May 9, 2007 at 7:13 pm #1223174
I am going to be making the transition from a white gas stove to an alcohol stove and wanted to hear your recommendations. The stove will be used for two people and with an Evernew 1.3 or .9L pot. It will be used for 5-7 days between re-supplies. I have looked at Tinny's SITH stove but haven't seen any reviews. I have also been looking at the Caldera Cone system from Antigravity. The pot support with that one seems ingenious.
NathanielMay 9, 2007 at 7:36 pm #1388792
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Either one of Tinny's designs or a SuperCat works great and provide no hassles. As for the Caldera, I've only heard about them: but what I've heard is good.
Make a SuperCat, try it out, and if you're still curious, buy one of the other stoves you mentioned.
Have fun!May 9, 2007 at 8:06 pm #1388795
If you want to go alky for two people, be aware that you will need to double the amount of fuel you take. You should check this before you go. And you will need a good windshield and a flat base with the MBD stoves.
Make sure you use ETHYL alcohol ('denatured alcohol'), not the fairly toxic Methyl alcohol which is also available. The ethyl alcohol has a higher fuel value than the methyl alcohol.
I can only comment on stoves I have tried. The Elite II is excellent, although it may be a shade small for two people. The Sketti is very powerful, but needs a wide low pot. The 1.3 L pot is probably OK, but I am not sure of the diameter of the 0.9 L pot.
The Caldera Cone SYSTEM is heavier, but it is a very ingenious solution and solves both the windshield and the stability problems. If you use it, make sure you have LOTS of space at the top where the hot air comes out, and a reasonable amount of space at the bottom where the air goes in. Getting enough flow in both places is IMPORTANT.
Me, I use a canister stove.May 9, 2007 at 8:15 pm #1388796
Thanks for the comments Todd, I just looked into the cat stove and it might be a good project to take on.
Roger, I am conflicted about a cartridge stove because of the environmental factor of throwing them away. Can they be refilled? (coincidentally I just found your web page on google, very helpful). In your opinion does the weight of the alcohol kill it for a 5-7 day trip for two? Would it be best to just stick with the white gas? I currently am using the Brunton Optomus Nova, have had zero problems with it for the past 3 years. BUT it is heavy.May 9, 2007 at 8:30 pm #1388798
@eastyLocale: Sierra eastystravels.blogspot.com
After building many 'homemade' stoves, I finally settled on Jon Bednars TurboCat II. I needed to boil 2 liters at a time (for my wife and I) at altitude and somrtimes in cold temps. I found that this stove performed the best in all conditions. I still own a Pocket Rocket but we rarely use it for our 1 to 2 week Sierra forays. Here is the link-
I don't use the simmer ring as we just boil water for meals and tea. It makes for a simple build. If you aren't into tinkering in the garage , I would patronize Tinny as his stuff is top notch. Hope my 2 cents helps
EastyMay 9, 2007 at 8:35 pm #1388800
Thanks for the tip, I will check out the site. How much fuel do you typically take with you on a one week trip? What size pot do you use? I appreciate your help!May 10, 2007 at 9:56 am #1388862
I used a Brasslite Turbo ll-D and while it is finely made and light I found it to be unsteady and for that reason I have purchased a Clikstand (www.clikstand.com) with the Trangia stove insert and wind screen. Very impressive. Rock solid, a bit heavier but will be my new backpacking stove.May 10, 2007 at 10:20 am #1388864
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
Check my review of the Caldera stove here: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/reviews/display_reviews.html?forum_thread_id=7056
I think you will find this to be the best cook system on the market for alcohol. Next would be the Thermojet which has been variously reviewed on this site. With the Thermojet you can simmer, something one can not do with the Caldera — although I have successfully cooked several meals in my pot using the Caldera. Its something one has to monitor carefully so as not to burn the food to the bottom of the pot.
The Caldera is made specific to the pot you will use, AGG does not manufacture the Caldera. It is only a distributor. The Manufacturer is Trail designs @ this site:
I am sure that they have a model that would fit your specific pot, just email them and they will help you out.
Good Luck!May 10, 2007 at 11:16 am #1388868
Thanks for the link, for some reason I had not seen it. Very helpful and thorough. Have you tried to boil enough for two people, say 32 ounces or ~1 liter? I am wondering if that is overkill, and just asking too much of an alcohol stove.
CheersMay 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm #1388886
Please consider perusing the following…
These reports shed light on subject of alcohol vs the others for me. What is best when. Good reads.May 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm #1388893
> environmental factor of throwing them away.
Well, they are made of steel, and steel is 100% recyclable. Considering the amount of packaging used by the average family per year, a couple of 100% recycled canisters seems fairly minimal to me.
> does the weight of the alcohol kill it for a 5-7 day trip for two?
It would be starting to get seriously heavy. Have alook at the articles on fuel efficiency by Will Rietveld (a previous posting in this column) and maybe at my Fuel Efficiency page to see where the breakpoint is.
White gas stoves are heavy, no question. Have another look at the weight of a small upright canister stove if you are not looking at winter stuff for now. A 230 g canister will last my wife and me for about 7 days. That's a pretty light combination!
But, some prefer alky – ymmv.May 10, 2007 at 3:31 pm #1388898May 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm #1388900
Thanks for the links on the site. I thought I had seen all of them on the subject. Roger's link also very helpful.
Thanks again for the helpful reply. I will now be looking into our cities recycling program for canisters. My wife does like the options a white gas stove gives you for simmering, and the canister does the same it looks like.
I guess we all have (or will have) one of each depending on the situation . . .May 10, 2007 at 6:00 pm #1388910
Don't forget this review of several stoves.
It is a bit out of date, as it doesn't have the Caldera stove (or any that have been created or changed in the last couple years). The fact that Mitchell has reviewed both the Thermojet and Caldera speaks highly of the Caldera stove. I bought my Thermojet based on the review above (and the more detailed review found via a link on the page). I've been very happy with it. Both it and the Caldera have similar ideas (integrated wind screen/stove).May 10, 2007 at 7:42 pm #1388923
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
My caldera was constructed to match the 20 oz AGG pot. On the TD website you will find that they have stove kits to match up with the pots you had in mind. Also on the TD site is a link to reviews of the Caldera kit on BackpackingGeartest.org. One of the reviewers used the Stove to fry steaks poach eggs and all manner of outrageous stuff with success. So I don't think boiling a quart of water is out of the question. It will just take a bit longer to do.May 10, 2007 at 7:56 pm #1388927
Thanks for the advice. I have definitely been looking into an integrated system. Thermojet seems to be having difficulties filling orders, and are not currently producing their stoves. I am interested in that particular stove, but some have said they have waited over 3 months and sometimes longer.May 10, 2007 at 7:58 pm #1388928
Wish I had some data on that time . . . Thanks again.May 10, 2007 at 8:01 pm #1388929
Have you tried making a Super Cat stove. Very easy and works well.May 10, 2007 at 10:41 pm #1388944
> My wife does like the options a white gas stove gives you for simmering, and the canister does the same it looks like.
A canister stoves is MUCH easier to simmer than a white gas stove. MUCH!
(My wife thinks I have way too many stoves in the cupboard…)May 11, 2007 at 5:21 am #1388953
From the references posted above, I believe the general rule of thumb is…
The alcohol stove's weight can approach zero, but because its fuel is less efficient than gas, its "cuteness" diminishes as your days until re-supply increases. This penalty doubles with the demand of two hikers, of course.May 11, 2007 at 5:57 am #1388956
Have you tried it on a quart of water before?
Any model suggestions in the hypothetical case (convince the wife we need to have three different kinds of stoves) that I do buy a canister stove?May 11, 2007 at 6:36 am #1388960
I have boiled a quart when I was experimenting. But I don't remember how much fuel it took. Certainly more than an ounce.
The picture below shows the stove, windscreen, bottom reflector, and measuring cup (tea candle tin).
Since I use one tin to boil 16 oz of water I probably put two tins in for the quart.
The wind screen and reflector are made from an oven liner from Walmart. Scissors easily cut the liner. The holes are made using a modified paper punch also from Walmart.May 11, 2007 at 6:49 am #1388964
Nice illustration, I think I will give it a try if I have time, I am enjoying making my own gear. Been thinking about posting "the perfect potty trowel" on the MYOG section, but it sounds like most people around here don't take a trowel.May 11, 2007 at 7:03 am #1388966
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
Steve, what can did you use to make your stove? It looks like it has a lip, very nice!May 11, 2007 at 7:29 am #1388968
@mn-backpackerLocale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Everybody has found something different that works for them. What I've found works for my wife and I is very simple and light. I use a Pepsi style stove that I made from RedBull cans (smaller burner), a windscreen I made from aluminum flashing that uses 2 tent stakes as a stand, and a Snow Peak Ti 700 mug for the cook pot. The whole works weighs 5.5 ounces and nests inside of the mug (except the stakes).
All of our meals take 1.5-2 cups of water to re-hydrate, so I never need to boil more than that at once. If you need much more, this probably wouldn't work for you (the mug's max is around 23 ounces). We typically do 2 boils per day – morning coffee/tea and dinner. Breakfast and lunch never require cooking. The setup reliably boils 2 cups of cold water with 3/4 of an ounce of alcohol in under 5 minutes.
Doing the math, a week without resupply for us would be 14 boils, or roughly 10.5 ounces of alcohol. Alcohol weighs .85 ounces per ounce, so the total fuel weight for a week with us is about 9 ounces on day 1, and dropping more than 1 ounce per day. Day 1 total kitchen weight is 15.5 ounces (stove, mug, screen, fuel & bottle). Average kitchen weight carried per day is 7 ounces. I don't count the stake weight because they are counted under my shelter.
This has worked well for us for the last 4 or 5 trips.
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