Esbit or Alcohol Stove?
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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Esbit or Alcohol Stove? on 01/21/2008 09:31:51 MST Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/12/2013 08:54:41 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove? on 01/21/2008 14:31:19 MST Print View

There are plenty of threads in this forum re: pros and cons of Esbit versus alcohol.

I think the best thing is to try both methods and see what suits you best. If you can handle the blackened pot bottom, fishy smell, extra cost and fiddly ignition of the Esbit then it can be more fuel efficient and handier to carry. Alcohol is less efficient (but not by much), can spill and contaminate your pack or catch things on fire, requires a special container to carry it, and also smells bad, though not as bad as Esbit. It is cheaper and easier to find, but you need a decent stove to burn it in. The Esbit just needs a small stand.

Rodney Mruk
(rodney_mruk) - M

Locale: Northeast Oregon
Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/21/2008 14:36:18 MST Print View

I am making the switch to lightweight backpacking. One of the items that needs to go is my old but very reliable white gas stove. I am considering all three options but would like feedback regarding the Bush Buddy versus the Esbit and alcohol stoves. Any thoughts?

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "Esbit or Alcohol Stove?" on 01/21/2008 15:02:42 MST Print View

I use both but lately I find myself taking the esbit stove (I use the titanium esbit wing stove) most of the time. I just find it easier to use than alcohol.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove? on 01/21/2008 15:25:12 MST Print View

The investment into each system is small enough that you can try both and choose the one that fits your style.

I did a snowshoe last weekend with a very knowledgable person. I offered to lend him my Caldera Cone stove. He said "No, I am not going to use the stove and you can't make me."

Sorry, but you may have analysis paralysis.

Nigel Parrish
(nigelp) - F
Re: Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/21/2008 15:49:37 MST Print View

I have a Bush Buddy stove which I have used for my only stove on 4-5 day hammocking trips. The pot stand also makes an excellent stand when using an Esbit tablet a few of which you could carry for ease of use. It is also possible to stand a small meths burner in the main stove and again use the pot stand on top as normal to quicky boil water. The Bushbuddy is great but does require a bit of practice to achieve good results but at only 200 grams all in without the need for additional fuel is a winner on longer trips. Overnight I quite like a solid fuel as I can calculate how many tablets to take with no mess or bother.

Nigel

Kenneth Reppart
(kreppart) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/21/2008 16:21:32 MST Print View

Nigel can you share more about your Bushbuddy esbit setup? What do you use for a windscreen? Can you post a photo?

When I read about the Bushbuddy I thought it sounded like the perfect stove...until I realized that I wouldn't be able to use it under my tarp like an alcohol or esbit stove. I really like the idea of being able to heat water for morning coffee without getting out of my bag and that's just not feasible with the Bushbuddy.

For me I think the titanium caldera cone is close to the perfect system. It's optimized for alcohol/esbit when I need to cook under the tarp but I can use a wood fire if they are permitted and the weather is clear. Unfortunately they are sold out now but are promising a new size in the spring. I'm crossing my fingers for a SUL beercan version in titanium :)

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Re: Re: Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/21/2008 17:54:01 MST Print View

Why can't you use the bushbuddy under your tarp assuming you have enough wood gathered? Is the flame that uncontrolled or what?

Kenneth Reppart
(kreppart) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 18:50:51 MST Print View

I don't own one so I'm speculating but several of the reviews said that the Bushbuddy can throw off sparks. It is a wood stove after all. Pinholes are a mild annoyance but silnylon is pretty flammable and I wouldn't want to be under it if it caught on fire.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 18:59:11 MST Print View

I made this bushbuddy knockoff this afternoon:

woodstove

You might get away with it near the centre of a big tarp like a hex 3, but personally I'd use my alcohol stove in the morning from the sleeping bag and save the bushbuddy for the evening.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 19:21:42 MST Print View

aww yes...I imagine sparks are the biggest worry and that makes perfect sense...

And that flame looks pretty intense! Did you use gasoline or something?! ;)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 19:24:59 MST Print View

No way! That's just wood in there plus a sugar cube size piece of firelighter.

Andrew Richardson
(arichardson6) - F

Locale: North East
Re: Re: Re: Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 21:08:01 MST Print View

Heh..OoWee Boy, that is some serious output Rog! :) Watch your eyebrows when you use that thing!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Bushbuddy under tarp on 01/21/2008 21:11:29 MST Print View

It calms down when I put my homemade kelly kettle on it.Kelly Kettle on woodburner

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Stoves on 01/21/2008 21:18:38 MST Print View

nm

Edited by FamilyGuy on 11/12/2013 08:46:29 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
FIRELITE! on 01/21/2008 23:33:59 MST Print View

I use FireLite tabs now as they are a bit hotter than ESBIT.
I have a Vargo Ti stove that has a removable alky container so I use it to burn FireLite or ESBIT tabs. It will accomodate 2 tabs, side-by-side for a hotter stove if needed. I prefer fuel tabs over alcohol for the higher heat, lower weight and easier use.

It's all what you like FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.

Personally I'm waiting for modified solid rocket fuel tabs in a clever Ti burner with flame jets. Ought to be HOT!

Eric

Mike Hinsley
(ArchNemesis)

Locale: England, UK
Esbit or Alcohol on 01/22/2008 15:23:13 MST Print View

I go through phases on both of these. It's something I'm looking at again as an alternative to Gas.

I ran some simple tests this week of a Vargo Decagon vs. Gas vs. Esbit.

By the time the Decagon had primed (about a minte and half) both the Esbit and Gas stoves were well on their way to boiling.

To use either Alcohol or Esbit I'm gonna need a small windshield but even so I think the weight saving will be worth it.

Basically, I'll take both out into the field in realistic conditions and see how well they work for me.

In fuel-weight terms Esbit is equivalent to Gas. I boiled a cup of water in under 3 minutes using 3g of fuel on the Esibt. That's about the same burn rate as for Gas but an empty Gas cylinder weighs at least 100g and a stove at least 70g compared with say 25g for an Esbit stove and windshield.

There's no perfect stove but with Alcohol and Esbit you might as well just try both and see what works for you.

In the UK Esbit stoves are sold as 'Picnic' stoves and are a direct copy of what the British and Australian armies use for cooking - a 4oz folding stand wrapped around maybe 8oz of fuel.

Even in this vanilla form you can see that it more than matches the weight and fuel efficiency of a Gas stove.

Nigel Parrish
(nigelp) - F
Re: Re: Re: Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/22/2008 16:20:59 MST Print View

Hi
Yes the pot support for the Bushbuddy is the pot support for the esbit which is placed on a foil tray, stone or whatever really.
BushBuddy pot stand used with an Esbit

The ideal situation with the Bushbuddy would be to use an esbit first thing for the morning cuppa and then fire up the Bushbuddy properly for the rest of breakfast. The flames will get to about 30-40cm but I have used it successfully under a hammock tarp made of silnylon and inside the Golite Hex without any problems. Bit smokey with damp wood but I developed a small saw to chop dryer larger bits up.SawSaw and setup

Nigel

Nigel Parrish
(nigelp) - F
Re: Stoves on 01/22/2008 16:21:56 MST Print View

Sorry! Nigel

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Esbit or Alcohol or Bush Buddy? on 01/23/2008 08:42:22 MST Print View

Nigel, I like the saw, what did you use to piece it together?