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Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
WG stove questions on 01/08/2013 22:48:31 MST Print View

Okay, so moving into WG territory for the first time. Couple fast and easy questions.

If it matters, an MSR Universal, though I don't think anything is unique to just this stove.

1) When done cooking, how do you deal with the fuel in the line? Just drain it out? Or is there a trick way of getting it purged and burnt off? Tip the bottle up and let the fuel spill out of the line into the still-lit stove once pressure is off?
2) How do you depressurize the bottle without getting fuel spray on your hands? Or just do it just SUPER slow?
3) How many transport with the pump in place vs always replacing with the fuel-bottle cap?

Thanks!

-mox

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: WG stove questions on 01/08/2013 23:05:26 MST Print View

1) I don't know

2) Bottle up. Slowly unscrew. A little bit of fuel sprays around but not a big deal

3) I always just left pump in place. I also left it in place between trips, but that's probably a bad idea, WG slowly degrades plastic tubing.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: WG stove questions on 01/08/2013 23:05:49 MST Print View

> how do you deal with the fuel in the line?
Anticipate, and shut off before you are finished so as much fuel as possible gets burnt up. Otherwisde, disconnect away from where you are sleeping.

> let the fuel spill out of the line into the still-lit stove
NEVER EVER!!!

> depressurize the bottle without getting fuel spray on your hands
TP wrapped around the bottle top.

> How many transport with the pump in place
Most anyone who is smart.

Messy, messy, stuff. Eventually you will graduate to a canister stove.

Cheers

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WG stove questions on 01/08/2013 23:17:28 MST Print View

"1) When done cooking, how do you deal with the fuel in the line? Just drain it out? Or is there a trick way of getting it purged and burnt off? Tip the bottle up and let the fuel spill out of the line into the still-lit stove once pressure is off?"

I turn the fuel valve off. The flame will slowly die down. Then I blow out the remaining flame. There will be a bit of fuel in the pipe, but I ignore it. Finally, when I am packing up to move camp, I check on that last bit of fuel, and it is normally gone by then.

"2) How do you depressurize the bottle without getting fuel spray on your hands? Or just do it just SUPER slow?"

Why bother to depressurize it? If I feel really compelled to depressurize it, I leave the burner plugged into the pump cap screwed into the fuel bottle and use that for leverage to slightly unscrew the pump cap from the fuel bottle. That vents the pressure.

"3) How many transport with the pump in place vs always replacing with the fuel-bottle cap?"

I normally transport the pump cap still screwed into the fuel bottle. That doesn't seem to have any problem except one small one. The leather pump gasket stays in contact with more fuel this way, so you will need to oil the leather more often. But, this is a lot more convenient than removing the pump (how would you carry it and keep it clean?).

I won't claim that this is the only way to manage an MSR white gas stove, but this is the way that I've worked about seven of them over the last 33 years or so.

--B.G.--

Kevin Manley
(manleyk) - F - MLife

Locale: Denver-ish
Same! on 01/08/2013 23:21:04 MST Print View

+1 to what BG said.

To Roger: :P

Kevin

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WG stove questions on 01/08/2013 23:33:39 MST Print View

I think that Roger is entitled to his opinions for stove operation in Australia.

In North America, I almost never see any winter campers using anything except white gas stoves. The exception is if you intend to use the stove completely inside a winter tent, and I have seen only a few canister stoves that way. I don't know whether this is a function of temperatures or atmospheric pressure or what. White gas stoves are a lot cheaper to operate.

--B.G.--

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Messy indeed on 01/09/2013 07:24:04 MST Print View

I have a Brunton Bantam I got used - nice stove and in good condition overall but as my first foray beyond the propane dual burner car camping coleman was with a Coleman F1 Ultralight canister setup I was surprised at how messy white gas is - apparently when priming (burning in a liquid state with the stuff is clearly a messy prospect).

I'm going to have to evaluate the stove and see if it sticks - camping in NC during the winter months with the Scouts is mostly done in low country (for weather reasons) which means lows generally only verging into the 20's... white gas will clearly work but at those temps an inverted canister is also a reasonable option. The relative complexity of the liquid stoves in terms of setup, startup and cleanup to avoid a sticky black soot on things requires a really good reason weather and elevation wise to move away from my lighter canister setups (F1 Ultralight, Snow Peak Gigapower and an ETA Express Packlite) ...

I admit white gas was an experiment for me - and I also admit I'm not 100% sold...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 07:41:30 MST Print View

"Messy, messy, stuff. Eventually you will graduate to a canister stove."

++ to what Roger said : )

Yeah, canister fuel costs more, but still insignificant compared to other costs including driving to the trailhead.

You can use standard iso-butane down to maybe 25 F. Below that use inverted canister stove or one of the tricks like wrapping a piece of wire, e.g. #16 solid copper, around canister and up into flame.

You can tell the people that haven't graduated yet because their hands smell like white gas and they have no eyebrows : )

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Messy indeed on 01/09/2013 07:46:41 MST Print View

I used an F1 Ultralight for years.

A couple times it started leaking between stove and canister, and then it flamed up a little. No big deal, I just blew it out.

Then twice I left the stove screwed into the canister overnight. It was tight in the evening, then it got colder to maybe below 32 F, the metal shrank which created a leak and in the morning all the fuel was gone.

Probably best not to leave stove screwed onto canister over night. Make sure stove is tightly screwed in.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Thanks on 01/09/2013 09:44:54 MST Print View

Thank you everyone!

-mox

David Adair
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
WG stove questions Re: fire paste on 01/09/2013 11:43:14 MST Print View

It seems like the bulk of flare up problems with WG stoves relate to preheating the generator tube. Does any body have any experience using fire paste for preheating? I have had a tube of the stuff for years but have never gotten around to trying it. Will it squeeze out of the tube at low temps? Just wondering if this is a viable alternative to preheating with WG. Perhaps a film canister of the stuff would be worth packing. Thanks in advance for any insights.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WG stove questions Re: fire paste on 01/09/2013 14:04:16 MST Print View

Fire paste was state-of-the-art stuff about 35 years ago. I had some, but it never seemed to be essential so I quit carrying it.

I did a high elevation expedition with two other guys in my tent team, so we used one XGK for two weeks. Due to the inclement weather, we did all of our snow melting and water boiling within the vestibule of the tent. At first there was the problem of flaring, but very quickly I got that tamed down. It also helps to have a very large piece of aluminum foil as a flare shield (a square yard).

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: WG stove questions Re: fire paste on 01/09/2013 15:01:56 MST Print View

I agree, flaring is manageable.

You have to put the right amount of gas in the priming well initially. Too much and it will flare up. Too little it won't heat it up enough.

If it's too little, no big deal, when you turn it back on, liquid will come out instead of vaporizing. Just turn it off and let this burn which will then properly heat it up.

And you have to get the hang of turning it back on when the priming fire has gone down but not out. Or else you'll have to re-light it but there could be a little cloud of vaporized gas that could flare up.

The worst time is when it's hot - like if you turn it off for a bit, and then turn it back on. Liquid fuel will hit hot area and vaporize creating a cloud of vaporized gas. Light that and poof!

You just have to let it cool off a while before re-lighting.

When it flares up, it quickly burns out. Just keep your face away from the area above. I don't think it would burn long enough to catch your tent on fire. Always assume it will flare up.

Use it some in the open to get the hang of it before using in vestibule. You should get experience with all of the above so your response becomes instinctual.

Or, for a canister stove, turn it on, light it, put on your pot with liquid to heat up, when liquid is heated up enough turn it off. This seems easier.

Unless it's below 25 degree F or so. I've done the copper wire around canister and up into flame down to 20 degree F and I think that would work even colder but that's where maybe WG becomes the better solution.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Soto Muka on 01/09/2013 15:21:12 MST Print View

The "new generation" Soto Muka apparently eliminates or mitigates many of the issues of using a WG stove. Naturally these benefits come with a few gotchas like proprietary fuel bottles and the need to pump, pump, pump.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 15:38:08 MST Print View

mox: If it matters, an MSR Universal, though I don't think anything is unique to just this stove.

Do you mean an MSR Whisperlite Universal?

If so, use the flip stop option. It's the cleanest way to depressurize the stove. It's not a new thing, other stoves like the newer Primus and Optimus stoves have had this for a while. The Soto Muka has a similar feature, but on the Muka you turn the control knob to the "air" setting to blow out the fuel line. On most other stoves, you flip the stove over, taking advantage of the hinged fuel line adapter.

Mike Oxford
(moxford) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley, CA
Killer tip on 01/09/2013 16:26:03 MST Print View

Good tip!

Not only does it clear the line but also slightly depressurizes the bottle for less spray at the end ...

For anyone else who finds this later...

Hikin' Jim

Temps are supposed to be in the 0-5F. Might play with inverted iso-blends but wanted to have a solid backup for melting snow and such. Might to back to canister later if the iso-blend/watersink/inverted/etc work but want to test it in the field first with a known solid backup. :)

Thanks again everyone!

-mox

Edited by moxford on 01/09/2013 16:30:45 MST.

James Wyse
(Ravelyn) - M

Locale: The Crossroads of the Revolution
WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 18:46:22 MST Print View

Concerning leaving the pump in the fuel bottle, I often do that but you need to be careful if you are going to have a substantial altitude change. I once started the day in Yosemite Valley and ended at Tuolumne Meadows, an elevation gain of approximately 4,600 feet. I went to use the MSR pump and it broke. Seems the plastic piece that retains the handle couldn't withstand the increased pressure in the fuel bottle. That possibility had never occurred to me. Granted, it's an unusual situation, but worth keeping in mind.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 19:24:34 MST Print View

"Seems the plastic piece that retains the handle couldn't withstand the increased pressure in the fuel bottle."

You did not have increased pressure in the fuel bottle. What you had was an increased pressure differential between the fuel bottle and the atmosphere. You know, it is not difficult to vent the pressure if you want.

--B.G.--

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 19:33:59 MST Print View

MSR has a couple poorly designed pumps, the worse the one that has blue plastic, then one of the red/gray ones. You'll have to check the tabs that hold the pump shaft in place. I've sent back two blue pumps to MSR for replacement. One was free for a 1999, new Dragonfly I got last year, the other the normal $20 with exchange for another barely used DF.
Unless the check valve is leaking, the leather pump cup will not be soaking in fuel nor be exposed to fuel.
Isobutane can be used into the single digits F, just dip the canister in water, repeat if necessary if water is available or a warm body.
Duane

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: WG stove questions on 01/09/2013 19:48:52 MST Print View

Duane, you have one of those early MSR pumps that was carved out of the tusk of a mastodon.

--B.G.--