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AT stove combination
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Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
AT stove combination on 12/14/2006 18:01:28 MST Print View

I've been re-thinking my AT cooking arrangement after receiving my BPL titanium pot. The challenge is to get everything, including a Ziploc cup, into the pot to make one neat package.

The deal is, I like to use hexamine, but want to have an alcohol backup because of the unreliability of hex resupply. Reviews of the Vargo Triad, which is dual fuel, are not impressive, and besides, it isn't DYI.

So, I made a pot support sort of like the Gossimer Gear folding support, but with a locking cross bar out of titanium bike spokes. I had been using a small chimney alcohol stove and the bottom of a V8 can for the hex.

All those doo-dads wouldn't fit in that small pot. Then I looked at the bottom of the V8 can. Hmm. I have made scores of alcohol stoves of many designs, but had never tried a simple wick burner. So I stuffed the V8 bottom with fiberglass insulation and did some test runs. It boiled a cup in 3.5 minutes with 1/4 ounce of alcohol and ran a total of 5.5 minutes. Hmm. So I packed a tea light with glass. And that was a little more effient. Almost exactly the same as hexamine. Then I packed the aluminum cap from a liquor bottle. It is a little taller and of smaller diameter than the tea light. Same results, but its thicker aluminum didn't burn up when using it as a base for hexamine. The tea light didn't burn up either, but I worried about it. I quess I'll need another bottle cap or two.

I don't know what's going on here, but I ran tests all afternoon and boiled up gallons of water. I did not test with other pots, but at least with the BPL Firelight SUL, the results with a simple open wick burner were as good as it gets.

Colin Parkinson
(parkinson1963) - F
Re: AT stove combination on 12/14/2006 19:47:14 MST Print View

I too like a nice neat package. Everything but my fuel bottle wiil fit inside my pot. I use a YACC stove (no pot stand), a ziplock cup, pot lifter and a lighter all inside my 750 ml pot.

My Simple Alcohol Stove, needs a pot stand, ( see link on Zen stove site, as I can't rember my on web site address) design allows the top to be removed to allow less wasted space when packed up. This design also allows one to use a esbit tab as your heat source. just turn the stove over and use the esbit inside the concave bottom.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
AT stove combination on 12/14/2006 20:34:10 MST Print View

I believe the Web site you refer to is:

Edited by sharalds on 12/14/2006 20:37:25 MST.

Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/14/2006 21:06:38 MST Print View

I know Zeph at has been putting fiberglass wicks in pretty much everything now adays. he's able to get some pretty impressive burn times, and some pretty creative containers. all of his creations are under the home made gear forum.

P.S. when are you hiking the A trail?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/14/2006 22:54:17 MST Print View

This is interesting - an open stove with a wick. It's pretty counterintuitive to the "sophisticated" stoves that MiniBull is making, and I can't seem to get past the fact that a cheapo tealight holder with a wick pretty much does the job for somebody hiking solo.

Use of minimum technology required to do the job. I like it.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/15/2006 09:08:34 MST Print View

Yeah, the reason I tried a simple tea light stove only after making like maybe 1,489 more sophisticated stoves was I figured if no one else was using tea lights except for some fringe flakes, then probably everyone who made someting more complicated had already gone the simple route first, and why waste time on something that easy?

In other words, I forgot that all designers start complicated the go simple -- if they have a brain -- and not the other way around. Even then, I used complicated wicks before I got around to jambing a wad of insulation into the tea light cup. Duh. And I know better. I really do. Just how stupid do you think I feel?

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/15/2006 10:22:38 MST Print View


in my collection of Alc. stoves. i have one that i purchased which is partially open. it is stuffed w/glass wool. i'm going to have to get out that box of Alc. stoves, go through them, and see which one it is.

i had totally forgotten about it (out of sight; out of [my] mind) until you mentioned it.

used tea lights. Hmm...i never like to throw things out, always thinking that i'll find a use for something. My wife's gonna' git mad at me - more junk. I'm gonna' blame it on VH. She'll probably cross VH off her holiday greeting card list.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Re: Re: Re: Re: ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/15/2006 10:43:03 MST Print View

>in my collection of Alc. stoves. i have one that i purchased which is partially open. it is stuffed w/glass wool.

I wonder if that's Sgt. Rock's Ion stove, made from a wedding tin and insulation.

I made the Simple Stove, and it tested to be an average performer. I didn't find a difference in boil or burn times with or without fiberglass insulation, although it did start more reliably with the insulation (not surprising). It certainly is simple; it only took about 10 minutes and it went together very easily.

I prefer alcohol stoves that have faster boil times over efficiency because I boil a liter at a time, and sometimes need to boil several liters in a row. They are also generally less affected by wind. My favorites are the Pepsi and Pepsi/Guiness Can stoves and the Cobra. Of commercial stoves my favorite is Tinny's MiniBullDesigns SST, which is about as far from the Simple Stove as you can get.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ya open stoves are quite interesting.. on 12/15/2006 10:56:19 MST Print View


I believe you must be right. It must be Sgt. Rock's Ion stove as i purchased in the store, IIRC.

Many thanks for jogging my memory.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: AT stove combination on 12/15/2006 10:56:22 MST Print View

Vick, did you use fiberglass in your tea candle stove? I used one of those a couple of years ago and that is what I would always use for an alcohol stove. It's easy.

Fringe Flake

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: AT stove combination on 12/15/2006 11:52:52 MST Print View

Fringe Flake,
Yeah, just pink fiberglass house insulation.

I've learned something else today. The larger diameter burner cup works better with wider pots. There is a definite relationship. The smaller pot is more efficient and faster with the smaller cup and the larger pot is more efficient and faster with a larger burner. One suspects these relationships would be more pronounced at temperatures below 70 F. Height above the burner is also a factor. The larger pot and burner seem to work better when separated proportionally more than the smaller pot and burner. I suppose, if one wanted to get obsessive about it, one could work these proportions out rigorously. But I think I have what I need, so someone else can do that if they like.

Geeze. I feel like the guy who just got a recovering alcoholic to take a drink. Sorry. BTW, my stove making and testing lab is a permanent fixture. I am not in control of my life.

I plan to thru-hike the AT in 07, starting in late March, weather, etc. permitting.

Edited by vickrhines on 12/15/2006 12:14:03 MST.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Re: Re: AT stove combination on 12/15/2006 13:00:22 MST Print View

My stove is one of the same wedding tins Sgt Rock uses, but all I did was pop out the clear plastic window, JBWeld the lid ring into place, fill it with a bit of fiberglass insulation, and drill some holes around the outer side of the lid ring.

The drilled holes dont seem to provide any benefit other than insignificant weight reduction. The glass insulation is also optional, but the differences between wicked and unwicked are not insignificant. Side by side burns of wicked and unwicked but otherwise identical stoves showed that the wicked stove primes faster and burns hotter, but the unwicked stove provides a much longer (2 minute) burn time for the fuel tested (.5oz) and you save the weight of the wick.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: AT stove combination on 12/16/2006 16:13:18 MST Print View

I've never made one of those. Damnation. Now I have to. Thanks a lot. My girlfriend thanks you, too. we[t]aj [sdaj.

Sorry, she tried to get to the keyboard.

b d
(bdavis) - F

Locale: Mt. Lassen - Shasta, N. Cal.
Re: Re: Re: Re: AT stove combination on 12/16/2006 18:02:06 MST Print View

Since I don't know what an AT stove is it is hard to follow this, but I have been thinking about the Tibetan Buddhist butter lamps a lot lately as I try to figure out a fire heating / cooking system for the winter, snow or rain wetted wood. Some of the Tibetan butter lamps have been burning continuously for many years, and that is in the Himalayas.

Can a wicked alcohol (or old Greek style) oil lamp with a simple wick provide enough heat to cook over? It will provide light, and even heat a tent up, I've been thinking. For what I am working on right now it might work great to dry kindling, and other fire starting natural materials pulled out of the snow or off the ground (trying to avoid relying on dead low limbs). Once a fire is burning hot enough it will dry, start and then continue to burn other damp / wet wood IMO -- but how to get there from scratch.

Edited by bdavis on 12/16/2006 18:03:15 MST.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: AT stove combination on 12/17/2006 18:22:27 MST Print View

1) At stove: no generic term, just talking about what I'm trying to decide to use on the AT.

2) wick lamp: The heat output of a wick lamp is a function of its surface area. A traditional spirit lamp has a small diameter wick and therefore low heat output compared to the stoves generally used for backpacking - including tea light cups with wicking material. Having used a spirit lamp in arrow making, I know they won't heat water fast enough to outrun the heat lost by evaporation once the water gets warm. As to warming a tent, denatured alcohol contains methyl alcohol which produces formaldehyde under certain conditions. I wouldn't think of using it in an enclosed area.