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Why caldera cone?
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Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Why caldera cone? on 05/06/2012 01:03:54 MDT Print View


Caldera cone weights 27-69 gram based on your pot size (for Evernew 1.3L it should be 50 gram)
Esbit Titanium Stove weights 11 gram + aluminium/titanium foil windscreen 10 gram = 21 gram.

That stove may be used as alcohol stove? You can put on top of burning plate (for solid fuel) alcohol stove?

jacko vanderbijl

Locale: Shelley Western Australia
a matter of wind and stability... on 05/06/2012 04:24:30 MDT Print View

If just looking at something to put a pot on and get water hot that looks fine, but with a stiff breeze off the Southern Ocean coming over my shoulder I'll stick with the Caldera Cone.View near West Cape Howe

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Why caldera cone? on 05/06/2012 08:36:42 MDT Print View

The Caldera Cone is the most efficient system I have used for alcohol (but it works with wood and Esbit too). I never wanted to try alcohol after watching others fight with their set-ups running out of fuel before they got a boil, or having the wind play havoc with them. Once I tried my first CC I was hooked and have now used just about every system they make. I am going to use only wood in a Sidewinder system this summer.

My favorite though is the Fissure:

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Interesting setup on 05/06/2012 10:39:49 MDT Print View

Raymond, cool setup. It's double cone so you can fit everything in your solo pot?
Seems it's a really cool thing.

Have you guys saw FlatCatGear Bobcat? It's a similar idea but different design and completely different stove.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Solo pot on 05/06/2012 10:50:50 MDT Print View

Yes, that is the beauty of it. I had a ULC first made to fit inside a Trek 700 pot/mug but I was unhappy with the efficiency so had them make the Fissure for me.

I am going to write up the ULC this week as I used it for a bunch of trips too.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Why caldera cone? on 05/06/2012 11:43:15 MDT Print View


I'm a Caldera owner and it is definitely the best setup I've seen on many fronts. That said, on trips where I'm just boiling for me, my go-to setup has, for years, been the Ti-wing stove and a Tibetan 550 pot w/ myog foil pan windscreen.

Smaller and lighter than my Caldera setup, and so simple. Elegant, almost.

Julian Norman
(Oakes) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Why caldera cone? on 05/06/2012 16:02:36 MDT Print View

Is the fissure still on the market? I looked on the site, but I didn't see it for sale...

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Why caldera cone? on 05/06/2012 16:24:48 MDT Print View

you need to contact them if you want the fissure.Here is what Rand says about it...

Drop me a line at the address on our website......we can help you out. Also, we have been regularly making Fissures for folks by request....just don't advertise it much. Should probably put it on the website.....seems to be more and more interest lately.

Rand :-)

Edited by annapurna on 05/06/2012 16:27:07 MDT.

Brian Hall
caldera ulc on 05/06/2012 18:58:24 MDT Print View

I combine my caldera ulc with that same esbit ti-wing stove. The ulc was designed to be used with titanium stakes for the pot support, but I cut the cone down so that my pots handles would allow the bottom of the pot to sit deeper in the cone on the ti-wing supports. Plus it all fits inside of my backcountry 700 pot. I use esbit and get around 5-6min boil times.

Edited by brian2o0o on 05/06/2012 19:00:01 MDT.

Ole Saether
(osaether) - MLife

Locale: Norway
Re: Solo pot on 06/22/2012 01:25:54 MDT Print View

Raymond, I have the Ti-Tri ULC for the SP Mini Solo and the cone is in one piece that fits inside the pot. Do I need the Fissure then? I must be missing something here.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Why CC? on 06/22/2012 08:25:13 MDT Print View

The Caldera Cone is sort of a darling here because it is one of the more efficient alcohol setups. (I'll save the question of why alcohol setups are particularly popular here for later.) Also, a lot of people just think that it is inherently cool to have a windscreen that doubles as a pot support. The Ti versions are also incredibly versatile, burning alcohol, Esbit, or wood.

But probably most importantly, the Trail Designs skunkworks put a LOT of R&D time into their stove to ensure that it would work well in the widest possible spectrum of conditions, elevations, fuels, wind, etc. Thus, as alcohol stoves go, the CC is one of the more user-friendly ones- which you already know if you have ever struggled with an aluminum foil windscreen in a high wind. You can't really say that of a Fancy Feast stove that you punched out in two minutes in your garage.

That said I've personally been slowly moving more toward minimalism, and I'll probably be experimenting with the Fancy Feast and similar stoves this summer.

Now, if in fact your question IS "why do you all like alcohol stoves in general", well, that'll start a flame-war. But in short:

They are light. The CC is actually one of the heavier ones- you can certainly find lighter. In particular they are generally considered lighter than a compressed gas stove for trips of about 5 days or less, considering the fuel usage of the typical UL hiker. There are those who argue that point though, and there are those who claim that they are lighter on longer trips, too. And, clearly not everyone has identical fuel use habits.

They are fun to fiddle with. A normal (i.e. non-engineer, non-machinist) person can make their own and play around with them if they so desire.

They have no moving parts to fail, unlike a compressed-gas stove. Most have no seals to fail, either.

An acceptable fuel is readily available almost anywhere in the world, and not dependent upon finding a hiking store. The canisters (and even the fuel in them) vary around the world. I'm not sure that Esbit would be available in a remote village in Transoxonia, but I'll bet that nearly-pure ethanol or denatured alcohol of some sort is.

The fuel is multi-purpose. It can be used as a hand sanitizer, or improvised medical sterilizer. If it is ethanol it has recreation uses...

I mean, if your ONLY concern is weight then don't bring a stove at all. Live off of snack bars and food that can rehydrate cold.

Edited by acrosome on 06/22/2012 08:41:48 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Fuel tab holders and efficiency... on 06/22/2012 15:43:44 MDT Print View

It has been shown that a Trail Designs "Gram Cracker" Ti fuel tab holder works best B/C it prevents the tab(s) from burning on the sides and "focuses" the flame better.

Combine the Gram Cracker tab holder with one of their cones like my Sidewinder and you've got the ultimate fuel tab stove. Believe me, I've experimented with many forms of fuel tab stove & windbreak combos since the '70s and the Caldera Cone/Gram Cracker combo it THE best I can find. (I'm talking field conditions here, not lab conditions.)

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Why CC? on 06/22/2012 16:12:31 MDT Print View

"An acceptable fuel is readily available almost anywhere in the world, and not dependent upon finding a hiking store."

If you are going backpacking at some park fifty miles from home, then you can bring fuel from home. However, as you start doing trips in more exotic places, it is unlikely that you will be on an airliner carrying any backpacker fuel at all, so you must find fuel somewhere around your destination. In some of these goat pastures around the world, something that burns wood twigs or yak dung is very handy. In a more civilized place, maybe denatured alcohol is available. Maybe butane blend (although I have seen empty canisters weighted with lead to be re-sold as if it is full). Esbit is kind of hard to find.

So, some stove system that can use multiple fuels is a big plus.


Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
Hmmm..... on 06/22/2012 17:54:15 MDT Print View

"The fuel is multi-purpose. It can be used as a hand sanitizer, or improvised medical sterilizer."

I don't think its right to spread this idea around. I think virtually all alcohol fuel (excepting drinking alcohol which is much more expensive) contains at least some methanol which you don't want on or in your skin.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
sanitizer on 06/23/2012 10:08:18 MDT Print View

A LOT of stuff that we discuss on this forum is dangerous. You could argue that not carrying a SPOT or EPIRB is reckless if you wanted to, but lots of people do it and defend their decision.

So I hardly think that mentioning that alcohol can be used as a sanitizer is somehow irresponsible.

And for the record, no, not not everyone uses an alcohol fuel that contains methanol. In fact there has historically been a lot of angst on this forum about finding fuels that either had none or minimized the methanol content. Not by everyone, granted.

Everclear is indeed expensive, but it does make dandy sanitizer. I have used it quite bit.

Isopropanol is relatively nontoxic and is in fact sold in drug stores for medical use. It is also a well-described stove fuel; in fact it is more energy-dense than ethanol or methanol, but it burns with more soot. I may try experimenting with it this summer.

And if for instance I was washing my hands just once to take care of a medical issue or something I don't think I'd think twice to splash some yellow HEET on them, either. (Kind of the same logic that everyone uses when drinking from Page Spring in the Grand Canyon- yes, the water contains ar$enic, but it's a very small dose.) And if we're talking about a denatured ethanol with a piddling 5-10% methanol content I wouldn't even think once. I wouldn't use HEET for daily hygiene but for a medical emergency? Sure. I also wouldn't use HEET in a wound- just use it for hand sanitization- I'm sure more would get absorbed that way than through the skin.

PS- yet again I am baffled that ar$senic gets caught by the filter as "possible profanity". Or am I the only person here who regularly mentions it? :)

Edited by acrosome on 06/23/2012 10:22:57 MDT.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
Re: sanitizer on 06/23/2012 22:57:07 MDT Print View

Well, I was just reading along and couldn't resist throwing something out there. It occurs to me that sometimes we get excited about the joys of our favorite fuels, get carried away and start to combine attributes a bit too much. In this case the only fuel that both burns well and contains no methanol is everclear. I bet everybody in the world who burns that is on this forum! Nobody burns isopropyl and lives to believe that alcohol stoves are a good idea. (Although there are a couple of people on youtube now making specialized stoves but apparently its very difficult to stop it from sooting really badly.)

I just have this vision of someone new to alchy stoves reading this, reading on another thread that heet and slx are the most widely available and recommended fuels, and then merrily washing their hands in methanol before dinner every night!

Anyway I apologize for being the granny police here. As you say it's not the end of the world.

[Edit - having casually used the words "everybody" and "nobody" in the same paragraph I will now prepare to be duly corrected!]

Edited by theronr on 06/23/2012 23:00:37 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: sanitizer on 06/23/2012 23:43:42 MDT Print View

I would be willing to use Everclear 190 if it wasn't for the darned tax. Plus it must be a sin to burn perfectly good liquor.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Why caldera cone? on 06/24/2012 10:49:59 MDT Print View

Why? Because it works well. It is realitively light. And for what it costs it is not worth my time to experiment with other systems to save an ounce and lose the efficiency. Sometimes ease of use and efficiency of any part of my kit trumps weight. It is probably a lot easier to save an ounce somewhere else. I don't use a CC all the time, but I would guess around 90% or more.

As far as chemicals in alcohol... 30-40 years ago I used all sorts of cleaning chemicals as an auto mechanic that are more toxic than methonal. Today they are banned substances. Limited use is not going to hurt you. If you are a laboratory mouse exposed to thousand's times more than normal, then you should be concerned.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Why caldera cone? on 06/24/2012 14:53:53 MDT Print View

"If just looking at something to put a pot on and get water hot that looks fine, but with a stiff breeze off the Southern Ocean coming over my shoulder I'll stick with the Caldera Cone."

I will second that sentiment. I have tried just about every combination of stove and windscreen, and the Caldera Titanium models beats them all in hostile cooking conditions. It can burn Esbit VERY efficiently, alcohols ( I have access to research grade ethanol, so no contaminants), wood, and dare I say it, butane/propane set ups as long as you are careful to monitor the canister temps. This last option is all we use in winter conditions. 3 OZ stove plus canister weight and cone, and it all nestles inside our pot, though we also carry a Caldera Caddy as it also doubles as food bowls. Basically, a Caldera titanium will burn all fuels in all conditions. We're also down here in the southern ocean, so the "all conditions' aspect is really important where we hike...may not be an issue for you.

Bob Shaver
(rshaver) - F

Locale: West
other reasons on 06/24/2012 16:29:45 MDT Print View

for alcohol stoves in general:

you can take the amount fuel you expect to use. With canisters, you take a canister. More likely you take one of your numerous half canisters, to finish it off, and another half or a full one as backup. That is at least one canister that you have to deal with even if its empty. With alcohol the fuel container can be tailored to the trip, and it can be small or large, but either way it can be super light plastic. I think alcohol stove users tend to figure out how much fuel to use, write it down, and take an appropriate volume of fuel for the trip. Plus alcohol works in winter, canisters don't work well, and if its cold enough you really have to go to extra lengths for them to work at all. Even gasoline stoves can be balky in cold enough winter conditions.

for Caldera Cone in particular:

They can be used for baking, are stable, windproof, reliable, and if you run out of fuel, you burn wood. You can't leave the valve open and loose your fuel (which I've seen canisters do), the jet can't clog (which I've seen gas stoves do), its much harder to tip over (which I've seen top heavy canisters do, and with the right cookset, you can cook fish, which is tough to do with a Jetboil.