M Comparative Fuel Efficiency and Carry Weight for Six Lightweight Backpacking Cooking Systems: Part II
Calculating Fuel Usage, Carry Weight Analysis, and Cost/Efficiency Considerations
by Will Rietveld
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In Part II of this article I address the premise: If I chose the lightest stove in each category and used it as efficiently as I could, how would the cooking system carry weights compare for different usage levels and trip lengths?
In Part I of this article I assembled six different cooking systems (white gas, remote canister, top-mount canister, integrated canister, alcohol, and fuel tab) to be compared for fuel efficiency and carry weight. Then I tested the cooking systems under controlled conditions so the data would be as comparable as possible.
My goal was to answer the following questions:
- What is the real carry weight of stove plus fuel for different cooking systems?
- How do I calculate the amount of fuel I need for a trip?
- How much does fuel efficiency make up for stove weight on a longer trip?
- What is the comparative cost for stove plus fuel?
- Considering the fuel cost, which cooking system is the most economical and weight efficient?
Now in Part II of this article, I get down to the real “meat” of the issue. The questions posed above are difficult to answer completely, and for all situations. There are many variables involved, and the answers depend on the type and length of trip you are taking and local conditions. No matter. This project provides a lot of insight into the issues, and will increase your understanding of how the weight and efficiency of different cooking systems compare, how they affect the weight you carry on your back, and how they affect your wallet. In this article you will find information to help you choose the cooking system(s) that meets your needs, and dial in the amount of fuel that you actually need to take on your trips.
- Estimating Fuel Consumption under Field Conditions
- Table 3: Estimated Fuel Consumption to Boil 1 Pint of Water
- Fuel Mileage
- Table 4: Calculated Fuel Mileage for Highland and Lowland Conditions
- Table 5: Highland Conditions - Calculated Fuel Mileage (cooking days/container) for Eight Usage Levels
- Table 6: Lowland Conditions - Calculated Fuel Mileage (cooking days/container) for Eight Usage Levels
- Stove + Fuel Carry Weights for Different Trip Lengths
- Table 7: Scenario 1 - Initial Stove + Fuel Carry Weights for Two People Sharing One Stove.
- Table 8: Scenario 2 - Initial Stove + Fuel Carry Weights For a Solo Hiker.
- Some key points from this discussion:
- Stove and Fuel Costs
- Table 9: Comparative Stove and Fuel Costs
- Windscreen Selection
- White Gas Stoves
- Canister Stoves
- Fuel Tab Stoves
- Alcohol Stoves
- Decisions, Decisions
# WORDS: 5391
# PHOTOS: 2
# TABLES: 7
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Calculating Fuel Usage, Carry Weight Analysis, and Cost/Efficiency Considerations"