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Rick Harjes
(rharjes) - F
Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/06/2011 23:47:44 MST Print View

Hey Guys,

I currently have a Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel (http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-550B725-Exponent-Multi-Fuel-Stove/dp/B0009VC7QK) that I've used for the past few years car camping, and most recently this winter, winter camping! In an effort to reduce my weight, and consolidate my pack size, I'm looking for a stove to fit within my GSI Dualist cookset.

Right now, I was looking at the Snow Peak Litemax to try the world of UL canister stoves out for summer backpacking (fuel & stove could fit into the cookset), but have been also thinking, would I be better off to get a remote tank stove for all seasons(like a MSR Whisperlite), while trying to reduce pack size? Meaning, the stove would fit inside the cookset but not the tank (which is pretty much a wash space-wise when comparing with the Coleman stove).

Or is it stupid to think one stove would work for Summer/Winter conditions in MN?

Thanks!

Rick

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 01:58:35 MST Print View

>> would I be better off to get a remote tank stove for all seasons?
>> Or is it stupid to think one stove would work for Summer/Winter conditions in MN?

I dunno how cold it gets in MN in winter, but if you can keep your fuel container warmer than 10F, you could find that a remote (inverted) canister stove would work year round.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 02:03:41 MST Print View

An utterly biased opinion: white gas stoves are fast becoming obsolete. Read some of our stove reviews at BPL to find out why.

It might be nice to have a very simple upright for summer time. The Litemax is OK; the GST-100 is better imho. But I am known to be biased.

Cheers.

BER ---
(BER) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Litemax on 03/07/2011 08:10:35 MST Print View

This is a biased view as most of our camping is via canoe and have a group of 2-4 cooking (not generally FBC) on one stove. The litemax is a nice light stove but I found the fold out Ti pot supports a bit flimsy, especially with larger pans of water. We had some bending over time. The Vargo Jet Ti stove is only marginally heavier and much more sturdy. But...ultimately we went back to the MSR windpro. Lower center of gravity for bigger pots, and ability to invert canister if cold.

Edited by BER on 03/07/2011 08:13:52 MST.

Brad B
(HillbillyfromAL) - F
All season stove on 03/07/2011 09:40:03 MST Print View

I carry my Whisperlite International everywhere. I never regret packing it in anywhere I go. Yeah there are much lighter stoves around but this one has seen alot of use over the years and never let me down. For the guy that thinks liquid fuel stoves are going to be obsolete have you compared the price the price of fuel?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: All season stove on 03/07/2011 11:41:18 MST Print View

All Season? Well... I totally disagree with Roger about stoves. WG is still going strong, not to worry...Roger and I can agree to disagree to your benefit. You will hear both sides.

First off, I never recommend a canister stove. Indeed, I have used a dozen different ones and have owned half of those: Jetboils to Coleman F1's. Yes, I have tried them.
Four things I do not like about canisters.
1) The fuel density. Between the weight of the can and the weight of the fuel, the overall fuel density is only slightly better than alcohol, using 4oz cans. The picture improves somewhat with 8oz cans and 16oz cans. But never excedes that of WG and a 16floz PET bottle.
(Note that the average weight of 16floz of WG + the bottle is ~12oz total.)
2) The reliability of canisters in cold temps is "iffy". WG will work down to about -50F. For most of the USofA, except maybe the northern parts of Alaska, this is enough.
3) The reliability of the stoves is suspect and depends on the Lindal valves in the canisters.
(About the same as the reliability of a pump if you use a pump powered stove...I have had several lindal valves fail and one MSR pump blow it's guts out.)
4) The cost of canisters is very high. In every case, at least three times the cost of WG, where I live (the US.) Best case is about is about $4 for four ounces. For a gallon, this means about $128. A gallon of WG costs about $9... better than 13x more...

A Whisperlite or equivalent weighs about 16oz. For 3oz more I would recommend the SVEA at 19oz.
I have had one since the early 70's with no problems.
Fuel efficiency is slightly worse than a canister, mostly due to priming. About .25-.33oz per liter if you leave it on low (about 14min/liter) depending on the starting temp of the water.

Compact, it also includes a cup for the weight. Or save 2oz and drop the cup. Anyway, the only downside is the low heat output (part of the reason for the high efficiency.) It is really only good for two, 3 is a bit of a push. 4 is definitly pushing it. Soo, it is a solo or paired camping stove. If you don't need to melt snow for four, it will work. In a real tight pinch, you can burn auto gas in it. Just stay upwind of any fumes.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 11:59:39 MST Print View

Rick,

There's no reason that you can't get a stove to work year round in Minnesota. An MSR Simmerlite is a light weight white gasoline stove, and it'll pretty much run in any conditions, hot or cold. It's going to be lighter than your Coleman Exponent Multifuel and easier to pack.

The real question though is do you want to use just one stove? A combination of a light weight gas canister stove for summer and a liquid fueled stove (such as the Simmerlite) for winter is a good way to go.

There's also sort of an "intermediate" stove out there that's "between" (in terms of temperature range) a typical canister stove and a liquid fueled stove: a gas stove that can run with the canister upside down. Such stoves are referred to as "inverted canister stoves." Someone alluded to one previously in this thread: the MSR WindPro. Basically, you hook up the stove, which is a remote set up but uses gas not liquid fuel. Once the stove is up and running, you turn the flame down a bit and invert (turn upside down) the canister. Now the fuel is coming out the bottom of the canister and is coming out as a liquid. The fuel is then vaporized at the stove instead of at the tank and is therefore a lot less temperature dependent.

With an inverted canister stove, you should be able to operate in any positive temperature (Fahrenheit) without too much trouble and probably a bit below zero.

So three options (with petroleum based fuels)
1. Upright canister gas -- works well down to freezing and below that with some "tricks"
2. Inverted canister gas -- works well down to 0F.
3. Liquid fuel -- works down to very, very cold temperatures.

So, which stove? Depends on you and what you're willing to carry and what you're willing to spend. Over time, I have purchased all three types (and some other stuff like alcohol and Esbit), and I take the stove that makes the most sense for the trip I'm taking.

HJ

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost on 03/07/2011 12:15:51 MST Print View

James,

I think you're calculations are good, but you might be off on one thing. Recall that liquid fuel is sold by volume (fluid ounces) and that canister gas is sold by weight ("regular" ounces). A four ounce canister of gas is actually about eight fluid ounces in volume. Now, how much liquid is actually in a canister of liquefied gas I don't know, but for the sake of argument and ease of computation, let's say that there's a full eight fluid ounces.

Eight fluid ounces per canister means that you would need sixteen four-ounce canisters to get a gallon of liquefied gas. Four ounce canisters where I live cost $5.00 each. Your total (without tax) is $80.00 per gallon. White gasoline costs about $9.00 per gallon. Canister gas in the four ounce containers is therefore about nine times more expensive than liquid fuel.

If you're taking trips where eight ounce canisters (approximately sixteen fluid ounces volume) are used, you would need eight sixteen-ounce canisters. Sixteen ounce canisters where I live cost about $6.00 each. Your total (without tax) is $48.00 per gallon. Again, white gasoline costs about $9.00 per gallon. Canister gas in the eight ounce containers is therefore about five times more expensive than liquid fuel.

Of course upright canister stoves tend to be a lot cheaper than liquid fueled stoves, so you have to burn through quite a bit of gas before a liquid fueled stove works out to be cheaper. People who only take occasional trips and only in fair weather might actually save money by going with gas.

Remote canister/inverted canister stoves tend to run about the same in terms of cost as a liquid fueled stove, so clearly for winter use, liquid fuel will be cheaper.

HJ

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 13:32:59 MST Print View

"An utterly biased opinion: white gas stoves are fast becoming obsolete. Read some of our stove reviews at BPL to find out why."

That shows why some of us quit reading the BPL stove reviews.

--B.G.--

Tony Beasley
(tbeasley) - MLife

Locale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
Re: Re: Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 14:00:11 MST Print View

These are some graphs that I did for an Australian forum http://tasmania.bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2502 , the fuel, the fuel usage figures are from Rogers FAQ site http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Efficiency.htm.The Alcohol stove used was a Trangia 27-1, which is a very common stove over here.


Tony
<center>
3 day comparison


7 day comparison



15 day


</center>

Edited by tbeasley on 03/07/2011 14:02:02 MST.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: Re: Re: Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 14:10:23 MST Print View

I live in minnesota and do a lot of canoe camping. I use a primus omnifuel stove at 15.6oz (with fuelpump) 12oz (without - manufacture specs, so add an oz or so :) and it can burn canister, white gas, even kerosene. Sturdier pot supports than the whisperlite. Great build. Metal pump that is fully field serviceable.

Why not just have it all?

Jay

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost on 03/07/2011 14:11:33 MST Print View

Yeah, prices vary depending on what you buy. 16oz cannisters generally mean longer trips. I have gotten a gallon of WG for $6 last week. (Scratch and dent sale. The can was dented, but full.)

Yeah, I keep forgetting the weights. Ounces and ounces. 128floz of WG only weighs about 96oz....damnable English measurements, again. Anyway, Like I say between three and what was it?...nine times more expensive.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 14:59:12 MST Print View

Hi, Tony,

Those weight comparisons are interesting. The Kovea Supalite was the upright canister stove used, true? A Supalite, at least to me, isn't a winter capable stove. The original poster was looking for something that would work in all four seasons.

I wrote up a comparison that I think might be more applicable comparison for stoves for year round use. I compared the MSR Simmerlite (liquid fuel) to the MSR Windpro (inverted canister capable), both of which have good cold weather capabilities. I think a comparison between the two is a bit more of an "apples to apples" comparison.

HJ

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost ????? on 03/07/2011 15:06:22 MST Print View

We seem to be fussing a huge amount about the cost of a canister of fuel.
How much do you spend on gas for the car getting to the trailhead?
Perspective ...

Cheers

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Stove Question - Winter/Summer on 03/07/2011 15:09:36 MST Print View

First, if a stove will work in winter conditions, it'll work in summer conditions. The inverse is not necessarily true.

I would consider two stoves: EDIT: a Trail Designs Ti Tri Inferno or Caldera Cone is my preference for warmer weather. If you want a cansiter stove, perhaps a Snowpeak Gigapower Manual (GS-100) or Litemax (GST-120) for summer. For winter, a MSR Simmerlite.

White gas stoves are in no way becoming obsolete, particularly for those of us who spend time at 0*F/-18*C and lower. As it turns out, two nearly identical stoves (the Simmerlite & canister version, the Windpro) weigh almost exactly the same when accounting for fuel container... Although I have more testing to conduct, I've also found that the WG version can boil a liter at least 1.5 minutes faster, despite all conditions, down to the pot, being completely normalized, & valve flow optimized, canister inverted, same windscreen & diameter applied, etc. (This in temps around 20*F/-7*F) Like I said, more testing necessary to nail this down as fact, not a sometimes occurrence; results will be forthcoming.

Northern Minnesota is known for temperatures bottoming out around -40*F/C (even down to -60*F/-51*C!) in winter. Winter temps can easily average in the neighborhood of ~ 5*F/-15*C to 20*F/-7*C. Frankly, inverted canisters are not optimal (or even functional sometimes) at these temperatures.

Edited by 4quietwoods on 03/08/2011 15:47:02 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 03/07/2011 15:18:43 MST Print View

Ahhhhh - the perinial WG vs canister vs alcohol debate

White gas stove are obsolete for me - I'm tired of singeing my eyebrows, the stove plugs up so you have to take it apart and get it to work, occasionally the fuel gets on my hands or gear and it really stinks

MSR simmerlite plus fuel bottle weighs 14 ounces

cannister stove plus empty 8 ounce canister weighs 8 ounces - so it's lighter

white gas and isobutane have the same fuel density - weight ounces of fuel to boil given quantity of water

isobutane costs more, maybe $5.00 for 8 ounces which is good for 7 days for me - $0.75 per day is not a major percentage of my total cost

canister works fine down to 32F although it slows down. You can put it in a container of water or use other tricks to use it below 32 F.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost ????? on 03/07/2011 15:35:52 MST Print View

Roger Caffin wrote: > We seem to be fussing a huge amount about the cost of a canister of fuel.
How much do you spend on gas for the car getting to the trailhead?

Interesting question. Now, you've made me curious, so let's do the math.

For this past weekend's trip, I drove 180 miles round trip. My car gets about 28 miles per gallon of gasoline. I therefore used roughly 5.7 gallons of gasoline on my drive. Gasoline costs $3.84 per gallon. I therefore spent $21.89 on gasoline.

I melted snow and cooked hot meals. I used one 110g canister of Snow Peak isobutane-propane. There's a bit left in the canister (10g - 15g), but for the sake of argument, let's say I used an entire canister. I certainly had to buy a whole canister. A 110g canister costs $4.99 plus 9.75% tax or $5.48.

With isobutane-propane gas, my total fuel cost for the weekend was therefore $27.37 of which 20% was cooking fuel cost.

If I had used the equivalent amount of white gasoline (about 8 fluid ounces assuming an isobutane-propane canister if filled at the factory to its full liquid capacity), my cost would be $0.61 (128 fluid ounces of Coleman fuel is $8.88 and there is a 9.75% tax).

With white gasoline, my total fuel cost for the weekend would have been $22.58 of which 3% would be cooking fuel cost, and I would save $4.79 for that trip.

Probably not earth shattering numbers, but you got me curious. For those who take more frequent trips or who do a lot of cooking, perhaps fuel cost is salient.

Of course, white gasoline usage would probably be a bit higher than gas. My own experience indicates about a 5 to 10% increase due to the necessity of priming and also the little bit of fuel that is wasted in the fuel line on disconnection. I know others have posted about a 30% increase in white gasoline usage over gas. Obviously cooking style will affect one's numbers greatly.

HJ

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost on 03/07/2011 15:38:48 MST Print View

>> Now, how much liquid is actually in a canister of liquefied gas I don't know, but for the sake of argument and ease of computation, let's say that there's a full eight fluid ounces.

Jim, you can't base an argument on assumptions like that.
First, the heat of combustion (LHV) by weight of gas and gasoline/white gas are very similar, and a US gallon of gasoline weighs 6lb, so 6lb of gas will produce (almost) the same amount of heat as a gallon of gasoline.
Now compare the cost of 12 x 8oz canisters with how many gallons does a SUV need to get you to the trailhead???

Edited to add:
>>> Gasoline costs $3.84 per gallon
@~$%??"^ you guys must be on another planet!!!

Edited by Scunnered on 03/07/2011 15:41:47 MST.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost on 03/07/2011 16:01:01 MST Print View

Gasoline costs $3.84 per gallon

The good old days.

Paid $4.45 today. I get 18 mpg

I'll stick with a canister stove. But the Optimus 99 white gas stove is always ready to go.

Canisters are just so convenient. And I just want to eat.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: White Gasoline vs. Canister Gas -- Cost on 03/07/2011 16:07:57 MST Print View

gas costs 1.059/L up here. and we make the stuff for you guys.

canisters are easy. as is wood stoves, solid fuel and alcohol for 3 season use(wood works for 4 season). these price complaints on canisters/white gas are really pointless. its a consumable. just like a powerbar, oatmeal, pristine or anything else that is used to go some where in the back country.

Try to use your white gas stove hanging in belays. white gas priming plus hanging=melted gear.Jet boils and canisters work the best in that aplication.