- Sep 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm #3492085
Hello Caldera Cone Stove aficionados!
My wife, our dog, and I spent the first week of September on a 6 night, 7 day backpack in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado with camps at elevations of 8,800 to 11,100 feet. We used a Caldera Cone stove for all our cooking. Here’s what I found out about fuel consumption and boil times:
I planned on 1 ounce of fuel to boil 4 cups of water. One ounce is enough and I usually had a bit left over.
Time required to get 4 cups to a boil was about 14 minutes.
We boiled 5 to 6 cups of water at breakfast and 4 cups at dinner. And on 3 of the days we had a hot lunch as well. I took 16 fluid ounces of denatured alcohol (which I had purchased at Home Depot in the one gallon can size). 16 ounces was just enough for all the cooking we did.
I used one of these for measuring the fuel:
I think the measuring cup came with the Caldera. (I didn’t buy the 100 pack from Amazon, although the price on those is pretty good ;-)
I’m using the 12/10 stove with the cone. I have a second 12/10 that I took for backup and found that I could easily put out the flame on the stove by setting the second stove on top of the stove that was burning. That way, I could recover the unburned fuel.
Partway thru the trip I discovered that I could put the inverted empty measuring cup over the top of the stove (after it had cooled), hold the two together & flip the stove over, and the unburned fuel would pour down into the measuring cup that I could then pour back into my fuel bottle.
The denatured alcohol that I used leaves a lacquer-like residue that I’m not crazy about, nor crazy about its smell. I may experiment with different fuels in the future. Might even try to find some 190 proof ethanol and just pay the higher price.
The completely silent operation of the stove is a nice feature after having spent many years using noisy butane and gas stoves. I love the simplicity, the windproofness, the quiet, and the ability to calculate exactly how much fuel you will need and bring just that amount. Oh, and the weight is not too shabby either.
This setup is what we’ll use going forward, although I do want to check out the starlyte stove mentioned in my original thread on this topic. I’m sold on the 12/10 stove’s efficiency (with the cone) and ease of operation, but I’m open to checking out another stove if it would speed up boil times. When I bought the Cone stove, their website made it clear that the stove had been designed to work with the cones and that most other alcohol stoves burn too hot for this setup, so I’ll have to take that into consideration when I look into other stoves.Sep 20, 2017 at 2:49 pm #3492087
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Thanks for the update, I remember when we were discussing this a few months ago. Always good to have another data point from the field. Something very much like the measuring cup you used is including with Children’s liquid Tylenol, Advil, and cough syrup – small and light.Sep 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm #3492090
Ben CBPL Member
I’m not sure the starlyte is any more efficient. It is much easier to capture unused fuel though. And there is no spilling if turned over. I have never used the 12-10, so I don’t know much about its efficiency.Sep 20, 2017 at 3:22 pm #3492091
Greg, I am a little fuzzy on the math. How many cups did you actual boil with 16 oz of fuel. Thanks.Sep 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm #3492096
Arthur, I didn’t keep a running total, but 6 breakfasts of 5 – 6 cups each (probably closer to 6), 6 dinners of 4 cups, 3 extra lunches of 3 cups each = approximately 68 cups, plus or minus a cup. We had 16 ounces of fuel and ended the trip with a dab left in the bottle (less than 1/2 ounce). So the 16 ounces boiled 67 to 69 cups, that’s boiling slightly more than 4 cups per ounce, or needing slightly less than one ounce of fuel to boil 4 cups of water. (68/16 = 4.25 cups boiled per ounce of fuel, or 0.94 ounces of fuel needed to boil 4 cups of water)
As I said, I would put 1 ounce of fuel into the stove, 4 cups of water in the pot, and fire it up. 13-14 minutes later, it’s boiling, I put the stove out, let it cool and then pour extra (fraction of an ounce) back into the fuel bottle.
Sep 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm #3492118
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Greg K.
Good info, thanksSep 20, 2017 at 6:09 pm #3492131
Andrew PriestBPL Member
Thanks for sharing this. I use more fuel I think than you do with my Trail Designs Calder Cone stove but I am probably a bit more haphazard with my measuring. I think IIRC I use ~13 ml (0.45 fluid ounces) per cup of water (~250 ml)Sep 20, 2017 at 9:06 pm #3492177
Andrew, something I didn’t do: Run fuel consumption tests on smaller quantities than 4 cups of water. I’m not sure it would be the same ratio. In other words, can I boil 2 cups of water using 1/2 ounce of fuel? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes slightly more than a half ounce. On the occasions where I did boil only 2 cups instead of 4, I believe I put more than 1/2 ounce in the stove, but then had some left over, so I don’t have an exact amount for that. And boiling only 1 cup at a time might be even more in that direction, that is, taking substantially more than 1/4 ounce.Sep 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm #3492181
Reginald DonaldsonBPL Member
@worthLocale: Wind River Range
I like using the round coffee creamer cups without the pouring lip to measure my alcohol (2 cups = 1 ounce). The creamer cup nest nicely inside the 2/10 stove and is flush with the opening. It helps maximize storage space.Sep 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm #3492357
Barry PBPL Member
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
“The denatured alcohol that I used leaves a lacquer-like residue that I’m not crazy about, nor crazy about its smell. ”
That’s what I found with a few brands of denatured. They always burned different. Some had yellow flames. For consistent results with no-lacquer results the classic yellow HEET or the generic brand from Walmart works best and consistently.
“The completely silent operation of the stove is a nice feature after having spent many years using noisy butane and gas stoves. ”
Amen. Silent cooking is amazing.
“…and the unburned fuel would pour down into the measuring cup that I could then pour back into my fuel bottle.”
What were the temperatures you were cooking at?
-BarrySep 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm #3492364
Thanks for the HEET tip! I’ll try it. I suspect it’s a lot less expensive than going with 190 proof ethyl alcohol (if I can even find it!).
Morning (breakfast time) temps were in the 30’s. We had frost a couple of mornings. We’re early risers, up at first light, so I’m boiling the breakfast water at the coldest time of day. Main meal temps were in 50’s or 60’s. We usually cooked our dinner meal at midday.Sep 21, 2017 at 7:40 pm #3492443
Andrew PriestBPL Member
Greg, I think you have a point about the quantity now that I think about it. I may use a little bit less when I boil a full pot (two cups basically). Need to take note next time.
Sep 22, 2017 at 5:23 am #3492496
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Andrew Priest.
Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
13ml DA for one cup is high consumption!
Accurate testing is in order.
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