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Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/09/2007 20:13:05 MDT Print View

I am going to be making the transition from a white gas stove to an alcohol stove and wanted to hear your recommendations. The stove will be used for two people and with an Evernew 1.3 or .9L pot. It will be used for 5-7 days between re-supplies. I have looked at Tinny's SITH stove but haven't seen any reviews. I have also been looking at the Caldera Cone system from Antigravity. The pot support with that one seems ingenious.

Thoughts??

Thanks!
Nathaniel

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/09/2007 20:36:53 MDT Print View

Either one of Tinny's designs or a SuperCat works great and provide no hassles. As for the Caldera, I've only heard about them: but what I've heard is good.

Make a SuperCat, try it out, and if you're still curious, buy one of the other stoves you mentioned.

Have fun!

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/09/2007 21:06:42 MDT Print View

If you want to go alky for two people, be aware that you will need to double the amount of fuel you take. You should check this before you go. And you will need a good windshield and a flat base with the MBD stoves.

Make sure you use ETHYL alcohol ('denatured alcohol'), not the fairly toxic Methyl alcohol which is also available. The ethyl alcohol has a higher fuel value than the methyl alcohol.

I can only comment on stoves I have tried. The Elite II is excellent, although it may be a shade small for two people. The Sketti is very powerful, but needs a wide low pot. The 1.3 L pot is probably OK, but I am not sure of the diameter of the 0.9 L pot.

The Caldera Cone SYSTEM is heavier, but it is a very ingenious solution and solves both the windshield and the stability problems. If you use it, make sure you have LOTS of space at the top where the hot air comes out, and a reasonable amount of space at the bottom where the air goes in. Getting enough flow in both places is IMPORTANT.

Me, I use a canister stove.

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/09/2007 21:15:45 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments Todd, I just looked into the cat stove and it might be a good project to take on.

Roger, I am conflicted about a cartridge stove because of the environmental factor of throwing them away. Can they be refilled? (coincidentally I just found your web page on google, very helpful). In your opinion does the weight of the alcohol kill it for a 5-7 day trip for two? Would it be best to just stick with the white gas? I currently am using the Brunton Optomus Nova, have had zero problems with it for the past 3 years. BUT it is heavy.

David Eastwood
(easty) - F

Locale: Sierra eastystravels.blogspot.com
Switching to Alcohol Stove on 05/09/2007 21:30:25 MDT Print View

After building many 'homemade' stoves, I finally settled on Jon Bednars TurboCat II. I needed to boil 2 liters at a time (for my wife and I) at altitude and somrtimes in cold temps. I found that this stove performed the best in all conditions. I still own a Pocket Rocket but we rarely use it for our 1 to 2 week Sierra forays. Here is the link-
http://mysite.verizon.net/k3ct/Stoves/TurboCatII.htm

I don't use the simmer ring as we just boil water for meals and tea. It makes for a simple build. If you aren't into tinkering in the garage , I would patronize Tinny as his stuff is top notch. Hope my 2 cents helps
Easty

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Re: Switching to Alcohol Stove on 05/09/2007 21:35:58 MDT Print View

David,

Thanks for the tip, I will check out the site. How much fuel do you typically take with you on a one week trip? What size pot do you use? I appreciate your help!

Lapsley Hope
(Laps) - M
Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/10/2007 10:56:31 MDT Print View

I used a Brasslite Turbo ll-D and while it is finely made and light I found it to be unsteady and for that reason I have purchased a Clikstand (www.clikstand.com) with the Trangia stove insert and wind screen. Very impressive. Rock solid, a bit heavier but will be my new backpacking stove.

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/10/2007 11:20:38 MDT Print View

Nathaniel:
Check my review of the Caldera stove here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_id=7056

I think you will find this to be the best cook system on the market for alcohol. Next would be the Thermojet which has been variously reviewed on this site. With the Thermojet you can simmer, something one can not do with the Caldera -- although I have successfully cooked several meals in my pot using the Caldera. Its something one has to monitor carefully so as not to burn the food to the bottom of the pot.

The Caldera is made specific to the pot you will use, AGG does not manufacture the Caldera. It is only a distributor. The Manufacturer is Trail designs @ this site:
http://traildesigns.com/
I am sure that they have a model that would fit your specific pot, just email them and they will help you out.
Good Luck!

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Re: Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/10/2007 12:16:24 MDT Print View

Mitchell,

Thanks for the link, for some reason I had not seen it. Very helpful and thorough. Have you tried to boil enough for two people, say 32 ounces or ~1 liter? I am wondering if that is overkill, and just asking too much of an alcohol stove.

Cheers

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
fuel efficiency info links on BPL on 05/10/2007 14:27:32 MDT Print View

Please consider perusing the following...

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/comparative_fuel_efficiency_and_weight_of_stoves_pt1.html

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/comparative_fuel_efficiency_and_weight_of_stoves_pt2.html

These reports shed light on subject of alcohol vs the others for me. What is best when. Good reads.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/10/2007 15:36:34 MDT Print View

Hi Nathaniel

> environmental factor of throwing them away.
Well, they are made of steel, and steel is 100% recyclable. Considering the amount of packaging used by the average family per year, a couple of 100% recycled canisters seems fairly minimal to me.

> does the weight of the alcohol kill it for a 5-7 day trip for two?
It would be starting to get seriously heavy. Have alook at the articles on fuel efficiency by Will Rietveld (a previous posting in this column) and maybe at my Fuel Efficiency page to see where the breakpoint is.

White gas stoves are heavy, no question. Have another look at the weight of a small upright canister stove if you are not looking at winter stuff for now. A 230 g canister will last my wife and me for about 7 days. That's a pretty light combination!

But, some prefer alky - ymmv.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
fuel efficiency link is fantastic on 05/10/2007 16:31:45 MDT Print View

Fantastic!

http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Efficiency.htm

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Thanks for the links and replies on 05/10/2007 16:54:48 MDT Print View

George,
Thanks for the links on the site. I thought I had seen all of them on the subject. Roger's link also very helpful.

Roger,
Thanks again for the helpful reply. I will now be looking into our cities recycling program for canisters. My wife does like the options a white gas stove gives you for simmering, and the canister does the same it looks like.

I guess we all have (or will have) one of each depending on the situation . . .

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Thanks for the links and replies on 05/10/2007 19:00:47 MDT Print View

Don't forget this review of several stoves.

It is a bit out of date, as it doesn't have the Caldera stove (or any that have been created or changed in the last couple years). The fact that Mitchell has reviewed both the Thermojet and Caldera speaks highly of the Caldera stove. I bought my Thermojet based on the review above (and the more detailed review found via a link on the page). I've been very happy with it. Both it and the Caldera have similar ideas (integrated wind screen/stove).

Mitchell Keil
(mitchellkeil) - F

Locale: Deep in the OC
Re: Re: Re: Alcohol Stove Users, Need Your Help on 05/10/2007 20:42:33 MDT Print View

Nathaniel:
My caldera was constructed to match the 20 oz AGG pot. On the TD website you will find that they have stove kits to match up with the pots you had in mind. Also on the TD site is a link to reviews of the Caldera kit on BackpackingGeartest.org. One of the reviewers used the Stove to fry steaks poach eggs and all manner of outrageous stuff with success. So I don't think boiling a quart of water is out of the question. It will just take a bit longer to do.

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Alcohol System on 05/10/2007 20:56:23 MDT Print View

Ross,
Thanks for the advice. I have definitely been looking into an integrated system. Thermojet seems to be having difficulties filling orders, and are not currently producing their stoves. I am interested in that particular stove, but some have said they have waited over 3 months and sometimes longer.

Nathaniel Hein
(nandj) - F

Locale: Mid South
Boiling a quart on 05/10/2007 20:58:05 MDT Print View

Wish I had some data on that time . . . Thanks again.

Steve .
(pappekak) - F

Locale: Tralfamadore
Re: Boiling a quart on 05/10/2007 21:01:19 MDT Print View

Have you tried making a Super Cat stove. Very easy and works well.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Thanks for the links and replies on 05/10/2007 23:41:17 MDT Print View

> My wife does like the options a white gas stove gives you for simmering, and the canister does the same it looks like.
A canister stoves is MUCH easier to simmer than a white gas stove. MUCH!
(My wife thinks I have way too many stoves in the cupboard...)

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
alcohol stove can weight can approach zero, but... on 05/11/2007 06:21:40 MDT Print View

From the references posted above, I believe the general rule of thumb is...

The alcohol stove's weight can approach zero, but because its fuel is less efficient than gas, its "cuteness" diminishes as your days until re-supply increases. This penalty doubles with the demand of two hikers, of course.