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evan parsons
(freestyleparsons) - F

Locale: Dowtown LA
What is the best type of cold weather fuel? on 02/27/2007 15:42:09 MST Print View

Hi there-

I'm not sure as to what fuels encounter issues as the temperature drops.

I've discoverd by reading that alcohol may be difficult to light as we approach freezing, and that canisters may need to be inverted around the same point.

Does anybody have enough experience to shed light on the different fuels types before I get myself into a real cold weather bind this season.

I'm curious about Alcohol, Esbit, and white gas. And the pressurized canister vs. pump canister types.

Thanks for any advice at all,
Evan Parsons

Gene .
(Tracker)

Locale: New England
Re: What is the best type of cold weather fuel? on 02/28/2007 11:47:55 MST Print View

First, remember to use a good windscreen in cold temps. I've found Esbit to light better with a drop or two of alcohol on the tab, raised up off the ground a bit to provide lots of airflow. If you can buy the cheaper Coghlan's tabs, I've used one underneath a Pepsi can type alchohol stove warming it prior to lighting it. It worked around 32'F but I did'nt have a thermometer so the temps' were just guesstimates'. Warming the alcohol stove prior to lighting seemed to allow the alcohol to 'gas off' enough to allow it to light, though it did use more fuel in my situaton than in warmer temps to cook the same meal.

Altitude is also going to be a factor, as the lower temps' combined with lower O2 levels are going to make lighting alcohol more difficult, than say Esbit. The thing with Esbit is that it only puts out a certain amount of energy, and is'nt adjustable, same as most alcohol stoves IMO.

I don't deal with your other two types.

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
cold weather fuel on 03/21/2007 15:57:19 MDT Print View

White gas (naptha) is your best bet in the extreme cold... canisters don't do so well and neither does alcohol. That said Jason Klass is working on a design for a winter worthy alcohol stove.

John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Re: What is the best type of cold weather fuel? on 03/21/2007 16:53:01 MDT Print View

In January in zero degree temps our canister stove simply would not burn any hotter than a match flame but we got our water to boil using a soda can alcohol stove. In fact it seemed to operate with no discernable difference from operation in warmer temps.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: What is the best type of cold weather fuel? on 03/21/2007 17:28:32 MDT Print View

White gas for sure and, if you want a bomber setup, bring along the venerable MSR XGK as your stove. It doesn't get the mileage of, say, a Whisperlite but it sure do crank out the BTU's.