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Protecting a fosters can
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Toby Salz
(tobysalz) - M
Protecting a fosters can on 09/19/2012 21:58:08 MDT Print View

i recently bought a flat bottom foster can from zelph -- i'm curious what people are doing to protect these while backpacking. what has been your experience with the durability of this set-up with/without protection? thoughts?

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Protecting a fosters can on 09/19/2012 22:28:40 MDT Print View

I took my Fosters out for it's maiden voyage a few weeks ago. I had set it up at home once to try it out and even showed some scouts how it worked but I never used it on a trip. I had a few days and headed out to do South Lake North Lake loop in the Sierra.

The first night I got on the trail late so I did not cook since I set up in the dark. So, the next day I used it when I had to stop early due to rain and hail before heading up Muir Pass. I have a Trail Designs GVP set up. I noticed the Esbit was making a bunch of weird noises. I figured it had gotten wet in the rain and was just moist or something. It got my pot hot but not boiling.

The next night I was at Muir Trail Ranch. Once again, when I set the pot up the Esbit was flashing and acting funny. It was late so I really didn't have time to check it out since it was dark when I got my water hot.

The next night I got to my camp relatively early and had time to boil my water in sunlight. It was then I noticed my pot had a pin hole in it. The water would run down the can and hit the Esbit and that would make it flash and make all kind of noises. I had a hole after only 4 times boiling water!

When I got back I contacted Trail Designs and Rand got right back to me. The first question was "how did you pack the can in your pack?' Well, I had the can inside my pack with the Caldera inside. He asked if I had used the caddy. Uh, well, no. That was my problem. I just placed the can in the sylnylon bag it came in but did not take the caddy. The cans are real thin and it just worked a small hole in it pretty quickly. I now have a new can and will use the caddy.

The reason I did not use the caddy was 1. weight and 2. I use a plastic cup to rehydrate my food in so I didn't feel the need to have two of them. I will now just rehydrate in the caddy. I can keep it clean by placing the Fosters can in the bag first since the Esbit leaves a nasty residue.

I guess I could have answered this by saying: In order to protect a Fosters can do not put it in your pack without something else (like the caddy) around it as the can is real thin.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Protecting a fosters can on 09/19/2012 23:15:39 MDT Print View

First of all you need to make sure you have a can with several of the "folds" added to the circumference of the can. That prevents too much flexing of the can. Repeated or extreme flexing usually causes a pin-hole in the center fold.

Now, you need to just be careful. I guess that is part of UL hiking. Less gear and easier to pack. I had a pin-hole in a Foster can earlier this year and mentioned it in a trip report. Rand sent me an email that I had the old style can without the extra crimps or folds. And that can lasted close to two years, all without the HEAVY caddy. And I do backpack a lot.

I did recently buy a Caldera ULC, which will solve the pin-hole issue at less weight than including the Caddy. But when I later ordered new Foster cans, I may not need to use the ULC. Time will tell.

protection? on 09/20/2012 06:48:25 MDT Print View

I put it in last, in the top of the mesh pocket on the back of my pack

No issues.

If you have to pack too tightly, you may have too much stuff.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Protecting a fosters can on 09/20/2012 22:03:05 MDT Print View

Some people that have the 2 cup capacity flat bottom are using the container that Country Time Lemonade comes in. It can be purchased at Kmart. Sam's sells cotton candy in quart size containers that work well. Food stores sell product in their "deli" departments packed in lightweight 1 quart plastic containers that people are using for their Fosters.

Toby Salz
(tobysalz) - M
Re: Protecting a fosters can on 09/21/2012 08:03:24 MDT Print View

sweet -- thanks for the responses. i've got a caddy from trail designs from a caldera cone that i'll try. it's 2.5 oz, but i'll try the suggestion of having it double as a bowl and cup. thanks again.

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Re: Protecting a fosters can on 09/21/2012 08:04:42 MDT Print View

I don't have the Fosters can, but I do have a Heine can that I use with Esbit. The way I typically pack it is by putting everything inside the can and then using a simple cuben fiber stuff sack around it. This pretty much fills the can and will not allow the can to be pushed/dented in unless it is a strong amount of force. I also use a tuperware bowl as my cup which happens to fit over the top of the Heine set-up perfectly. This does provide a bit of protection to the top of the can where it is the weakest. (The bottom of the can is stronger simply because it is still intact.)

When packing it up in my pack, depending on which food bag and backpack I use, sometimes I will pack it inside the food bag standing up so that when I put the food bag in my pack the Heine can will actually be next to the side of my backpack. Nothing will be putting any side pressure against the set-up. The only way to damage it here is if I were to slam my pack into something (which I do not. I do not sit on my pack or throw it on the ground, at least not with this particular set-up...) Otherwise, in m smaller pack, I will pack everything up in the pack and then set the Heine set-up on the very top before I cinch the top closed. Here again, nothing is putting pressure on the system unless I abuse my pack...

(I do understand that accidents happen, but I try my best to be careful with my gear when on the trail. I know that I need it, as well, I don't want to have to replace it because of my carelessness... Besides, when it comes to a true accident, everything is up in the air...)

If it helps any, here is a write up I did on my Heine system with pics and a video which shows how everything nest's inside the can and how it fits really compact...I think it is a great system...but then again, I am partial to it... :)

Also, here is a pic too:

My SUL Cook Kit

Tom Lyons
(towaly) - F

Locale: Smoky Mtns.
Fill it up. on 09/21/2012 09:07:49 MDT Print View

Just put something inside it that fills it up, and that will support the walls enough to prevent average crush forces inside the pack.
It won't prevent it from crushing if you sit on it, but having it filled-up will do wonders for its strength, compared to having it empty.
Use the empty space.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Protecting a fosters can on 09/21/2012 09:50:45 MDT Print View

Toby, these 2 photos show the 2 cup fosters flat bottom in the plastic container that had cotton candy in it. The container with lid weighs 1.5oz. That's a 1 oz. reduction over the CC container. The one I show has tapered walls for easy cleaning if you use it as a bowl. The container is food grade.

The plastic lid that comes with the Foster flat bottom will not fit into the CC caddy.



Edited by zelph on 09/21/2012 09:55:39 MDT.

protection on 09/22/2012 12:36:02 MDT Print View

if you are carrying extra wt to protect your foster pot, it negates the advantage of it. Figure out how to protect it without carrying any extra wt.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Fill it up - Crush is Not the issue on 09/22/2012 13:01:13 MDT Print View

"Just put something inside it that fills it up, and that will support the walls enough to prevent average crush forces inside the pack."

Crushing is Not the issue. It's the small flex-flex-flex you get from just walking long.

Like Nick said: "Repeated or extreme flexing usually causes a pin-hole in the center fold."

And it isn't necessarily "extreme". I packed mine in the top layer, with something on either side, and was careful with how tight I cinched things. 400 miles later I had a pin hole. This was, in part, due to a single center strap securing the lid that may have worked the can. Two straps might have saved the day by spreading out the forces.

If you pack a Fosters "naked" you Have to pay attention to how much flex it will see from straps and other gear. The Heineken is much more robust in this respect, and at under an ounce is worth considering.

Edited by greg23 on 09/22/2012 13:05:21 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Fill it up - Crush is Not the issue on 09/22/2012 13:14:30 MDT Print View

What you guys really need is a titanium version of a Foster's can. It would not be as cheap, but it would withstand the flexing since titanium is stiff.

You can always pack stuff inside the can, and spare socks work good for that. But if you are packing your socks in there, you don't have much room for the fuel or other cooking tools, so you may not gain much. If you put your other cooking tools inside the socks inside the can, that may help.

Did you ever notice that titanium pots have no side ridges, because they don't need them? Titanium pots sometimes have top ridges to make the top rim solid and to make a place for the lid to land.


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Fill it up - Crush is Not the issue on 09/22/2012 13:30:41 MDT Print View

"What you guys really need is a titanium version of a Foster's can."

The closest pot that I have found is the Evernew Ti .75 L Ultralight Pasta Pot, (ECA521). It weighs in at 3.3 ounces, with the lid. So remove the handles and leave the lid, for maybe 2 ounces? It is 4.36 inches tall, which might force you into 'Sidewider' cone if you want everything to fit inside. (Which I prefer.) It is a contender, especially since in has smooth straight walls, making cleaning a little easier.

But for now I'll stick with the Heine.

Edited by greg23 on 09/22/2012 13:46:15 MDT.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Fill it up - Crush is Not the issue on 09/22/2012 13:47:21 MDT Print View

I have that pasta pot and love it and the fusion cone that I have from Trail designs. All fits inside. Basically a ULC with a booster cone on the bottom.

Edited by kthompson on 09/24/2012 06:51:03 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Fill it up - Crush is Not the issue on 09/22/2012 13:52:09 MDT Print View

My titanium cooking vessel won't crush due to its shape. But then, it is unusual. It is a 20-fluid-ounce titanium bowl, so it is somewhat wide and rounded and weighs 1.8 ounces. I just fit my plastic eating bowl into it and not a lot else.


michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
evernew .75 on 09/22/2012 14:03:47 MDT Print View

The .6L version is lighter (3.2oz) but I think its been discontinued.

Of course replacing the lid and removing the silicone covered handles would shave off a few oz. But its such an awesome pot and the handles are nice.

MLD has a titanium mug that small and weighs like 1.6 ounces.

its pretty small though I dont even know if it has the capacity to rehydrate a mountain house.

Andrew Weldon
Slightly concerning on 09/24/2012 06:34:36 MDT Print View

I've been using a full size fosters for a little while now (only brought it on one 1week trip so far). It's been easy to pack it so it isn't crushed, but tt probably is receiving a bit of flex.

It occurs to me that if I need to bring a caddy, a 1oz pot requiring a caddy is a waste of weight when I could just bring a much stronger Ti pot that is 1.8ish oz or even a little more with zero weight penalty.

Anybody have a suggestion for an 18fl oz pot close to the 1oz mark?

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Ti on 09/24/2012 09:33:43 MDT Print View

Get a ti pot to protect the fosters lol.

Joe L
(heyyou) - MLife

Locale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Snow Peak Ti Bowl on 09/24/2012 12:55:11 MDT Print View

Andrew posted "Anybody have a suggestion for an 18fl oz pot close to the 1oz mark?"

I believe that would be Bob's Ti bowl. The Snow Peak Ti Bowl weighs 1.9 at Campmor, 1.8 at Backcountry, and 1.6 at REI, so buy at REI. ;) Are those big corporations using postage scales? Does Ti weigh progressively more from the West Coast to the East Coast?

Leigh Baker

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
foster's can on 09/24/2012 17:14:06 MDT Print View

OK, I'm sure that this post will cause my Foster can to immediately fall apart, but I have a regular Foster can without ridges, that I made into a pot 3 years ago, and only use for boiling water. I store my diy windscreen inside it along with my alcohol stove,lighter and small pc of quick dry towel as a pot holder,stick a McDonald's regular small coffee cup on top for drinks, and slip it in a cuben bag, and it goes on top of my food bag at the top of my pack. I am careful with it and I honestly can't believe it's lasted this long....having said that,right about now I'm sure it's in its gear drawer disintegrating :D...I think I'm going to make another this weekend just to be safe!