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alcohol fuel stove consumption rates
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Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
alcohol fuel stove consumption rates on 09/01/2010 13:55:24 MDT Print View

I'm planning a two-night trip coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm planning to use an alcohol stove since wood-burning fires are not permitted.

I'm wondering how to best determine how much denatured alcohol I'll need to bring along to cover the required heating water duties plus a little buffer.

Here's the details if it helps.

Stove: 12-10 stove with Caldara Cone.
Pot: 1.3L Evernew
# of People: 2
# of Meals: 4/person + extra hot water for drinks/wash-up with meals (meals will be typical FBC style or pre-packaged backpacker meals).

I've used my Caldera Cone (w/ Inferno) quite a bit in wood-burning mode but have only cooked a couple of isolated meals using the 12-10 stove just to try it out. I don't really know what to expect for fuel consumption rates, so I would appreciate the input from anyone with more experience. Thanks!

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: alcohol fuel stove consumption rates on 09/01/2010 14:09:23 MDT Print View

Figure on an ounce (weight) of 85% ethanol per liter of 40°F water.

So, 4 ounces.

You probably won't notice if you take 6 ounces, 'just in case'. But weigh before you go, and weigh when you come back. Then write that number down somewhere ;-)

My wife and I use the same setup, and typically we use less than an ounce per liter, for a rolling boil.

Edited by greg23 on 09/01/2010 14:10:03 MDT.

Jason McSpadden
(JBMcSr1) - M

Locale: Rocky Mountains
I'm not an expert on this but on 09/01/2010 14:13:02 MDT Print View

I have a Caldera Cone that uses a K-mart Grease Pot which holds over 4 cups. I just used it for the first time, other than in the basement, up in the Rawah Wildreness Area at elevations over 10,000 ft. And I was impressed how effecient and frugal the 12-10 stove with Caldera Cone was. I boiled 2 cu of cold creek water using a little less than 1/2 oz of alcohol. And I boiled 4 cu of cold creek water using a bit more than 1/2 oz of alcohol.

I was really amazed by this stove/cone/pot combination.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I'm not an expert on this but on 09/01/2010 14:37:50 MDT Print View

I have the titanium Caldera that I use with the 12-10 stove and a 750ml titanium pot with lid. If I have everything working perfectly, I can boil 16 ounces of cold water using 1/2 ounce of S-L-X denatured alcohol. The Caldera typically wants to have a bit of air getting in the bottom, but no direct wind.


Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Thanks! on 09/01/2010 14:55:11 MDT Print View

Thanks for your input everyone; that's just what I needed.

bryan english
(apoxtle) - F

Locale: so cal.
caldera. on 09/02/2010 09:59:52 MDT Print View

i have the caldera cone with anti-gravity 3 cup pot. i really like this stove. i average about 8-9 cc of fuel per cup of water. it's a very fuel efficient stove and all i really use anymore.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Fuel on 09/03/2010 03:40:42 MDT Print View

Using the exact same setup as you (1.3L Evernew, 12-10 Stove, Caldera Cone). This afternoon I brought 500ml of water from 58F to a rolling boil in 7 minutes using 13.1g (or 0.58 fluid ounces) of methylated spirits (90% ethanol, 10% methanol). That test was done indoors. I would figure on 25% more fuel in the outdoors since it may be windy etc and to have a safety margin. Add another 25% more (by weight) if you're using pure methanol since it's less energy dense. The same indoor test with methanol gives me results around 17g.

Denatured alcohol is sometimes 90/10 (ethanol/methanol) but it can also be closer to 50/50. If you can, find the MSDS for your brand.

One ounce of ethanol weighs 23.3g, so I would figure on .75oz/pint boiled on the trail. I think that's a safe number. It takes less than double the fuel if you're boiling a liter/quart. I would figure on about 1.25oz/quart including a moderate safety margin. You may want to go 1.5oz per quart as it's your first time with this setup.

With 2 people, you'll probably boil 1 quart for the two of your for each meal? So that's four 1 quart boils, plus another 2 quarts maybe for hot drinks and another 2 quarts x half a boil for hot water, so in total you're got about 7 quarts worth of boiling. If you are indeed doing this much cooking then I would bring 10 fluid ounces or ~12oz if it's 50/50 ethanol/methanol.

Edited by dandydan on 09/03/2010 03:49:52 MDT.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Fuel on 09/03/2010 16:41:37 MDT Print View

Dan and Bryan,

Thanks for the added input. Dan, you're numbers are probably just about right for the water quantities for meals, drinks, etc.

This all helps a lot!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
best place to buy it in vancouver on 09/03/2010 21:20:28 MDT Print View

off topic drift a bit ... but where is the best place to buy denat alcohol in the GVRD?