Oct 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm #1240427
Hello all, was wondering which stove/fuel type is more efficient for trips of 14-20 days(planning JMT trip). Just solo cooking.
I usually use a Vargo Jet Ti cannister stove with Ti pot w/lid. Excellent, but looking at alternatives for longer trip that would not require carrying the empty canisters about.
I have started looking at UL alcohol and esbit alternatives and really dig the Caldera Keg system in either Alcohol or the GVP esbit style available from Gossamer Gear.
I know esbit will require careful planning with regards to resupply/packing, as I hear it is not readily available at supply spots in the Sierras.
Am I being too finicky and will be fine with cannister? or is there a considerable advantage to be gained by using a different stove/fuel type(such as an Esbit Caldera keg system) for longer outings such as the JMT?Oct 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm #1538155
Konrad .BPL Member
hey there, check out these 2 links. I found them very helpful.
Also, i havent looked into it much, but are there post offices that are nearby and off trail? You could always do a bounce box, and pre-mail a supply of esbit tabs to the location that you plan on resupplying. Could probably do the same for alcohol depending on what carrier you use, and what regulations are in placeOct 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm #1538162
@lori999Locale: Central Valley
You can buy fuel on the way (expensive) or send it to one of the resupply spots, or rely on someone to bring it in to you (best friend?).
I believe they sell alcohol by the ounce – it gets expensive. Canisters are sold in the gear stores in Yosemite – the store in the valley is like an REI.Oct 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm #1538175
My comments are probably out of line because I've never done something like that but I do own a Caldera Keg System. Both the Esbit gram cracker stove and the alcohol stove. Will resupplying really be necessary?
With Esbits, even if you do 20 days at 2 tablets per day you'd be carrying 20 oz of tablets and a 6 gram stove. Your cook set will be about 5.5 oz. In fact, this will probably be over kill.
You can boil 12 oz. of water on less than one tablet. With 2 tablets per day you can probably average 3 boils (12oz.) per day depending upon temperature.
As a safety precaution you could just send a 12 pack of Esbits ahead and pick them up if needed.Oct 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm #1538176
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Your Jet-Ti will be fine.
Carrying ONE empty canister around is probably going to be the least of your worries! If you can puncture it or smash the valve in with a Ti stake you could leave it at one of the towns along the way too.
For 14 days you might get away with just one canister. 20 days – take two and enjoy.
CheersOct 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm #1538197
Laurence BeckBPL Member
@becklaLocale: Southern California
You can pick up fuel at Muir Trail Ranch. You can also pick up a resupply there. I have used this service before and it is quite reliable.Oct 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm #1538198
Not at all to dissuade you from using Esbit or alcohol if that's your preference, but if you did decide to go with a canister:
Primus makes a 450g canister. For a 14 – 20 day trip, you should be able to get by with one canister. One 450g canister would be less of a weight penalty than two 200g range canisters. They're available at REI and A16.
[Geek Warning On]
The one down side to Primus canisters is that they're a tad more expensive per gram than some. At REI, Primus' 450g canister costs 2.2 cents per gram whereas Snow Peak's 220g canister costs 2.0 cents per gram.
[Geek Warning Off]
0.2 cents is probably the least of your worries out on the trail. :)
Happy hiking.Oct 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm #1538200
Thank you all! Roger, I suspect you are right… well, I know you are right ;)Oct 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm #1538203
Jim… I loved the geek warnings ;)Oct 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm #1538217
Bob BankheadBPL Member
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Esbit tablets are now stocked at the Mt Whitney hostel in Lone Pine and at the Mt Whitney Store at Whitney Portal.
Muir Trail Ranch also carries Esbit tablets, as well as fuel canisters for most stoves.
I've never been to Vermillion Valley so can't comment about their store, but I have not found Esbit tablets at the stores at either Reds Meadow or Tuolumne Meadows. You'll have to ship them to yourself there or start out with enough to reach MTR.
At only 0.5 oz each, it's not hard to carry enough to do the entire JMT.Oct 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm #1538230
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
On a 14-20 day trip there isn't going to be a huge weight difference between the Vargo Jet Ti, a high efficiency alcohol stove, or a good esbits system. ayce did a nice stove weight over 14 days article/gram. My experience is slightly different but are similar.
If you like using a canister stove… then by all means take it on the JMT. It will work well and be pretty hassle free. I wouldn't stress about carrying an extra 3oz (empty fuel canister).
As others have noted there are several places you can do easy resupply (at least for canister and alcohol… and I guess esbits according to someone in this thread) . The JMT is short enough not to require resupplying fuel… but my preference would be to do a resupply at Reds, Muir Ranch, or VVR for food, and while I am at it I would do fuel/canister. I am pretty sure I have seen iso butane canisters for sale at all three. I seem to recall alcohol for sale at Muir ranch, but it was at a hideous markup.
There is always the option of going stoveless. This summer I ended up going stoveless because it was going to be warm enough that I didn't want to bother cooking.
–MarkOct 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm #1538237
First LastBPL Member
@snusmumrikenLocale: SF Bay Area
You can buy fuel canisters in Yosemite Valley, Tuolomne Meadows, Reds Meadow, VVR and Muir Trail Ranch. So no need to carry more than one.Oct 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm #1538266
OK, I'm lost here. Is the link that first Konrad and then Mark posted, http://www.thru-hiker.com/articles/stoveweight_vs_time_14days.php saying that an alcohol stove becomes the lighter option as the length of the trip gets longer? Surely, I'm mis-reading this, yes?
The weight of an alcohol stove is less than than of a canister stove, but alcohol produces less heat per gram than canister fuel. Therefore, as a trip increases in length, so much alcohol is required that the weight of the alcohol stove + fuel exceeds the weight of the heavier canister stove because of it's more-heat-per-gram LPG fuel.
The link Konrad and Mark posted seems to suggest the opposite. What am I missing here?Oct 20, 2009 at 6:26 pm #1538278
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
You're missing the weight of the canister that must be carried, as the longer the trip, the more canisters must be carried, negating some of the increased fuel efficiency of the of the canister gases. if re-supply along the way is an option then this is not such a big issue, but if you need to carry three canisters from the very start of your trip and can't throw away the empties, then it adds up. An empty 220g canister is around 110-120 grams from memory.Oct 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm #1538280
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
"For 14 days you might get away with just one canister. 20 days – take two and enjoy."
BTW, we plan on getting 2.5-3 days from one 220g canister for two people (that's around 5-6 days for one canister for one person). But we cook a lot. For a 14 day trip that would add up to a LOT of extra canister weight. Ugggh. Obviously you need to work out how much you need to cook, and then work out how much fuel that will take, then decide if you can re-supply conveniently and when.Oct 21, 2009 at 9:15 am #1538433
You're missing the weight of the canister that must be carried, as the longer the trip, the more canisters must be carried, negating some of the increased fuel efficiency of the of the canister gases. if re-supply along the way is an option then this is not such a big issue, but if you need to carry three canisters from the very start of your trip and can't throw away the empties, then it adds up. An empty 220g canister is around 110-120 grams from memory.
Ah, I see what you're saying. For 14 days, I would only need one 220g canister, so I hadn't thought of the weight of an extra canister.Oct 21, 2009 at 10:34 am #1538452
Scott BentzBPL Member
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
On our JMT this year we used canisters for the 4 of us. We had 2 stoves between the 4 of us. We were out 14 days and never ran out of fuel using the 8 oz. canister. We only cooked once a day to heat water for dinners. We boiled about 40 oz. of water each night for dehydrated meals and soups. We did not cook the night we were at Vermillion, nor the last day, so, that would be 12 days of cooking. There is very little fuel left in the canister and I would guess we probably have 1 boil left.Oct 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm #1538483
Well, I ordered a Caldera Cone for my Ti solo pot and a Gram Cracker Ti solid fuel kit. Figured I could get a bit of versatility out of my current kit… and go canister, alcohol, or solid fuel with the cone and Gram Cracker… all using my same solo pot. I figured that, at the very least, my weekend kit could benefit from the weight reduction of the cone and Gram Cracker combo. I skipped on the keg system.Oct 21, 2009 at 1:30 pm #1538505
Ryan TealeBPL Member
@monstertruck-2Locale: Almost Yosemite
Here is my post from another thread I started. May be of interest.
I hadn't seen much info about Esbit usage with the Caldera Keg and wanted to share my experience.
My setup for my JMT hike this summer was as follows..
Caldera Cone and Heine Can 2.63oz
Supplied Cup and Stuff Sack 1.57oz
Gram Cracker, plate, zip bag .42oz
REI Waterproof matches (25) .6oz
Mini Bic .5oz
Ziploc bag for Heine can to keep cup clean .25oz
total is 6oz
3pack esbit tabs 1.55oz
FBC ultralight cozy .8oz
I only used the can to boil water for my freezerbag meal and a hot drink using one tablet. For each meal in varied ambient and water temps I was able to bring 24oz of water to a boil and pour what I needed into my mealbag. This would leave some hot water in the can to which I would add a bit more cold water and place back over the flame. Letting the Esbit tab burn out would leave me with 12-14 oz of water quite hot enough for coffee in the morning or tea at night!
I was very impressed with the performance and brought too many tabs for the first half of the hike. A fuel weight of 8oz (16 tabs) for the last 8days put my total cooking setup under 16oz!
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