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Dec 2, 2004 at 12:02 am #1215653
Just curious, is everyone using white gas when the only water source is snow, or are you trying to extend alcohol/canister/fire fuels into the winter season – if so, what are you doing to maximize your fuel efficiency? Trade-offs and benefits of your system vs. white gas?Dec 5, 2004 at 2:27 pm #1334689William SiemensMember
Used a Svea 123 for many years – lately have switched to a Coleman Xpert, with the Powermax fuel. Works very well. As to fuel efficiency, keeping it out of the wind is important, even with a relatively wind-resistant stove like that – also have discovered that for a trailside cuppa, whether coffee tea or bullion, water does not need to boil – I can tell now by amount of steaming, bubbles on bottom, etc., when its enough to make a cup of instant ore whatever- why waste fuel getting a rolling boil, then wait for it to cool enough to drink? This has extended my fuel “mileage” by about 50%. In my part of the world, there is so much solid fuel, that for winter use, I am switching to a wood-fired (Kifaru) stove. Still, for just a midday stop, canister convenience is wonderful. Pulling gear on a pulk or tobaggan, weight is not as great an issue, so might take both – am still working this out.Dec 5, 2004 at 4:49 pm #1334691
I swear by my Coleman Exponent Xtreme Stove for winter use. It is nearly as light as a Simmerlite setup. It provides 14000 BTU/hr of heat output, yet doesn’t flareup during startup, potentially allowing use in a tent or vestibule where white gas or alcohol would be risky. (NOTE — DUE TO FIRE AND SUFFOCATION RISK, BOTH TENT AND STOVE MAKERS ADVISE AGAINST USING ANY STOVE INSIDE A TENT — DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK!) The large (300g fuel) aluminum canisters weigh only 100g empty and crush down like a pop can for packing out. The liquid feed system eliminates the cold weather problems of other canister systems, and does so without using up the propane in the mixture first. For an overnighter, I can fit the stove and a small (170g) canister in my SnowPeak Trek 1400 pot.Dec 20, 2004 at 8:48 pm #1334883David SmithMember
I have heard that alcohol does not perform well in the winter temps. What I have found is that the alcohol needs to be warm. Last night it was fourteen degrees out and my little V-8 can alcohol stove wouldn’t light. I then took the fuel bottle and put it in the bag with me for about an hour and warmed the alcohol. It then worked very well once burning. (this is a basic pepsi can stove with a few design tweaks to optimize the flame specificly for my pot) It boiled two cups of water in 5 minutes with a light breeze blowing and about 3/4th oz of fuel. Indoors, this stove will bring 2 cups of 60 degree water to a boil in 3 min and 45 sec. on slightly less fuel. It really puts off some serious heat…but burns up fast. I think a faster and hotter burning alcohol stove is what is needed for colder temps…as well as pre-warmed fuel. Most alcohol stoves are alot slower and probably woudn’t be able to heat fast enough in a cold situation. Just my observations…which are somewhat limited.Dec 20, 2004 at 9:17 pm #1334884
Mike – how much fuel do you use for melting snow with the Xtreme, and how long does it take?
To melt a minimum of 4L from snow (and boil it) with my XGK, I go through about 6 oz of fuel per day, and I can boil 2L in 20 minutes or so.
With a Simmerlite, fuel economy is better – 5.5 oz or so, but time to boil is longer – 25-30 minutes on average per 2L.
I’ve heard lots of good things about the Xtreme and it was certainly talked up in the “Got Gas?” stove article in the first issue of the print magazine of Backpacking Light by Roger Caffin, so I’m looking for some real world winter experience by others as well.Dec 21, 2004 at 9:42 pm #1334893
I budget 40g (1.4 oz) of fuel per liter to boil water from snow and always have some left over. I’ve never timed it in the field, but I think the boil times are on par with your white gas observations. It would be really interesting to see a side-by-side test of the Xtreme and Simmerlite in the same conditions — otherwise it’s hard to compare anecdotal results.
fwiw, I’ve done some indoor tests under controlled conditions. At 2200ft elevation, 68 degrees, no windscreen, using an Open Country 2L aluminum pot, the Xtreme can bring 1Qt of 63 degree water to boil in only 4:15, using 20g (0.7 oz) of fuel. Under the same conditions, it can also “make” 1L of boiling water from 1Kg of ice chips in 9:33 using only 30g (1.1 oz) of fuel.
Theoretically, the Xtreme has a few efficiency advantages over the Simmerlite: It doesn’t use any fuel for priming, it has a very effective burner configuration which directs the flame toward the bottom of the pot, and the Propane/Butane mix has about 4% higher BTU/lb than White Gas.Dec 27, 2004 at 9:50 am #1334914Don SeleskySpectator
I’m now using my Coleman Xpert stove as my primary winter stove, replacing an XGK. It lights easily, without priming, and seems to melt snow efficiently, although I haven’t done any actual experiments. One large cannister generally gives me 1-2 days of water, solo.Dec 27, 2004 at 3:53 pm #1334920
OK, I’m giving more serious thought into this Coleman gig, but I still don’t have my hands on one. Maybe I will try to walk down to ProLiteGEAR.com at lunch tomorrow and snag one! (They are only a few blocks down the road from us – man I love Bozeman!) We have snow, so I’ll try to do some melt tests as well.
Mike or anyone else, do you have specs on the weight of the stove + regulator + empty bottle (and bottle fuel capacity) for the Xtreme?
The Stove/regulator/0.8L ti bottle for the MSR stoves are as follows:
Simmerlite: 11.3 oz
XGK: 15.0 ozDec 27, 2004 at 4:53 pm #1334924
Coleman Expert Xtreme stove w/o wire clip: 10.6oz
Large Canister (300g fuel): 14.1oz full/3.5oz empty
Small Canister (170g fuel): 8.8oz full/2.8oz empty
So, to compare, complete stove+large cartridge = 14.1oz
The “regulator” is included in the stove weight.
I haven’t done so, but I bet you could cut an inch off of the legs and maybe even remove the heat reflector to save an ounce or two.
PS — I have yet to try the stove above 7000 ft or below 0 degrees F. Has anyone else used it in these conditions?Dec 27, 2004 at 5:11 pm #1334925Richard NelridgeSpectator
@naturephoto1Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania
According to the Coleman and Prolite sites, the Coleman Xtreme stove is supposed to weigh 11 oz. Other sites indicate 12 oz. I believe it includes the regulator for the weight since it is attached to the stove. The listings indicate that a stuff sack is included. Dought if that is part of the weight.
The stove can use either 170 or 300 g Powermax Fuel Canisters but I am having problems in finding a weight for the canisters with and without fuel.Jan 28, 2005 at 8:17 pm #1335310Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Powermax 170: 170g gas, 68 g tank, 220g total
Powermax 300: 300g gas, 86 g tank, 390 g total
You’ll find a bit about cartridge stoves in the BPL article mentioned, but even more in the Stoves section of the FAQ at http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/
Yes, I gave up on liquid fuel ages ago.
Roger CaffinFeb 12, 2005 at 10:38 am #1335675AnonymousGuest
There’s a discussion of this in the new The Mountaineering Handbook. The conclusion is that a remote canister butane stove with windscreen wins out until the fuel consumption reaches at least 32 ounces. I use an MSR WindPro for winter and cold mountaineering, but other companies make butane stoves with twice the output of an XGK (and mine never needs maintenance).
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