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Cat stove not working for me
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Harald Hope

Locale: East Bay
yeah, not much real info though on 04/12/2013 11:53:09 MDT Print View

That thread kind of repeats the standard error of not comparing apples to apples, ie, standard amount of water boiled, correctly measured amount of fuel used to boil, tests indoors without a windscreen, which given the fact you just cannot use alcohol stoves in the real world without some type of real wind screen, are essentially a total waste of testing fuel, but the main error is that people were very focused on boiling times, and it's worth noting that they were getting very fast boil times, because they were shooting uncontrolled flames up the sides of pots.

The truly horrendous performance of the cat stoves as well was obvious in that thread, some people required 2 oz (60ml!!) to boil 500 ml of water, others 30, but almost nobody actually measured, and many who did didn't test it outside, with moving air.

All in the name of science, heh. I'll write some of this up as soon as I have time, given that this is basically just physics and chemistry, there's not a lot of subjectivity involved.

Its also worth taking a very close look at stoves like the starlight and ion that are getting very good results, but I'm also curious about altitude. I may in the near future give a set to someone who goes to higher altitudes routinely and who is willing to actually measure and be a bit scientific in their testing, there's some higher altitude performance questions I can't answer non-empirically, I can nail down the real world lower altitude stuff pretty easily.

By the way, my motivating thing for this was having bought a used snowpeak 900 pot, narrow, reading that wider pots were 'more efficient', but realizing that I really really like the size and diameter of the snowpeak, it holds heat in food super well as you eat, with cozy, it packs perfectly, it's perfect size to store the entire kitchen, it fits perfectly into the backpack, just like any other 6" rolled type item, and, huge plus, a 5" tall windscreen fits snugly inside it, sticking out just a touch, and the lid holds that in perfectly as well, making for a very snug package, so I wanted to see if the 'wider pots are more efficient' was true or false. Basically my initial conclusion is that it is false, but that the easy to make, thus popular, stoves are very inefficient, and because of that, you have to squeeze out the most efficiency with a wide pot. sgt rock has done good actual engineering analysis of this stuff, particularly with his ion stove, so the actual science is out there to be empirically tested, my tests so far agree with his, the best by far stove is center flame pointing up, there are several variants of this, but they all shoot the flame to the same place, just in different ways. For UL focused forums, saving 50%, or more, per meal, of fuel should be of some interest, it is to me, it's far easier trimming weight off total fuel carried at this point for me than anything else, I already, for example, knocked off 3, 4 ounces (with improved consistency of burn, easier lighting as well) on a 7, 8 day trip just by playing around a bit while avoiding real work, and that was starting at an already reasonably efficient point, just not consistent or easy to control. And that's 8 volume ounces, about 6 ounces by weight. ie, an 8 ounce container, but I believe that's pushing it because once you get to altitude you are going to need more fuel per boil, so you'd have no extra there, even with a smaller 2oz bottle for daily fuel pouring in the pot itself, it's still close if you hit bad weather or need more because of altitude.

Edited by hhope on 04/12/2013 12:11:41 MDT.