Sep 19, 2012 at 8:58 pm #1294261
i recently bought a flat bottom foster can from zelph — i'm curious what people are doing to protect these while backpacking. what has been your experience with the durability of this set-up with/without protection? thoughts?Sep 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm #1913926
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
I took my Fosters out for it's maiden voyage a few weeks ago. I had set it up at home once to try it out and even showed some scouts how it worked but I never used it on a trip. I had a few days and headed out to do South Lake North Lake loop in the Sierra.
The first night I got on the trail late so I did not cook since I set up in the dark. So, the next day I used it when I had to stop early due to rain and hail before heading up Muir Pass. I have a Trail Designs GVP set up. I noticed the Esbit was making a bunch of weird noises. I figured it had gotten wet in the rain and was just moist or something. It got my pot hot but not boiling.
The next night I was at Muir Trail Ranch. Once again, when I set the pot up the Esbit was flashing and acting funny. It was late so I really didn't have time to check it out since it was dark when I got my water hot.
The next night I got to my camp relatively early and had time to boil my water in sunlight. It was then I noticed my pot had a pin hole in it. The water would run down the can and hit the Esbit and that would make it flash and make all kind of noises. I had a hole after only 4 times boiling water!
When I got back I contacted Trail Designs and Rand got right back to me. The first question was "how did you pack the can in your pack?' Well, I had the can inside my pack with the Caldera inside. He asked if I had used the caddy. Uh, well, no. That was my problem. I just placed the can in the sylnylon bag it came in but did not take the caddy. The cans are real thin and it just worked a small hole in it pretty quickly. I now have a new can and will use the caddy.
The reason I did not use the caddy was 1. weight and 2. I use a plastic cup to rehydrate my food in so I didn't feel the need to have two of them. I will now just rehydrate in the caddy. I can keep it clean by placing the Fosters can in the bag first since the Esbit leaves a nasty residue.
I guess I could have answered this by saying: In order to protect a Fosters can do not put it in your pack without something else (like the caddy) around it as the can is real thin.Sep 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm #1913933
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
First of all you need to make sure you have a can with several of the "folds" added to the circumference of the can. That prevents too much flexing of the can. Repeated or extreme flexing usually causes a pin-hole in the center fold.
Now, you need to just be careful. I guess that is part of UL hiking. Less gear and easier to pack. I had a pin-hole in a Foster can earlier this year and mentioned it in a trip report. Rand sent me an email that I had the old style can without the extra crimps or folds. And that can lasted close to two years, all without the HEAVY caddy. And I do backpack a lot.
I did recently buy a Caldera ULC, which will solve the pin-hole issue at less weight than including the Caddy. But when I later ordered new Foster cans, I may not need to use the ULC. Time will tell.Sep 20, 2012 at 5:48 am #1913973
I put it in last, in the top of the mesh pocket on the back of my pack
If you have to pack too tightly, you may have too much stuff.Sep 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm #1914238
Some people that have the 2 cup capacity flat bottom are using the container that Country Time Lemonade comes in. It can be purchased at Kmart. Sam's sells cotton candy in quart size containers that work well. Food stores sell product in their "deli" departments packed in lightweight 1 quart plastic containers that people are using for their Fosters.Sep 21, 2012 at 7:03 am #1914333
sweet — thanks for the responses. i've got a caddy from trail designs from a caldera cone that i'll try. it's 2.5 oz, but i'll try the suggestion of having it double as a bowl and cup. thanks again.Sep 21, 2012 at 7:04 am #1914335
Chad “Stick” PoindexterParticipant
@stickLocale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
I don't have the Fosters can, but I do have a Heine can that I use with Esbit. The way I typically pack it is by putting everything inside the can and then using a simple cuben fiber stuff sack around it. This pretty much fills the can and will not allow the can to be pushed/dented in unless it is a strong amount of force. I also use a tuperware bowl as my cup which happens to fit over the top of the Heine set-up perfectly. This does provide a bit of protection to the top of the can where it is the weakest. (The bottom of the can is stronger simply because it is still intact.)
When packing it up in my pack, depending on which food bag and backpack I use, sometimes I will pack it inside the food bag standing up so that when I put the food bag in my pack the Heine can will actually be next to the side of my backpack. Nothing will be putting any side pressure against the set-up. The only way to damage it here is if I were to slam my pack into something (which I do not. I do not sit on my pack or throw it on the ground, at least not with this particular set-up…) Otherwise, in m smaller pack, I will pack everything up in the pack and then set the Heine set-up on the very top before I cinch the top closed. Here again, nothing is putting pressure on the system unless I abuse my pack…
(I do understand that accidents happen, but I try my best to be careful with my gear when on the trail. I know that I need it, as well, I don't want to have to replace it because of my carelessness… Besides, when it comes to a true accident, everything is up in the air…)
If it helps any, here is a write up I did on my Heine system with pics and a video which shows how everything nest's inside the can and how it fits really compact…I think it is a great system…but then again, I am partial to it… :)
Also, here is a pic too:Sep 21, 2012 at 8:07 am #1914347
@towalyLocale: Smoky Mtns.
Just put something inside it that fills it up, and that will support the walls enough to prevent average crush forces inside the pack.
It won't prevent it from crushing if you sit on it, but having it filled-up will do wonders for its strength, compared to having it empty.
Use the empty space.Sep 21, 2012 at 8:50 am #1914364
Toby, these 2 photos show the 2 cup fosters flat bottom in the plastic container that had cotton candy in it. The container with lid weighs 1.5oz. That's a 1 oz. reduction over the CC container. The one I show has tapered walls for easy cleaning if you use it as a bowl. The container is food grade.
</center>Sep 22, 2012 at 11:36 am #1914651
if you are carrying extra wt to protect your foster pot, it negates the advantage of it. Figure out how to protect it without carrying any extra wt.Sep 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm #1914658
"Just put something inside it that fills it up, and that will support the walls enough to prevent average crush forces inside the pack."
Crushing is Not the issue. It's the small flex-flex-flex you get from just walking long.
Like Nick said: "Repeated or extreme flexing usually causes a pin-hole in the center fold."
And it isn't necessarily "extreme". I packed mine in the top layer, with something on either side, and was careful with how tight I cinched things. 400 miles later I had a pin hole. This was, in part, due to a single center strap securing the lid that may have worked the can. Two straps might have saved the day by spreading out the forces.
If you pack a Fosters "naked" you Have to pay attention to how much flex it will see from straps and other gear. The Heineken is much more robust in this respect, and at under an ounce is worth considering.Sep 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm #1914661
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
What you guys really need is a titanium version of a Foster's can. It would not be as cheap, but it would withstand the flexing since titanium is stiff.
You can always pack stuff inside the can, and spare socks work good for that. But if you are packing your socks in there, you don't have much room for the fuel or other cooking tools, so you may not gain much. If you put your other cooking tools inside the socks inside the can, that may help.
Did you ever notice that titanium pots have no side ridges, because they don't need them? Titanium pots sometimes have top ridges to make the top rim solid and to make a place for the lid to land.
–B.G.–Sep 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm #1914666
"What you guys really need is a titanium version of a Foster's can."
The closest pot that I have found is the Evernew Ti .75 L Ultralight Pasta Pot, (ECA521). It weighs in at 3.3 ounces, with the lid. So remove the handles and leave the lid, for maybe 2 ounces? It is 4.36 inches tall, which might force you into 'Sidewider' cone if you want everything to fit inside. (Which I prefer.) It is a contender, especially since in has smooth straight walls, making cleaning a little easier.
But for now I'll stick with the Heine.Sep 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm #1914668
I have that pasta pot and love it and the fusion cone that I have from Trail designs. All fits inside. Basically a ULC with a booster cone on the bottom.Sep 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm #1914670
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
My titanium cooking vessel won't crush due to its shape. But then, it is unusual. It is a 20-fluid-ounce titanium bowl, so it is somewhat wide and rounded and weighs 1.8 ounces. I just fit my plastic eating bowl into it and not a lot else.
–B.G.–Sep 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm #1914672
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
The .6L version is lighter (3.2oz) but I think its been discontinued.
Of course replacing the lid and removing the silicone covered handles would shave off a few oz. But its such an awesome pot and the handles are nice.
MLD has a titanium mug that small and weighs like 1.6 ounces.
its pretty small though I dont even know if it has the capacity to rehydrate a mountain house.Sep 24, 2012 at 5:34 am #1915092
I've been using a full size fosters for a little while now (only brought it on one 1week trip so far). It's been easy to pack it so it isn't crushed, but tt probably is receiving a bit of flex.
It occurs to me that if I need to bring a caddy, a 1oz pot requiring a caddy is a waste of weight when I could just bring a much stronger Ti pot that is 1.8ish oz or even a little more with zero weight penalty.
Anybody have a suggestion for an 18fl oz pot close to the 1oz mark?Sep 24, 2012 at 8:33 am #1915132
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Get a ti pot to protect the fosters lol.Sep 24, 2012 at 11:55 am #1915176
@heyyouLocale: Cutting brush off of the Arizona Tr
Andrew posted "Anybody have a suggestion for an 18fl oz pot close to the 1oz mark?"
I believe that would be Bob's Ti bowl. The Snow Peak Ti Bowl weighs 1.9 at Campmor, 1.8 at Backcountry, and 1.6 at REI, so buy at REI. ;) Are those big corporations using postage scales? Does Ti weigh progressively more from the West Coast to the East Coast?Sep 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm #1915244
@leighbLocale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
OK, I'm sure that this post will cause my Foster can to immediately fall apart, but I have a regular Foster can without ridges, that I made into a pot 3 years ago, and only use for boiling water. I store my diy windscreen inside it along with my alcohol stove,lighter and small pc of quick dry towel as a pot holder,stick a McDonald's regular small coffee cup on top for drinks, and slip it in a cuben bag, and it goes on top of my food bag at the top of my pack. I am careful with it and I honestly can't believe it's lasted this long….having said that,right about now I'm sure it's in its gear drawer disintegrating :D…I think I'm going to make another this weekend just to be safe!Sep 8, 2015 at 10:16 am #2225573
@namtragLocale: Flatlands of Virginia
I am just starting down the path of making my own Foster's pot. I had a few things to ask about regarding keeping them from flexing too much and causing a pinhole like is being referred to above. First, cutting the can down a little shorter, and adding the top from a tuna can to it, ala Sintax77's youtube video…would that add some rigidity? Second, how about the wrapping of kevlar cord or fiberglass string around the middle of the can for picking it up when hot…if the cord wrap was 2+" in vertical height along the can, would that maybe help too? And third, has anyone tried to mush (scientific term) one Foster's can into another one that is cut in half? You could wrap the kevlar cord around at the seam. That seems like it would add rigidity as well. Thanks for the help!Sep 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm #2225627
@byeagerLocale: New England
I kept my Fosters pot simple. I bought a Fosters, drank it, and then used a can opener to remove the top inside the top rim. Leaving the rim intact presumably makes it more crush resistant. I keep my windscreen and stove inside but don't do anything else to protect it. Leaving the rim intact also lets me use a cat food cover as a lid. I have Duct Tape on my trekking pole in case it were to fail on the trail (which has not happened to me yet). When it gets pretty beat up (or even really dirty) I just drink another Fosters.Sep 8, 2015 at 2:48 pm #2225632
@dafiremedicLocale: Southern California
I've made 3 Fosters pots and here's what I found. The ridges are the only way to add rigidity without adding weight. The tuna can rim or something like it is a necessity if you cut the can down. It does add rigidity to the rim, but the middle section is still very fragile without ridges. The fiberglass wrapping by itself is flexible and doesn't add much rigidity, but would if you added resin or some other substance to give it strength. Of course, this would also add weight. I haven't tried meshing a second Fosters can onto one, but I have to think that any gained rigidity would be minimal (much less than you would gain from ridges) and just add weight. I just added ridges. As was alluded to earlier in the thread, any efforts to add strength and rigidity to the can have to be balanced against the weight gain involved, otherwise it defeats the purpose of using such a thin, UL pot in the first place. I had fun making my pots and occasionally use one, but for the most part I just use a Ti mug now due to the strength vs. weight issues. I did get 2 pinholes over a few months in my first Fosters pot. A finger swipe of super glue works well to patch them. The other 2 have held up fine so far with careful handling and packing, but they haven't gotten used much. I never used any kind of protective container.Sep 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm #2225651
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Weighing a couple SnowPeak ti bowls on a jewelry scale, I got 1.78 and 1.85 oz. Toughness and utility count as well as weight in my book and these are light 'nuff. You can add a wire bail, or better yet, get the pot handle from a Trangia 28T kit (part number 600282), adding 0.71 oz. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=105165 I can think of no way to truly protect a Foster's pot that won't double the weight (or more). The best case scenario is a plastic can that you can use to eat/drink from a la Caldera.Sep 9, 2015 at 8:59 am #2225728
@namtragLocale: Flatlands of Virginia
Thanks for all the insight, guys. We probably will eventually end up with a Toaks or similar pot. Right now all we do is boil water with a jetboil and rehydrate freeze bag meals and make instant coffee, so we don't even need a pot, since the jetboil has one. This whole rabbit trail started because of Shug lol. I discovered his channel on Youtube, and I watched his cook kit videos and it got me interested in alcohol stoves, which then led me to research pots. My wife was resistant to branching out since the jetboil serves our purposes so well, but I told her it would be kind of fun to do some do it yourself pots and cups. I ended up ordering a kit from Zelph (the GoTo stove kit), and we are looking forward to trying it out. My wife is making me carry the jetboil with the alcohol stove kit, so I am actually adding weight by doing this, at least for now! (next thing you know, I will be trying to talk her into hammocks lol)
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