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Esbit fuel question
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Larry Swearingen
(Larry_Swearingen) - M

Locale: NE Indiana
Esbit fuel question on 12/09/2013 09:58:22 MST Print View

I have ordered an Esbit Stove,pot and Tabs for next year and
have question about the fuel since I have never used that type
Is it possible to stop a tablet from burning all the way out and
start it up again later or is it a one shot thing. Where once you
start the burn it just goes until it's gone ?

Larry S

Another question re: Esbit Fuel Tabs, Is it OK to put these tabs
in a Mail Drop Resupply ?


Edited by Larry_Swearingen on 12/09/2013 10:00:33 MST.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Re: Esbit fuel question on 12/09/2013 10:05:57 MST Print View

Esbit tablets are like candles - blow them out and relight them at will.

Legally speaking, Esbit tablets must be shipped exactly like any other stove fuel - ground only, labeled ORM-D.

Edited by wandering_bob on 12/09/2013 15:44:46 MST.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Esbit fuel question on 12/09/2013 12:27:50 MST Print View

For a burning Esbit tablet, it is possible to blow it out. However, I found it necessary to get directly over it and blow it with all my lung power. If I just puffed at it from the side, it would not go out. Don't hover over it for long, because the fumes are not good.


Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
mess on 12/09/2013 12:41:24 MST Print View

They get pretty gunky once you light them so I wouldn't recommend trying to package up a used one to move down the trail with..

I would also recommend getting a mini dropper like this:

and filling it with Heet/alk and then dropping 2-3 drops down the side of your esbit to make it easier to light

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: mess on 12/09/2013 13:13:50 MST Print View

I have no problem placing partially used cubes inside the original container.

Mini dropper is extra weight! Scrape the cube with a fingernail and the shavings make it easy to light.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Esbit managment on 12/09/2013 13:19:54 MST Print View

I use an aluminum cylinder with a screw cap for hauling Esbit fuel. It conquers the stink factor and would allow hauling used bits as well. Other than that, I have used doubled zip lock bags with success.

I use a dab of alcohol gel hand cleaner for my Esbit starter. I have it anyway and it takes just a tiny bit to get a cube going. Just a spark from a lighter or firesteel gets the hand cleaner burning.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
ESBIT re-use on 12/09/2013 18:57:42 MST Print View

I always re-use my unburned ESBIT tabs. That is part of my fuel use calculations.

BTW, If you continue to use ESBIT you owe it to yourself and your back to get a Trail Designs Caldera Cone. That stove is THE most fuel efficient ESBIT burner I've seen. We're talking a 30% increase in efficiency. That's a lot less fuel to carry.

The Trail Designs' "Gram Cracker" fuel tab holder works well but its tray needs some 1/4" wide aluminum tape around the ends to hold in the liquid residue so it can burn, saving fuel. Alternatively you can make your own improved Gram Cracker from plans found here on BPL and otehr web sites.

There are entire threads on better Gram Cracker tab holders and other ESBIT fuel tab holders here on BPL. Please use SEARCH and read them and you'll be a happier ESBIT user.

Edited by Danepacker on 12/09/2013 19:31:39 MST.

Gerald L
(Mtngeronimo) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Esbit fuel question on 12/09/2013 19:09:26 MST Print View

Yep, I reuse them. I carry a small fancy feast can to snuff out the flame since I hate the fumes from an extinguished esbit tab. A fingernail or knife edge will pop it off the burner and I place it back in the package or fuel container for later. Sometimes I need just a few more BTU's when it is really cold out and that partially spent tab is just what is needed.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Esbit fuel question on 12/09/2013 20:05:47 MST Print View

Sometimes, if I know that I am going to boil only a small amount of water, I will cut one standard Esbit tablet into halves, and burn only one half at a time. That way, I won't have to reclaim unburned Esbit so much.

If I cut badly, the tablet will shatter, but I can collect the shards and burn them just as well.


Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
4 g tabs on 12/09/2013 20:27:45 MST Print View

Go with 4 g tabs instead of 14 g tabs. It is even easier to sort out almost exactly how much fuel you need, so no need to burn a tab, then blow it out, then repackage it one way or another. Plus, I find that the 4 g tabs do not stink near as bad as the 14 g tabs, and they seem to leave less soot too!

However, they are harder to find, and the 4 g tabs are (usually) about twice as expensive as the 14 g tabs.

Or you can just split the 14 g tabs. I would suggest doing this at home before leaving that way it is already done, and one less thing to do in the field.

Edited by Stick on 12/09/2013 20:28:31 MST.

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
coughlans on 12/09/2013 21:26:19 MST Print View

Or you use Coughlans fuel tablets which are half the size and so you don't need to split them. They're cheaper as well.

Larry Swearingen
(Larry_Swearingen) - M

Locale: NE Indiana
Thank you all on 12/10/2013 10:54:46 MST Print View

Thank you for the information.
That'll probably help me cut down on the learning curve
with this system.

Larry S

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Thank you all on 12/10/2013 12:56:47 MST Print View

Hi Larry,

When I ordered the Lite Trail Solid Fuel Cook Kit, the stove came with a storage sack. I'm not sure what the weight is as it will not register on my scale but it's less than 1 gram. When I have some unused fuel left over, I leave it on the stove and store it in this sack.


I prefer the .5 oz Esbit tablets as they are quite a bit cheaper (per oz) than the smaller ones. I don't boil my water and only heat it up enough to rehydrate my food or coffee and as a result, I only use .25oz of fuel per use. The Coghlans fuel tabs, as mentioned above, are a nice option as they are .25oz of fuel so you don't have to worry about the leftovers or cutting the tablet in half. The only downside, and it's pretty minor, is that the Coghlans leave more permanent residue on the pot where I can scrub the Esbit muck off with minimal effort.