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shades of blue
09-23-2004, 21:27
Quick question, need quick answer. I have never used a soda stove in the spring or fall (cool, cold weather). Does the stove perform well in cool temps? Say.... 35 to 45 degrees?

Dances with Mice
09-23-2004, 21:59
It'll work fine. It would work fine in much, much colder conditions:
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF16/1634.html


<Jeff> King, a three-time Iditarod champion and 1989 Yukon Quest winner, remembers using a two-burner Coleman stove to heat water for his dogs in the early days of his racing career. "It was heavy and cumbersome and tremendous trouble," King said . "Once the alcohol cooker came on the scene in the early 90s, the white gas stove was obsolete in 12 months," ....
Alcohol cookers now favored by mushers consist of no moving parts and a predictable flame. King loves his alcohol cooker for its simple design,

hustler
09-23-2004, 22:19
They work fine, they just burn about twice the fuel. They are still worth the weight savings.

shades of blue
09-23-2004, 23:30
Thanks folks! That's what I was hoping to hear. Heading to Greyson Highlands tomorrow afternoon. Just wanted to make sure the stove would work in the morning if the temp dropped.
Thanks again.

Peaks
09-24-2004, 08:01
If your alcohol gets below about 30 degrees, it will not vaporize and light. If this happens, warm your fuel bottle before hand.

Grimace
09-24-2004, 10:50
I concur with Peaks. Put fuel in sleeping bag to warm it up a bit. You can still light it when cold, it just takes a bit longer with your lighter and you run the risk of burning your thumb.

Dances with Mice
09-24-2004, 12:44
If your alcohol gets below about 30 degrees, it will not vaporize and light. If this happens, warm your fuel bottle before hand.

Or make a wick. A little sliver of TP or any other paper hanging in the fuel will get the stove going.

kentucky
09-24-2004, 12:53
I was over 10,000 ft. and had no problems with my denatured stove even below 20 degrees kentucky:)

SGT Rock
09-25-2004, 08:36
I've cooled alcohol to 25 degrees and it still lit fine, jus took a little time to vaporize. I find that at colder temps it is a good idea to add about 2-3ml of fuel, that is about 1/2 a capfull using a soda bottle cap.

Youngblood
09-25-2004, 09:04
In cold weather, I warm my alcohol and lighter by putting them in a pocket for a few minutes. I always use a pre-heat plate to assist in lighting my burners. Just dribble a little alcohol over the edge of the burner to the pre-heat plate and light the small puddle of fuel that is on the plate. Since the fuel on the relatively flat plate is easier to get a flame to, the lighting process is no problem. The fuel on the plate vaporizes/lights much easier than the fuel in the burners and will vaporize/ingnite the fuel in the burner. My pre-heat plate is made from the aluminum of an disposable oven liner or pie tray (it is made to fit inside my pan for storage and has a small lip around the edge). A proper windscreen is pretty much required at all times for my alcohol stove, especially in cold weather.

Youngblood

shades of blue
09-26-2004, 21:29
The evening working of the stove did well, the temps weren't too cool. The morning was ok, but I don't know if I used enough fuel. I was boiling around a liter of water (enough for me and my girlfriend). The water was fairly warm, but not hot. I used four cap fulls of fuel. The wind was blowing, and even though I had my windscreen up, I could still hear the wind getting to the flame. I have a difficult time deciding how much fuel to use to heat that much water. Any ideas?

SGT Rock
09-27-2004, 07:03
place another barrier between the wind and the windscreen

Youngblood
09-27-2004, 08:42
... The wind was blowing, and even though I had my windscreen up, I could still hear the wind getting to the flame. ...

Maybe your windscreen is not doing its job? I think at the least, a windscreen should allow sufficient air to reach the flame for efficient combustion while protecting the flame from light breezes. With my stove system I use a wrapped wind screen that is high enough to cover most of my cooking pot and the air intake holes are on one side only so that I can adjust them according to the wind. Of course, like Sarge pointed out, this will only allow you to cook in light breezes and if the wind is too high you will need additional protection.

Convection heat transfer in windy conditions can be pretty efficient... that is just another way of saying that wind can take a lot of heat away from your stove step-up. The full blown Trangia Alcohol Stoves are very light weight for what they do (around 2 pounds? including the pots and lids) and it would probably take all that to cook in windy conditions.

Also, a liter of water in cold weather is probably pushing the capability of a lot of homemade alcohol stoves. You may can only boil your water a half-liter at a time. What I did one winter when I was cooking for two was to fill my stove and get two cups of water warm enough (not to a boil) for hot chocolate and then add two more cups of water and hope that got warm enough for the instant oatmill. This usually worked out, but if it didn't I would just have to add a little more fuel and wait for the oatmill while I was warming up with the hot chocolate. Sometime during that season, I built a higher windscreen and started using a ground reflector/pre-heat pan which improved the stoves efficiency.

Youngblood

sloetoe
09-27-2004, 12:57
less finicky to ignite than my beloved, venerable Svea 123R, even.

(Shhhhh!)

shades of blue
09-27-2004, 21:40
Rainman...yeah, I figure I was too greedy with the amount of water I was trying to heat also. I just didn't want to make my girlfriend wait for her hot chocolate and oatmeal.... :) Rock...and anyone else...how much fuel do you usually use to heat say....1/2 liter of water? I have usually used around 2 bottle tops full. I'm unsure if this is too much...although the water is usually just right then. Not boiling, but pretty hot. I'm wondering if my stove is inefficient or not. My windscreen is in the process of dying (bought it at anti-gravity). It was a good set up, but the screen died after 700 miles or so on the AT. (not bad in my opinion). I guess I will need to make a new one.

SGT Rock
09-28-2004, 06:45
Depending on the stove and the conditions I normally use 2 to 3 caps full of alcohol.

TedB
09-28-2004, 11:54
It'll work fine. It would work fine in much, much colder conditions:
http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF16/1634.html


<Jeff> King, a three-time Iditarod champion and 1989 Yukon Quest winner, remembers using a two-burner Coleman stove to heat water for his dogs in the early days of his racing career. "It was heavy and cumbersome and tremendous trouble," King said . "Once the alcohol cooker came on the scene in the early 90s, the white gas stove was obsolete in 12 months," ....
Alcohol cookers now favored by mushers consist of no moving parts and a predictable flame. King loves his alcohol cooker for its simple design,

As far as I can tell, mushers use non pressurized double wall burners (same type of design as trangia). Just because one type of alcohol stove works fine at -50 F (- 46 C), doesn't mean all types of alcohol stoves work very well at those temperatures.