Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby commando » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 12:57 pm

One should remain objective and not one sided just because of a financial investment in a product.

Metho takes 9 minutes to boil one litre of water as opposed to 4 minutes for gas and shellite because
they are pressurised and metho being just one step up from hexamine, i have always used a Primus choofer
not the MSR you have presented for your weight argument. But after seeing the efficiency and ease of use
of gas i will be using it from now own because i am open to change when the facts are presented in a logical
manner.
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby GregG » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 3:54 pm

Franco wrote:Every so often someone presents the evidence that they have found the best system yet as always it will not work well for others because they don't eat the same food (or cook it that way) and or different temperatures and different eating habits. Some have 3 hot meals a day plus hot drinks, others only heat water for dinner and many are in between.
That is why there is no best for all and as I already stated,it isn't as simple as looking at BTUs .


Yep, all of that. Also practical factors like eg gas mix works well across a wide range of weather conditions and alcohol stoves have no moving parts to break or get lost, etc.
I also now just do boiling water cooking for convenience and laziness and eat mainly freeze dried or instant noodles, although some friends relish a gourmet cook-up in the bush. As you have indicated- its a matter of horses for courses ( come to think of it though, a bit of Long Plain brumby could make an interesting second course hehe).
Last edited by GregG on Tue 21 Jul, 2020 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby Franco » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 4:17 pm

[quote="commando"]One should remain objective and not one sided just because of a financial investment in a product.

Let me share a little secret with you. When I bought the Caldera Cone I had enough gear to supply at least 4 adults with everything , including clothing, provided that they were my size.
However I had 12 -15 tents for many years (not the same tents...) at least 4-5 packs , six down bags and a couple quilts...
the above to point out that to me the Caldera Cone is not such a great investment because hiking gear was as much a hobby to me as actualy hiking (comes from having worked in LtBourke St, Melbourne, for over 20 years.
If you had spent a bit more time reading my comments you would have discovered that I have also used gas and indeed Hexamine. I am not sure but I still have at least 5 gas stove including the original JetBoil. (from the trade presentation to the Paddy Pallin staff, I was treated as a staff member then)
The bit you don't seem to get is that not every one has your or my exact same needs and that is why different kits work for different people.

This is a photo that I posted when people were discussing the Roger Caffin stove.
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I was one of the first to buy it , it was more expensive than the Caldera Cone, I bought it to play with it because at the time it was the lightest stove you could use an inverted canister with. I did use it on a couple of winter trips , including melting snow, it worked.
In that photo you can also see the Backcountry boiler. mine was N2 (get the idea ?) it is a wood burning unit similar but much lighter than the Kelly Kettle, also around the price or more expensive than the CC.

you might also spot the White Box stove (alcohol) I had 5 of those (the maker sent them to me, long story...) and the BioLite stove , one of the first, if not the first to arrive in Australia. Turns out it was faulty , so they sent me another one.
So don't let my Caldera Cone impress you too much....
( I don't have children)
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby Petew » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 5:52 pm

Franco wrote:( I don't have children)
[/quote]

Luckily I do have children, otherwise you'd be able to see my gear collection from space :)
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby commando » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 7:16 pm

Why do i get this strange feeling this thread no longer belongs in Ultralight Backpacking...
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby Franco » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 8:02 pm

commando wrote:Why do i get this strange feeling this thread no longer belongs in Ultralight Backpacking...


you are the one that mentioned Shellite and somehow thought that I was financialy and or emotionaly attached to the Caldera Cone.
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby crollsurf » Tue 21 Jul, 2020 8:38 pm

Let's get back to UL then. Alcohol stoves are lighter for overnight. After 2-3 days, gas is lighter. Alcohol stoves are quiet which is nice compared to gas but they fail badly if sitting on cold ground.

A firelighter and finding wood is lighter again if you want to throw some bushcraft into the mix.

And truely UL, why even take a stove?

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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby Franco » Wed 22 Jul, 2020 9:11 am

[quote="crollsurf"]Let's get back to UL then. Alcohol stoves are lighter for overnight. After 2-3 days, gas is lighter.

It just happens that most of my trips have been 2-3 days long but even for longer periods it isn't a clear case of what does weight less or works best.
For example on a 6 days trail I did in the US I took 500ml* of ethanol and finished that trip with a little bit left, maybe enough for 2-3 cups of coffee.
So to me that was 475g* for the fuel and container, 55 g for the Caldera Cone (Ti) stove and snuffer.Tot 530g
(the previous hike was 5 days long, same initial weight , came back with leftover fuel. Same place /temperatures)
If I had used gas , I would have taken a 220g canister (working on half the fuel in grams needed , but I do a bit better with the CC) that is 350g and a light gas stove at 50g add a windscreen at say 20 g , gives me a total of 420 g, so the gas wins.
However if I had been on a 7 day trip with gas I would need a 220g plus a 100gcanister , that is a tot weight of 550g plus 70g for the stove and screen
so 620g.
With metho , at my consumption of 80g per day, that would be ,for me, 55g for the stove ,30g for a 1l container and 560 of fuel , tot 645 g, so not much difference at all.
Obviously in that situation you use the kit you prefer to use but I just wanted to point out that the weight ratio is not all that linear with gas because of the limitations with the size of the canisters and their weight. Just to think that you use half of the weight in fuel (or whatever ratio you think it is) does not always work.
* ethanol is 789g per litre.
**Using the 360 Degree stove shown by Commando (at 125g) would give metho an advantage on more situations.

** Windscreen for the gas stove too because gas stoves suffer too in the wind , so to keep a reasonable same-same scenario.
***I should point out that because I use a snuffer, I put in the burner more fuel than I think I need and snuff the flame out as soon as I get the water temperature I want (I don't need to boil for a cup of coffee) So I can then recover the fuel leftover.
****I have 3-4 cups of hot drink plus cook dinner every day. Some only have one hot cup and one hot dinner per day, so it depends.
In the photo, the CC kit I used . The plastic kit holder is my plate/cup and the container I use to "cook" my dinner in. I do the same with gas.
Metho-kit.jpg
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby Aidan » Sun 23 Aug, 2020 9:53 pm

Was reading about a large increase of poisonings during Covid due to some brands having utilised methanol instead of ethanol in the hand sanitiser gel.
I'll be sticking with the ethanol and gas for my cooking.
eg. https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-a ... ld-not-use
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby ChrisJHC » Sun 23 Aug, 2020 10:51 pm

Here’s a fuller review (with links to even more detail):

https://pmags.com/stove-comparison-real-world-use

Summary: the best stove depends on what you want to do with it!
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Re: Alcohol stove fuel recommendations

Postby skibug » Thu 22 Oct, 2020 9:21 pm

Franco wrote:

"BTW, the debate about the most efficient/lightest system, often starting just with the fuel used , has been ongoing for a very long time but particularly since folk started to make tuna can type alcohol stoves.
Every so often someone presents the evidence that they have found the best system yet as always it will not work well for others because they don't eat the same food (or cook it that way) and or different temperatures and different eating habits. Some have 3 hot meals a day plus hot drinks, others only heat water for dinner and many are in between.
That is why there is no best for all and as I already stated,it isn't as simple as looking at BTUs"


Very true. Adventures in stoving https://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.co ... as_14.html has an interesting analysis of alcohol vs gas, looking at trip length (up to 14 days) as the main variable. One interesting take-out is that most people look at weight at departure, but he makes the point that gas stove systems have higher weights toward the end of the hike. His analysis is based on a solo trip, but with multiple users sharing the cooking system, gas becomes more weight effective.

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