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Esbit Stove Capabilities
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Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Esbit Stove Capabilities on 08/06/2009 21:28:51 MDT Print View

I'm curious about the capabilities of Esbit stoves. The Titanium one sold here at BPL looks like a nice design and it weighs a mere 11g.

I'm just not sure if an Esbit stove would be adequate for my needs.

I often camp with my wife and we cook together. We cook together using our 1.5 liter pot and we cook meals like Sidekicks, Uncle Bens, instant potatoes etc.

Does an Esbit stove provide enough heat to cook meals like this? Or would it take forever? Is it possible to cook over these stove (ie. Pancakes) or does the lack of flame control make this very difficult?

My understanding is that alcohol stoves throw off more heat that Esbit. Is this correct? Can an alcohol stove provide enough firepower to get a 1.5 litre pot full of whatever boiling in a reasonable amount of time? Or am I beyond the limits of these stoves?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Esbit v. Alcohol on 08/06/2009 22:00:26 MDT Print View


I really like my Ti wing stove, for solo and light and fast stuff. I get about 24 oz of water heated close to a boil with each cube (2 rounds in a ti sierra cup). When my wife and I backpack I bring the alcohol stove. It does provide more juice and is more practical for cooking meals for two.

I've never done more than heat water with either.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

thanks on 08/06/2009 23:36:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for responding...alcohol sounds like a better choice but I'm not sure it's a good decision to do this over a canister stove. The thing I hate about canisters stoves is having to guess to the nearest canister how much fuel I need. It becomes tough when you have lots of 1/2 full canisters laying around and you want to use them up but you also don't want the bulk and weight of several almost empty canisters.

It would be nice if someone came up with an alcohol stove that allowed you to adjust the flame so you have simmer control.

Michael Moccia
(MadMoe) - MLife

Locale: The Lone Star State
Adjustable Alcohol Stove on 08/07/2009 04:01:35 MDT Print View

Have you seen this?

Not sure how well it works.

Dale South
(dsouth) - M

Locale: Southeast
Packafeather on 08/07/2009 10:34:09 MDT Print View

I have one and it works well if indeed you need to simmer.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Boiling on 08/07/2009 11:18:39 MDT Print View

Nice stove! Does it have the horsepower to bring a liter of water to a boil? All of their claims are based around 0.5L.

Troy Ammons
(tammons) - F - MLife
Esbit Stove Capabilities on 08/07/2009 11:34:43 MDT Print View

You can set up an alcohol stove to boil just about anyhting you want.

I generally like pressurized stoves, but the type in the link is probably safer and not as troublesome.

I have a home emergency alcohol stove made out of a large heineken can and it will boil 4 cups of h20 in about 6-7 minutes. It takes the same amount of alcohol in oz as cups of h20, IE it takes 4 oz (8 tbsp) of alcohol plus a primer to boil 4 cups of water in a large thick wall Sigg aluminum pot, but its not very efficient. It does burn hot though.

I have 2 others.

One smaller made out of 12 oz heineken cans that is designed to be usd with a 24oz heineken pot. It will boil 3 cups of h20 in about 10 minutes with 4.5 tbsp of alcohol with a 1/2 tbsp primer (total 2.5 oz) to get it going.

One tiny one to use with a 12oz Heineken can pot. It will only boil up to 1.5 cups. The entire rig - stove, pot and all weighs 2 oz.

Edited by tammons on 08/07/2009 11:36:09 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
1/2 Full Canisters on 08/07/2009 22:26:37 MDT Print View

> The thing I hate about canisters stoves is having to guess to the nearest canister how much fuel I need.
I've got a way that works for me to determine whether or not I can take a particular partially full canister or not.
1. I weigh my full canister when new.
2. After a trip, I weigh my now partially full canister.
3. The difference in the number of grams of weight tells me how much fuel I've burned.

For example a Snow Peak 110g size canister weighs 198g when full. When I come home, I measure it at 135g. I've therefore used 63g of fuel out of 110g, leaving 47g of fuel remaining.

4. I figure out about how many grams of fuel it will take for my canister stove to boil one cup of water. I can get this figure from the manufacturer or I can get this figure based on experience. This will vary some with air and water temperature, so use it as an approximation.
5. I figure out how many cups of water I will need to boil for the next trip I'm planning.
6. I multiply the number of grams of fuel to boil one cup (frome step 4) by the number of cups I will need on the trip (from step 5), giving me the total number of grams (approximately) I will need for the next trip.

If the total number of grams I will need for the next trip is less than the amount remaining in the partially full canister, I bring the partially full canister. If not, I bring a new one.

By using this method, I can determine what mix of full and partially full canisters of the sizes available to me I need to bring on the trip to arrive at the minimum weight. For example, sometimes it's lighter to bring a full 110g canister and a partially full 110g canister rather than a full 220g.

I've actually got this all in an Excel spreadsheet if you're interested. Plug in the number of cups you intend to boil per person per day, the number of persons on your trip, and the number of days, and it will tell you how many grams of fuel you need.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

canisters on 08/07/2009 22:45:04 MDT Print View

Figuring out fuel usage and how much fuel is in a canister is a bit of a pain but I'm fine with doing that. What I really don't like is how I can't take precisely the amount of fuel I want with no hassles.

With liquid fuel you just figure how much you need and put that in a lightweight container. With canisters stoves once you figure out how much fuel you need then you need to somehow get this much fuel. Getting this much fuel is the hard part because full canisters are more weight effective (since a smaller portion of the total weight is the canisters) but you're right that you might be better off to use a partial one rather than take two full ones. It just becomes a bit of a mess.

If I realize that I need 12oz of fuel for a trip, I could take an 8oz container plus another 1/2 full 8oz one, or I could go buy a 4oz container to save weight/bulk or I could grab four of those 8oz containers I have laying around with just 1oz of fuel left in each. It's hard to use up these canisters because it never makes sense to bring an almost empty canister along.

Oh and those Brunton strips that are supposed to tell you how full your canister is are terrible. I wasted $5 on these and it's impossible to get an accurate reading unless I'm missing some trick.

If I knew a good source for alcohol and if I knew this stove was powerful enough then I'd go buy one right now.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
TWO fuel tabs at a time on 08/08/2009 00:21:52 MDT Print View

I have used my Vargo Triad EX alky/ESBIT stove base with TWO tablets at at time for faster cooking. I usually have 1/3 of my two tabs left so for breakfast boiling I just need to add one more tab. That comes out to three tabs per day. But you absolutely MUST use a circular foil windscreen to conserve heat. I used a MSR windscreen and also the small circular reflector that came with it beneath my Vargo stove. I don't know of a lighter stove that will hold two tablets and sturdily support even a 1.5 L. pot full of water.

On a 6 day Grand Canyon trip it was great to have the light weight of an ESBIT setup, especially hauling my pack back up the Brightangel trail.

BTW, If you insist on using only one tab you'll end up hating the low heat output.


Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
wing stove good for solo on 08/08/2009 16:12:03 MDT Print View

I have the Firelite stove and it's very nice. Works well with the Firelite tablets (which in my tests performed better than Esbit brand tabs.) Makes for a very light solo kitchen.

But I wouldn't want to bring it when my lovely wife comes with me. That's when I bring a canister stove -- instant hot drinks for those cold evenings and mornings around camp, and much easier to cook for two, even if it's just boiling water for oatmeal.

Michael Fogarty
(mfog1) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: wing stove good for solo on 08/08/2009 17:11:52 MDT Print View

I'd tend to agree, if your cooking for 2, I'd go with an alcohol stove, or a canister stove.

This is what I've been using lately for solo usage:

The Packafeather stove looks sweet, and with a 2 oz capacity and the ability to simmer, it seems like it would be good choice for you.

Edited by mfog1 on 08/08/2009 17:16:22 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: canisters on 08/08/2009 23:41:18 MDT Print View

Oh and those Brunton strips that are supposed to tell you how full your canister is are terrible. I wasted $5 on these and it's impossible to get an accurate reading unless I'm missing some trick.
What I have done is take an empty canister, float it in a bowl of water, and mark where the water line is. Then I take a full canister and do the same. Then on the full canister, I mark a line where the water line was on the empty canister.

I now have two lines on my full canister: one is the water line when full and the other is the water line when empty.

When I'm out on the trail, I can float the canister in my pot, see where the waterline is in relationship to the empty and full lines, and get a rough estimate of how much fuel I have left.



Edited by hikin_jim on 08/08/2009 23:43:01 MDT.