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Nick Badyrka
(oldcrank) - F

Locale: Northwest
Flame on on 10/08/2012 20:01:49 MDT Print View

I know this goes against the grain of group wisdom on this site. Perhaps, somehow you can get me to change my mind. Most of my backpacking trips are 2-4 weeks in length and always with at least one partner, my wife, sometimes my daughter. Typically, if I only have a weekend I prefer a long day hike to backpacking. Anyway, I have been at this for a long time and have been trying to lighten my load. For a few years I used a Snow Peak titanium max-lite stove. The first time I used it was in 2009 on the JMT and it gulped more fuel than anticipated and we went cold for a day before the resupply and it did not seem very efficient. I built a series of windscreens and that helped but it still seems like it is not as fuel-efficient as I would like. This year I tried a Jetboil. I know it is a little heavier than my old kit, but wow talk about fuel-efficient 4 days on a 100g canister for two and we like to have afternoon tea. I find I like the simplicity, speed and carrying less fuel. I am certain I would not like the long boil times of alcohol and the amount of fuel I would need to carry. Seems like Jetboil should go on a diet and rule the market. Flame away.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Flame on on 10/08/2012 20:06:35 MDT Print View

The jet boil TI is extremely light for what it does. I enjoy using it. No flames from me.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Flame on on 10/08/2012 20:37:51 MDT Print View

You won't hear any guff from me. I don't have a Jetboil but I love my Pocket Rocket and people flame those here all the time. The way I see it, if you're carrying it, and you're happy with it, great! I had a friend that backpacked with me this summer and she used a Jetboil. It was quiet, it was fast, it was efficient. She never complained about her pack weight, either.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re Flame on on 10/08/2012 20:42:04 MDT Print View

Flame on: Boil water.
Flame off: Eat dinner.

Yep. You got it. Good job.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Thread. on 10/08/2012 20:59:22 MDT Print View

End ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
+1 on 10/08/2012 21:00:05 MDT Print View

When I hike with the wife, the jetboil is a must. She likes coffee in the morning, hot meals, and tea at night. Crazy efficient, fast boil time. I don't have the Titanium one, but the extra 2oz don't bother me. One of the larger canisters lasted us 10 days (no idea how many boils... lots haha) and it still has some life left.

My main nitpick with canister stoves is the "This canister has a little bit left, but not enough for the trip" thing. So you use a newer one, and end up with another fraction left... do you just carry an extra canister? Seems silly when I won't even carry extra underwear... you get the point.

Nick Truax
(nicktruax) - F

Locale: SW Montana
No flame on 10/08/2012 21:31:02 MDT Print View

Love my jetboil SOL Ti- both for climbing and for UL backpacking. Best in class IMO. Speed and efficiency = muy bueno. I haven't used any better to date. Keep em coming!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: No flame on 10/08/2012 22:22:07 MDT Print View

Different stove types have different advantages. An alcohol stove is the lightest (or has the potential to be the lightest). It also has the advantage of being able to match the exact amount of fuel for the trip. So for a short solo trip (or a trip where you can resupply after a few days) it makes a lot of sense.

Canister stoves are more fuel efficient. They are also easier to light and simmer. You can turn it on to boil some water for tea, turn it off, then turn it on again five minutes later for dinner. Turning on and off as well as simmering versus boiling with an alcohol stove is a pain. Of course, gasoline stoves are even more of a pain.

The big advantage of gasoline (or similar liquid fuel stoves) is that they are very fuel efficient. That's why they are frequently used for melting snow and big trips. They also have the same advantage as alcohol stoves in that you can easily bring just the right amount of fuel.

In some ways, the Jetboil stoves are similar to a gasoline stove, but easier to light. For the trips you mention (out for week or more with additional people) they certainly make sense. Somewhere along the line you reach the point where such stoves make sense (from a weight perspective), and you probably reached that point a while ago.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
good ole days on 10/08/2012 23:21:54 MDT Print View

i recollect not to long ago here when anyone who used a jetboil got flamed faster than .. well a jetboil ;)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: good ole days on 10/08/2012 23:24:15 MDT Print View

but then they came out with a jetboil that weighs the same as a regular canister stove plus windscreen

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Fuels on 10/08/2012 23:28:50 MDT Print View

Ross, I agree with your points, except I'd say that gasoline is CONTAINER-efficient rather than fuel efficient. Propane takes a pound of steel per pound of fuel. Butane less, gasoline even less. That's only a benefit on long or large trips or with a lot of snow melting. White gas also has a cost advantage although auto-gas and diesel have the lowest cost of all (other than wood).

Edited to add: Jetboil doesn't do what it does so well because it is a canister stover but because of the elegant integration of the burner, pot, heat exchanger, and insulation. A carefully selected HX pot with snug wind screen and you can get those reduced boil times and efficient fuel usage with many stoves.

Edited by DavidinKenai on 10/08/2012 23:32:53 MDT.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Fuels on 10/09/2012 01:01:35 MDT Print View

"Propane takes a pound of steel per pound of fuel. Butane less, gasoline even less."

Maybe we could save weight if we had a pint-size Sigg-compatible fuel bottle to use on a white gas stove... if it were made out of titanium. Or, is that practical?

I believe that all MSR white gas stove pumps fit into a Sigg screw threaded bottle.


James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Flame On on 10/09/2012 06:15:25 MDT Print View

Yup, this is very similar to my experiences.

For fuel efficiency, a HX (heat exchanger) pot & lid, plastic bottle and SVEA stove have been the most fuel efficient stove I have ever used. I burn slightly less than 1/2oz by volume per liter or oz per day. Note that the density of a 12oz bottle of fuel is only .08 (as is alcohol.) My 12oz soda bottle weighs about 10oz. I need about 2.5 liters per day, coffee(2-3 cups), oatmeal(2 cups) in the morning, something for supper(3 cups + simmering 10min) and cocoa (1-2 cup.) Total weight for 12 days out: 19oz(stove) + 10oz(fuel/bottle)=29oz starting and 20oz final.

Canister stoves are usually quite close initially. (Just for comparison: Coleman F1+2-227g canisters=2.5oz(stove)+2(8ozfuel+6ozcan)= 30oz starting and 14oz final.

Alcohol weighs more initially the either, but less finally. 1oz(stove) + 32oz (fuel and bottle)=33oz initial, 3oz final.

Esbit is close to the same as alcohol, about 30z + 1oz stove. 31oz initial and 1oz final.

So, it depends on where you want to save weight. Using a simple average, Alcohol stoves are lightest, then canisters, then WG. Using Initial weight WG, canisters and Alcohol.

Practicaly, it doesn't really matter for a couple weeks out. They all weigh close to the same. Compared with 25pounds in food, there is no difference, really. I choose the lightest initial weight, knowing food consumption will lower each days carry weight by a couple pounds. (Not quite accurate, I need 1.2 pounds per day. But most agree ~2 pounds per day is fine.) And it is far simpler to use the same stove for everything, even if I pay in final weight.

With other stoves, it is easyier to cook, and simmer. Not something the Jetboil is really good at.

At this point in time, JetBoils are heavy for what they do. The Olicamp HX pots, or a home made one, does as well on any stove. Using a wind screen/heat trap STILL helps. It helps ALL stoves. Using tricks, it is easy to booste all the stoves to better performance. They need to strip the stove system down to make it worth while, in my humble opinion. The pastic's need to go. The pot needs to be lowerd and made more fuel efficient, too. The added diameter would add flux ring capacity (heat exchanger) without sacrificing on weight. The closer to spherical a pot is the better holding capacity per weight of the pot. Overall stability would be improved, also. And, it would be easier to clean after cooking a trail stew. There is a ways to go with all pots. The standard burner could be improved by supplying a burner with a lower heat output, giving the heat exchanger more time to do it's job. The volume heated would go up by simply reducing the heat at every cycle. The fuel itself is fairly efficient burning, though. But a variable heat relecter would allow colder weather use. Anyway, it is a work in progress. But, there is more progress that could be made.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Flame On on 10/09/2012 07:54:22 MDT Print View

Good calculations James

If I did 12 nights, I would figure out how to only require 1 canister.

Only do 1 cup of coffee? Do less in the evening? Have a pot and windscreen that was maximally efficient?

My only complaint is that canister stove manufacturers emphasize weight. But they already weigh so little it's hard to reduce it significantly.

If you could optimize efficiency then you'de carry less fuel which is where you could save some weight. Like figure how to use 1 canister rather than two, or a small canister rather than a big one.

But efficiency is difficult because it depends on how windy it is, temperature of water and air, sometimes I heat a little more or less water, or I'll take my eye off it and will let it boil for a while,... so stove manufacturers don't talk about it at all.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Flame on on 10/09/2012 09:20:08 MDT Print View

My Backcountryboiler weighs about the same but the fuel is free and never runs out. Its so simple that nothing is likely to fail in the field. It also has a much smaller environmental impact over its life by forgoing canisters

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Flame On on 10/09/2012 12:44:28 MDT Print View

"Note that the density of a 12oz bottle of fuel is only .08 (as is alcohol.)"

If only that were really true.


Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Flame on on 10/09/2012 12:48:15 MDT Print View

"My Backcountryboiler weighs about the same but the fuel is free and never runs out. Its so simple that nothing is likely to fail in the field."

Works well with wet wood.

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Re: Flame on on 10/09/2012 12:57:44 MDT Print View

"Works well with wet wood."

Thats been my experience too. But that is a matter of whether one takes the time to learn a few simple skills or not.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Flame On on 10/09/2012 14:38:07 MDT Print View

"Note that the density of a 12oz bottle of fuel is only .08 (as is alcohol.)"

If only that were really true.

Ooops, sorry, that was a typo...should be .80.

Actually, close enough, I guess unless you get down to a gram or less.

Specific gravity of gasoline is: "The specific gravity (or relative density) of gasoline ranges from 0.71–0.77..." from wikopedia.
I assume that white gas is a bit less. But, again, it is a blend of various components. A full 12 fl oz bottle weighs about 10.1oz. Depending on the bottle, of corse. Typically, 12*.75=8oz for the actual fuel. The bottle weighs between 1 and 2oz depending on the bottle. On my scale, it is 10.1oz Note that a fluid oz and standard oz are actually slightly different, also. And, it is full, to prevent atmospheric pressure (ups and downs) from effecting it soo much. Likely more than 12floz.

The relative density of alcohol(ethanol) is about .78. It is rarely found pure form, though, so closer to .80 to .82. I don't think I'll quibble over a couple hundreths of an ounce. Methanol is slightly dfferent, also, but within any reasonable range. All is lighter than an equivilant volume of water, generally speaking.

Most people miss that, though. They assume a 12floz bottle holds 12oz. Yes, I do it too, but I know better. For fuels it holds closer to 8-8.5oz. 32oz of alcohol will NOT fit into a standard two liter bottle,if you want to look at it that way. Weight and Volume are different. Water is the old standard, easy to visualize.

Edited by jamesdmarco on 10/09/2012 14:39:57 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
HX pots and kits on 10/09/2012 16:29:54 MDT Print View

Although not a Jet-boiler, I am a big fan of the HX pots/canister stove/windscreen setup. I use the Optimus Weekender HE pot that's .9 liter with a pour spout and frypan lid and a Fire Maple/Olicamp HE pot that's 1.0 liter with a flat lid. Both boil really fast, and both will hold a large fuel canister, of the type I use when out for a week, etc...

I think the math posted on here by folks with the inclination shows that the weight gained on the pot by the HX fins exceeds the weight of fuel saved in one canister, ie the one you'd carry. I don't dispute this, but note that the HX pot boils mucho muy faster, too.

While those more advanced folks fiddle and wait for the boil, I'm drinking hot coffee and noshing on formerly freeze-dried bacon-wrapped filets... :)