Jack McGuire of Hike N’ Light, Inc., has created an alcohol stove with a 4-inch diameter burner that may very well be the ticket for heating large volumes of water in big pots, something most alcohol stoves aren’t particularly adept at.
A cottage industry manufacturer from Mountainside, N.J., Hike N’ Light offers an alcohol-based burner that is unique on the market for its substantial burner size that is easily larger than most homemade and commercially available alcohol stoves. Consequently, the Hike N’ Light stove may be one of the few alcohol stove designs particularly suitable for those wanting to cook for larger groups or with larger pots.
The burner weighs 2.0 oz and is accompanied by three clips that secure to the burner and weigh 0.7 oz (total), plus a preheat pad that weighs 1.4 oz (verified on our scales). Thus, as shipped, the stove weighs a total of 4.1 oz (manufacturer’s claim is 4.0 oz) but does not include a windscreen (the manufacturer recommends doubled-over aluminum foil with an air intake vent cut into the bottom).
The manufacturer recommends using approximately two tablespoons of alcohol (i.e., 30 ml, or about 1 oz) to preheat the stove, with 1-3 oz of alcohol in the burner (which has a 3-oz capacity. Reported burn times by the manufacturer are: 6.25, 15+, and 45 minutes for 1, 2, or 3 oz of burner fuel, respectively.
Preliminary Performance Review
We’ve had the chance to run several tests with the Hike ‘N Light Alcohol Stove. The most important lesson we learned is that for most mild conditions, the amount of preheat fuel recommended by the manufacturer was excessive, causing the burner to overheat and burn its fuel faster than necessary, and causing a large flame pattern that not only engulfed the cookpot (Figure 1), but also made it dangerous and risky to access the cookpot’s lid, or to cook under the protection of an awning of a tent or tarp. Once the preheat fuel was consumed, however, the flame was tempered to a more manageable fire (Figure 2) with a nice-looking burn pattern.
Our first impression of the Hike N’ Light stove was that of excessive weight and fuel consumption when compared to smaller stoves available on the market or made by using "homemade" instructions (i.e., pop can stoves). However, as we play with it a bit more, it is clear that the Hike N’ Light’s flame pattern may have potential to allow alcohol stove cooking to be accomplished for higher water volumes (e.g., groups, boiling snow, large pots). For more performance-based information about the Hike N’ Light Stove, you may want to consult the more comprehensive reviews performed by the BackpackGearTest organization.
Hike N’ Light, Inc.
P.O. Box 1423
Mountainside, N.J. 07092