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Caldera Cone in single digit temps?
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john griffith

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Caldera Cone in single digit temps? on 11/17/2008 10:25:12 MST Print View

I would like to know about others experiences using the caldera cone into the single digits. I don't expect to have snow on the ground (western NC @ 5600ft.) so will not be looking to melt snow. I have other stove options, but would love to use my lightest one.

The lowest temperature I have used it so far is in the high twenties where it performed flawlessly. I will only be boiling 16 oz. at a time in my snow peak 700 mug.


Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Caldera Cone in single digit temps? on 11/17/2008 10:38:40 MST Print View

I too, love my Caldera Cone but, where will you find liquid water in the conditions you describe? For this situation, I break out my MSR Windpro, used in the inverted position and, "boil, baby, boil."

Logan Kidwell
(Logan) - MLife

Locale: Maine
re: caldera cones on 11/17/2008 11:08:24 MST Print View

Caldera Cones can handle the task. Last Thanksgiving, I used mine to do lots of hot water on a trip in the Bigelows in Maine where the high temps were 20ish and lows were in the single numbers. There wasn't much snow, so I hacked through the frozen pond for water.

If I remember correctly, I used 30 ml of a "heet heavy" fuel per boil and had 3 cups of ice chunks and cold water boiling in no time.

One thing I do recommend to take an alcohol stove to cold temps is some kind of insulation under the stove. I used a disc of foil covered bubble wrap (brand name escapes me) that my cone and stove sat on (no change in pot height). Perfect. If anything, 30 ml of fuel was too much to get a rolling boil going.

Now I use a homemade titanium version, so I'll go twiggy fire and bring alcohol as a backup.

Best of luck!

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Caldera Cone in single digit temps? on 11/17/2008 11:34:04 MST Print View

Keep your alcohol fuel bottle in an inside pocket until you use it.

Enjoy, it will be up to the task.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Caldera Cone in single digit temps? on 11/17/2008 11:44:23 MST Print View

Efficiency will suffer, as compared to warm weather, but I bet it will be more efficient than other alcohol stoves at those temps. The trick will be getting the fuel to light. Keep your fuel and stove warm until you're ready to light it, and have a lighter (or a lit stick) that will allow you to hold the flame above the alcohl for longer than usual since there won't be many vapors coming off the liquid at those temperatures.

I used another alcohol stove at 2F, and it took 3 matches to get it going, even being careful to keep things warm. When I accidently dunked the lit match into the liquid alcohol while trying to light it, the match actually went out. Once it was going, it worked OK for an overnighter.

john griffith

Locale: Southeast U.S.
Great insights on 11/17/2008 14:09:44 MST Print View

I appreciate the info. guys.

Liquid water shouldn't be a problem as the daily highs leading up the trip are all above freezing. In addition, I intend to go to bed with enough water for the morning boil.

That is a great tip about keeping the alcohol warm and makes perfect sense. I have, thus far only used the stove into the high twenties, and even then, it seemed a little sluggish to get lit.

Thomas, I'm assuming there was a momentary "pucker" as you realized you had touched flame to alcohol. :}

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Great insights on 11/21/2008 18:56:17 MST Print View

It was like dunking it in water, and I didn't have lots of matches left, so I was thinking that Iwas going to have to eat cold oatmeal. I had become pretty obvious that it was going to be hard to light 1/2 thru the first match.

Edited by TomClark on 11/22/2008 04:06:11 MST.