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G Dup
(lococoyo) - F
RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE? on 05/23/2008 21:35:09 MDT Print View

I'm looking into getting a lightweight alcohol stove. Rather not make it - better to let someone else go through the trouble of getting it perfect. Will be used with small kettle, which makes the windscreen pot stand attractive. Will be ~5 days to resupplies, typical Sierra Nevada summer weather - nothing extreme. Any recommendations? I think the maxxron looks best for me at 1 oz with windscreen though I realize this is highly subjective. Does anyone have any advice for any particular designs?

$7 - pinboy50 - can stove, filler port, side jets, crimped, no windscreen

$12 - maxxrondesigns - can stove, filler port, side jets, windscreen

$23 - billinmt2 - white box stove, windscreen

Edited by lococoyo on 05/23/2008 21:38:36 MDT.

Carter Hunt
(TheChamp) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Whitebox on 05/24/2008 01:57:06 MDT Print View

I used the whitebox on the PCT and thought it was great, no need for pot stand and quick boil times. You need a wider pot to take full advantage of the flame spread (Evernew 1.3L?)

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: "RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE?" on 05/24/2008 02:15:48 MDT Print View

I'd also be interested in a recommendation for an alcohol stove with an adjustable flame (ie. one which can simmer as well as work at full power).

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Alchy Stoves on 05/24/2008 05:59:40 MDT Print View

The caldera cone 12-10 stove has a lot of happy BPL users. In fact, a lot of BPL users recommend using the caldera cone with almost any alchohol stove. Most presurized burner alchohol stoves (ie: ones you can set the pot directly on top so you don't need a seperate pot stand) won't work though, since they need more air flow.)
The featherfire stove is "conveniently" adjustable, but other methods can be used to simmer with any alchohol stove. They also have a great bottle-top for recovering unburnt fuel. See the links below for more info:

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: "RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE?" on 05/24/2008 08:35:32 MDT Print View

Tinny has been at this stove making buisness for a while now.. he has a lot of different lightweight, rugged, alc. stove options to choose from

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE? on 05/24/2008 09:13:32 MDT Print View

For a long time, I fiddled with various alcohol stoves and found I was usually frustrated with balancing the stove and pot for presurized systems or dealing with a pot stand in others. Also, wind screens that were too flimsy and wanted to blow away in the wind ... then came (drum beat here) CALDERA CONES! (da-dah!)

My life has changed! I was going gray, now I'm not; my vision was failing, now clear; my fallen arches have re-arched ... OK, I'm exaggerating! But seriously, I'll never even consider going back! Weight wise, the Caldera isn't significantly different from any other alcohol system and it's true that it takes more volume to pack but, it's so worth it. I use it with a Vargo Ti 0.9 L pot for my wife and me. It's made me a "Happy Camper."

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: Re: RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE? on 05/24/2008 09:33:39 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,

If it's not too much trouble, would you mind measuring how tall your cone is? I've considered getting one for an evernew 0.9 pot (same basic pot), and am wondering about how tall the cone is for packability reasons.


Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Re: Re: RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE? on 05/24/2008 15:24:22 MDT Print View

Hi Daniel,

It's 5.5 inches to the top of the cone. It rolls into a 3.5 inch diameter tube. The plastic fuel bottle and the burner fit inside the tube.

The packing chalenge is the only drawback to the system but IMO, it's well worth the bother.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Btw on 05/24/2008 16:09:59 MDT Print View

Bill of White Box now has his own website :-)

G Dup
(lococoyo) - F
re: RECOMMEND AN ALCOHOL STOVE? on 05/24/2008 17:01:57 MDT Print View

Thanks for linking to minibulldesigns. I've seen a few of those stoves, but not organized on his site like that. Since i'm using a kettle similar to the one shown on Sara's site it looks like the caldera cone is not an option. I'm just hoping the kettle will be alright balancing on a little can. I guess i'll go for the trek 3 from MBD, looks easy to light and the kettle will make use of its large heating area. If that doesn't work out, then its just $15 and may have to go with one of the designs using a windscreen as a pot stand. Still not sure what to do about windscreen, but I guess i'll figure that one out when weather is a b itch and i'm cold and hungry. :-)

Kathleen B

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Alcohol Stoves on 05/24/2008 19:08:10 MDT Print View

My favorite stove from Minibulldesign is the Mini Sith. It is particularly good in cold weather (snow!) where some of the others just putz and fizzle. I've even tried it without the little screw in the middle to see if it works, and it does. At home sitting in the kitchen sink it will boil 2 C of water in less than 5 minutes, and almost the same in the summer on the trail. At 4400' in the snow using 33-degree water from a semi-thawed lake it takes 1.5 oz of fuel and 2 lightings. Water temperature is everything. I just use a long piece of foil folded lengthwise as an adjustable windscreen.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
MBD on 05/25/2008 14:48:41 MDT Print View

I have the new MBD Coolfly, and I love it! No complaints at all!

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Alcohol stove and pot on 05/26/2008 23:03:14 MDT Print View

I use a Brasslite Turbo II-F (1.4oz) and their 550ml titanium pot (2.8oz with lid). I made a wind screen from aluminum flashing that goes about halfway up the side of the pot and has a cut-out for the handle and a couple rows of punched holes around the bottom.

I've tried several of the pop can stoves and they all work, but they just don't have the good construction of the Brasslite-- and you can simmer with it.

I see Brasslite has them on sale for $20 right now-- that's a steal.

victoria maki
(clt1953) - F

Locale: northern minnesota
stove on 05/27/2008 08:22:32 MDT Print View

have you concidered using fuel tabs? i purchased a titanium stand, made a wind screen out of of piece of used plate from the local newspaper (extemely thin piece of tin)and cut out a base from the same tin. alot less weight with fuel tabs than a bottle of alcohol. vicky

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Alcohal stove on 05/27/2008 09:32:01 MDT Print View

I have been using the Vargo-Decagon 1.3oz. It is very reliable and has built in stability plate- no tipping. I also use the mini- bulldesign round wire platform with a Hieneken can. Simple and reliable. Oh yea!! all under 3 oz.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Well... on 05/27/2008 10:58:24 MDT Print View

I began with a pop can stove and then went to the Vargo Triad EX (W/ the removable burner) The 1st burner was too small to hold enough fuel and after I mnentioned this to Mr. Vargo he made the 2nd alcohol container much larger, just big enough to barely fit inside the stove base. It works very well.

BUT, I soon discovered that using ESBIT & FireLite fuel tabs in the Vargo Triad base were better than alcohol for heat output and speed of setup. So that's what I've been using lately and I like it a lot. Got to be one of the lightest fuel tab stoves out there - after my Ti folding wing stove from BPL. But the Vargo base permits me to use two fuel tabs at a time, side by side, if I need to.

P.S. How many of our backpacking friends also use alcohol or even fuel tab stoves? Very few I'd bet.

Edited by Danepacker on 05/27/2008 11:01:23 MDT.

Andy Bailey
(AndyBailey) - F

Locale: The Great Plains
Re: Recommend an alcohol stove on 06/18/2008 09:49:12 MDT Print View

You should look into Falk's 4 in 1 cat stove. It is incredibly simple and easy to make, has the ability to simmer, boil quickly, or somewhere in-between. It only requires four aluminum cat food cans, a hole punch, and a church-key type can opener.
I was playing with mine in the basement last night. It was able to boil two cups of tap-water (roughly 65 degrees F) on 30ml of HEET in 6 minutes, and it continued to boil the water for an additional 5-6 minutes.
It doesn't need a separate pot stand and is rather durable (unlike my penny stove, which got crushed in my pack my last trip). The K-mart grease pot is just about the perfect size for this stove. (I am all about cheap and simple, as well as light :) .
I have yet to try it out on a trip, but I have high hopes for it.

(epilektric) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
DIY/MYOG Aluminum Windscreen on 06/18/2008 16:47:34 MDT Print View

For a windscreen you can easily make your own if you are so inclined.

Grab a 2-pack of the large aluminum disposable oven liners next time your at the grocery store. Cut a strip in the length and height you need with some scissors. Then use a hole punch to put a row of air holes along the bottom of the screen.

The liners are thicker than aluminum foil and stand up well to folding and bending while still adding very little weight. It's not a Caldera Cone but it will work.

Miguel Marcos
(miguelmarcos) - F

Locale: Middle Iberia
Another Whitebox user on 06/19/2008 14:46:05 MDT Print View

I bought the Whitebox and like it a lot. Used it in the Pyrenees and worked like a charm. Very simple and effective. I use the Evernew 1.3 liter pot.

A related question: Does the MSR Titan Kettle work well on the Whitebox? Or is it too narrow to take advantage of the side jets?

Christopher Williams
(clwilla) - F

Locale: The Bluegrass
Re: Another Whitebox user on 07/24/2008 20:58:24 MDT Print View

You'll need a pot that is ~5 inches or larger to use with the Whitebox.

I use the Primus .9 Liter Tea Kettle. It boils in about 5 minutes using cold tap water on a still night on the back deck.