Feb 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm #1255440
I was going to cut out a winter stove base from a thin 3 ply piece of plywood and coat with water-based PU water-sealant, but then thought:
a) the plywood is not really that light
b) do you really need plywood with a remote canister stove (Powermax Xtreme) which uses a baking pan wind screen?
In other words, if the baking pan windscreen which sits around the burner with cutouts for stove legs shields snow underneath from much of the heat of the flame, is there a lighter material than wood which can be used which won't melt?Feb 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm #1575481
A disposable pie tin would work, or your snow shovel if you are already carrying it.Feb 18, 2010 at 4:37 pm #1575490
Will my baking tin windscreen keep enough heat away from the pie tin stove base that the base won't conduct enough heat to melt snow under it?
Have you tried it?
That's what I thought, just double checking.Feb 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm #1575509
First of all, let me state that when I snow camp, I use an MSR-XGK stove with the standard windscreen. It isn't the lightest stove in the world, but it is very reliable and it is a blowtorch. If I am melting snow for 4-5 people, then I want a blowtorch. If I use it in a fancy situation, several days, where extreme lightness is not a priority, I use a base made of Masonite covered with single layer aluminum foil. If I am traveling a long distance and extreme lightness is a priority, then I use ordinary corrugated cardboard covered with two layers of aluminum foil. If you use the cardboard version very long, it might absorb moisture from the snow and get soft.
The size is big enough to base both the burner and part of the fuel tank, for stability.
–B.G.–Feb 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm #1575513
. . .I use ordinary corrugated cardboard covered with two layers of aluminum foil.
Thanks, I was wondering if you could use something light like cardboard wrapped in tin or aluminum foil. I assume that CCF would melt, even covered with tin or aluminum foil?Feb 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm #1575515
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
I use the 3/ply to give me a more solid base then a pie tin. The last thing I want is for my hot water to "sift" just before I need it.Feb 18, 2010 at 5:42 pm #1575516
I thought of cardboard treated with PU water seal and then foil over it for extra protection – what do you think?
I'm already carrying extra weight in winter so would like to keep things light as possible.
Your stove is a blowtorch but it also uses less safe white gas, it's super loud, gives off more fumes and is heavy. You would be surprised at how efficient the Xtreme and Powermax cartridges can be with a good windscreen (not to mention using pot cozies).Feb 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm #1575534
> I'm already carrying extra weight in winter so would like to keep things light as possible.
My 150 mm (6") square 3-ply stove base weighs 45 g (1.59 oz). The trade-off between weight and reliability suits me.
I could maybe reduce that weight by 10 – 15 g, but at a cost of reliability imho. Not worth the risk to me.
CheersFeb 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm #1575541
The thinnest lightest 3 ply plywood I could find at Home Depot is so much heavier than cardboard we have that for short 2-3 day winter trips, which is the norm for us, I'd like to go lighter than the plywood. I think the weight savings in our case would be at least 2/3 if not more.
Shovel could always be a backup too.
Roger, you are our stove (plus a bunch of other stuff) guru. Have learned so much from you, including improving our Xtreme stove. Thanks again.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm #1575692
My concern about cardboard is that I do actually cook a bit – in the pot. When I am stirring the pot I push it around a bit. I worry that one of the legs on the stove might get pushed downwards too hard, and the cardboard might crease and give away. Wouldn't I look silly if I had to tell my wife that I had to scrape dinner up off the ground … :-)
It would be different I think if all you ever did was boil water for FBC. Might work well then.
CheersFeb 18, 2010 at 10:11 pm #1575695
Good point. What about the pie tin approach? That shouldn't give way. And with a good wind screen keeping the Xtreme burner heat going to the pot and not back down, don't you think it won't melt the snow?Feb 18, 2010 at 10:12 pm #1575696
You might possibly try foamboard covered in three layers of aluminum foil.
There is no danger with white gas stoves if you know what you're doing. A loud stove is a multipurpose thing. It doubles as an alarm clock.
–B.G.–Feb 18, 2010 at 10:15 pm #1575697
I may experiment with the 3 ply and see what the square just large enough to support the stove weighs – the 2 x 4 ft. sheet was only $5, and I could always use the scraps for other projects.
Another approach would be to use the 3 ply square and drill as many larger holes as possible to reduce weight without compromising floatation.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm #1575699
Roger, just remember, people actually cook meals for years in cardboard solar cookers.
Cardboard takes extreme heat to burn unless exposed to a direct flame.
I'm not an expert in winter cooking, just wanted to throw this out there.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:18 pm #1575700
Bob yes other people's white gas stoves do function as our alarm clock.
Foam board may be worth a shot. Probably worth coating with PU before putting foil around it. Foam board is surprisingly strong yet light and we have some pieces lying around.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm #1575701
I'm assuming by 3-ply you guys are talking about "Luan"
that's a good choice, as it is generally veneered with exotic hardwood, and uses "exterior grade" glues as opposed to regular plywood. exterior glues are highly water resistant.
Luan goes for ~$10 a 4×8 sheet, so is very economical.
edit: my point about the hardwood was this: different types of wood are more or less flame resistant, most standard ply-wood is made from pine, and less ignition resistant.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm #1575710
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
> Your stove is a blowtorch but it also uses less safe white gas,
I keep hearing about white gas being less safe. I understand the logical possibilities, but let's get realistic — what matters to me is how likely I am to have a problem when using white gas.
Assuming that one is careful, and that one has a well-designed stove, what are the odds that one will have a safety problem with the white gas setup? Personally, I think the odds are so slim that I don't care.
Comments, anyone? Preferably actual first-hand experiences, not just theoretical.
Disclaimer: I have used white gas since I can remember, in a variety of stoves, including cooking in my tent or igloo in the winter time.Feb 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm #1575711
Good to know about types of plywood, and I think the 2 x 4 piece I have at $5 is sided by hardwood (and is sanded smooth), but with our stove and windscreen the flame won't come close enough to the wood to ignite it.
Main concerns are stable platform + light weight + durable enough not to have to replace every trip (but I guess ok every few trips if the material is cheap and can can be recycled from scraps like foamboard).
I'd be fine with a 2 oz piece of plywood if it weighs 2 oz. The thin 2 x 4 piece I have is so heavy it's hard to believe a 6-7 in. square could be 2 oz.
But it would be nice to find something that will work that weighs almost nothing. Foamboard looks like it could work.
The shovel head is a backup but not perfect – not such an easy shape to work with and don't want to take up a lot of snow table space when we have a group kitchen.
Foamboard is so light I'll probably bring it just to try it.Feb 18, 2010 at 11:00 pm #1575713
Robert and Bob, check out Roger's Xtreme review:
"This stove is rated to 4.1 kW (14,000 BTU/hr), and that is far more than I shall ever need or use, and more than most any other light stove I have seen. Suffice to say that this stove will match or exceed most any other stove I have tested for power output – and that does include white gas and kerosene stoves!
Popular myth has it that you must have a white gas stove to get good snow-melting power, and that canister stoves don't have the power. Well, I have yet to find a white gas stove which can put out 4.1 kW (14,000 BTU/hr)! As discussed in Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking Part II: Commercially Available Canister Stove Systems, the butane/propane fuel used in canister stoves is not fundamentally different from white gas as a fuel. The canister stoves just have more power! Perhaps I should add here that the myth probably comes from attempts to use an upright screw-thread canister stove, or even one of those old Bleuet stoves, in the snow. They are not winter stoves, but this one is.
While the Coleman Xtreme can roar, it can also be turned down to a very low simmer."
I have used white gas with friends – not a fan of the noise or smell, will use it when I have to. Have only seen one flare up, but have read and heard about a good number of singed eyebrows and tents/jackets.Feb 18, 2010 at 11:11 pm #1575718
White gas can be a problem if you need to travel by airliner. However, for most trips where you get to the trailhead by auto, white gas has never been a problem for me.
Once on a high altitude expedition, every single tent group was using white gas stoves. My tent group did all of our melting and cooking in the tent vestibule, and all it took was one sheet of aluminum foil to be the flare shield to prevent burning the tent down.
For that trip, I had a 5×5" sheet of scrap fiberglas printed circuit board covered in two layers of aluminum foil, and that was the stove base for a couple of weeks. In fact, I still have it.
–B.G.–Feb 18, 2010 at 11:22 pm #1575722
my first stove used white gas. A coleman dual fuel deal with the tank and pump..
I think the output is around 11k/btu. I still use it for stir-fry, it kicks with a wok. Other than those dedicated wok LP remote burners, nothing is better.
The trick is to let it burn on high for a about 30sec-1min until the flame gets really blue and consistent. After that, the flame output is steady for a really long time, although a real simmer is impossible with any whitegas stove I've ever used.Feb 18, 2010 at 11:30 pm #1575725
I believe that Coleman Xtreme stove requires a Powermax fuel cartridge, which is a sole source item. No thank you. Not at all.
–B.G.–Feb 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm #1575730
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
> Have only seen one flare up
Why did it flare up? Something inherent in the white gas stove, or something your friend did wrong?
–MVFeb 18, 2010 at 11:53 pm #1575732
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
MSR aluminum sheet base.
Folding Aluminum MSR Base. And yes that is an ancient Sigg Aluminum Tourist Cookset. A piece of ensolite under everything does a good job.Feb 19, 2010 at 1:37 am #1575748
> Cardboard takes extreme heat to burn unless exposed to a direct flame.
Oh, sure, but I wasn't worrying about that. I am worried that the cardboard might not be stiff enough (especially if it gets damp) to RELIABLY support the stove and pot.
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