Forum Index » GEAR » Starting to doubt using my alcohol stove for cannister


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Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
No doubt using my canister on 03/25/2013 12:09:12 MDT Print View

I also use up the partially-spent canisters for car-camping, unless my gram scale tells me there's enough in there for a particular trip.

I come from white-gas stoves and arrived at Canisters with a view based on exposure to the Bluet stoves that, in my experience, reliably failed over and over for others around me in the snow, at Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley, in Kings Canyon...etc. I upgraded to an XGK and kept that in service for many years. Although I recognized it was large when packed, it never fails, puts out plenty of heat and fuel was simple. Canisters looked wasteful and "doubtful", too.

Alcohol stoves were my next stop, but only a brief one as I was thoroughly bummed with a skilled buddy's stove performance in cold, blustery weather and realized that this genre is too slow and too finicky for me. Even though I love the MYOG aspect of these stoves, I want horsepower and a larger hammer.

It was a Pocket Rocket that blew me away and led to to look hard at canister stoves. The Optimus Crux I wound up making my "regular" puts out heat like the XGK, lights instantly and easily without priming, doesn't soot up anything, and with a cook kit, full canister of fuel, spork, lighter and windscreen weighs the same as only the stovehead of the XGK.
I punch holes in the empties with the Jetboil prong tool and recycle them along with other metal cans, so the "waste" is neutralized, at least in reference to other fuels, etc...

Being able to crouch down in blowing, 40f rain and put together the stove, fire it and boil water for coconut water tea to warm up my hiking partners, in about 3 minutes total even though I'd managed to get chilled and was shaking... is something I couldn't do with either the XGK or any alky stove (not to mention my emergency hexamine). Others might have no problem, but "a man's got to know his limitations", ha ha!

For me, the canister stoves are lighter, faster, stronger and *better* than any other options for a reliable cook system. Reviews that demonstrate how light some of the new stoves (like that FM 300t or the 117t's I just bought for Patrol Stoves) are, just cement that for me.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Cannisters on 03/25/2013 13:18:31 MDT Print View

I used an optimus 8r for a decade, MSR Whisperlite for two decades, alky for 2 years and then moved to cannisters - currently a Jet Boil Sol ti. Convenience and speed sealed the deal for me. Most of the time all I ever need is hot water above tree line. This accounts for 95% of my trips.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Crazy Light on 03/25/2013 13:28:37 MDT Print View

Alcohol stoves are just "crazy light". As is Esbit

Yeah, you can contrive a scenario where they're a little lighter, but after a while sanity will return to you and you'll go back to canister

(Just being provocative here. Feeding frenzy. Maybe I should "keep day job" rather than trying to be comedian.)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Starting to doubt using my alcohol stove for cannister" on 03/25/2013 13:36:16 MDT Print View

With a good windscreen--essential!--I easily get 14 boils out of a 4 oz. canister. This starts as a pretty light set-up and just gets lighter every day. So one 4 oz canister for a week of backpacking. Simple as pie. Of course, I'm a boil-only guy.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Alcy here on 03/25/2013 14:24:06 MDT Print View

Alcy here for the simple reason that stoves cost money. I started up on a budget, bought $3 worth of alcohol and widdled a stove out of a beer can, of which I already had a few laying around for some reason, and viola! Since starting up, I've never seen a reason to buy anything. My stove always suffices. But then, maybe I just dont hike as hard as all of you, I can always wait another minute or two for my ramen.

Besides, Wisner always has the coffee ready by 0500 anyway.

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: "Starting to doubt using my alcohol stove for cannister" on 03/25/2013 14:48:06 MDT Print View

Jeffrey,

Just wanted to clarify that you are talking about 4oz of fuel above and beyond the 3.5oz canister itself? I assume so as that's what my Soto will boil from a 7oz 100g Jetboil canister.

Jon Fong
(jonfong) - F - M

Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Re: Starting to doubt using my alcohol stove for canister on 03/25/2013 15:10:48 MDT Print View

I think your decision is pretty straight forward: if you are uncomfortable with an alcohol stove, switch to a canister stove. If you are uncomfortable with a tarp, switch to a tent. If you are uncomfortable with a quilt, switch to a sleeping bag. And like others have said before, don’t be married to your gear but pick your gear for the situations that you feel comfortable with. I think that the decision based on weight is secondary to that of having confidence in your equipment.

Best wishes - Jon

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Clever Canister Concept on 03/25/2013 15:46:03 MDT Print View

For estimating canister contents, floating in water does not work too well as they float at an odd angle.
The balance beam is a better idea - how about using a translucent plastic cup or transparent water bottle/bladder as the counter weight, pre-calibrated with marks in grams (or oz) for various quantities of added water?

Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Re: Alcy here on 03/25/2013 16:29:28 MDT Print View

"Besides, Wisner always has the coffee ready by 0500 anyway."

The photo below shows perhaps the best coffee I ever had, thanks Adan.

fgasdgf

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: canisters on 03/25/2013 17:41:02 MDT Print View

Ian Bloom wrote:

> some emotionally significant experiences with white gas

That has got to be an award-winning euphemism!

Cheers

Ian Destroyer of Forums
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: canisters on 03/25/2013 18:50:01 MDT Print View

"That has got to be an award-winning euphemism!"

For a reasonably accurate reenactment....

"OMG OMG OMG OMG! I'm going to set the woods on fire! OMG OMG OMG! I'm going to jail for setting the woods on fire! OMG OMG OMG!"

The more I think about it, I really don't miss my circa 1984 Coleman Peak One stove even though it holds a position of honor in garage. I actually won it for selling the most fertilizer in my Boy Scout Troop (you can’t make this stuff up folks.) I cannot stand the thought of throwing it away so maybe I'll have it bronzed.

P.s. I didn't set the woods on fire.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: canisters on 03/25/2013 19:01:39 MDT Print View

"P.s. I didn't set the woods on fire."

Rookie....

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Starting to doubt using my alcohol stove for cannister" on 03/25/2013 19:05:34 MDT Print View

Ian: yes, 4 oz's of fuel plus whatever the canister weighs; 3 oz.'s probably. I use an MSR canister; pretty small. So I think that my entire canister set-up, with pocket rocket and titanium windscreen comes in at about 10 oz's. I suppose that this seems heavy, but gets lighter every day. The upside: no muss, no fuss, dependable, no parts to lose or fuel to spill.

Plus, my windscreen--a caldera cone--will work as a wood burning backup.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: canisters on 03/25/2013 19:20:36 MDT Print View

"P.s. I didn't set the woods on fire."

Rookie....

---

hehe I had one of the older pump valves crack on me canoe camping once and had it blow like 1/2 liter of white gas in flame thrower fashion until it was out. Luckily all that got roasted was a bit of leg hair and our breakfast

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Coffee on 03/25/2013 19:55:57 MDT Print View

"The photo below shows perhaps the best coffee I ever had, thanks Adan."

Ha! That was a very good day. My pleasure, buddy.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
Re: canisters on 03/26/2013 18:04:37 MDT Print View

The "second canister" thing was for longer hikes. If you have a mostly empty canister and buy a new one at a resupply point, you end up carrying both for a while. Or you end up tossing a partially-full canister.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: canisters on 03/26/2013 21:11:57 MDT Print View

yea.. you could also bring a few esbit tablets for a few grams for 1-2 day backup in case your canister runs out