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Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
OK, Roger... on 10/12/2009 14:52:44 MDT Print View

Roger:

One good outlet for the fuel? And Carry it for 530km. This alcohol must be pretty efficient stuff. No, I would not preferentially burn petrol!

Fireball with Whisperlite International too? Smaller fireball? Yes, this gets my attention in a big way. I'm exaggerating a bit -- I've seen this stove type used quite a bit -- even at tables in shelters under good light where you can see what's going on. I have seen BIG FIREBALLS. Didn't know if this was stove specific or operator specific. Or done for effect!

You talk about petrol "accidents". Would you care to elaborate? A spill -- ruining a sleeping bag. An explosion -- sending your wife to hospital with 3rd degree burns.

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 14:55:09 MDT.

Chris Townsend
(Christownsend) - MLife

Locale: Cairngorms National Park
Stove Fireballs on 10/12/2009 15:24:47 MDT Print View

Hartley, in my experience any of the multi-fuel stoves can produce a fireball during priming. I wouldn't prime any of them under cover. I haven't found the X-GK any worse than the others. I used an X-GK for a summer long walk through Norway and Sweden. At times I used kerosene and unleaded petrol and although there were dirty fumes when priming it never stopped working.

Oh, one way to avoid fireballs is to use kerosene as this is actually quite hard to light. You need either a separate priming fuel (alcohol, solid fuel tablets) or bits of paper or cardboard dipped in kerosene. But kerosene is a messy fuel that leaves greasy stains.

Glad you like my book, by the way. Thanks.

Edited by Christownsend on 10/12/2009 15:28:39 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: OK, Roger... on 10/12/2009 18:08:21 MDT Print View

Hi Hartely

> One good outlet for the fuel?
One outlet PER TOWN.

> Fireball with Whisperlite International too? Smaller fireball?
Yeah, it is possible to light a Whisperlite Int'l without a fireball. Takes practice, that's all. As Chris said, kero doesn't fireball but you should prime with metho. But it stinks - my wife disliked kero for all the years i used it.

I think the fireball is partly stove specific, but some users are just ... clumsy (or careless). I have seen people light their petrol stoves by sticking them in a wood fire ...

> petrol "accidents"
For example: someone spilt petrol around while filling, and that burned a hole in the corner of my pack and a large hole in my SB. I spent the night sewing a spare handkerchief over the charred mess. We were almost a week from anywhere that night - very remote.

I have often seen someone lighting a petrol stove on the ground or on a bench, while spilling fuel around the stove accidentally. The result always seems to surprise them. They usually do little more than scorch their eyebrows and hair (a fast blink response helps).

One of the best examples of the hazards of pertrol as a fuel was when two guys were trying to light a petrol stove inside their tent in the Himalayas. Their matches were wet, and they had trouble getting one to light. When they finally succeeded, the spilt priming fuel went whoomp, and they lost the fabric of their tent. Just the poles left (briefly) standing.

Petrol (white gas, etc) scares me - especially when others are using it.

Cheers

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Re: OK, Roger... on 10/12/2009 18:57:02 MDT Print View

G'day Roger:

Sounds like the accidents you describe resulted from spills.

I survived organic chemistry relatively unscathed -- a bit of an accident to my grade point average though. Didn't always recover and identify the the unknown but wasn't one of the particularly dangerous people. Don't think I had a lab balance -- we had to pay for the stuff we broke.

Think I will look for videos on youtube about how to do this -- BMC and others have some good footage of various skills. Then perhaps I will make a video of me with my stove. I am just learning about making videos. Coming soon…

Edited by backpackerchick on 10/12/2009 19:24:56 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Stove Fireballs on 10/12/2009 19:21:53 MDT Print View

I have friends that have been using first an XG-K, and then more recently a Whisperlite over the past ~17 years. As yet, they have not mastered the art of lighting it without a fireball. Me thinks they are slow learners as I had only to set a bench on fire once before I learned how to properly prime these beasts. Even so, I would not prime one in a tent vestibule or on a wooden bench. Petrol stoves in other folks hands are indeed a scary prospect!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: OK, Roger... on 10/12/2009 20:14:59 MDT Print View

> Sounds like the accidents you describe resulted from spills.
Mostly.

But there is a guy occasionally on the Forums who can tell a different story. He had two petrol stoves going side by side with large pots. The reflected heat from the pots hit the fuel tanks, and after a while one of the tanks ruptured. Losing a tent was minor: two people nearby got very severe burns to face and arms and, afaik, are still undergoing plastic surgery years later.

Cheers

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Jet Boil Accidents on 10/12/2009 20:43:40 MDT Print View

There are some videos on you tube of Jet Boil accidents. There will always be someone who finds away to mess it up no matter how idiot-proof the construction.

I just watched a decent vid on you tube of a guy demo-ing an MSR Whisperlite. I don't think he primed it. (Perhaps, off camera) Doesn't look too hard to master. Actually, being a pyro-phobe might be an advantage. Also a good vid of Panasonic LX3 -- don't even need to read the manual -- by that funny dpreview guy.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Jet Boil Accidents on 10/12/2009 20:56:31 MDT Print View

"Doesn't look too hard to master"

Exactly, Hartley, IME. I used both the XGK and the Whisperlite a lot a long time ago and only had one flare up, which didn't qualify as a fire ball-it only got up a couple of inches above the stove. The trick is to not pump up the pressure too high initially, then open the valve just a teeny bit, and bleed perhaps a millimeter or so of fuel into the pan. It doesn't take much to warm the tube up enough to vaporize the gas. You can pump the stove up to operating pressure once it's lit. This is a fellow pyrophobe's approach.

Bailey Gin
(pugslie) - F

Locale: SLO County
Re: Stove Fireballs on 10/12/2009 21:25:43 MDT Print View

I think the Primus Omnifuel and Optimus NOVA/+ are a bit safer to prime and light since they use a wick type action to hold the priming fuel...less chance of a spill. With both, I never had a fireball...flare ups if I open the control valve a little too soon thou.

b.gin

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Re: Stove Fireballs on 10/13/2009 00:23:44 MDT Print View

Even alcohol stoves are not foolproof. I made the mistake of trying to relight a hot penny stove and it 'coughed' burning fuel on me. I have a burnt hole in one of my pants that I leave there to remind me not to be stupid.

You should definitely consider a wider pot as tall, narrow cups tend not to heat as efficiently on stoves with wide burners like the whisperlite.

You might want to look at this site, they have a good summary of different stove types and the advantages/disadvantages based on stove weight, fuel energy density etc:

Zenstoves.net

Edited by erdferkel on 10/13/2009 00:26:17 MDT.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Stove Fireballs on 10/13/2009 06:41:00 MDT Print View

Does this qualify as a fireball?

First Time Using My Optimus Stove

This was taken by my daughter (amid some hysterical laughter) when I fired up my brand new Optimus stove back in 2005. I had intended to test it before we left but, because of the time it took to pack the 65+ lbs of gear in my ArcTeryx Bora 80 pack (hey - if it fit I took it), I didn't have the time.

It's scary what I've learned since that trip (it was my first backpacking trip in 20 years). Water? We each carried four liters on a hike that crossed a stream every two miles. Fuel for the "fireball"? Two full 1-liter fuel bottles of white gas!!! I didn't know how much fuel we'd need on our 3-night trip and didn't want to run out.

I'm sure many of you have similar stories, but the fireball thread reminded me of this photo. I've never had a fireball with my Caldera Cone and 12-10 stove. The Optimus? In the car camping box for when I need a third burner when cooking dinner.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Fire starting paste. on 10/13/2009 08:17:03 MDT Print View

I like fire starting paste. I think this is a gelled alcohol. Since I discovered it, not many fireballs on my SVEA 123, or two generations of Optimus (now Nova). I've been trying liquid alcohol for priming on my Optimus Nova. My new Nova works fine with kerosene. The pre-Nova Optimus multifuel stove could also burn alcohol, but I never tried it.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Stove Fireballs on 10/13/2009 10:28:43 MDT Print View

Kevin:
Nice photo. Thanks for sharing. The expression -- this does not look like a pyrophobe. Somewhat amusing that she was ready with camera sensing that your new stove might be a Kodak moment.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Stove Fireballs on 10/13/2009 11:11:22 MDT Print View

Thanks - Since she knew it was the first time I used the stove she had the camera ready - more as a joke than anything, but it certainly gave us a photo to remember.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
2.4 L titanium pot on 10/13/2009 11:47:09 MDT Print View

It's pyrophobe here again. Thanks for the scoop on the stoves. Beginning to get the point.

Now, for the pot. Currently only used canister stove w snow peak titanium solo (3/4 L maybe). PM and AM usually end up heating of 3-4 loads of water. (I prefer to mix sport drinks etc with hot water -- keeps me warm.)

Going to want a pot with a larger diameter to sit on this stove. No? Thinking of going with a 2.4-ish L pot. Once you get this stove going, think you'd want to get all your water boiled for a while? Good size for snow too -- while this isn't an issue for me at the moment, if you're going to spend more on the pot than the stove, might as well be thinking about what you're going to use it for next. Seems like a big pot for a solo traveler.

Ideas?

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Primed and Ready to Go on 10/13/2009 13:38:32 MDT Print View

I believe the MSR Whisperlite Internationale also has a wick of sorts. You would definitely want the Internationale version not the "plain" version.

I usually prime my stove with "meths" (methylated or denatured alcohol), but I understand that you can prime your stove with a bic lighter by applying the flame to the pre-heating tube. Roger, any comments on that technique?

Priming isn't that bad. The poster a couple of posts back has it right: Don't pump it 100% at first, and just let a very small amount of fuel flow into the priming cup. Light the fuel, let it burn out, and then pump up fully, re-light, and let 'er rip.

I generally open my valve slightly until I hear a little a little fuel coming out and close the valve before I see the fuel. If I don't get enough, I can always open the valve again. Just a tiny bit of fuel in the priming cup is needed. No harm in too little fuel; possibly great harm (or at least an unpleasant scare) if too much fuel.

I've got the "plain" version Whisperlite myself, but I imagine the Internationale version would work similarly, even with kero (aka "Paraffin").

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: 2.4 L titanium pot on 10/13/2009 13:42:47 MDT Print View

A 2.4L pot seems way too large. I don't normally bring that unless I'm with a group of 4 or more or if I have to melt snow.

The Whisperlite I have works just fine with my 1/2 (3/4?) liter pot.

My pot is wider than it is tall by the way.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Primed and Ready to Go on 10/13/2009 15:31:17 MDT Print View

Hi Jim

Metho or priming paste is the only decent way to get a kero stove going. A small dropper bottle of metho is far cheaper though. Only a litle is needed in the priming cup.

Do you need metho for petrol (white gas)? Not in hot weather - the fuel is quite volatile. I just dribble a wee bit of petrol out the jet (*exactly* as you describe) and then turn the jet OFF before I light. I open the valve very gently as flame dies down. In cold weather a bit of metho doesn't hurt.

Trying to heat the preheat tube with a Bic lighter is certainly possible, but it sure uses up the butane in the lighter. And can scorch fingers some times! I prefer the metho approach.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: 2.4 L titanium pot on 10/13/2009 15:34:20 MDT Print View

Hi Hartley

Frankly, I would hesitate about the 2.4 L pot. It's huge relative to what you need, and could even cause heat reflection problems as I described. I use a 1.5 L MSR Titan pot for two people, even in the snow, and I find it easily big enough. Yep, even for melting snow.

Cheers

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Jet Boil Accidents on 10/13/2009 15:54:14 MDT Print View

"The trick is to not pump up the pressure too high initially, then open the valve just a teeny bit, and bleed perhaps a millimeter or so of fuel into the pan. It doesn't take much to warm the tube up enough to vaporize the gas. You can pump the stove up to operating pressure once it's lit."

Spot on, and very easy really.
I just put two pumpstrokes of pressure in initially, so the fuel just dribbles into the priming cup rather than spraying at high pressure when I open the valve.