Nov 27, 2005 at 4:44 pm #1217246
Ok… I finally did up a page with pics, specs and plans for my 62 gram Esbit stove (includes 24 fl oz pot).Nov 29, 2005 at 7:43 pm #1346190
Replying to my own post / thread :) I had mentioned elsewhere that I’d hoped to get this system down to 44 grams, but it’s not going to happen.
I was hoping to make the grabber and the windscreen/stand out of the Titanium stock sold here… but I’ve found that both are too lightweight.
The foil, at 0.001″ is just too thin to support 16 oz. of water.
The rods can make a grabber that works… taking my grabber from 13 grams to 3 grams… but the rods are very thin… a little thinner than bicycle spokes… and so the handle flexes a lot with 16 oz. of water in the pot. It does actually work… and it’s got a very secure grip on the pot… but the flexing in the handle makes me uncomfortable with the idea of using it with boiling hot water. The coat hanger grabber is rock solid… no flex at all. If I can source Ti rod that is twice the diameter of the BPL rods… it would be plenty strong and still probably lighter than the coat hanger grabber.
Likewise… I’m going to see if I can source some thinner but stronger metal for the windscreen/stand. Perhaps 0.002″ stainless would work (I don’t imagine I’ll find titanium foil locally). The screen/stand is currently made of 0.004″ aluminum and it holds the weight just fine. I COULD use the BPL Ti foil in combination with a seperate stand… but then my weight starts going over the current 62 grams… even with the weight savings of the Ti windscreen :) With my current design, I’m not counting the 14 grams worth of tent stakes that double as a stand.
Oh I know… 62 grams is plenty light enough for a stove… but it’s not about that anymore :) It’s about the fun and the challenge of making the lightest possible cook system that it both very complete (24 oz pot with handle, lid with handle, windscreen, stand and esbit holder) and very functional (i.e… I could use tin foil for the lid and save a lot… but I love the functionality of having a solid lid for packing purposes).Nov 29, 2005 at 7:50 pm #1346191
go to mcmaster.com and put stainless foil in the search field, 0.002″ SS Foil
also, do the rods flex to much to use them as your pot supports in place of the stakes? What if you put in three (in a triangle) rather than two? the level arms would be significantly shorter so they should bend a lot less…
also, onlinemetals.com have 1/8″ Ti Round Bar for probably affordable in grade 2 (2.70 / ft) or grade 5 (12$ / ft)Nov 29, 2005 at 8:14 pm #1346195
Thanks so much for the sourcing pointers Joshua. Probably won’t find any of this stuff locally… except maybe at a hobby shop… so those links will be a big help.
I’m currently trying to think up ways to use the rods to make a stand alone stand (non-windscreen dependant). I don’t know if the z-stand would work with a beer can… it’s a very small diameter pot and it’s not a flat bottom. The rods… on end… (point loads) would of course support a LOT of weight… like the z-stand. The problem with using them as a grabber is that the weight is cantelivered out and down and is loading the rods horizontally… if you know what I mean. I know one could just use some spare socks or something to grab the hot pot… but including a handle on the pot is part of my design criteria… it’s something I really want to have.
As for using the rods instead of my tarp stakes… the beauty of the stakes is that I don’t count them in my stove weight :) If I use the dedicated rods… they will count. So the question is… what’s lighter… a slightly heavier windscreen that can double as a stand when coupled with your tarp stakes… or an uber light Ti windscreen used in combination with a dedicated, freestanding pot stand.
Oh… also… the new BPL esbit holder/pot stand is a little too big for a beer can :( Too bad… it’s a beautiful thing!!! I may buy another and modify it to make it smaller diameter.Nov 29, 2005 at 9:50 pm #1346203
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
“As for using the rods instead of my tarp stakes… the beauty of the stakes is that I don’t count them in my stove weight :) If I use the dedicated rods… they will count. So the question is… what’s lighter… a slightly heavier windscreen that can double as a stand when coupled with your tarp stakes… or an uber light Ti windscreen used in combination with a dedicated, freestanding pot stand.
Oh… also… the new BPL esbit holder/pot stand is a little too big for a beer can :( Too bad… it’s a beautiful thing!!! I may buy another and modify it to make it smaller diameter.”
I just received my titanium wing stove and titanium foil yesterday and did some quick weighing. As David noted the wing stove is just barely too large for a beercan pot but would be easily modified by bending the legs in just a tad.
I cut the titanium foil down to 16 inches which will produce a diameter good for a SP 600 pot/mug and anything smaller. The windscreen, with titanium wing stove, fosters beercan pot with silicone lip guard and doubled foil for a lid came out to 1.8 oz. That titanium foil is really light.
The wing stove can of course be lightened by drilling it out :)Nov 30, 2005 at 4:58 pm #1346244
“As for using the rods instead of my tarp stakes… the beauty of the stakes is that I don’t count them in my stove weight :) If I use the dedicated rods… they will count.”
However, the question you need to ask yourself is, “should they count?”
The answer to that depends, are these spare stakes or stakes you need to actually pitch your tarp?
If they are spares, they SHOULD be counted in your “kitchen” wieght (after all, if you don’t need them to pitch your tarp, you’re fooling yourself by saying they are ‘spares’ when their primary use is for your stove).
Also, what happens if you lose a stake and need to use the spare for your tarp?
If they aren’t spares, you’re sacrificing the ability to have your tarp pitched while cooking (a bad tradeoff for less than a couple of grams in my opinion).
The only way I can think that these SHOULDN’T count is if these are two stakes used to “batten down” your tarp just before you go to bed. However, it begs the questions “what happens if you lose a stake?” If you carry additional spares, well, you’re back to “these stakes really should be counted in your stove weight, because that is their PRIMARY use”.
Otherwise, I could claim to reduce my shelter weight significantly my calling ALL of my stakes “part of my kitchen set up”Nov 30, 2005 at 6:38 pm #1346253
Thanks for the post Joshua. They are in fact stakes that I use for my tarp… they are not spares and they are not extras used just for my kitchen… they are true dual use. Yes… that means I can’t cook and have my tarp up at the same time… but I only use my stove once a day… which is always on trail… about 2 hours before making camp. I never cook in camp. It’s worked well so far. I’ve also never lost a stake and I never carry extras… I figure you can always improvise if you were to lose a stake. Other than sticks and rocks… the first thing that comes to mind is actually the carbon fiber stays in my Mariposa pack. If I was going on a long thru-hike… I would probably carry spare stakes.
But yes… I wouldn’t mind having a dedicated solution for my stand. The BPL titanium esbit wing stove would be perfect if it was a little smaller… to work with my beer can pot. I can’t bring myself to bend the legs in :)Nov 30, 2005 at 7:24 pm #1346259
One idea to save your elegant Tita wing (I love mine, and have already carved it up): For your UL cooker, make an ‘H’ or ‘W’ with the middle flattened from expanded aluminum gutter screen or expanded stainless steel lath. Just a strip of screen a smidgen wider than your can pot and long enough to fold to form 2 legs and pot supports with a flat for the Esbit tablet between them. Experiment with paper or shirt cardboard to get what you want. You can bend the tops of the pot supports so the can really nests securely in 4 notches. Clearance to the Esbit tab should be about 1 1/4 inches. This rig solves the pot support issue. It’s lighter than the tit wing stove (0.3 in aluminum), more stable than tent stakes through the windscreen, and lets you use a lighter windscreen such as oven liner. You can’t use this burner as a tent stake. Sorry. Maybe a toothbrush holder. On the other hand, my almost identical rig, (same pot, lid, windscreen, burner/pot support here described, bail)weighs right at 60 grams – without needing those versatile but ambiguous stakes which could be keeping your tarp up in the rainstorm as you enjoy a hot cuppa.Nov 30, 2005 at 8:43 pm #1346264
Have you posted pictures of the setups you just described? I can’t seem to picture what you’re describing.
I just had a flash of something that I think ‘might’ solve the need to not carve up thee ti esbit stove and still be able to use it for Beer Can (this may be similar to what Vick is thinking, but I can’t tell…)
Take a Ultrarod, and form it into an equilateral triangle just big enough to ‘hold’ the bottom of a beer can, twist (or something) the two free ends together to lock the triangle and prevent it from spreading, trim the excess, now you should have a very light, removable, ‘feet’ that might stick out far enough balance on the legs of the stove (aka a way to expand the henie pot’s ‘diameter’ a tiny bit).
I don’t know if I’m explaining that well, I can see it in my head, but…
Anyhow, if you try it and it doesn’t work, at worst you’ve wasted a single ultrarod.
also, a question. How long of trips do you go on where you just cook a single meal on the trail? I’m curious, since, for me, comfort factor of food rates high on my ‘ease of enjoying sleeping’ scale when I’m out doors. Maybe a day or two, I wouldn’t mind, but I think I’d start getting cranky if I couldn’t eat hot meals before I laid down to chill out for the night (aka no more ‘work’ setting up camp and such)Dec 1, 2005 at 3:51 am #1346276
Hey Vick. Thanks for the ideas. I think I follow you. The H or W you are talking about is in elevation right… not plan? I’ve actually thought also about simply making a ring out of hardware cloth. That’s a common solution. But I haven’t tried it yet. I would continue to just use the 2 gram V8 can bottom to hold the esbit tab.
I guess the thing is, when I was designing this thing… it was all about being as light as possible while still including all my desired “features” (like the handles). So any kind of dedicated stand was out. I love the dual use idea of the tent stakes. Also, that weight savings allows me to hit the 62 gram mark while still having a real lid with a fold down handle (great for packing as I stow everything inside the pot) as well as an awesome handle for my can pot. That’s a lot of function per gram :)
However, the tent stake thing does bother me a little… mostly because the aluminum I’m using is so thin… just a little thicker than oven liner. I’m using cookie sheets… not flashing… it’s like… 0.004″. It comes in at 10 grams. So no matter what I do for a dedicated stand, it will increase the weight a little… even if I use a Ti foil windscreen. But ya, that aluminum is pretty thin. It’s right on the very edge of being not strong enough. So mostly I worry that over time, the thin aluminum will not stand up… no pun intended :)
BTW… an idea I had to make the tent stake thing more stable… at least from the point of view of holding the pot in place… is to cut the lid off a Fosters with a safe cut can opener and then cut the top portion of the can off… about 1/4 or an inch… then make 4 small holds for the stakes to go thru. This would give you a nice ring for the pot to nest right into.
So many ideas… too little tinkering time :)
Oh… about the cuppa. I don’t do hot drinks :) It is a good point tho’… cooking in the rain. However, I only need 2 stakes to cook… and most tarps (including the SpinnShelter I’m currently using) require a lot of stakes anyway. So I could always temporarily steal the door stakes or even the back corner stakes and the shelter would still stand.Dec 1, 2005 at 4:31 am #1346278
Josuha… re: cooking. I mostly do 2-3 day trips. I cook the meal usually around 5:00 pm or so… on trail… maybe 1-2 hours before making camp. I hear ya tho’. Cooking in camp is a nice ritual. But I like the on trail thing too. I like not having as much fussing to do once I make camp. Also, I’m notorious for not leaving enough time before sunset to get everything done. In the past… I ended up cooking in the dark half the time and missing the sunset. That doesn’t happen so much now that I only have one thing to do once I stop hiking for the day.
It’s really a personal thing though. Some people love the camping part of backpacking… others prefer the hiking part. For me… I just LOVE the hiking part and camp is kind of a necessary evil :) That’s why I love ultralight… because it allows me to really enjoy the hiking… which I would never do with a 40 pound pack. I started backpacking because I always… since I was a kid… just LOVED walking in the woods… or anywhere outdoors… and exploring. I figured I could see a LOT more by doing overnight trips… but I soon discovered that it was SOOOO painful! That 40 pound load was completely ruining the whole reason I went outdoors in the first place. Anyway… long story short… I spend almost all of my time on trail.Dec 1, 2005 at 7:28 am #1346283
The ring thing works very well, but I hadn’t thought of trying it with a Heineken can until you mentioned it. I think it would work better than the H or W (elevation).
I have used the ring with standard pots and Esbit. Just make a ring of screen from a rectangle 1.5 inches wide and as long as necessary to get the ring diameter you need – I use expanded aluminum for the lighter weight and because the wires in hardware cloth are ‘welded’ with zinc. These never weigh more than 1/2 oz. Besides being heavier than aluminum, the zinc melts and the ‘cloth’ falls apart. Anyway, I cut a tongue and inch or so wide in the side of the ring at about the middle of the strip of screen, leaving 1/4 inch attached, and bend it to the inside of the ring to form the tab support. It is pointing at the gap or overlap between the ends of the strip of screen. Depending on the diameter of the ring, the tongue may not go all the way across. If not, just cut a corresponding tongue from the other side. It may be at the gap between the ends of the screen loop. That’s OK. Just use stray wire ends to tie everything together.
If you are totally dedicated to using the windscreen as the pot support, have you tried creasing the sheet vertically? I use tent stakes or coat hanger wire (whichever is within reach) to form the crease over. That will really stiffen the support.Dec 1, 2005 at 12:43 pm #1346296
I like your crease idea. It gave me another idea :) You’d use it unplugped of course… just press down.Dec 1, 2005 at 2:00 pm #1346301
@dangLocale: Pacific Northwet
“If you are totally dedicated to using the windscreen as the pot support, have you tried creasing the sheet vertically? I use tent stakes or coat hanger wire (whichever is within reach) to form the crease over. That will really stiffen the support.”
That’s an excellent idea. I’ve been making my windscreens from a disposable baking sheet. One particular windscreen that I made was too tall to store in a pot, so I’ve been folding it flat. Each time I fold it it gets folded in a different spot so over time it has developed vertical creases. This particular windscreen is much stiffer than my other ones which I roll up and store inside pots. When I fold it I don’t actually make an effort to form a crease, I just fold it so it is kind of flat, without trying to make a crease.Dec 1, 2005 at 5:04 pm #1346322
No need for a crimping iron. Just lay a piece of coathanger wire on a flat surface and mold the windscreen over it. You can notch a piece of wood and use it to chase the shape into the metal.
That’s exactly where I got the idea – old creased windscreens.
Back to the Esbit pot support. This discussion got me going, so I hatched up a better one than I have ever used: A triangular pot stand/Esbit burner out of flashing that weighs (with some Esbit residue) 0.175 oz.!!!
Take a strip of aluminum flashing 8 inches long and 1 1/2 high. fold it with sides 2 1/2 inches long to form a triangle. There will be a 1/2 inch overlap, and make sure the overlap falls right next to a fold. Drill or poke (ice pick) 2 holes (1/8 inch) and pop rivet the overlap. Cut a tongue in the center of each side, 1 inch wide and to within about 3/8 of the bottom of each side. It helps to drill 1/8″ holes where the cuts will end because you will then fold the tongues to the center, and the holes relieve stress and give a good, neat fold. Drill another hole in the middle where the tongues overlap. Take a rectangle of flashing to make a tray to hold the Esbit tablets, drill it in the middle, put the tray in the middle where the tongues overlap, and pop rivet everything together. On my test model, I tapered the pot supports and used a Dremmel to notch the tops to cradle a Heineken can.
The burner worked perfectly, and fits in the can. Now, will you give up the tent stakes. Easy, there. Just back away slowly. It will be OK.Dec 1, 2005 at 6:31 pm #1346329
Hey Vick… 5 grams eh… not bad… not bad at all. Damn good actually… esp. when you consider that the BPL Ti stand is 14 grams! That sounds like a very elegant solution. I love the idea of a triange with notches cut in it to accept the can bottom… that might nestle even better than a ring of metal since the ring would have to be pretty accurate. I’m gonna make one :) That or any other ridged / accordian shaped object. I’m also gonna drill holes in the top of the legs on my BPL Ti stand and fashion a Ti rod triangle. I thought of that right off actually… but these projects have to wait until the weekend.
Anyway… thanks again. The triangle stand sounds like a great solution.Dec 1, 2005 at 6:54 pm #1346330
Take some credit. You got me thinking. And it’s lots better than the gutter screen: lighter and stronger. I made the prototype in about 1/2 hour. Duck soup. No detectible deterioration after 5-6 test runs.
Now my uberlite cookset weights 27 grams. (Sterno pot, lid, windscreen, pot support/burner). Now if I can make paper matches weigh less. Hey, I can save 10 pounds eventually by leaving the cookset and food at home. Hum.Dec 3, 2005 at 4:11 pm #1346437
Holy crap :)
I was just at Canadian Tire buying some roof flashing to play with and I decided to check out the camping section. I was looking at those “can of jelly” stoves when I noticed one that included a stand. The can of gel is useless to me but the stand looked interesting… and it was only 5 bucks.
Anyway… so I get this thing home and Io and behold… to my utter amazement… a Heineken can fits EXACTLY into the thing… perfectly… like a glove… like it was made for it!!! It doubles as a windscreen and stand… no tent stakes OR seperate stand required… one peice. It’s made of stainless so it’s a little heavy… but it’s so perfect and so functional that it’s almost worth it.
Also, for those who don’t want to be bothered with do it yourself projects… this is a total ultralight Esbit stove solution out of the box for 10 bucks! Just buy yourself a beer, a safe cut can opener and a “magic stove”, and you’re set!!! (minus my custom made handles and such).
Weight is 33 grams. Stainless steel.Dec 3, 2005 at 6:03 pm #1346444
This stuff is moving too fast, but anyway:
<Dec 3, 2005 at 7:35 pm #1346446
Thanks for the pics Vick. I’m gonna make one tomorrow.
I don’t know if that magic stove stand would work well as a windscreen… and it’s pretty heavy… relatively speaking… but it’s just a thing of beauty how perfectly a Heineken just happens to nestle into it! It’s so nice I almost don’t care about the extra 20 grams… and I can actually get 10 grams back by going with a titanium pot handle instead of my coat hanger version.
BTW… how do you handle a sterno pot full of hot water? I never carry gloves with me unless it’s late fall / early spring. Just wondering what other people do.
I guess ulimately… these make your own gear discussions are fantastic (invaluable really) for sharing ideas and getting ideas and taking what works for you… but in the end you just have to decide what’s most important to you.
For instance, I don’t think I’d switch to a foil lid. I like using the cut off can lid because it allows me to stow stuff securely inside my pot. It just makes a neat, tight package with the lid held on with an elastic and all my stove parts inside along with my aqua mira (my pot doubles as a bucket for collecting water).
Similarly… I love having a handle on my pot. I could use socks or something to pick up a hot pot… but I like the convenience of a dedicated handle.
I also need at least 16 oz. of volume. Most of the meals I would use (Enertia brand) or make and dehydrate at home (just starting to do this) require a minimum of 12 oz. of hot water.
Mostly I think I just like to tinker :) I mean really… my original 62 gram stove is pretty great… to me at least… FOR me. The challenge of making something insanely light is fun… but there is a point you get to where function starts to fall off… and I guess that point is a little different for everyone. To me, a great design is one that is the most efficient.
That’s what ultralight is all about I think… efficiency… eeking out the most amount of function per gram :) The biggest inefficiency (for it’s prescribed functionality) is the handle. 13 grams is way too much. But the Ti handle (tho’ not as solid) is 3 grams. That’s a huge percentage savings. I don’t know that any new screen and stand combo with save much more than a couple of grams over my original screen + tent stakes.
Of course… that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna make one of those stands tomorrow :)Dec 4, 2005 at 2:45 pm #1346489
What you are getting at is that you have to consider things as parts of systems. Your system involves heating water, water dipping, and packing stuff in the pot. Different system; different priorities; different results.
Here’s something wierd: The small Heineken (16 oz) may be about as efficient for heating 12 oz as the 24 oz can. I don’t know why, and was surprised when tests kept confirming it. This despite doing the testing with an alcohol burner that is also the pot support, and doesn’t heat the whole bottom. Doesn’t make sense that the smaller can would be as efficient, but there you are.
RE: the Sterno can/pot, I put a bail on it. 22 gauge wire ring with a wire bail twisted on it, the ring torqued around the pot below the rim. Super light (1g for the bail) and effective. Cooking with 8 oz of water is restrictive, but works OK for me. But sometimes I take a larger pot: a cut down 24 oz Heineken.
The cut down 24 oz. Heineken: Cut just above the bottom flare of the top flange. Anneal with mini-torch (carefully, to avoid burning. I fill the can w/water to w/in 1 inch of top and tip after heating short sections to chill it the metal as I go.) Using a hardwood dowell over a wooden edge, I chase the slightly flared top edge to the outside until it is perpendicular to the can wall, annealing as needed, then fold it down over the wire harness that holds the bail. This forms a finished lip on the outside where it does not catch water, etc.
The result is a pot that holds 16 oz. comfortably. The trick of using a Heineken top or bottom as a lid doesn’t work on the (now) wider top. I make a lid from oven liner. To keep everything in, I twist the bail. Simple. By the way, I notice you use a wire handle on your lid. A rectangle of aluminum tape, folded in the middle so 1/2 inch is stuck to itself, the rest stuck to the lid – makes a good, superlight, foolproof lid handle. (I like foolproof stuff. I need foolproof stuff :)
Tinkering is its own reward. Especially tinkering with cooking gear. I worry about that a lot. My significant other gets lotsa laughs off it. In truth, I have saved lots more weight making SUL packs, sleeping bags and shelters than I could ever hope to save on cook-kit weight.Dec 4, 2005 at 3:14 pm #1346492
Hey Vick… re: tinkering… yah… I agree. I guess that was my point about my 62 gram original design. I just started questioning that. I mean… I could spend a week playing with different stand and screen designs and all I might hope to save is 2-3 grams! :P But I do it because it’s just fun to tinker and invent.
By far, the easiest place to save the most weight on my original design is the wire pot handle… which was a whopping (lol) 13 grams. The Titanium handle is 3 grams! But it’s pretty bendy with a pot full of water. I’m going to make another one that’s a two handled design… like a stock pot. It will have two short handles… one on each side… and require two hands to use. Just gonna try it to see how I like it. I lose the use of a hand… but two short stubby handles will be much more stable than the one long handle. The handle is used for one purpose only BTW… to transfer the hot water from my stove and pour it into my dehydrated meal.
I tried a bail way back when I first designed this thing… but found it hard to pour with… and I also found the rising steam hitting my hand was uncomfortable… plus is actually failed at one point when one end ripped out from the edge of the soft aluminum can. The latter issue could be easily solved with design changes.
I love the idea of the cut down can!!! I’ve never done that because I figure it would get really weak. But the idea of installing a custom wire lip is brilliant. So you just use a propane torch to soften things up do you? I’ll have to try that. The only 16 oz. beer cans I can buy here are tall and very skinny. They would be way too weak… too small a diameter to be stable on my tent stakes… and impossible to eat my morning cereal out of :) There is no 16 oz. Heineken can here… just a 12 oz and the 24 oz. That’s why I use the 24… but it never has more than 16 oz. of water in it and in most cases only 12 oz. There’s some wasted weight right there!
Great lid handle idea too! The lid would never get hot enough to melt the glue. The wire you see on my lid is a paper clip btw… weights pretty much nothing and it folds down for packing. The lid is 6 grams. To much weight for what it does… I know. I’m just kind of anal retentive and I like the neatness of the factory made lid… plus it’s great for packing things inside. But 6 grams for a lid is a bit much. A peice of foil would weight almost nothing.
As for the system comment… yah… it’s about making the most efficent solution for your given set of criteria. Anyone could say they have the lightest cook system… but at what cost? I do a lot of coastal hiking… so I could say that the lightest system would be to boil water in a found sea shell over an open fire… system weight… zero :)
p.s. that “magic stove” stand I just realized must just be nickle-plated tin. No way is that stainless steel :)Dec 4, 2005 at 4:12 pm #1346495
Yup, bails are not easy to pour with.
Have you tried forming a lid with oven liner/cookie sheet? Same process, chase it with a hardwood stick and anneal as you go. Work slowly and you can get a pretty professional-looking job. Not that I ever bother. The torch is a micro butane torch. A full-sized propane torch would easily wreck this thin aluminum.
You are right, the small Heineken is 12 oz., not 16, but it holds 14 oz when filled to the rim, so 12 oz is a good working amount. The cut-down Heineken is useable as a bowl or cup, but I still carry a separate cup. Either a cut down Platypus (Why don’t they make these? With a HANDLE!) or a Ziploc storage cup sans lid. They weigh the same: 0.3 oz. The Platypus has the virtue of folding into a small space. And the Sterno pot fits part of the way into the Ziploc cup. Alternatively, the Ziploc fits in the cutdown Heineken. Lots of options. The Ziploc cup is more stable, more convenient and easier to clean, so I prefer it. You have to use the Platy two-handed.
If you get the double handle rig worked out just right, it will clamp your pot lid on. – Try pivoting the handles on a wire ring around the pot.
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