View Full Version : Sgt. Rock's "Hiking vs Weight" Scenario?

01-03-2003, 14:59
After reviewing your table Sgt. Rock, I'm kind of confused, or I'm interpretating it wrong.

For others, the table is on this page...

According to this, your adding up the weight of the fuel over a given period of time. However, every stove starts with 20oz. of fuel. Obviously you would need less fuel with a more effiecient stove. So why don't you start each stove with it's required fuel, and then add up the weight over 14 days. With the Trangia, you need about 5.2fl oz less fuel per 14 days than with a brasslite. According to my math, 5.2fl oz of methanol weighs about 4.5oz. Apply this, and the Stock Trangia would be just about equal with a brasslite. Make a lighter weight stand, and you may have an edge on the competition. Of course it all depends on the amount of time you spend in the woods. The longer you stay between refueling, the more efficient the trangia becomes.

Or I may have this all wrong :(

01-03-2003, 17:25
I tend to agree. Looks like you're killing the Trangia because it takes less fuel from your 20 ounce bottle meaning you have more weight left at the end of the test. After modification to the stand, my Westwind weighs 5.5 ounces. 12 ounces of fuel easily lasts me 14 days. So.. to me it sounds like the Trangia should be much closer to the Brasslite's.

01-04-2003, 11:55
Other than on the website, I've not seen the Brasslite stove. The research that went into its design and the write-up on the website is impressive.
I do however own the Trangia and in addition to what has already been said by RagingHamster and Moose, I would say that it is hard to find an alcohol stove at around $23 that is as simple yet durable as the Trangia. I can live with an ounce or two more or a minute here and there in terms of time to boil water, but what I was looking for when I chose my alcohol stove was one that would stay the course.
Just my .02

SGT Rock
01-04-2003, 17:51
I use the weight of a 20 ounce fuel bottle - 1.0 ounces added to the stoves base weight. The weight of the fuel is only the amount needed by that stove design. So, I think you are reading my chart wrong.

Despite the Trangia's ability to hold 3 ounces of fuel, it's base weight makes it less fuel efficient over time because base weight never decreases. It is more effecient than a lot of other alcohol stoves, but in the end it has a high base weight that will never go down.

Example 1: Trangia. Base Weight is 7.3 ounces with stand and windscreen (you really do need one). If I only needed 1 ounce per day of fuel on a 14 day trip, I would still need a 1.0 ounce fuel bottle because I need the extra storage space. So the base weight every single day that will never decline is 8.3 ounces. Multiply this by 14 and you get a weight of 116.2 ounces not counting fuel. The weight of fuel per day needed is .89 ounces, not much.

Example 2: Brasslight Solo. Base weight is 3.7 because the Solo now comes with it's own bottle that is included in the weight. I need a little more fuel a day, but the total base weight over the same 14 day trip would be 51.8 ounces not counting fuel. The weight for the fuel per day is something like 1.0 ounces, a litle more, but compared to base weight it isn't much.

For a better overall comparison, look here: http://hikinghq.net/stoves/weight_time_compare.html

This chart is a little out of date because I'm not sure it has the new fuel bottle figured into the Brasslite.

01-04-2003, 19:26
Thanks for the clarification Sgt. Rock, I now see that I was reading the table incorrectly.

I'm curious about something though. This table is based upon boiling some water, and thats it. What about those of us who simmer alot, such as Liptons, Angel Hair Pasta, Ramen, Rice-a-Roni, etc.

I wonder what the impact would be upon overall fuel consumption (and net weight) with someone who cooked for 1/2 hour twice a day, rather than just boil some water (say for dehydrated meals).

SGT Rock
01-04-2003, 19:48
Well that also varies a lot by stove. The best overall stove I've seen for simmer control is actually a soda can stove with a simmer cap made from the bottom of another soda can (thanks to Buddur for that idea). The best simmering manufactured stove is the Trangia. Aaron Rosenbloom and I have discussed his stove's simmer system at length, and he is still trying to make something better, so look out for a new review if he ever gets a working sytem.

But I don't reccomend simmering at all. I reccomend using a cozy. If you make pasta, rice, beans, etc; most require you to bring water to boil, then alow to simmer for 10-20 minutes. So what is simmering really? It is maintaining the water at a fixed heat (about 190 degrees) so the food re-hydrates fater and so the food is still warm enough to eat. To simmer on most stove usually requires 1/2 ounce of alcohol that weighs about 0.4 ounces.

But there is another strategy, it is similar to what a lot of desert dwelling people with limited fuel do to cook - preserve and store energy. If you boil food, it has hit 212.5 degrees and depending on outside temp, it can stay warm a while. Take some old closed cell foam and a rubber band and you can make a cozy that is similar to thse things sold for putting beer and soda cans in. It will retain the heat already there: the trick is to keep the food temperature above 190 degrees for at least 20 minutes. BTW 190 degrees is the temp that most coffee pots use. My pot cozys all weighed between 0.8 ounces and 1.0 ounces - abut the same weight you would use in fuel to simmer 2 meals. I've made them from old sleeping pads, old polypro underwear, and from high tech aramid cloth.

This also brings up another point about my charts and stoves. My charts use a standard of boil - 212.5 degrees. I have to keep a certain standard so comparisons are equal. But a lot of hikers making stuff as simple as ramen, grits, oatmeal, coffee, hot chocolate, etc only need to heat water to about 190 degrees, so depending on how you cook, you can be even more (or less) efficient than my charts. My charts are designed to give a standard frame of reference and let the hiker decide what is best for them.

BTW, I think you can trick up a Trangia burner by replacing some of the parts and make it more weight efficient. Make a stand from a wire hanger or hardware cloth, make a windscreen with an oven liner, and replace the simmer cap with the bottom off a soda can.

01-04-2003, 20:40
Yeah I'm making a titanium version of the westwind stand. It should weigh about 0.7oz. It's also alot more sturdy and packable than a wire-mesh stand, and holds the burner off the ground. The windscreen will be oven-liner, just have yet to make it.

Well, simmering is also a means of reduction as well, such as with Lipton's noodles. You also need a calm flame for things like pancakes (which I love on the trail for dinner, or an extended breakfast). This is also true for rice-a-roni, and zattarans.

Couscous and instant rice get old after a while. I like Hearty pastas, and rice that isnt cracked and mutilated from dehydrating it. Some can get by on instant oatmeal, and dehydrated meals, but I enjoy real food at the end of a hard days hike. It's something I look forward to while watching the sunset. The exception for me is instant potatoes. But I still enjoy a simmered gravy with chicken & herbs to go with it.

I'm not really interested in making stove mods with sodacans due to their easy tendency to crushing, or damage. I'd love a titanium version of the Trangia though...

SGT Rock
01-04-2003, 21:04
Cool. So in the end the information I put up there gives you a base for deciding the basics: weight efficiency etc. But the real review lets you know how best each stove suits your needs. I like the Trangia, it is just heavier than I want, and has stuff i don't need, but my stove is probably too fragile for you, and doesn't do everything you want. I guess this is why there is a choice out there :D

Boy it would suck if we all had to carry MSR Whisperlites:-?

01-06-2003, 00:59
Originally posted by SGT Rock
Boy it would suck if we all had to carry MSR Whisperlites:-?

yes it would. happily, i carry mine by choice.

01-06-2003, 07:47
I dont know anything about Trangia stoves but I own a Brasslite duo and gave 2 solos as Christmas presents. The Brasslite stove is a work of art and a true heirloom that should be handed down for generations, much like finding an old carbide lantern in the attic, the same joy should be felt by someone scratching their head wondering what it is they have discoverd. The info that comes with it says it will hold 20 pounds and I'm sure by holding the unit that it is a fair statement. And if it means anything, you know the Brasslite is handmade by an American and not mold/pressed in Mexico (not implying that the Trangia is made in a foreign country) but if you dont want a Brasslite make your own, Aaron gives you plans and directions on his website.

01-06-2003, 09:44
I didn't like the blow-torch to lighter flame effect of the brasslite, as fuel volume within the stove dictates the amount of heat it puts out due to it's pressurized design.

I simmer 20-30 minutes for almost every one of my meals. Simmering with my MSR Whisperlite Int'l was like teaching Mike Tyson Balet. The trangia works for me because of its superb control of simmering. Although it's slow to boil, it's upsides out-weigh it's downsides, for me anyways. For someone who cooks dehydrated meals and ramen, the brasslite would obviously be the #1 pick.