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  1. #1
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    Default Alcohol stove vs. canister

    I still cannot decide which way to go on this. As a section hiker in planning, I don't intend to hike more than a week at a time, so I am wondering which would be more efficient. I would love to make my own alcohol stove, but I am thinking its more efficient for me to take a canister, like the Rocket Pocket or Coleman F1 featherweight.

    Also, any recommendations on cookware material? Aluminum vs titanium? I intend to dehydrate and freezer bag it, so it would be used mostly for boiling water. Are there any advantages or disadvantages to each?

    Any advice?
    "Behold, the only thing bigger than yourself."

  2. #2
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Many different choices, and no one choice is right for everyone.

    Stoves: Alcohol stoves are cheap and easy to make. So, if you don't have a stove already, why not make a couple and try them out. If they don't put out enough heat for your type of cooking, then buy something else.

    Pot: Aluminum is cheap. Titanium will lighten both your pack and your wallet. Both boil water just fine.

  3. #3

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    how much water do plan to boil each day?

  4. #4
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    at least 2 liters I would think.....
    "Behold, the only thing bigger than yourself."

  5. #5

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    2 liters sounds rather high to me - my rule of thumb is 1.75 cups per meal for ziplock cooking / rehydrating

  6. #6
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    yeah, but I need my coffee, oatmeal in the morning......and hot cocoa w/ my meal in the evening...then you need water for lunch, dinner......
    "Behold, the only thing bigger than yourself."

  7. #7

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    I have section hiked for the past 6 years and used pop can alcohol stove each time. I am usually out 10 days and boil water for one warm freezer bag meal a day, no coffee or tea, alot of snacks and nutrition bars. 16 oz of alcohol is just right for me. I have been told alcohol stoves are hard to light if temp is low. I have not had a problem with temp in the low 50s. I see not reason to change.

    Make your own stove, the cost is your time, and try it out. I had a professor in a recreation management course tell us 50% of the enjoyment of a vacation was in the planning and preparation so enjoy

  8. #8
    Registered User shelterbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIPOCKETS View Post
    ...I have been told alcohol stoves are hard to light if temp is low. I have not had a problem with temp in the low 50s. I see not reason to change....
    I am also considering an alcohol stove purchase in the near future - in colder temps, can the bottle of alcohol be kept in a shirt pocket to warm it a bit, or will this not really help?

    C'mon, some of you stove mechanics - let's hear from you folks.

  9. #9
    Survivor Dave's Trail Shuttles-www.atsurvivordave.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelterbuilder View Post
    I am also considering an alcohol stove purchase in the near future - in colder temps, can the bottle of alcohol be kept in a shirt pocket to warm it a bit, or will this not really help?

    C'mon, some of you stove mechanics - let's hear from you folks.

    Shoot Shelterbuilder, just go to the expert...Skidsteer. The Swammy of Stoves.

    SD

  10. #10
    Registered User Frolicking Dinosaurs's Avatar
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    Until Zelph and Skids show up....

    I use an alcohol stove for temps above freezing. Keeping both the stove and fuel bottle in a coat pocket does help as does insulating the stove from the cold ground in winter. I have a Whisperlite International for winter cooking.

    As a couple who would kill each other without our coffee, we boil more than 2 liters a day and the alcohol stove works just fine.

    As to your pot - both titanium and aluminum boil water. I do some real cooking out there and prefer aluminum because of that. Titanium does not distribute heat well. Frankly, the weight savings between titanium and aluminum are negligible. Compare this $90 MRS 2 liter Ti to this $10 Open County 2 quart aluminum pot. I'd buy the aluminum and spend extra $$$ lightening up my shelter or sleep system.

  11. #11
    Registered User shelterbuilder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    Until Zelph and Skids show up....
    I use an alcohol stove for temps above freezing. Keeping both the stove and fuel bottle in a coat pocket does help as does insulating the stove from the cold ground in winter. I have a Whisperlite International for winter cooking.
    As a couple who would kill each other without our coffee, we boil more than 2 liters a day and the alcohol stove works just fine.
    As to your pot - both titanium and aluminum boil water. I do some real cooking out there and prefer aluminum because of that. Titanium does not distribute heat well. Frankly, the weight savings between titanium and aluminum are negligible. Compare this $90 MRS 2 liter Ti to this $10 Open County 2 quart aluminum pot. I'd buy the aluminum and spend extra $$$ lightening up my shelter or sleep system.
    What's a good, stable ground insulator?

    I have an assortment of both aluminum and stainless cookware - titanium seems a bit overpriced for me. Besides, right now I need some new outdoor clothing - jackets and sweaters with zips, v-neck base layer shirts, etc. Extra cash goes there for now, instead of more cookware.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicwoman View Post
    at least 2 liters I would think.....
    If you are going to boil this much water everyday, go with a canister stove. Read this review. http://hikinghq.net/stoves/stove_compare.html

  13. #13
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    Actually, if you're going to do a whole lot of cooking, or cooking for two, or a group, use a Whisperlite. IMO, alcohol makes the most sense for solo hiking and short resupply intervals.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpettit View Post
    If you are going to boil this much water everyday, go with a canister stove. Read this review. http://hikinghq.net/stoves/stove_compare.html
    Sorry, but I couldn't find the info that supported this statement on the link. Can you quote it here?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frolicking Dinosaurs View Post
    That is funny, $80 for the privilege of having your food stick in a pot of approximately the same weight.

    But you can get a .85 liter MSR Titan kettle for $40 and it weighs half as much.

    If you're just going to boil water, why not go with the Heineken pot/alcohol stove combo? You can't beat the weight.

  16. #16
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    Because a beer can with it's top cut off will crush much more easily than a "pot".

    BTW I have a 2L Titan, but I'd buy the Open Country if I were to need another 2L.
    Last edited by EWS; 10-21-2007 at 11:26.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by EWS View Post
    Because a beer can with it's top cut off will crush much more easily than a "pot".
    Does that hurt it? My supercat (actually superviennasausge) got all squished up several times. I've never used a Heineken pot but I've been keeping my eyes peeled for an empty to make one with.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by EWS View Post
    BTW I have a 2L Titan, but I'd buy the Open Country if I were to need another 2L.
    Is there any advantage at all to the 2L Titan?

  19. #19
    the hiker formaly known as Wonderfoot
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    I'm a dehydrator freak!! Almost everything I eat. I switched out from a Jet-boil to a can stove, and will never go back. If you pre-hydrate your food. (ie have a small container for hydrating your meats, etc. throughout the day) you use very little fuel,a nd have a meal that others will snif woefully as they eat their ramen......I say, give it a shot and see what you think. And insulated can stove works the best in my opinion.

    The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose............................................ ...
    Strong and content I travel the open road
    ~Walt Whitman Song of the open road

  20. #20
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    Depends on if it gets squished a bit in your pack, or stepped on and flattened when you get up to relieve yourself in the middle of the night.

    For short trips I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem, as you could just have a stash of them at home for $2.50 each with beer, but I would think it would be a pain to try to replace one on the move.
    Last edited by EWS; 10-21-2007 at 11:34.

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