Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source


Display Avatars Sort By:
Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 03/08/2007 12:50:04 MST Print View

I am planning a longer 1 day climb in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and I am really working on some ways to cut some major weight. In saying I want to cut weight, by no means am I planning on skimping on emergency bivy gear. I always take a belay jkt, pants, stove and space blanket. For this trip I will not need to stop and melt snow for water, so with this in mind would you forgo the white gas stove and use Esbit tabs or Alcohol? Granted in worst case scenario if stuck out overnight I would need to melt snow, but at the point I am thinking of the stove more as external heat rather than a water source.

Gene .
(Tracker)

Locale: New England
Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 03/08/2007 13:14:49 MST Print View

How much water will you carry? What is your ease of getting out if injured?(fire road, trail)How much cooking or how many meals do you intend to prepare? Bring a bit of Alky in a mini dropper bottle to place on the Esbit, to aid in lighting it in windy condtions IME.

Enjoy the Whites, had many good trips up there myself in years past.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Esbit on 03/08/2007 13:52:46 MST Print View

I have no plans of cooking or melting water, I am just carrying it as an external heat source. Normally for winter climbs I carry 3 liters of water for the 9 hours I plan to be out. Yes I know that is wayy less than I should be drinking to stay properly hydrated, but I tend to underdress to reduce sweating. Mind you a few weekends ago I was up on the same route and it was 6 degrees with 20-30 mph gusts down in the tree's with much stronger winds above treeline. Any kind of stove I bring is strictly for emergencies. As for emergency exits, I am traveling to King Ravine which can be kind of tricky. It is not far from the roads, but with the snow levels up there right now, it can be pretty slow going.

I guess what I am really wondering is if people go out winter alpine climbing without stoves or with the setup I am planning when an overnighter or no cooking planned. Obviously it is not the safest thing to do, but I figure LW packing is not always about bringing all of the safty gear you own.

Currently I am planning on bringing my BPL Ti Esbit stove with my MSR Titan kettle and windscreen and base. This will go in place of my MSR Simmerlite which when combining fuel will take the better part of a pound of my back.

Gene .
(Tracker)

Locale: New England
Re: Esbit on 03/08/2007 14:08:03 MST Print View

Sounds reasonable Johnathan considering your familarity with the area. Though you have to realize that the Esbit will take a few to melt enough snow for drinking if you get caught out for more than a day. Dehydration can actually be more of a safety factor than the type of stove you carry in Winter. With dehydration comes reduced mobility, foggy thinking, and discomfort from cramping....not exactly what you want going on while climbing. Drink up before you take the 3L in and you should be ok with the Esbit on standby IME.

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 03/08/2007 14:13:46 MST Print View

I'd consider something like a "Yu-can" survival stove that uses candles - which don't give off as much Carbon Monoxide / toxic fumes as esbit or alcohol. In a survival situation, I think that this is a big deal - you're actually trying to minimize the airflow that makes alchy and esbit stoves safe. The candle stove was developed by a fellow named Monty Alford who was something of a legend in the western artic - it works and is reasonably light. This makes it a better bet in a snow cave or between your feet if huddled in a space blanket / tarp. I tried to google this and didn't get far, but know that I've seen detailed plans for making them on-line somewhere. The basic idea is a 28 oz can with 3 tea candles inside, ventilation to provide air, holes that allow a tent peg to pass thru from one side to the other about 1 - 1.5 inches above the candle that serves as a pot support. Into this goes a 15 oz can that can (slowly) melt snow. See this thread to get the basic idea: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/5975

Maybe someone else has a more specific lead...

Edited by jackfl on 03/08/2007 14:36:38 MST.

john seward
(seward) - F
Re: Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 03/28/2007 07:34:54 MDT Print View

Not clear what you mean by "external heat source." If you're thinking "space heater," or "campfire," then you need to re-think.

For a day trip in Northern Presidentials, taking a stove isn't a bad idea, but you don't absolutely need one. If I brought one I'd look for something more efficient than esbit tabs.

I've used Trangia alcohol stoves a lot, and if it's much below 20 degrees, they're not really hot enough. They also need lots of fuel, especially in a breeze and when it's cold.
I expect esbit would be even less useful.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 01/25/2011 13:10:19 MST Print View

Has anyone out there got some practical experience with Esbit type stoves for winter use that they'd like to share?

HJ

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 01/25/2011 13:29:44 MST Print View

Esbit?

What is the practical experience question?

First of all, as a space heater, forget it. Second, you would not want to burn Esbit in a confined space. It takes a lot of energy to heat up a volume like a tent. Unfortunately, Esbit is not much good if you are outside in a wind.

You are much better off using the Esbit to heat a cup or two of water. Besides, that is as much as it is good for, heat-wise. Once your water is hot, you drink it. You will get more effect out of that taken internally than just trying to warm air around you.

Esbit is kind of expensive for anything except using it to heat a cup or two of water. It is very practical to have a few cubes of it hidden away in some winter emergency kit, along with your titanium cup and a lighter.

--B.G.--

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Esbit Stoves as Winter Heat Source on 01/25/2011 15:48:03 MST Print View

Esbit stoves as a space heater. lol.

Yes, I meant using the stove as a stove. Sorry, I wasn't clear.

So, basically, just heating water. Too weak for melting snow even if you use something like a Caldera Cone?

HJ

Robert Kelly
(QiWiz) - MLife

Locale: UL gear @ QiWiz.net
Esbit on 01/25/2011 20:02:55 MST Print View

One Esbit tab will bring 3 cups of cold water to a boil if using a Caldera Cone or well-sheltered-from-wind setup. Have used in winter.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Esbit on 01/26/2011 01:09:54 MST Print View

Three? Nice. I"ll have to try that.

HJ