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alcohol stove input needed
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Darwin Roos
(darwin310) - F

Locale: Great Lakes Area
alcohol stove input needed on 11/29/2009 20:50:11 MST Print View

Hello. I'm considering getting the PackaFeather XL alcohol stove( Any opinions about it and/or ideas about other alcohol stoves. I'm not looking to make my own.


Darwin Roos
(darwin310) - F

Locale: Great Lakes Area
Additional info on 11/29/2009 21:27:24 MST Print View

My above question would be for one person backpacking for 1-2 weeks. This would be for cooking meals.

Andy Bailey
(AndyBailey) - F

Locale: The Great Plains
RE: alcohol stove input needed on 12/12/2009 18:08:33 MST Print View

I personally like alcohol stoves because of their simplicity and reliability, in addition to their light weight.

To me, the packafeather is too complicated and fragile. There are too many parts for my liking. Now bear in mind, I have never used one, and my backcountry cooking is limited to boiling water for my food.

My favorite alcohol stove is the cat food can stove. It is one piece, inexpensive, nothing to clog or break, it is it's own potstand, and takes about 2 minutes to make.Cat food can stove

Use a 3 oz. cat food can ie. "fancy feast" and punch 8 holes around the middle of the can with a paper hole punch.
It's that simple!

Edited by AndyBailey on 12/12/2009 18:09:41 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
alcohol stove input needed on 12/12/2009 18:57:42 MST Print View

Cat food can works great. But when I wanted a fancy adjustable one that someone else made, I bought a Brasslight. Heavier, but works well.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
brasslight vs. fancy feast on 12/12/2009 21:45:49 MST Print View

I own a brasslight and actually switched to the fancy feast alcohol stove. Andrew Skurka's directions are very clear at and it came out great the first attempt without a lot of hassle or time required. The brasslight is a fine stove, but the fancy feast seems to me to work about as well for just boiling water (not simmering), and weighs 0.2 oz.

That said, I'm switching to a lightweight Caldera Cone system --- both the Compact UL and the Keg variants look great to me. But for just starting out, I would encourage you to build a fancyfeast type stove with an aluminum foil windscreen and try that out for a while.

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
Ditto the Fancy Feast Stove on 12/14/2009 12:39:31 MST Print View

You can also use a beanie weanie/potted meat can too, if you don't have a cat to feed the food to. Of course, I'd probably be more likely to consume the Fancy Feast before I'd eat beanie weanies! The options for alcohol stoves are dizzying. I'm impressed w/ the lengths people will go to in order to perfect the design. The fancy feast stove won't let you down, it will take a beating and still function, it's 59 cents at Petsmart! If you kill it on the trail, not sure how you could, there's a hole punch and can at any trail town w/ a grocery store. Give it a try and then show your neighbors and friends.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: alcohol stove input needed on 12/14/2009 13:18:27 MST Print View

I have a Packafeather XL and I think it's great. Combined with a windscreen, I can generally boil 12oz of fairly cold water in about 5 minutes in 40 degree temps with minimal wind. I used it in ~25-30 degree temps (again with minimal wind) and it took about 7-8 minutes to boil very cold water.

None of those results were measured in a scientific way by myself, I should add. I'm just relaying my experience using the stove in the general conditions in which I used it.

I tried making my own cat can stove of the simplest design, but I use a Snowpeak 700, which is really too narrow for it and I lost a lot of flame up the sides, and could never get boiling time below 8-9 minutes even in my kitchen.

It seems that the raised potstand and flame control of the packafeather really solves that issue.

I don't fiddle much with the flame control as I just boil water, but it does seem to work when I do.