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stove efficiency
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Kyle Purcell
(dufus934) - F

Locale: North Texas
stove efficiency on 11/24/2007 10:24:52 MST Print View

Now that it's getting colder, soda can stoves aren't working as well as they did in the warmer summer months. I know it is because of the cold, but since this is my first winter with soda can stoves, I was just wondering what some of the tricks you vets employ to ensure max output and efficiency. I'm hoping there is some way for me to carry around the same amount of fuel and not have to bring a lot more just to compensate for the cold.

I do have a DIY pot cozy that I've been using and that helps keep the food hot enough to keep cooking the food for a little bit after it gets taken off the flame, but having to do this is less than desirable for me. However, maybe this is needed for the colder weather.

also I almost always use a 1:1 mixture of HEET and 91% Iso. Is there a better mixture for cooler temps?

Mark Hurd
(markhurd) - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: stove efficiency on 11/24/2007 12:19:05 MST Print View

Hey Kyle,

For cold weather I think you mainly need to optimize every little thing. The warmer months are more forgiving with these stoves. So make sure your stove is off the ground. For me that is just cutting the very top 1/2 inch or so off a soda can and using it as a stand to place my stove on. Also if your wind screen stays close to the pot and goes up the side of the pot a ways it will help hold more of the heat in. A sheltered spot to cook. Keep your fuel bottle warm in your pocket or sleeping bag so that it is easier to light. Keeping your water bottle in the sleeping bag will give you a head start on heating it. Cozies are great as you've noted.

Also, I've just finished some testing on my Heineken cone using methanol, denatured ethanol, Iso-meth 1:1, and Iso-denatured ethanol 1:1 (Iso-D) which I will post in the Mixing Alcohols thread. The bottom line is that you may want to explore Iso-D as it was a little more consistent at obtaining a boil.

I don't think there is any one thing rather a bunch of little things that will help. For serious freezing weather, snow, and or winter alpine camping change to a liquid feed canister stove like the Coleman Xtreme, etc.


Edited by markhurd on 11/24/2007 13:41:34 MST.

Tommy Clapp

Locale: GSM Area
MBD ISO FLY on 11/25/2007 09:01:07 MST Print View

Make or buy a Mini Bull Design Iso Fly. it is a cold burning Alcohol stove.

I just got back from a trip where others had pressure stoves and they took some time to preheat. the iso fly uses a wick design and fired right up. we actually used it for the whole group after the pressure stoves wouldn't saw alot of use for 4 people.

The alt was 3400ft.
the temp acording to my little thermo was low 18 right before we got into the tent.

Tinny has really got a jem with this stove. it boiled water quickly(not as quick as a pressure stove) and you can even keep the unused fuel...just pour it back into your bottle.