!!! I don;t know why everyone isn't using this system, incredible. I manage multi million dollar aerospace engineering projects for the Navy, USMC and USAF and I am impressed with this system. Tin Man has excellent service and I would recommend anti-gravity THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

DeBare
02-12-2004, 20:55
and I thought I was the only one to think of using a aluminum cup from tea light candles for a stove :D

AT2004
02-18-2004, 17:17
I just did some experiments and also talked to a few chemists. The pepsi can stove (and just about any alcohol stove) is heavier than most canisters. How? Fuel. One ounce of fuel for the pepsi can stove (alcohol) contains about 50% less energy than one ounce of canister fuel (butane / propane mix). With this in mind, it takes twice as much fuel to output the same amount of heat (assuming the same efficiency). An 8oz canister of fuel weighs 13oz (can and fuel full). The equivalent amount of alcohol would be 16oz. Now:

Pepsi can stove
Stove (0.25oz) + Fuel (16oz) + canister for fuel (at least 1oz) + windscreen (0.5oz minimum) + Pot stand (0.5 minimum) = 18.25oz minimum

Canister Stove (Specifically Gigapower Auto)
Stove (3.75oz) + Fuel (13oz) + windscreen (0.5oz minimum) = 17.25oz

The numbers for the container, windscreen, and pot stand are estimates of course as people make their own. But, in general the pepsi can stove with fuel is heavier. Weird huh? I found this out by doing a head-on test between the pepsi can stove and the Gigapower Auto. The gigapower used 0.25oz of fuel to boil 2 cups of tap water (in about 3:00 mins too) and the pepsi can stove used about 0.5oz of fuel for the same test (taking about 5:00 mins).

Of course, the pepsi can stove's fuel is much more available, but is also more prone to spills. Also, it's pretty cool to be able to say you built your stove. :) One last comment, the fuel for the canister is about $5 - $6 for 8oz. The fuel for the pepsi can stove is about $1 for about 8oz. Even though you have to buy more fuel, the pepsi can is still cheaper (especially if you take into consideration the cost of the stove).

Just my 2 cents.

Lilred
02-18-2004, 17:39
[QUOTE=AT2004]I just did some experiments and also talked to a few chemists. The pepsi can stove (and just about any alcohol stove) is heavier than most canisters. How? Fuel. One ounce of fuel for the pepsi can stove (alcohol) contains about 50% less energy than one ounce of canister fuel (butane / propane mix).

That's great in theory, but when you buy fuel with a canister stove you have to buy the whole canister. I can last 5 days with 10oz. of fuel with my pepsi can stove, so my weight would then be less. My pot stand also weighs less than my stove, and my windscreen is aluminum foil, also less than my stove.

stove - 0.25oz.
fuel - 11oz. (with container)
pot stand - 0.25oz.
windscreen - 0.25oz.

total - 11.75oz. And if I resupply more often, my weight can go down even further. Not an option with a canister stove.

LWOP
02-18-2004, 22:19
Some other advantages of the alcohol stove are being overlooked. You can carry only the fuel you anticipate needing. When the fuel is depleted you are carrying a container which weighs maybe an ounce. With an empty canister you are carrying more. And if you are not sure you can make it to the next resupply do you throw out the half empty canister or do you wind up carrying two? Cheap, easy to resupply, clean, no maintainence; alcohol is clearly the way (weigh) for me.
By the way, I use the Trangia. It is heavier than a pepsi stove but it is almost indestructable. And it nests perfectly in my mess kit.
Lwop

AT2004
02-18-2004, 23:03
[QUOTE=AT2004]I just did some experiments and also talked to a few chemists. The pepsi can stove (and just about any alcohol stove) is heavier than most canisters. How? Fuel. One ounce of fuel for the pepsi can stove (alcohol) contains about 50% less energy than one ounce of canister fuel (butane / propane mix).

That's great in theory, but when you buy fuel with a canister stove you have to buy the whole canister. I can last 5 days with 10oz. of fuel with my pepsi can stove, so my weight would then be less. My pot stand also weighs less than my stove, and my windscreen is aluminum foil, also less than my stove.

stove - 0.25oz.
fuel - 11oz. (with container)
pot stand - 0.25oz.
windscreen - 0.25oz.

total - 11.75oz. And if I resupply more often, my weight can go down even further. Not an option with a canister stove. But my point is (this is for longer distances too), that you could carry a 4oz canister (weighing 7oz total) which would be 3.75 + 7 + 0.5 = 11.25oz and carry the same amount of energy. Alcohol isn't as efficient as propane / butane. At the end, with empty bottles, the pepsi can set up would weigh less (the 1oz container and the 3oz canister).

My point is, is that the pepsi can stove doesn't save a ton of weight (especially for long trips). Plus, the resupply points for a lot of people on the trail is about 5 - 7 days. Just the right amount of time for a 4oz canister.

Don't get me wrong. I like the pepsi can stove. I have made about half a dozen of them. I will bring one with me when fuel is scarce. But, I don't believe the pepsi or trianga saves that much weight. Just my opinion.

SGT Rock
02-24-2004, 10:14
I have responded twice to this and it keeps loosing it, maybe the third time is the charm.


I just did some experiments and also talked to a few chemists. The pepsi can stove (and just about any alcohol stove) is heavier than most canisters. How? Fuel. One ounce of fuel for the pepsi can stove (alcohol) contains about 50% less energy than one ounce of canister fuel (butane / propane mix). With this in mind, it takes twice as much fuel to output the same amount of heat (assuming the same efficiency). An 8oz canister of fuel weighs 13oz (can and fuel full). The equivalent amount of alcohol would be 16oz. Now:

Pepsi can stove
Stove (0.25oz) + Fuel (16oz) + canister for fuel (at least 1oz) + windscreen (0.5oz minimum) + Pot stand (0.5 minimum) = 18.25oz minimum

Canister Stove (Specifically Gigapower Auto)
Stove (3.75oz) + Fuel (13oz) + windscreen (0.5oz minimum) = 17.25oz


All you are computing is start weight, not average weight. Since your stove and canister have a high base weight, your weight at the end of your trip will still be much higher than the alcohol stove user and will lead to a higher average weight per day. My pepsi stove design is a little heavier, but for purposes of the example I will leave that alone. There are also lighter weight stoves available. I assume in the example we are going for 8 days and boiling breakfast and dinner.

Pepsi stove: Base weight = 2.25. Max weight = 18.25. Average weight over 8 days is 10.25 ounces.

Canister stove: Base weight = 9.25. Max weight 17.25. Average weight over 8 days is 12.25 ounces.

So this is only 2 ounces less average per day, but the canister stove you listed is on the lightest of the light end. Also, there are actually a lot of alchohol stoves a lot lighter:

BIS III stove: Base weight 1.6 ounces. Max weight 17.65. Average weight over 8 days is 9.6 ounces.

But this leads me to the next point...



The numbers for the container, windscreen, and pot stand are estimates of course as people make their own. But, in general the pepsi can stove with fuel is heavier. Weird huh? I found this out by doing a head-on test between the pepsi can stove and the Gigapower Auto. The gigapower used 0.25oz of fuel to boil 2 cups of tap water (in about 3:00 mins too) and the pepsi can stove used about 0.5oz of fuel for the same test (taking about 5:00 mins).


The numbers you are using are about right. www.thru-hiker.com did some tests of various canister stoves and alcohol stoves and found that the canister stoves use about 0.24 ounces of fuel per boil.

As for the alcohol, theoretically it would be possible to make a stove that could boil a pint of water with as little as 9ml fuel, which would weight .271 ounces, but the most efficient I have been able to achive with consistant results is about .33 ounces (weight) in alcohol and 12ml volume - this requires only 13 fluid ounces of fuel which has a weight of 10.66 ounces which requires a smaller and lighter bottle at 0.9 ounces. If you used this stove for your comparison you would find:

BIS III: Base weight = 1.5 ounces. Max weight 12.16 ounces. Average weight over 8 days is 7.16 ounces. This is over 1/4 pound less than a canister user and gives me a little extra fuel to fiddle with. At the point I am currently cutting weight from my pack, 1/4 pound is a good bit of difference.

Another point you didn't mention was that the boil times will change with your canister stove as the fuel in the bottle drops, the examples I have seen show about 3 times as long to boil when you reach the end of the canister.

Something else I haven't asked is how exactly are you measuring? 1/2 ounce volume of alcohol does not equal 1/2 ounce weight. Alcohol weighs .82 ounces per fluid ounce, so 16 ounces of alcohol only weighs 12.92 ounces, so if you were computing your base weight incorrectly, then you are over by 3.08 ounces on your start weight.



Of course, the pepsi can stove's fuel is much more available, but is also more prone to spills. Also, it's pretty cool to be able to say you built your stove. :) One last comment, the fuel for the canister is about $5 - $6 for 8oz. The fuel for the pepsi can stove is about $1 for about 8oz. Even though you have to buy more fuel, the pepsi can is still cheaper (especially if you take into consideration the cost of the stove).


So alcohol stoves are cheaper to build and run, and the fuel is easier to find.

Alcohol can be spilled yes, just as a tent can be set up in a bad spot. This is something that takes practive to overcome. A canister stove may not function at all when the temperature is down and the canister is about 1/4 full, I have had that happen to me when I very badly needed a stove to work. My point in saying this is every stove design has a drawback or two, an alcohol stove isn't worse because you can spill fuel. In fact, a good way to deal with very cold weather and an alcohol stove is to "spill" about 0.5ml around the bottom heat reflector and let it help warm up the stove.



But my point is (this is for longer distances too), that you could carry a 4oz canister (weighing 7oz total) which would be 3.75 + 7 + 0.5 = 11.25oz and carry the same amount of energy. Alcohol isn't as efficient as propane / butane. At the end, with empty bottles, the pepsi can set up would weigh less (the 1oz container and the 3oz canister).


Still your base weight is 7.25 and your max weight is 11.25. Average weight would be 9.25.

Over the same time an alcohol stove user could use a 10 ounce water bottle weighing 0.6 ounces for fuel and would have a base weight of 1.85 ounces with a maximum weight of 9.85 ounces - less than your canister stove to start with. The average weight per day to carry this stove would be 5.85, almost a quarter pound less.

Using an even lighter and better design, you could possibly get away with a 1.2 ounce base weight and a total fuel need of only 6.5 ounces with a fuel weight of only 5.33 ounces. Total weight would be 6.55 starting and an average weight of only 3.87 ounces, less than half the canister user.



My point is, is that the pepsi can stove doesn't save a ton of weight (especially for long trips). Plus, the resupply points for a lot of people on the trail is about 5 - 7 days. Just the right amount of time for a 4oz canister.


It won't save a ton for sure, but it can save about 1/4 pound.



Don't get me wrong. I like the pepsi can stove. I have made about half a dozen of them. I will bring one with me when fuel is scarce. But, I don't believe the pepsi or trianga saves that much weight. Just my opinion.


I presonally don't care for the pepsi stove design at all. There are a lot better ways to skin that cat. My opinion as well ;)

Sniker
02-27-2004, 17:21
Does anyone have experience with the Brasslite stoves? I see they have a new lighter stove called the Turbo F (for feather). At .8 oz., it doesn't simmer, but if you use a pot cozy, you don't need it to. Does anyone have any experience with the Brasslites?

SGT Rock
02-27-2004, 17:34
Lots of experience with the brasslight. Very good stoves, a piece of art really.

They will boil a pint of water with about 18ml of alcohol (about 1/2 ounce weight in alcohol). You will need to make a windscreen for about an extra 0.3 - 0.4 ounces depending on how you make it. I haven't EXACTLY messed with the F, but it is just like the other Brasslight without the simmer attachement, so in a sense I have used this model.

BigToe
07-01-2004, 01:06
What's the best container for carrying alcohol for the Mini Trangia? I have a MSR fuel bottle but I think I read somewhere that it shouldn't be used for alcohol.

Thanks.

Catfish John

Streamweaver
07-01-2004, 01:20
The MSR stove bottle will work fine but a regular old 20 oz (or whatever size works best fer you) soda bottle is lighter and plenty strong.Other bottles I sometimes use are a 10 oz flat plastic nail polish remover bottle and a 4 oz bottle from Coglahns camp soap for day hikes. Streamweaver

SGT Rock
07-01-2004, 06:35
Well the MSR bottle that is made from aluminum shouldn't be used for alcohol. the MSR bottle label even tells you this because alcohol will cause the bottle to corode.

slatchley
07-01-2004, 06:51
I have been using a pocket rocket, but afdter reading TrailJournals and Whiteblaze, I was convinced alcohol was the way to go so I bought a Brasslite Turbo F. Neat little stove. I took it with me on a 3 day, and I felt it was a disaster, so I amlooking for tips. We were at Upper Goose Pond in Mass. One couple had a Whisperlite, one guy had a pocket rocket, and I had the Brasslite. It was quite windy, but I did have a windscreen. As they were all merrily cooking away, I was watching my alcohol burn off 3 times in a row before the meal was cooked! I used up half of my alcohol on one meal. So...are there any tips that would help, or do I just need to get completely out of the wind, or what. It worked great in my kitchen, but not in the field. The way it worked I would have to carry a quart of alcohol per week.

SGT Rock
07-01-2004, 07:28
That doesn't sound right at all. It sounds like your windscreen wasn't set up right or built right for the stove. I have been using alcohol in the field for years even in windy conditions, and there are some tricks to do in the wind, like make a little pocket around the windscreen, because even a cross wind (if it is too hard) can get in the windscreen and screw up the stove.

Make the windscreen from oven liner. If your pot diameter is 5.5" or less, then it makes a great one piece windsceen by going length ways. The height should be as tall as you can make it and still cook, for me this is just to the bottom of the pot handles. Some folks make them taller and put a slit in the screen just for the pot handles.

The diameter of the screen should be the pot diameter plus about 1/2"-1". This way you get a quarter to 1/2" space around the pot for air flow. If you use a curved side pot like I do, then the screen diameter should be based on the diameter of the pot at the position the windscreen is beside at the top of the windsccreen.

The windscreen should have air holes near the bottom. I use a one hole paper hole puncher and place them about 1" apart. This will give you good air flow but not too much.

slatchley
07-01-2004, 07:33
Thanks Sarge-Thats basically how I made my windscreen, except I made it out of aluminum flashing (Im a builder) and it only came up to the bottom of the pot. Maybe I should try again and make it higher, particularly as I was so ticked off that I threw the last one out. Any more tips greatly appreciated.

SGT Rock
07-01-2004, 07:59
Yes, I reccomed limiting the holes to about 1" apart (I used to reccomend a lot more) because in high winds, it is easier to control the wind amount getting into the stove by simply putting something upwind from the stove that can limit the breeze getting in. Some extra air getting in isn't bad, but too much messes up the stove because it causes the fuel to burn too fast while at the same time blowing most of the heat in the wrong direction. Roof flashing can make a good screen, but I prefer the oven liner since it is a little lighter, a little more malable (sp?) and it still holds up under a lot of use. I honestly assumed you had made a windscreen using Aaron's directions that is made from aluminum foil. I used that for the original Brassilte tests and absolutly hated it.

I also assume you were only using about a pint of water and you were using denatured alcohol instead of rubbing alcohol.

Youngblood
07-01-2004, 11:06
I studied the Trangia web site and borrowed the idea of putting all the intake air holes on one side of the windscreen. I also used the one-hole paper punch and used 1 inch spacing, but I have 3 rows of holes that are offset. This allows some adjustment in windy conditions. Also, like Sarge mentioned, use about a 1/4" gap between the windscreen & pot and make the windscreen tall enough to cover as much of the pot as practical. The windscreen serves several puposes; it keeps the wind from blowing the flame away from the pot, it reduces convective & radiant heat losses, it traps hot exhaust gases around the perimeter of the pot and it has to do all this while allowing sufficient intake air to the alcohol burner. These little alcohol stoves sometimes need all the help they can get. Pot stand height, ground reflector and a preheat pan all can make a big difference in the performance you get.

Youngblood

Jaybird
07-01-2004, 11:55
i'll keep my MSR POCKET ROCKET stove...thanks! :D

gravityman
07-01-2004, 12:04
I have been using a pocket rocket, but afdter reading TrailJournals and Whiteblaze, I was convinced alcohol was the way to go so I bought a Brasslite Turbo F. Neat little stove. I took it with me on a 3 day, and I felt it was a disaster, so I amlooking for tips. We were at Upper Goose Pond in Mass. One couple had a Whisperlite, one guy had a pocket rocket, and I had the Brasslite. It was quite windy, but I did have a windscreen. As they were all merrily cooking away, I was watching my alcohol burn off 3 times in a row before the meal was cooked! I used up half of my alcohol on one meal. So...are there any tips that would help, or do I just need to get completely out of the wind, or what. It worked great in my kitchen, but not in the field. The way it worked I would have to carry a quart of alcohol per week.

I was also disappointed in the performance of our Brasslight Duo. Not to say that it isn't a great stove, but in the end, the pocket rocket (well, I have the gigapower) blew it away in convience and speed. But I am always backpacking with my wife, so we have to cook for two. That makes a big difference. I have been playing with making a windscreen for our gigapower. That's be surprisingly difficult...

Gravity Man

BeaverTrapper
07-01-2004, 23:52
My beef with canister stoves is the same beef I have with propane stoves when car camping - half empty fuel containers. It seems like I was always starting a trip with a half empty canister/bottle of fuel, which meant that I had to take two instead of one. Too cheap to toss a perfectly good fuel canister just because it was half empty. With alcohol, I just refill my Nyquil bottle and I'm good to go.

Streamweaver
07-02-2004, 00:11
Well the MSR bottle that is made from aluminum shouldn't be used for alcohol. the MSR bottle label even tells you this because alcohol will cause the bottle to corode.

Oops!! My bad! Sorry bout that. Streamweaver

Pencil Pusher
07-02-2004, 01:04
My beef with canister stoves is the same beef I have with propane stoves when car camping - half empty fuel containers. It seems like I was always starting a trip with a half empty canister/bottle of fuel, which meant that I had to take two instead of one. Too cheap to toss a perfectly good fuel canister just because it was half empty. With alcohol, I just refill my Nyquil bottle and I'm good to go.
I guess you're right in that even though you could probably gauge how long each cannister would last, the resupply points wouldn't mesh with when your cannister would be empty. So inevitably you'd be carrying an extra cannister for a day or two until the old one peetered out. If you got one of those large Primus cannisters to start with, heck I bet that'd last a hassle-free month with a GigaPower stove. Or maybe take the pepsi can stove as backup and just mooch fuel (after your cannister is empty) until you reach the next town.

Dances with Mice
07-02-2004, 08:07
---snip---One couple had a Whisperlite, one guy had a pocket rocket, and I had the Brasslite. It was quite windy, but I did have a windscreen. As they were all merrily cooking away, I was watching my alcohol burn off 3 times in a row before the meal was cooked! I used up half of my alcohol on one meal. ---snip---

Tell us more about this meal. Where you just trying to bring a couple cups of water to a boil, or doing something more elaborate?

Footslogger
07-02-2004, 09:22
[QUOTE=Catfish John]What's the best container for carrying alcohol for the Mini Trangia? I have a MSR fuel bottle but I think I read somewhere that it shouldn't be used for alcohol.

Well ...wouldn't be so presumptuous and call it the best but I found something that works quite well and is very light and durable. Stumbled into a display at the local spirits store of plastic flasks. They come in different sizes but I used the 10oz one. Empty it weighs around 2 oz and it has a screw on air-tight cap and an outer 1oz jigger (great for measuring out fuel) cap. The flask is oblong and has a curve so it fits well in an outer pouch of a backpack. The plastic used is thicker than that of a soda bottle (which I saw used a lot on my thru last year) and will not flatten out or crack. It is semi-transparent so that you can see the amount of fuel left. I took an indellible felt tip pen and marked off "ounces" on the outside so that I can determine the number of "meals" I have left before I need to purchase more fuel.

Anyway ...it got me all the way to Katahdin and is still going strong.

'Slogger

slatchley
07-02-2004, 10:50
I was just trying to boil some water in my .8L MSR for some ramen. The wind just sucked all of the flame and alcohol right out of the Turbo F

Dances with Mice
07-02-2004, 11:34
I was just trying to boil some water in my .8L MSR for some ramen. The wind just sucked all of the flame and alcohol right out of the Turbo F

OK, I was just making sure. Here's a link to a great windscreen/pot support/heat exchanger idea. I initially liked it because it was simple, combining the pot support and a windscreen into one product. I keep using it because it works great. It's cooked through some severe springtime storms with wind and rain.

http://www.backpacker.com/gear/article/0,1023,4566,00.html

I've modified the described product considerably, but the basic concept is sound. I used aluminum flashing, cut 2 rows of holes with a paper punch around 2/3 of the bottom, and attached 2 pieces of picture hanging wire as pot supports. I'm not sure how much it weighs, it doesn't register on my digital fish scale.

Some of these days I'll have to put up photos and construction details.

Mtn. Pooh Bear
07-02-2004, 19:22
I used Tin Man's alcohol stove. You can purchase them at www.antigravitygear.com. Good people. :)

Brasslite
07-07-2004, 19:14
I have been using a pocket rocket, but afdter reading TrailJournals and Whiteblaze, I was convinced alcohol was the way to go so I bought a Brasslite Turbo F. Neat little stove. I took it with me on a 3 day, and I felt it was a disaster, so I amlooking for tips. We were at Upper Goose Pond in Mass. One couple had a Whisperlite, one guy had a pocket rocket, and I had the Brasslite. It was quite windy, but I did have a windscreen. As they were all merrily cooking away, I was watching my alcohol burn off 3 times in a row before the meal was cooked! I used up half of my alcohol on one meal. So...are there any tips that would help, or do I just need to get completely out of the wind, or what. It worked great in my kitchen, but not in the field. The way it worked I would have to carry a quart of alcohol per week.
The Turbo F is a minimalist stove. If you were trying to boil more than 16-20 oz you were exceeding the design limits. The Turbo F is designed to boil that amount of water and nothing more. Also, the implication is that you were trying to COOK something with it. It's not for cooking in the traditional sense. It doesn't simmer, it goes at full tilt to try to boil the water in the least amount of time for alcohol. So if you were trying to cook something like pasta or anything else requiring real cooking time I'm not surprised that you used up so much fuel. A pot cozy or insulation bag is recommended to "cook" food using the Turbo F. Uses less fuel and you can do other things while it sits, like set up camp or look at the sunset.

Also, if it's that windy you'd probably have the same problem with any alcohol stove. Alcohol stoves need extra technique in the wind and yes you'd need to make some sort of windbreak, and unlike in regular conditions you keep the windscreen tight to keep the heat in under the stove and minimize wind interference. I've used my sleeping pad to do this on very windy ridges in the Tetons and Zion Canyon and had no problems. Hope this helps.:)
Aaron
www.brasslite.com (http://www.brasslite.com/)

slatchley
07-07-2004, 19:54
The Turbo F is a minimalist stove. If you were trying to boil more than 16-20 oz you were exceeding the design limits. The Turbo F is designed to boil that amount of water and nothing more. Also, the implication is that you were trying to COOK something with it. It's not for cooking in the traditional sense. It doesn't simmer, it goes at full tilt to try to boil the water in the least amount of time for alcohol. So if you were trying to cook something like pasta or anything else requiring real cooking time I'm not surprised that you used up so much fuel. A pot cozy or insulation bag is recommended to "cook" food using the Turbo F. Uses less fuel and you can do other things while it sits, like set up camp or look at the sunset.

Also, if it's that windy you'd probably have the same problem with any alcohol stove. Alcohol stoves need extra technique in the wind and yes you'd need to make some sort of windbreak, and unlike in regular conditions you keep the windscreen tight to keep the heat in under the stove and minimize wind interference. I've used my sleeping pad to do this on very windy ridges in the Tetons and Zion Canyon and had no problems. Hope this helps.:)
Aaron
www.brasslite.com (http://www.brasslite.com/)
I guess I wasn't clear. I was trying to make Ramen, so I was boiling about 2 cups of water, that's it. I am not so much complaining about the Brasslite, as trying to get help in using it. Don't take it the wrong way. As for whether it would be the same with any alcohol stove or not, I can't answer that question. I merely compared the situation I was faced with- a pocket rocket, a whisperlite or simmerlite, and my brasslite. The alcohol kept burning off before the water boiled. Obviously, alcohol stoves can be used, and are used. I just wanted tips and tricks.

woodhippie
07-07-2004, 20:57
Just my little input

My stoves have been MSR Dragonfly and my beloved Pepsi can stove. The most reliable, easiest to maintain..yes including the dead of winter is my home made pepsi can. It has never failed to light, never clogged, never over flammed becaused I couldn't see how much fuel I had released from the jet for warm up. The pressure pump has never failed 20 miles from the trail head...........get the idea. Sarge might appreciate the acronim K.I.S.S. I've used my can for a couple years now and it's getting quite a character look to it...............oh yea.......and it has never woke up everyone in the shelter at O-dark thirty when I got a coffee pang that just couldn't wait.

see ya in the woods

SGT Rock
07-07-2004, 21:28
There is a page somewhere (I forget at the moment) about KISS stoves. Silent but efficient :D

Lilred
07-07-2004, 22:14
[QUOTE=SGT Rock]There is a page somewhere (I forget at the moment) about KISS stoves. Silent but efficient :D[/QUOTE


http://www.pcthiker.com/pages/gear/pepsistove.shtml

Here is a webpage with instructions for the pepsi can stove. These are the directions I used to make mine. However, when constructing the inner wall, don't bother notching it. Just curl it so it fits under the lip of the can, then temporarily tape it to hold it in place. Once you put the two cans together, remove the tape and it stays put. I used my stove on a seven day section hike and it worked like a charm. Didn't have a cozy, but I used an Esbit tab if I had to cook something for a longer time. Just turn the can upside down for the esbit tab. Next hike, I'll be getting TinCanStoveMan's cooking gear at antigravity.com.

David S.
07-08-2004, 09:11
I have a homemade alcohol stove made from a miniature V-8 can. I have found that the height of the pot above the flame seems to be very significant to the heat output of the flame. If the pot is to close, your not going to get the hottest part of the flame....the hottest part will be combusting somewhere other than the bottem of the pot. Probably, up the sides where heat loss is the greatest. It seems to me from inexact experimenting that there is a definite "sweet spot" to the flame in an alcohol stove. With my stove, the optimum height seems to be about 2.5 cm above the rim of the stove. I discovered this by taking some hardware cloth and raising and lowering it over the flame. Where ever the wires were the most orange, thats the height I made my pot stand. I have yet to do any comparisons of boiling times so this theory I have may not hold water in real
world use. I would be curious to know if anyone else has noticed this? I feel like I am getting very good boil times with my little stove.

Also, when boil times are tested, it would make sense to start with a standardized water temperature. Obviously, the colder the water, the longer it should take to boil right? David S.

SGT Rock
07-08-2004, 09:48
I've done a lot of playing around with pot height. If you want faster boil times, then the pot should be up in yellow flames. If you want longer boil times with better fuel efficiency, then lower to where the flame is still blue, but turns slightly orange at the tips as they go up the side of the pot - but you don't want flames going too high up the sides.

I used to worry about fast boil times, but now I am more on the mindset of more fuel efficiency with longer heat times and I'll tell you why. With a longer heat time, the stove takes a lot longer to reach boil temperature, but the time the flame interacts with the pot while reaching that, keeps a slow steady heat from 175-212.5. this is important because I find most real cooking happens in that area. So while a stove may reach boil in 3:50 and burn out at 4:50, it consumes fuel rapidly, and you may end up with issues in some conditions that can actually cause the fuel to burn off before boil is reached. But a slower stove usually has a more controled burn and is less likely to burn off fuel in windy conditions while achieving a desired cooking temperature and maintaning it for a longer time. The amount of fuel difference between these two extremes is only about 6ml of alcohol.

ronmoak
07-08-2004, 10:54
There is a page somewhere (I forget at the moment) about KISS stoves. Silent but efficient :D

I think you're reffering to http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/ultralight/KissStove.asp (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/ultralight/KissStove.asp).

Fallingwater

SGT Rock
07-08-2004, 11:11
Yes, it was Ron's page I was thinking of. But KISS to me means "Keep It Simple Stupid", I guess your definition is a little more tactfull.

Brasslite
07-08-2004, 19:03
I guess I wasn't clear. I was trying to make Ramen, so I was boiling about 2 cups of water, that's it. I am not so much complaining about the Brasslite, as trying to get help in using it. Don't take it the wrong way. As for whether it would be the same with any alcohol stove or not, I can't answer that question. I merely compared the situation I was faced with- a pocket rocket, a whisperlite or simmerlite, and my brasslite. The alcohol kept burning off before the water boiled. Obviously, alcohol stoves can be used, and are used. I just wanted tips and tricks.
Sometimes I get too zealous in a response. It's coming from a desire to help but it sometimes comes off as too strong, at least in writing. I will watch that. I'm curious...what pot were you using with the Turbo F when you had this problem with the heat getting "sucked out"?
Aaron
www.brasslite.com (http://www.brasslite.com)

slatchley
07-08-2004, 19:45
The MSR .85L Titan

dougmeredith
07-08-2004, 19:55
I honestly assumed you had made a windscreen using Aaron's directions that is made from aluminum foil. I used that for the original Brassilte tests and absolutly hated it.
What did you hate about it?

Brasslite
07-08-2004, 19:59
The MSR .85L Titan
I've used the Turbo F with the Titan kettle...it normally works just fine. Hmmm...it does sound very strange. Last question... Wrapping the windscreen tight to the pot is not normally recommended because it can make the stove overheat and dump its fuel too quickly. It sounds like the opposite was happening, the wind was taking the heat away before it could get into the pot. In this case wrapping the windscreen close (1/4" gap) is a good idea. Was it wrapped close?
Aaron

slatchley
07-08-2004, 20:13
As per your instructions, about 1/2" on all sides

Brasslite
07-08-2004, 21:36
As per your instructions, about 1/2" on all sides
Well, as the saying goes I wish I were there to see it for myself cause it sure is a head-scratcher. :-? It's really hard to believe that you burned 3 oz of fuel and couldn't get 16 oz to boil. :confused: In 3 years of making these kinds of stoves I've never heard of such a thing. I guess all I can say is if you're in a similar situation again, make a windbreak of some sort.
Aaron

SGT Rock
07-08-2004, 21:47
What did you hate about it?

I just didn't like the aluminum foil material. The same weight can be achived by simply cutting one from an oven liner instead of all that folding of aluminum foil. The oven liner is a happy medium between folding aluminum foil and gutter flashing which I feel is a little overkill for windscreen material. BTW, the MSR stove windscreens are also made from the same grade aluminum as an oven liner. they have a little trick of folding over about a 1/16" lip on the top and bottom to make them a little stiffer for bending and to prevent people from possibly cutting themselves. If you need a new windscreen for an MSR stove, save yourself some money and buy the oven liner for about $1 and cut it to the size you need yourself.

Now, as to the Brasslite. Again, 3 ounces should cook a turkey. Well, that is an exageration, but 3 ounces really should boil at least a half gallon of water (a pint at a time). Threre has to be something wrong here.

pokohiker
07-08-2004, 23:50
I just recieved my Brasslite Turbo 1 a couple of hours ago. I did only one test burn and am very pleased. 1 oz of fuel, wind screen (old whisperlite) about 1/2 to 3/4 " away from titanium 4" dia pot covered boiled 16 oz of water in under 5 min + or - (my wife was the time keeper and she was on the phone). I did a little pre heating and the stand got red hot (only for a few seconds). Is this ok? Will it hold up for a thru hike? I'm hoping it doesn't eventually start to sag after repeated use.

SGT Rock
07-09-2004, 05:55
Red hot is fine. You shouldn't need a lot of priming fuel.

pokohiker
07-09-2004, 07:14
That's good news, thanks. The priming wasn't intentional, I was just sloppy when filling the stove. Guess I should have bought a fuel bottle as well.

Brasslite
07-09-2004, 07:24
I just recieved my Brasslite Turbo 1 a couple of hours ago. I did only one test burn and am very pleased. 1 oz of fuel, wind screen (old whisperlite) about 1/2 to 3/4 " away from titanium 4" dia pot covered boiled 16 oz of water in under 5 min + or - (my wife was the time keeper and she was on the phone). I did a little pre heating and the stand got red hot (only for a few seconds). Is this ok? Will it hold up for a thru hike? I'm hoping it doesn't eventually start to sag after repeated use.
The Brasslite stoves are designed with longevity (Thru hike) in mind. The stand material is type 304 stainless steel which has no iron or copper as part of the alloy. Not all stainless steels are the same. For example, you may be interested to see that a magnet will stick to the stainless steel spoons you have in your kitchen, because it has iron in the alloy. A magnet will not stick to the stand of a Brasslite stove. Iron and copper can be "annealed"... softened by heat treating. That can't happen with type 304 because it's all nickel, chromium and molybdenum, none of which change with exposure to heat. Long story short, short of melting it doesn't matter how hot the metal gets...it won't sag. :D
Aaron
Brasslite, LLC

slapcrap
07-15-2004, 01:06
I asked the manufactor of HEET Gas-Line Antifreeze about there alcohol content on their Methyl and Iso brands and this is the response I got

"HEET contains 99.9% Methyl Alcohol. ISO-HEET contains 99.9% Isopropyl
Alcohol."

maybe that might help folks in their studies on alcohol .....

I just ordered and received the Brasslite Turbo I Stove and love the little thing .

I my own limited tests that have run in the past few days since I have got the stove , I prefer the HEET Methyl , due to the fact the flame is more under control and focuses more on the bottom or my titanium pot , the ISO- HEET is a large flame and is a bit out of control and licking up the sides of the pot and all over the place ....but this is just my intital testing with out a lot of controls in place for scientific analysis and what not ....

I do have one minor problem with the Turbo I Stove, is that I find it hard to move the simmer ring easly while it is burning ,the ring is a little snug for that , my suggestion would to have had a simmer ring on it that would move up and down , instead of having the move it side to side to cover the holes ...that's my measly two cents worth

BigToe
07-15-2004, 20:26
What's the best container for carrying alcohol for the Mini Trangia? I have a MSR fuel bottle but I think I read somewhere that it shouldn't be used for alcohol.

Thanks.

Catfish JohnAnswering my own question - I called a buddy who is a bonafide chemist. He says methanol which is usually present at about 5% in denatured alcohol does corrode aluminum. If the bottle (like MSR's fuel bottle) is unlaquered then the methanol WILL corrode the aluminum and eventually cause pinhole leaks. He feels it would be pretty aggressive too. After finding this out I was surfing the 'net and found a tip about using hydrogen peroxide bottles coupled with water bottle squirt spouts for a nice heavy duty, easy pour bottle. Thanks to all who responded.

Brasslite
07-15-2004, 22:31
I asked the manufactor of HEET Gas-Line Antifreeze about there alcohol content on their Methyl and Iso brands and this is the response I got

"HEET contains 99.9% Methyl Alcohol. ISO-HEET contains 99.9% Isopropyl
Alcohol."

maybe that might help folks in their studies on alcohol .....

I just ordered and received the Brasslite Turbo I Stove and love the little thing .

I my own limited tests that have run in the past few days since I have got the stove , I prefer the HEET Methyl , due to the fact the flame is more under control and focuses more on the bottom or my titanium pot , the ISO- HEET is a large flame and is a bit out of control and licking up the sides of the pot and all over the place ....but this is just my intital testing with out a lot of controls in place for scientific analysis and what not ....

I do have one minor problem with the Turbo I Stove, is that I find it hard to move the simmer ring easly while it is burning ,the ring is a little snug for that , my suggestion would to have had a simmer ring on it that would move up and down , instead of having the move it side to side to cover the holes ...that's my measly two cents worth
The simmer sleeve is adjustable and you can make it more loose. Please follow the directions that came with your stove or find the instructions online at the Brasslite site. If it moved up and down would REQUIRE that it be snug, otherwise it wouldn't stay up! That's not practical...it's easier to keep something loose than tight.
Aaron
Brasslite, LLC

veteran
07-31-2004, 16:14
The Vargo Titanium stove:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vargo_triad_titanium_stove.html?id=w9an4kZ6:209.3. 112.64

SGT Rock
07-31-2004, 18:58
That is the one I saw at Trail Days, and then Kinkora. I didn't like it, and it looks like in those tests the Brasslite Turbo F is better, about the same as my untested assessment.

steve hiker
09-19-2004, 17:51
I personally don't care for the pepsi stove design at all. There are a lot better ways to skin that cat.
So what's your favorite? I have a trangia (heavy) and the brasslite looks good, but I'd really like to make my own stove. Efficiency is a must.

Anyone else with an opinion, pipe up.

Dances with Mice
09-19-2004, 18:25
[QUOTE=steve hiker]So what's your favorite? I have a trangia (heavy) and the brasslite looks good, but I'd really like to make my own stove. Efficiency is a must. [QUOTE]

First try the 'Cat' stove. It's about as efficient as things get. If you like it I can provide directions on how to make the 'kitten' stove, or micro-cat.

SGT Rock
09-19-2004, 19:16
My favorite for now is what I call the BIS II (Baghdad Ion Stove version 2). It is a modified version of a V8 stove and sort of like my Ion design. Mine weighs 0.6 ounces with windscreen.

atraildreamer
06-04-2006, 02:12
[quote=AT2004One last comment, the fuel for the canister is about $5 - $6 for 8oz. The fuel for the pepsi can stove is about $1 for about 8oz. Even though you have to buy more fuel, the pepsi can is still cheaper (especially if you take into consideration the cost of the stove).[/quote]

4-pack of methanol-based dry gas (12ounce bottles) at Wally World: ~$2.25 (= to 0.47 cents/ounce).

Each ounce of fuel equals about 10 minutes of cooking time.

120 minutes worth of hot meals per bottle of dry gas: Priceless :rolleyes:

Amigi'sLastStand
06-04-2006, 04:39
The Brasslite stoves are designed with longevity (Thru hike) in mind. The stand material is type 304 stainless steel which has no iron or copper as part of the alloy. Not all stainless steels are the same. For example, you may be interested to see that a magnet will stick to the stainless steel spoons you have in your kitchen, because it has iron in the alloy. A magnet will not stick to the stand of a Brasslite stove. Iron and copper can be "annealed"... softened by heat treating. That can't happen with type 304 because it's all nickel, chromium and molybdenum, none of which change with exposure to heat. Long story short, short of melting it doesn't matter how hot the metal gets...it won't sag. :D
Aaron
Brasslite, LLC

Okay, I gotta get a little curt ( spelled right? ) here. This guy is an idiot when it comes to metallurgy. I normally explain to someone politely when I "feel" they are wrong, but this is just garbage.

Type 304 stainless is around 66% iron. No iron, holy heck, then why is it stainless "steel". Type 304 is this by definition:
Carbon- .08% max
Manganese - 2% max
Phosphorus- .045 max
Sulfur- .03% max
Silicon- 1% max
Chromium- 18%-20% depending on surface area of the object
Nickel- 8%-10.5% max
It is non-magnetic because of the nickel and chromium content. Most of you hate my scientific explainations, so lets just say it is that way because it is that way.
Yes, type 304 is not an anneallable alloy, it is cold-rolled, cold-worked. This is in fact the worst stainless steel for cookwear. It is cheap, however, which is why it is used. It still works, but has a built in expection of failure, like your VCR or DVD does. They dont want this stuff lasting forever, now do they?
Ok, Type 304 is used in all food processing applications that DO NOT require heat, such as milk lines, orange juice, sterlizers, homogenators, etc. but NEVER with heat. Type 304H ( legally must be labeled as such ) is a high carbon, high heat version of the standard "18/8", 18% chromium, 8% nickel.
It is just as cheap, but would almost last forever in a home use environment. No followup sales.;)
This sales guy just got me to avoid their product all cost.

Amigi'sLastStand
06-04-2006, 04:40
Oh, yeah, copper is never a standard part of a stainless steel alloy. What the heck is he talking about?

SGT Rock
06-04-2006, 10:03
This sales guy just got me to avoid their product all cost.

Well actually the guy is Aarron and despite what you might think because of his response, he is a nice guy and really cares about his product. He is a past thru-hiker and is a jewler that used his tallents to make that stove and has been doing a pretty good job with them.

You may not want to buy one of his stoves, that is your choice. Just wanted to know that Aarron is one of the nicest guys I know and ain't out to screw anyone over. :sun

Booley
06-04-2006, 11:09
This guy is an idiot when it comes to metallurgy.

AMG, why slam Aaron here on WB? Like Rock said, he's the nicest guy and he backs his products well. He's doing well with his business, and having a good attitude goes a long way when you are in the retail industry. Life's too short to criticize people!

Amigi'sLastStand
06-04-2006, 12:32
Not trying to slam anyone. I'm sure he is the nicest of people, but I'll call anyone on a ridiculous statement. Ppl who sell, ppl who work for a company, your doctor, the mailman, etc. etc. are ppl who you expect to know what the heck they are talking about. Ppl will take what they say as fact. I gotta call him on it. If you catch me, you can call me anything you like. I over look a ton of crap on forums and dont respond, like about how there should never be any criticism......

SGT Rock
06-04-2006, 13:40
Not trying to slam anyone. I'm sure he is the nicest of people, but I'll call anyone on a ridiculous statement. Ppl who sell, ppl who work for a company, your doctor, the mailman, etc. etc. are ppl who you expect to know what the heck they are talking about. Ppl will take what they say as fact. I gotta call him on it. If you catch me, you can call me anything you like. I over look a ton of crap on forums and dont respond, like about how there should never be any criticism......

Naw, criticism of gear or of a company is sometimes needed so other hikers that need info can get unbiased information about a product or a company's service. I think the issue with some here is their Brasslights have done exactly as advertised and have stood up to many, many trail meals without any sign of falling apart. Add to that Aaron from Brasslight is no huckster that is trying to make sure his product will fail (as your initial post seemed to imply)

It is cheap, however, which is why it is used. It still works, but has a built in expectation of failure, like your VCR or DVD does. They dont want this stuff lasting forever, now do they?
OK, Type 304 is used in all food processing applications that DO NOT require heat, such as milk lines, orange juice, sterlizers, homogenators, etc. but NEVER with heat. Type 304H ( legally must be labeled as such ) is a high carbon, high heat version of the standard "18/8", 18% chromium, 8% nickel.
It is just as cheap, but would almost last forever in a home use environment. No followup sales.;)

I have always heard of Aaron taking care of his customers and he is very conscientious about his product. I remember when he was trying to expand his production without letting product quality drop. He hand made every one of his stoves and had to make sure when he got help they used the same materials and had the same quality control lest people got ripped off.

Anyway, I think the issue should be if the product works and stands up as advertised, not if the guy making them knows every tidbit of information about how much nickel is in his steel.

Dances with Mice
06-04-2006, 14:53
I saw that post some years ago and let it pass because the author is an artist rather than a scientist. The bottom line is that a little material science ignorance doesn’t matter if the final product works. Ask Thomas Edison.

Besides, he started out making modifications of pepsi stoves then switched to making replicas of cat stoves. So he ain’t stupid!

Nightwalker
06-04-2006, 15:48
If you want a storebought stove I vote for the antigravity. I have used the trangia and have also tried the Etowah alcohol stove out but they are heavier and also require a pot stand. BUT I believe the only fuel tinman says to burn in it is denatured alcohol. I do not know about using other fuels in it.
Denatured is a mix between Methyl, Ethyl and MEK*. I just use HEET, which 9is straight Methyl, plus isn't nasty smelling like denatured is.




*(Methyl Ethyl Ketones. Very nasty stuff!)

Amigi'sLastStand
06-04-2006, 17:47
To anyone I offended, I apologize. But I would delete his post. If worked for a competitor, I'd copy his post and send it to my customers and outfitters showing that the guy is really uninformed about his own product. If you care about the guy, delete it.

Ewker
06-04-2006, 18:33
personally I think you are over reacting.

baerbelleksa
06-04-2006, 18:35
i was recently reading erin & lindsay's trailjournal, and they made something like 20 Coke can stoves before they left for their thru-hike.

is that really necessary? how long does one stove typically last?

Fiddler
06-04-2006, 19:21
Don't know. I've never had one "wear out". I'm always ready to try a new design, or alter an old design to try making it better so have not used any single stove a great deal except the one I carry in the pack. But it has less than 1000 miles on it.

Skidsteer
06-04-2006, 20:18
To anyone I offended, I apologize. But I would delete his post. If worked for a competitor, I'd copy his post and send it to my customers and outfitters showing that the guy is really uninformed about his own product. If you care about the guy, delete it.

Here's an idea:

Since you are so exercised about the errors in his post, and are worried that his competition will use it against him, why don't you e-mail him?...

mailto:aaron@brasslite.com (aaron@brasslite.com)

...and inform him:


This guy is an idiot when it comes to metallurgy. I normally explain to someone politely when I "feel" they are wrong, but this is just garbage.

Then, if you deem it necessary, you may continue your 'explanation' in private.

JimM
06-04-2006, 21:22
Here's an idea:

Since you are so exercised about the errors in his post, and are worried that his competition will use it against him, why don't you e-mail him?...

mailto:aaron@brasslite.com (aaron@brasslite.com)

...and inform him:



Then, if you deem it necessary, you may continue your 'explanation' in private. Well said.
Jim

Amigi'sLastStand
06-04-2006, 21:37
Here's an idea:

Since you are so exercised about the errors in his post, and are worried that his competition will use it against him, why don't you e-mail him?...
mailto:aaron@brasslite.com (aaron@brasslite.com)
..and inform him:
Then, if you deem it necessary, you may continue your 'explanation' in private.

I'm not the one concerned about him. I am concerned about the community here. I see bad advice all the time and sometimes respond and sometimes I dont. If it is safety or health related, you can count on me responding. ( Put mustard on a burn ). This is about a stove, so I'm done with this. I apologized once, I never do twice.
Any my 'explanation' as you put it, is fact, pure and simple.:cool:

SGT Rock
06-05-2006, 01:39
Naw, you didn't offend us, just letting you know he is a good guy. As to his post, well he could do it if he wants to. Then again, maybe since he is just a human, he relizes he can't always be right.

Anyway. I ain't got any hard feelings over it. I figure you are a stand up guy trying to point out something that obvioulsy doesn't make sense. I got some of the same sort of flak over pointing out flaws in the Jet Boil.

Lets all drop it :D

Amigi'sLastStand
06-05-2006, 01:56
Naw, you didn't offend us, just letting you know he is a good guy. As to his post, well he could do it if he wants to. Then again, maybe since he is just a human, he relizes he can't always be right.

Anyway. I ain't got any hard feelings over it. I figure you are a stand up guy trying to point out something that obvioulsy doesn't make sense. I got some of the same sort of flak over pointing out flaws in the Jet Boil.

Lets all drop it :D
thank you. Yes, we are all human and the Lord knows how many mistakes I've made. So do a lot of my friends. I have a rough crew. I wish only God knew. :(

BDT
06-14-2006, 22:01
I love alcohol. I use a Vargo stove and it works great!

SGT Rock
06-15-2006, 01:57
One of the new ones or the original models?

Ridge
06-15-2006, 02:53
I use to use a WHISPERLITE INTERNATIONAL, MULTI FUEL stove, then I started using a homemade alcohol stove and liked it better. For years now I have been using a Sierra Zip wood burner, the only way I might go back to the alcohol stove is if I could pee alcohol, which my old lady says I drink enough to do it. Not knocking any of the alcohol stoves, it would be my second or backup choice. I do know I've converted a lot of hikers who used my zip stove on the trail when they had ran out of fuel and was having to give me some of their grub in exchange for stove time.

Kerby
06-21-2006, 19:53
Hi there!

I have been a long time believer in the MSR Wisperlight, and to be honest, I have never herd of alcohol stoves untill reading this thread.

Long story short, I was inspired to build a pepsi-can stove today (Perhaps I should call it a diet mountan dew stove?) fromthe planns several of you have linked. I must say, my first impression is rather good. It lit and everything.

This has given me an idea. I run a youth program for "At Risk" teens in inner city Baltimore that includes an "outward bound" like backpacking program. I think I am going to incorperate building a stove for there oun personal use on these trips into the program (allong with the safty and respect the wood stuff of course)

What do you think?

Skidsteer
06-21-2006, 20:09
Hi there!

I have been a long time believer in the MSR Wisperlight, and to be honest, I have never herd of alcohol stoves untill reading this thread.

Long story short, I was inspired to build a pepsi-can stove today (Perhaps I should call it a diet mountan dew stove?) fromthe planns several of you have linked. I must say, my first impression is rather good. It lit and everything.

This has given me an idea. I run a youth program for "At Risk" teens in inner city Baltimore that includes an "outward bound" like backpacking program. I think I am going to incorperate building a stove for there oun personal use on these trips into the program (allong with the safty and respect the wood stuff of course)

What do you think?

It sounds like a good skill/confidence builder for the teens. You may want to put extra emphasis on the fact that denatured alcohol is poison and not for drinking. :)

Kerby
06-21-2006, 21:33
Ya, I just may wont to do that.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-21-2006, 21:41
We have one of the Vargo Ti stoves and it doesn't seem to be pressurizing correctly about half the time. It uses a lot of fuel when it doesn't pressurize. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone know of a solution (other than building another stove)?

Skidsteer
06-21-2006, 21:49
We have one of the Vargo Ti stoves and it doesn't seem to be pressurizing correctly about half the time. It uses a lot of fuel when it doesn't pressurize. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone know of a solution (other than building another stove)?

You mean the alcohol stove, right?

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-21-2006, 22:10
You mean the alcohol stove, right?Yes, this one (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vargo_triad_titanium_stove.html)

Ewker
06-21-2006, 22:14
We have one of the Vargo Ti stoves and it doesn't seem to be pressurizing correctly about half the time. It uses a lot of fuel when it doesn't pressurize. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone know of a solution (other than building another stove)?

I bought one of those stoves at Trail Days. Once it gets going it does ok. I do like that you can blow it out and save the extra fuel. My main problem is how long it takes to fill it up. You have to pour the fuel extremely slow or it will go over the side of the stove.

Skidsteer
06-21-2006, 22:22
Yes, this one (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vargo_triad_titanium_stove.html)

-Are the jets clear and clean?
-Did you recently switch to a different diameter pot?
-Any chance of water contamination due to leaving a full pot of water on the stove overnight causing condensation to drip into the stove?
-Is your fuel old, new, or possibly a different brand than you normally use?


It may have something to do with one of these reasons or not. Truth is, I've not heard many warm and fuzzies when it comes to the Vargo stoves. But if it has pressurized in the past and is not pressurizing now, there is probably a reason for it. :)

Frolicking Dinosaurs
06-23-2006, 00:02
The jets are clean. I was using a large coffee pot when problem was first noted, but I also noted the problem using my favorite pot - a 2 quart, 30 year old Coleman aluminum pot (quit laughing). No chance of water contamination - I keep the stove in a ziplock inside a pot when not in use. Fuel was same as had been used at Trail Days this year and on one other trip without a problem.

Stonewall
06-23-2006, 01:44
Anyone know or hear of this one and how it performs? Vargo Outdoors Triad Titanium Stove (http://www.prolitegear.com/vargo-triad.html)

Specifications
Weight: 1.0 oz. (28 grams)
Burner Diameter: 60mm
Diameter when pot support is open: 85mm
Fuel Capacity: 1.75 oz.
Collapsed height: 27mm

Stonewall
06-23-2006, 01:58
nm gess I should have checked the few post before I posted it


ok instead another question... How important is a simmer feature?

Two Speed
06-23-2006, 02:16
. . . ok instead another question... How important is a simmer feature?Depends on your cooking style. Personally I find I use the simmer ring on my Trangia a couple of times every trip, so the couple of grams are worth it to me. There are those times when some sauted onions, mushrooms and garlic are essential to life as I know it.

FWIW I'll add to the chorus of faint damnation on the Vargo. An aquaintance was playing with one and it seemed to be somewhat of a PITA. Seeing as the PITA factor was kicking in controlled conditions (sheltered location, no wind, temps in the mid 70's) I saw no reason to investigate it further, particularly in field conditions when my ability to make a hot meal could depend on what appeared to be a rather persnickety gizmo. Should the weight of my Trangia Westwind (7, 9 oz?) become an issue I'll probably look at making a Super Cat or a Sgt Rock Ion. If I go the Super Cat route DWM's "kitten stove" is the design I'll check first.

SGT Rock
06-23-2006, 03:46
nm gess I should have checked the few post before I posted it


ok instead another question... How important is a simmer feature?

Depends on what you mean by simmer. Most backpacking meals simmer by just staying hot but below a boil. You can do this without using a stove or fuel by just insulating your pot with a fleece or knit hat, or a pot cozy.

If you want to simmer up some onions and spam to add to your ramen - without having a stove that gets so hot it burns the food you may want to check into a stove that simmers. I can simmer on my stove by just using less fuel. Another option is to learn to use a campfire and a stove at the same time or in place of each other based on what you are trying to cook.

Stonewall
06-23-2006, 03:59
Brasslite Turbo II-F Stove (http://www.prolitegear.com/pl_brasslite_turboIIf.html) or Brasslite Turbo F (http://www.prolitegear.com/brasslite-turbo-f.html) To simmer or not that tis the question.

Footslogger
06-23-2006, 08:36
ok instead another question... How important is a simmer feature?
===================================

Depends on how you cook. Personally I never missed the simmer feature when I switched from propane to alcohol stoves.

'Slogger

StarLyte
06-23-2006, 09:11
Whoa----that is a sweet stove.
Marsha

Alligator
06-23-2006, 14:32
Brasslite Turbo II-F Stove (http://www.prolitegear.com/pl_brasslite_turboIIf.html) or Brasslite Turbo F (http://www.prolitegear.com/brasslite-turbo-f.html) To simmer or not that tis the question.I have the Turbo II-D. I like being able to fine tune the flame if needed. I made quesadillas with mine last weekend. Being able to simmer extends your fuel usage. It will boil for X minutes on full, X+Y with the simmer. You might simply drop the food into a cozy, but for just a little more fuel you can simmer for 7-8 minutes. I don't really like using my cozy yet.

It's only 0.6 oz and $8.00.

Two Speed
06-23-2006, 15:03
Brasslite Turbo II-F Stove (http://www.prolitegear.com/pl_brasslite_turboIIf.html) or Brasslite Turbo F (http://www.prolitegear.com/brasslite-turbo-f.html) To simmer or not that tis the question.Yeah, at 1.4 oz and able to simmer that Turbo F could cause me to revise my plans to investigate the DWM kitten stove.

Two Speed
06-23-2006, 15:07
. . . I don't really like using my cozy yet. . .Try it. A little practice, realize that you can set your food aside during the winter to attend to other tasks and get back to a warm meal? Yeah, I'll be really surprised if you don't

Alligator
06-23-2006, 15:45
Try it. A little practice, realize that you can set your food aside during the winter to attend to other tasks and get back to a warm meal? Yeah, I'll be really surprised if you don'tI have one. I'm working on it. The problem for me is most of the time, I have homemade dehydrated food. The amount of water and time to cook is never really the same. I'm a good cook too, but the variability usually forces me to do a little simmering after letting it sit. I still put it in the cozy.

In the winter though, hot food stands no chance of getting cold. It disappears:) . I actually don't mind it cooling off quicker. I find the smaller pots, with less surface area, can take some time to cool.

Skidsteer
06-23-2006, 19:45
The jets are clean. I was using a large coffee pot when problem was first noted, but I also noted the problem using my favorite pot - a 2 quart, 30 year old Coleman aluminum pot (quit laughing). No chance of water contamination - I keep the stove in a ziplock inside a pot when not in use. Fuel was same as had been used at Trail Days this year and on one other trip without a problem.

I'm stumped as to why the stove would pressurize with no problems and then stop pressurizing for no apparent reason.

I will say this though. I had given thought to trying to make a homemade ti stove at one point. I remember having doubts about how quickly the stove would heat up and bloom vs. the thin aluminum most commonly used. About the time I had decided to table the idea on my own, I remember reading something along those same lines(can't remember where, though). I never pursued the idea after that.

If your stove were mine I would probably start to experiment and fiddle with it some.

I am not recommending you do any of this, but one thing I would try is to fill the stove as usual, light it, let it warm a bit, and try putting a penny over the center hole just for grins. Hypothetically I would be wearing gloves and safety glasses.

Another thing I might try is to leave the pot supports folded down and see if it could be made to pressurize by holding a pot of water at various distances from the burner surface. If that got no results I would probably go get a pencil torch and make that stove bloom just on general principles. :D But that's just me. I don't think you should do any of these things. ;)

Bear in mind I don't own a Vargo and have never used one personally, so my advice is suspect if for no other reason than that.

P.S. Actually the first thing I would do is try vacuuming out the stove with a shop-vac just to make sure there is no dirt or debris in it. With the 'open cup design' stoves(Ions, etc.), it's easy to see if there is dirt in the burner. The Vargo is closed or nearly closed.

doodah man
06-23-2006, 21:46
We have one of the Vargo Ti stoves and it doesn't seem to be pressurizing correctly about half the time. It uses a lot of fuel when it doesn't pressurize. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone know of a solution (other than building another stove)?

Dino, I too have just recently obtained the Vargo Titanium Alcohol Stove (http://vargooutdoors.safeshopper.com/73/1461.htm?521) (basic, not triad). Am replacing my 35 year old svea 123... Anyhow, to the point, I have one of the newer vargo versions with the seam on the bottom and am also getting sporadic performance. It appears that the bottom seam in not a very tight seal and it will, at times, hiss and sputter and even sounds like an occasional flame shooting down (difficult to see with the nearly invisible alcohol flame). This is my first alcohol stove so I don't have anything to compare it to, but am a little disappointed. I may just use some JB weld to seal that seam, but for what it costs I would expect premium performance out of the box. Also, I am a little annoyed that the advertised weight is 28 gm but as delivered was 38.5 gm. That sure is a pretty big percentage error and will only get heavier with the JB. doodah-man

Tinker
06-23-2006, 23:57
We have one of the Vargo Ti stoves and it doesn't seem to be pressurizing correctly about half the time. It uses a lot of fuel when it doesn't pressurize. Has anyone else had this problem? Anyone know of a solution (other than building another stove)?

The Vargo stove is nice in that it is light and strong, being made of titanium.
Unfortunately, ti doesn't retain heat like aluminum, so the fuel inside the stove cools off and doesn't vaporize well. Also, the fuel tank is surrounded by air, being supported by legs, so the heat can be conducted away from the stove much more quickly by the surrounding air than a stove which rests directly on the ground. I used a Supercat home made stove in a side by side test with another hiker who has a Vargo stove, and the aluminum cat food can stove blew the Vargo stove away in boiling time and fuel efficiency. Inefficient materials and a less than well thought out design make the Vargo stove so-so in the performance department.

I also have a naked Brasslite Turbo stove which I tested with numerous windscreens and pot supports and was not impressed with its performance. Brass is a better heat conductor than Titanium, but isn't as good as aluminum. The pot rests directly on the Supercat stove, eliminating the need for a pot support and tall windscreen, saving weight in both cases.

SGT Rock
06-24-2006, 05:38
I agree with the reports of the Vargo. The stove is a pain in the ass to fill, doesn't work any better than a standard pepsi can stove, and is actually heavier than it needs to be for what it is. Add to that what Tinker said about the difference between aluminum and titanium in regards to heat performance (brass is good though) and the fact that even as a pressurized stove it is not well made and does need some tweeking (I like the JB weld idea). The Vago is a titanium curiosity with some cool factor because it is Ti, but as an actual stove it leaves a lot to be desired.

For what it is worth, you could get a better product by simply making your own pressurized alcohol stove with some V8 cans and buy a titanium stand for them. I know a fella...

Kerby
06-25-2006, 21:20
I was finaly aboe to test my pepsi can stove (addmitedly no where near firld conditions). I incorperated a pot stand made from hardware cloth that I found on Sgt. Rocks web site (cool site you got there Top), no wind screen and ,4 cap fulls of rubbing alcohol brought 2 cups of water to a solid boil in 7 minuts and promptly ran out of fule.


I am beginning tho think this has possabilitys. Thanks all for the info.

Ewker
06-25-2006, 22:04
I agree with the reports of the Vargo. The stove is a pain in the ass to fill,

Sgt Rock, I tried to fill it with a syringe. I had a flexible hose on the end that fit into the hole in the stove. It was still slow going but quicker than the normal way of filling it up.

The one advantage it does have is that it is easy to blow out.


If someone makes an offer on it I will sell it.

Spock
06-25-2006, 22:07
AT2004,
The fuel/stove weight equation must account for the trip duration. Up to about 5 days, most alcohol rigs come out lighter because the stove, fuel and fuel bottle are a good 5 to 6 ounces lighter than the lightest cannister stove and (empty) cannister (about 3.5 oz each). And you can't effectively judge what's left inthe cannister and end up carrying an extra or a full one when you have only a 4 or 5 day trek to the next supply point. For longer walks, say over 7 or 8 days, the cannister becomes more efficient.

The efficiency king, of course, is Esbit. It has the same fuel weight per boil as the cannister stove without all the additional baggage. No other fuel is as efficient for either the long or the short term. The relative difficulty of resupply makes Esbit less practical than alcohol on the AT, but it's nice to have the option of using either.

Ridge
07-05-2006, 19:14
Denatured Alcohol

Positives
A renewable fuel resource, low volatility. Burns almost silently. Alcohol-burning stoves tend to have fewer moving parts than other types, lowering the chance of breakdown.
Negatives
Lower heat output, so cooking takes longer and requires more fuel. Fuel can be hard to find outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Overall Review
A viable, environmentally-friendly option for travel in the U.S. and Canada, especially if you crave peace, quiet and a slow pace on your backpacking trips.
http://www.rei.com/online/store/LearnShareDetailArticlesList?categoryId=Camping&url=rei/learn/camp/bkstove3f.jsp&vcat=REI_EXPERT_ADVICE_CAMPING

blackbishop351
07-05-2006, 20:33
I knew some guys years ago who used alcohol. This was in my Whisperlite days. Even with priming, preheating, and pumping, I still had a lot easier time cooking than they did. I've got a Primus cannister stove now (and LOVE it) and I'm thinking about a Jetboil. I won't ever use alcohol, sorry guys : )

SunnyWalker
12-25-2008, 01:31
Tinny on MiniBull designs video on YouTube stated that Air Brake Anti Freeze was great source fuel. I bought some today and will try it out tomorrow, Christmas day. Other than that I have always used Heet.

Grinder
12-25-2008, 08:51
One of the problems with choosing a stove is the fact that few discussions cover the "COOKING SYSTEM", instead, focus narrowly on just the stove.

It is the same as Hammocks. You need to study the sleep system. (The whole house if you will.) Who wouldn't be enamored with the hammock idea after seeing a picture of the Hennessee in the palm of a guys hand?? I know I was.Then, under insulation, adequate tarps and pack storage raised their ugly heads! Welcome to reality.

A cook system includes a stove, a pot stand, a pot, a windscreen, fuel container, ignitions and some kind of spoon. (as a minimum. Maybe a knife also, etc) All this stuff has to store and assemble comfortably to be a good system.

I just finished reading Marta's trail journal from year before last and she says somewhere in there that the best way to choose gear is to use gear, not conduct unending polls here on White Blaze.

With home made alcohol stoves, there is no big downside to experimenting. The most inept can cobble up a stove that will boil water in an hour or two. The pride of authorship is so enabling. There is nothing like the "HEY!! I CAN DO THIS!!" feeling.

Grinder

SunnyWalker
12-25-2008, 14:01
I tried the air brake anti-freeze. Worked great. I'll have to figure if this is cheaper than a bottle of heet. -SunnyWalker

ChinMusic
12-25-2008, 18:30
I'm sure it has been posted many times before on WB, but what temps are too cold for an alcohol stove (Minibull design if that matters)?

I have a trip next week and can choose between my alcohol stove and Pocket Rocket. Temps could be around 10 in the morning. I have very little stove experience at those temps.

Marta
12-25-2008, 18:38
Think Trangia=Sweden

I think they use alcohol stoves in Alaska during the Iditerod, as well.

In order to get the alcohol to light, you've got to get a bit to vaporize. I use a match, hold it just above the surface of the alcohol for a second, then drop it in.

Dances with Mice
12-25-2008, 18:40
I'm sure it has been posted many times before on WB, but what temps are too cold for an alcohol stove (Minibull design if that matters)?It's never a bad question . As its been posted at least several times before alcohol stoves are used by every Iditarod dog sled team on their race across Alaska, where stove failure could mean death. There should be no concern about using alcohol at any temperature.

You will use more fuel than in warm weather but that's true of any stove.

russb
12-25-2008, 19:46
I'm sure it has been posted many times before on WB, but what temps are too cold for an alcohol stove (Minibull design if that matters)?

I have a trip next week and can choose between my alcohol stove and Pocket Rocket. Temps could be around 10 in the morning. I have very little stove experience at those temps.

Alcohol stoves are not all created equal. Pressurized stoves (like minibulls) suck in the cold as they rely on the boiling of the alcohol to generate the pressure and the flame jets.

A wick stove like the Starlyte (IMO the best alcohol stove available) or the Fancee Feest have worked flawlessly for me in temps right near zero *F. The FF outperformed a whitegas stove in the Adirondacks in Nov. (temp was in the teens)

Canister stoves are worse than pressurized alcohol stoves in the super cold weather.

sclittlefield
12-25-2008, 23:19
You just need to make sure that there is some sort of insulator between the bottom of your alcohol stove and the cold ground, especially if it is a pressurized stove. Use a good windscreen, keep the stove from touching the ground, and you should be all set. Just, as said, carry more fuel than in the summer.

snowhoe
12-26-2008, 10:36
Alcohol stoves are a good if like watching me cook, eat and clean up my supper because thats how long it take you to boil water. To slow for me. I am hungry NOW.

Grinder
12-26-2008, 13:42
snohoe has a jetboil, I bet.

I will agree they are fast.

I frequently get jetboil envy. But then there's that wieght thing.

It's all a matter of compromise.



grinder

snowhoe
12-26-2008, 14:06
Grinder you are the man! I do have the jetboil and I will have to say I do get envious of the light weight of alcohol stove. We just cant win.

ChinMusic
12-26-2008, 23:14
You just need to make sure that there is some sort of insulator between the bottom of your alcohol stove and the cold ground, especially if it is a pressurized stove. Use a good windscreen, keep the stove from touching the ground, and you should be all set. Just, as said, carry more fuel than in the summer.
OK, I'm drawing a blank. I'm laughing at myself for not coming up with an answer myself. Oh well.......

What are examples of insulation between the stove and the ground? Every small thing I can think of to pack is either flammable, melts, or is heavy.

oops56
12-27-2008, 00:28
If you got 2 pots or mugs trun upside down put stove on that or on the pot cover.

ChinMusic
12-27-2008, 01:21
If you got 2 pots or mugs trun upside down put stove on that or on the pot cover.
I only carry one pot. I can carry two if there isn't a better solution.

sclittlefield
12-27-2008, 09:50
What are examples of insulation between the stove and the ground? Every small thing I can think of to pack is either flammable, melts, or is heavy.

Most anything will work. A few layers of window screen, a triangle of twigs from the ground, I suppose your best bet would be a small disk of fiberglass cloth (you can buy the stuff as exhaust wrap or autobody repair in auto shops or better yet by the yard at most marine supply stores). If you use the sort of stove that doesn't need to be primed by spilling alcohol over the edge and lighting that, (supercat, starlyte, etc.) then even a piece of cardboard should do the trick. I doesn't need to be a thick layer. Just keep the stove from being on the cold ground / snow. When temperatures are crazy cold, most alcohol stoves will go right out as soon as you set them on the frozen ground / rocks / picnick table, etc.

4eyedbuzzard
12-27-2008, 10:10
I tried the air brake anti-freeze. Worked great. I'll have to figure if this is cheaper than a bottle of heet. -SunnyWalker

That's because it is pretty much exactly what yellow HEET is, methanol.

Both are around 99% pure methanol with about 1% "proprietary" additives/ingredients according to their MSDS sheets. These other additives are very likely light petroleum distillates(light oil) to help lubricate brake parts.

Be careful of some "possible fuels" sold in paint/hardware/big box stores. Read the ingredients carefully. Many may be methanol based, but also have high percentages of MEK(methyl ethyl ketone) and other chemicals which may not burn as cleanly as methanol.

Skidsteer
12-27-2008, 10:44
OK, I'm drawing a blank. I'm laughing at myself for not coming up with an answer myself. Oh well.......

What are examples of insulation between the stove and the ground? Every small thing I can think of to pack is either flammable, melts, or is heavy.

Plumber's cloth will work and is very light.

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=11900&catid=favorites

Hooch
12-27-2008, 10:47
OK, I'm drawing a blank. I'm laughing at myself for not coming up with an answer myself. Oh well.......

What are examples of insulation between the stove and the ground? Every small thing I can think of to pack is either flammable, melts, or is heavy.Aluminum foil? :D

ChinMusic
12-27-2008, 12:53
Aluminum foil? :D
I take from the smiley that you were joking. I was actually thinking of things like that until I realized that they would just BECOME ground and serve no purpose.

My Minibull stove is the type with wicking on the side and depends on pressure. Looks like I gotta find some small piece of fiberglass/plumber's cloth. Something like that would allow use on picnic tables without leaving a burn mark in summer too.

I don't think I've ever seen someone use such a cloth. Are they common?

Grinder
12-27-2008, 14:15
I'm with hootch . a wad of aluminum foil. The whisper lite comes with a piece of heavy foil that is (it says) a heat shield.

But!!! The whole idea of really cold winter hiking is repugnant to this 'florida boy'

Grinder

Tinker
12-27-2008, 16:17
Most anything will work. A few layers of window screen, a triangle of twigs from the ground, I suppose your best bet would be a small disk of fiberglass cloth (you can buy the stuff as exhaust wrap or autobody repair in auto shops or better yet by the yard at most marine supply stores). If you use the sort of stove that doesn't need to be primed by spilling alcohol over the edge and lighting that, (supercat, starlyte, etc.) then even a piece of cardboard should do the trick. I doesn't need to be a thick layer. Just keep the stove from being on the cold ground / snow. When temperatures are crazy cold, most alcohol stoves will go right out as soon as you set them on the frozen ground / rocks / picnick table, etc.

I don't know about the cardboard, sounds like it'd just become extra fuel and add soot to the pot. I was thinking maybe tin foil on top of a piece of 1/4" plywood or fiberboard (pegboard without the holes). Whatever you use, if you have a tight windscreen, it will have to be larger than the diameter of the windscreen. No matter what I've used for a stove, to make the windscreen optimally efficient, it has to be about 1/4" from the sides of the pot. Inevitably, the whole area between the bottom of the pot and the ground becomes an inferno as the alcohol heats, vaporizes, and refuses to be controlled by the stove jets. I've burned my fair share of round, black circles on many a shelter floor or picnic table.
Normally, I just clear a place on the ground down to mineral soil (I've had to cook in the middle of the trail upon occasion) to use my Supercat.

OverLoad
12-27-2008, 16:19
These alcohol stove got me worried, Are people using them in the shelters? What happens if they get knocked over in use with all the cloth around to soak up the burning alcohol? What if you spill one and the fuel gets to you while sitting next to the stove? I知 getting my opinion from the bios 2 video I just saw. Also how do they compare to a whisper lite international for continence, weight and fuel availably? Seems most people are only comparing them to canister stoves. I may decide to go with a alcohol stove but require more information. They seem unsafe to use in the shelter or close to a tent. I知 not trying to condem the alcohol stove, just trying to get as much info as possible before I commit to something before my trek.
Thanks
OverLoad

Tinker
12-27-2008, 16:30
These alcohol stove got me worried, Are people using them in the shelters? What happens if they get knocked over in use with all the cloth around to soak up the burning alcohol? What if you spill one and the fuel gets to you while sitting next to the stove? I知 getting my opinion from the bios 2 video I just saw. Also how do they compare to a whisper lite international for continence, weight and fuel availably? Seems most people are only comparing them to canister stoves. I may decide to go with a alcohol stove but require more information. They seem unsafe to use in the shelter or close to a tent. I知 not trying to condem the alcohol stove, just trying to get as much info as possible before I commit to something before my trek.
Thanks
OverLoad
Good points, and valid, too, to a point.
Alcohol stoves requiring a pot stand are a little easier on the cooking surface than those that the pot sits right on top of.
If you spill one, chances are you'll have to find a way to extinguish the little river of fire that you've created.
This can be minimized by using a stove stuffed with fiberglass. It will hold a good deal of the alcohol in even if the stove is upended.
Fiberglass stuffing, from my experimentation usually results in a stove that isn't quite as hot but burns longer, and may give you a couple of minutes of "simmer time" vs. an empty stove. My supercats are not used in shelters and I appreciate a quick boil time, so I have dispensed with the fiberglass lately (took it out at day 2 in the Hundred Mile Wilderness).
A Whisperlite is a wonderful, but relatively heavy stove. I just got a replacement pump for my 1985 model and it works like new.
Alcohol is widely available on the trail, as is white gas (Coleman).
If I did a thru I might start with a Whisperlite, switch to alcohol after the Smokies (warmer weather), and may even go to Esbit tabs for the summer when hot foods aren't appreciated quite as much (coffee and oatmeal in the morning only, perhaps).
Playing with hiking gear is fun and educational.
(Too bad you can't make a living at it :D).

SteveJ
12-27-2008, 17:44
These alcohol stove got me worried, Are people using them in the shelters? What happens if they get knocked over in use with all the cloth around to soak up the burning alcohol? What if you spill one and the fuel gets to you while sitting next to the stove? I知 getting my opinion from the bios 2 video I just saw. Also how do they compare to a whisper lite international for continence, weight and fuel availably? Seems most people are only comparing them to canister stoves. I may decide to go with a alcohol stove but require more information. They seem unsafe to use in the shelter or close to a tent. I知 not trying to condem the alcohol stove, just trying to get as much info as possible before I commit to something before my trek.
Thanks
OverLoad

I've used one of two brasslite alcohol stoves almost exclusively for about 5 years. I use 'em in shelters, under a tarp, and even grilled a steak with one (backpacking in area with fire ban I didn't know about!)...especially enjoyable when it's cold out and you want your hot coffee / breakfast while still in your warm sleeping bag:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=10050&catid=newimages&cutoffdate=1

I've also been on a cold weather trip when everyone else brought canister stoves - and it was so cold the next morning that none could get their stove to light - I was the only one that had hot coffee that morning (didn't know they couldn't get them to light until I had packed up, as I was still in my sleeping bag when I made the coffee).

I have tipped / knocked them over two or three times; in no instance did I have flame spreading in the fuel that was spilled, altho I'm sure that's possible. There are tons of instructions on making your own stove - google one up and give it a try!

ChinMusic
12-27-2008, 23:33
I've burned my fair share of round, black circles on many a shelter floor or picnic table.
I've seen those black circles so I have always placed my alcohol stove on the ground.

During my first season with an alcohol stove I took it to Glacier National Park. I knew the stove got hot but didn't think much of it, as I just place it on the ground. At our assigned campsite, I cleared an area and cooked dinner. I didn't notice anything odd. The next morning, as I prepared to cook breakfast, I notice a burned hole in the ground a couple inches deep.

My stove had caused a smoldering fire that FORTUNATELY burned itself out. I shudder at the thought of what MIGHT have happened.

Illinois "dirt" doesn't burn. Montana "dirt" does........yikes. Lesson learned.

Hooch
12-27-2008, 23:41
I take from the smiley that you were joking......Nope, not joking. I use a piece of aluminum foil, folded in half and then cut to size so it fits under the cone of my Caldera Keg. Not only does it insulate my stove from the ground it also reflects heat lost back up to the keg, reducing my boil times. It's cheap, lightweight, easily replaced and easy to work with. You might want to give it a shot.

ChinMusic
12-28-2008, 00:04
Nope, not joking. I use a piece of aluminum foil, folded in half and then cut to size so it fits under the cone of my Caldera Keg. Not only does it insulate my stove from the ground it also reflects heat lost back up to the keg, reducing my boil times. It's cheap, lightweight, easily replaced and easy to work with. You might want to give it a shot.
I shot an email to Tinny and you were dead on....

" use a small pad made from crumpled up aluminum foil--about 2 -1/2 inches in diameter and 3/16 thick--Also keep your windscreen in fairly tight to hold in the heat and help the stove stay warm."

Thanks

I now have a wad of tinfoil (thinker stuff) placed in the bottom of my pot, ready for the trip. I wonder if that would protect a picnic table too? Guess I'll have to try it out on a scrap piece of board some time.

Hooch
12-28-2008, 00:20
I shot an email to Tinny and you were dead on.....I know. Ain't I the man? :D:banana


I wonder if that would protect a picnic table too? Yes, it will. I found this out a several weeks ago the night before a group hike on the Chunky Gal Trail in WNC. I set my Caldera Keg up to cook dinner on the picnic table. The aluminum foil protected the table nicely.

ChinMusic
12-28-2008, 01:42
I know. Ain't I the man? :D:banana

LOL

And when this topic comes up in the future, I'LL be da man.....:cool:

Wellllll, I will test it out south of Damascus next week first....

Hooch
12-28-2008, 08:27
I shot an email to Tinny......Who's Tinny anyway? :confused:

ChinMusic
12-28-2008, 14:34
Who's Tinny anyway? :confused:

Tinny is the owner of Minibull Designs: http://www.minibulldesign.com/

This is current fave stove: http://minibulldesign.com/mbdstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=12

SunnyWalker
12-31-2008, 22:44
Thanks 4eyedbuzzard.

rdpolete
01-01-2009, 00:10
Alcohol stoves are not all created equal. Pressurized stoves (like minibulls) suck in the cold as they rely on the boiling of the alcohol to generate the pressure and the flame jets.

A wick stove like the Starlyte (IMO the best alcohol stove available) or the Fancee Feest have worked flawlessly for me in temps right near zero *F. The FF outperformed a whitegas stove in the Adirondacks in Nov. (temp was in the teens)

Canister stoves are worse than pressurized alcohol stoves in the super cold weather.


Apparently you have not been out to minibulldesigns.com for a while. Tinny has many different type of stoves that have wicks in them or or not pressuized at all. For those of you looking for a really cool homemade stove look at his video on how to build your own Bios 2. I have a trangia stove, brass light Turbo D II, several home made stoves including a home made bios 2. Now the Trangia and the Brass Lights are nice and well made but for the most part I just need to boil water. I can simmer in a bowl with a lid so I like the Bios 2 and my GSI Tea kettle and save the weight.

Skidsteer
01-01-2009, 00:22
Apparently you have not been out to minibulldesigns.com for a while. Tinny has many different type of stoves that have wicks in them or or not pressuized at all. For those of you looking for a really cool homemade stove look at his video on how to build your own Bios 2. I have a trangia stove, brass light Turbo D II, several home made stoves including a home made bios 2. Now the Trangia and the Brass Lights are nice and well made but for the most part I just need to boil water. I can simmer in a bowl with a lid so I like the Bios 2 and my GSI Tea kettle and save the weight.

What's the coldest temps you've tried the Bios 2?

russb
01-01-2009, 07:14
These alcohol stove got me worried, Are people using them in the shelters? What happens if they get knocked over in use with all the cloth around to soak up the burning alcohol? What if you spill one and the fuel gets to you while sitting next to the stove? I知 getting my opinion from the bios 2 video I just saw. Also how do they compare to a whisper lite international for continence, weight and fuel availably? Seems most people are only comparing them to canister stoves. I may decide to go with a alcohol stove but require more information. They seem unsafe to use in the shelter or close to a tent. I知 not trying to condem the alcohol stove, just trying to get as much info as possible before I commit to something before my trek.
Thanks
OverLoad

The starlyte stove I mentioned before will not spill. By design, both it and the fancee feest will not generate much heat at the bottom of the stove so no worries about a shelter floor from this either. On a recent trip to the Adirondacks, the fancee feest outperformed a whitegas stove. Temps were in the teens. Note: I have seen plenty of whitegas stoves "accidents" which spread fire around a shelter floor.

Worldwide
01-01-2009, 07:55
I have never had a Vargo stove, but am a alcohol stove user strictly ( I like caveman technology ie no moving parts, pressurized gas canisters, o rings ) A pressurizing problem is probably due to a leak. During the lighting ritual does it spray unlit alcohol from a broken weld on a seam for instance? If so you can seal it with a certain type of tape ( I have seen it done ). Not sure what heat resistant tape these people use it looked like a foil tape of some sort maybe for exhaust leaks for cars / motorcyles someone on here will know. I don't want to misinform, but you would have to have a leak in the system for it to not want to pressurize from my experience the riveted pop can stoves do this once they get a bit beat up.

P.S I have found my Etowah alcohol stove is the best for what I look for. It is efficient with the fuel ( so I don't carry a ton this is where the weight of stoves is not the metal it is made of ) and the boil times for my typical meals.

Worldwide

Lone Wolf
01-01-2009, 07:58
( I like caveman technology ie no moving parts, pressurized gas canisters, o rings )
then you would just use fire

mweinstone
01-01-2009, 09:15
wolf im humpinn bearpaw. what do you think of that?

Lyle
01-01-2009, 09:21
In light of the revival of this thread, and in prep for my Feb hike in the Smokies, I tested my AntiGravity stove this morning.

Fuel was stored in an unheated garage for about 2 years now. (Old, cold fuel)
Temp this morning is 10*
Wind - none
Amount of fuel - 1.5 oz
Water - 3 cups (cold tap water)
Priming pan used

1st attempt:
- Stove placed on priming pan which was sitting on recently shoveled deck.
- Additional fuel placed in priming pan (< .5oz)
- Could not light the fuel. Would burn slightly if lighter held to the pan

2nd attempt:
- Everything the same except that stove was insulated from deck with an old book.
- Priming pan fuel lit with little problem
- stove was balky at first (did set paperback book on fire - not recommended as insulation, had to place some snow on it to put it out. Stove remained lit.
- had full, rolling boil prior to the original 1.5 oz of fuel being consumed, held the rolling boil for about 1 minute.

For me, this test confirmed the feasibility of using this stove in winter conditions. Will experiment further to find a more suitable insulator. With my SVEA I just use a small square of old blue pad, may try that, wrapped in foil.

mweinstone
01-01-2009, 09:23
sorry, i ment to say, wolf, im pumping alcohol what do you think of that?

sclittlefield
01-01-2009, 13:10
For insulating the bottom - would a piece of Reflectix with exposed sides taped with aluminum tape work? I wonder if the plastic inside would melt. Anyone in the winter alcohol stove testing mode want to give it a try?

2Questions
01-01-2009, 13:52
Skidsteer mentioned the plumbers cloth for bottom insulation. Truly good stuff. I'm an HVAC service tech and plumbing tech for several years and can attest to how good that stuff works when brazing refrigeration connections or sweating water line fittings. It weighs next to nothing and has several uses..not only as an insulator under my V-8 turbo alky stove...just a circle cut to about 4" diameter...., but also as a pot handle holder when things get a little too hot.

rockdawg69
01-04-2009, 21:26
Newbie to Alcohol Stoves: Okay, so far I have used a Dragonfly for about 10 years, moved on to a JetBoil (that I love) 2 years ago, and now a friend has given me an alcohol stove (Top Jet by mechanic-mike69), looks like a pepsi can stove to me, with no simmer ring. I have read through this entire thread for details of getting the most efficient use from alcohol. And I have about figured out most of the effective things to do - windscreen to fit a little larger than the pot (with some air holes for draft); Pot stand to set pot about an inch above stove; pot cozy for keeping pot hot in colder weather; burn times for 1 oz of fuel; etc., etc., etc.

I tried a test burn with a SS pot ( 1L) and another with a TI pot (2L) to see if the pot materials made a significant difference in heating time (just beginning to see bubbles at bottom of pot). Outside temp was about 65, no wind, and tapwater was 1 liter, cold. My pot stand was made from 2 pieces of AL sheet, 1/8-inch thick and about 7 inches long, 2.5 inchs high, dovetailed to fit pieces togther and form a mini-X on one end so stove can sit in wider end of the X . Time to bubbles was about 8.5 minutes for both. Did not use a windscreen and burnout was about 10.25 minutes for a little over an ounce of HEET. Never reached a rolling boil.

Questions: 1) Took 1.5 minutes to reach even burn from holes on rim - is this a normal time to reach max burn? 2) Would windscreen help speed boil time under these weather conditions? 3) Pot was about 1-inch above stove -should it be higher or lower to get more efficiency? 4) What did I miss in this setup that would have been more efficient?

Tinker
01-04-2009, 21:33
I found that open top stoves usually require more than an inch between the top of the stove and the bottom of the pan. It seems that the alcohol does not burn as hot close to the stove. I found this out by using a pot lifter and raising the pot to different heights above the stove. An inch and a half to two inches seemed to be optimal for the typical "Pepsi can" stoves.......then I stumbled across Jim Woods' excellent Supercat stove. No pot stand to make or carry. Simple to make, quick boil, efficient.
It seemed to take way too long for the flame to come out the holes. Usually it's 10-20 seconds. Windscreens always help unless they don't have enough holes to allow air to mix with the alcohol. I haven't used Heet. There are two kinds. One works better than the other. I don't know which is which.

2Questions
01-04-2009, 21:55
Would windscreen help speed boil time under these weather conditions?

I've played around a good bit with alky stoves and found I really liked what I believe Sgt Rock developed in the V-8 size stove. I use an MSR Ti pot .85 liter and the V-8 can size stove is perfect for it. I also found the windscreen/potstand in the way of the Caldera Cone made a substantial difference. I suppose your familiar with it. The only thing I did when I made mine was to place the intake holes on just one side at the bottom so I could rotate them away from the wind direction. Before the Cone, a large amount of heat would pass the pot and be lost to the air, with the Cone, I believe more of the heat is picked up by the pot before it passes by.

Like most alky stoves, the windscreen is invaluable to efficiency of the system. A windscreen of any type that can be as tall as the pot definitely helps efficiency.

Lyle
01-04-2009, 22:35
I haven't used Heet. There are two kinds. One works better than the other. I don't know which is which.

Yellow bottles are the good guys, red bottles pretty bad.

rockdawg69
01-05-2009, 11:51
Time to make a windscreen I guess. I did use the "yellow" HEET as that is the methanol version. Next test will be 1 cup of tap water with a windscreen. Also, I'll raise the pot a little to see what happens with that.
Thanks for the help!!!!!

Tinker
01-05-2009, 11:56
I'm waiting with bated breath (no, not baited - I use night crawlers for fishing only).

Experimenting with alcohol stoves was exciting to me a few years ago, now I just watch and enjoy the tinkering of others. :D

rockdawg69
01-05-2009, 12:23
I probably should have taken some night crawlers with me this morning. The ducks weren't flying as it is a "bluebird" day here. Temps around 75 this afternoon. Should have gone fishing instead.

Mzee
01-06-2009, 13:41
I've built and tested a couple dozen alcohol stoves of one design or another. And I've purchased a few stoves from other stove builders. I own a Snowpeak Gigapower stove.

I've done 98% of my alcohol stove testing at night so I can see the flame. At night I can clearly see when the stove is ready to use. However, I know I would do most of my trail cooking in daylight and alcohol flames are hard to see in daylight. With the Snowpeak I can see and hear the stove is operating, but not so with an alcohol stove. I would have to use the feel test to know if it is working.

For you folks that have experience using an alcohol stove on the trail, how do you deal with the problem that alcohol flames are hard to see in daylight? What techniques do you use to cook in daylight with an alcohol stove?

Lyle
01-06-2009, 13:48
Skidsteer mentioned the plumbers cloth for bottom insulation. Truly good stuff. I'm an HVAC service tech and plumbing tech for several years and can attest to how good that stuff works when brazing refrigeration connections or sweating water line fittings. It weighs next to nothing and has several uses..not only as an insulator under my V-8 turbo alky stove...just a circle cut to about 4" diameter...., but also as a pot handle holder when things get a little too hot.

Where can we get it? Home Depot? Lowes? I'd like to give it a try.

Lyle
01-06-2009, 13:52
For you folks that have experience using an alcohol stove on the trail, how do you deal with the problem that alcohol flames are hard to see in daylight? What techniques do you use to cook in daylight with an alcohol stove?

Feel test initially, to make sure the alcohol lit. Once it starts burning, I've never had much problem seeing the flame coming out the jets. Guess you could shade it a bit if you couldn't tell. Never really been an issue for me.

2Questions
01-06-2009, 18:45
Where can we get it? Home Depot? Lowes? I'd like to give it a try.


We get it locally at the HVAC vendors. Here's a link of one type.

https://www.wallingtonplumbingsupply.com/index.jsp?path=product&part=72234&ds=mfr&process=search&ID=,Oatey

Wags
01-08-2009, 14:35
For you folks that have experience using an alcohol stove on the trail, how do you deal with the problem that alcohol flames are hard to see in daylight? What techniques do you use to cook in daylight with an alcohol stove?

this is my technique for cooking w/ a supercat in daylight:
you can see the alcohol itself bubble a little bit when it's ready to put the pot on (maybe 20-30 seconds). after that i simply put my hands near the sides of my pot (b/t windscreen and pot), until i can feel the heat. then i know it's burning. after a few minutes i just keep putting my hands near it until i stop feeling heat coming up, and i know it's out. from there, i either refill or pour my water if it's ready

i agree w/ doing testing at night, as you mentioned...

Dances with Mice
01-08-2009, 15:20
For you folks that have experience using an alcohol stove on the trail, how do you deal with the problem that alcohol flames are hard to see in daylight? What techniques do you use to cook in daylight with an alcohol stove?The smell test works best. Place your face close to and over the stove. If you smell alcohol the stove isn't lit. If you smell burning hair it is.

Or just wave your hand over the stove and see if you feel heat.

Mzee
01-08-2009, 17:10
The smell test works best. Place your face close to and over the stove. If you smell *gas* the stove isn't lit. If you smell burning hair it is.

I've learned this works quite well for MRS Whisperlight stoves... :D

Mzee
01-08-2009, 17:14
Thank you to everyone for the trail wise advice on using an alcohol stove in daylight. Maybe I'll try it soon. My eyebrows do need trimming.