Jan 10, 2020 at 4:08 pm #3626460
Seems like Esbit usage can be severely restricted due to fire bans typically in the summer and the requirement of having a stove with a on/off switch. In such cases, do you just ignore the Esbit stove ban and still carry it as you think it is as safe as a canister stove and you rely on the fact that no ranger is going to check what kind of stove you are carrying:-) or do you just switch to canister stove.
I follow the rules typically – but, I am tempted to carry esbit anyways.
Has anybody made a simple device that has a knob to close the esbit stove to deprive oxygen and snuff out the flame? Thinking of making one – so that the esbit stove has a on/off switch.Jan 10, 2020 at 4:22 pm #3626463Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
I like me some Esbit, don’t get me wrong, but if you start adding complexity, cost and weight to the system, the equation easily shifts to alcohol and canister stoves. My 2 cents.
PS: I don’t cheat or lie…rules is rules!Jan 10, 2020 at 4:31 pm #3626465Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
You need to look at the rules and regulations where you paln to hike. I just saw this statement on the Yosemite NP website,
When and where fire restrictions are in effect, fires are only permitted in portable stoves using pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol (including tablet/cube stoves).
This is the first time that I have ever seen it stated so specifically. More details here.Jan 10, 2020 at 6:07 pm #3626472
That is great news, Jon.
On 4/9/2018 I had a ranger at the Three Rivers Station (SEKI) tell me that I could use an Esbit stove during a fire ban. I wrote the ranger’s name down but I hesitate to post it publicly. If I decide I want to take a stove this year I would probably call and ask again. If Ranger ________ says it is ok and I am using it safely without any combustible materials nearby and I am protecting the ground from getting scorched (LNT) then I will use Esbit without hesitation. In California, I’d have a fire permit on me too.Jan 10, 2020 at 6:10 pm #3626474Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
That is different and a relief for UL hikers. Looks like the basic theory is to eliminate sparks. As others mentioned, it is best to check with each park you plan to visit. Who wants a fat ticket for a few ounces saved?
I’ve used pressurized liquid fuel stoves that were a greater hazard than a fire :)Jan 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm #3626482Rex SandersBPL Member
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
One way to interpret the Yosemite rules is that you can use tablets or cubes made of pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol. Haven’t seen any of those around in years :-)
Or maybe you can use tablet/cube stoves as long as you burn only pressurized gas, liquid fuel, propane, or alcohol. Multi-fuel stoves are more common, e.g. Trail Designs and Vargo.
Don’t assume a ranger will interpret the rules the way you like. Or that rule-writers won’t create ambiguous text.
Why yes, I did work for the Government for 40 years. Why do you ask?Jan 10, 2020 at 7:21 pm #3626487Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
Out of curiosity I weighed a random half a package of esbits and my ancient esbit stove vs my snow peak canister stove and a random fuel canister. My esbit stove is probably not the lightest esbit stove. I got it from an army surplus store. The weights are comparable, considering that I had a lot more fuel in my canister than I had esbit cubes and all the various variables with my two stoves and fuels.
The thing I’ve never been able to get over is the crusty sticky stuff that esbit fuel leaves on my pot. Has anyone ever come up with a way to get that off easily after each use?
(Here’s my stove: https://armysurpluswarehouse.com/esbit-pocket-stove-small-with-6-fuel-tabs/)Jan 10, 2020 at 7:43 pm #3626489
In the link Jon posted – it says explicitly that “Wood fires (including twig stove fires) and charcoal fires are prohibited” – so I would say Esbit is allowed in Yosemite at least with the interpretation that tablet/cubes refer to Esbit. Which I think it is.
On the Colorado trail – apparently they do not allow stoves that do not have an On/off switch. Which pretty much eliminates esbit stove. Though I am not sure they gave much thought to how safe esbit is etc. Of course that is my interpretation.
You can save around 5-6 oz between canister stove setup and Esbit setup – I have the GVP esbit setup from Trail designs. It’s not a big deal – I can take the canister. But, it seems like Esbit should be as safe as a canister stove. I mean accidents can happen with any stove – having a on/off switch/valve is not going to help if the canister stove (being tall and top heavy) tips over and starts a fire.Jan 11, 2020 at 5:53 am #3626520
Esbit strikes me as very, very safe.
@sbhikes – Esbit burns well in stoves that weigh almost nothing. My Toaks 550 / DIY foil stove (similar to a gram cracker) / Caldera Cone weighs under 4 ounces with a lighter and a small spoon in the stuff sack for a complete cook kit. I can near-boil to boil 12ish ounces of water in the field with 8g of Esbit. My point is Esbit can be very light and efficient. When optimized properly you get no more than a thin layer of spot on the bottom of the pot, no stinky/crusty/sticky stuff. I can’t explain why this setup works so well but the topic been written about at length here in plenty of threads.Jan 11, 2020 at 6:07 am #3626522JCHBPL Member
Everything that Piper said…
To that I will add the major positive of, with a Soto Windmaster and a 130cm diameter pot, being able to bring 12 oz of water to a boil in just under 1.5 min. I’m interested in the total efficiency of a system and that includes my time.
#MicrowaveGenerationJan 11, 2020 at 7:21 am #3626529
Yeah, my beloved Esbit setup takes quite a bit longer than that.Jan 11, 2020 at 7:37 am #3626531Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
I kinda like the design of the army surplus stove. It’s about the size of a deck of cards and when opened up, it serves as a stand for your pot. In the end, I didn’t like esbit enough to want to upgrade my system. I also had a lot of trouble getting the cubes to light. I don’t know if they go bad after a while and I bought a bunch of expired bad cubes or what the deal was, but I could not light them for the life of me, or keep them lit. So I gave up. Sorry to derail your topic.Jan 11, 2020 at 7:57 am #3626534Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Well, the Esbit Ti wing is only 0.4 oz.
People who use Esbit infrequently should not use a Bic lighter but a torch. It takes pratcie to light Esbit, I have been able to light it using a Swedish Fireknife.
In terms of speed, I have gotten 2 cups to boil two cups of water by splitting the tablet into two pieces to increase the surface area.
I haven’t found a real solution to the soot yet.
HYOH, what ever works best for you. My 2 cents.Jan 11, 2020 at 8:01 am #3626535
Diane, I have no vested interest in converting you to Esbit but:
1) Tha stove sucks. I borrowed one from a friend and hated everything about it. I didn’t try Esbit again for several years and was surprised how much I liked it.
2) You can shave off a little corner and light that more easily because of the exposed edges on a small chunk.
3) A couple drops of hand sanitizer will catch a flame off a lighter easily.
4) Esbit would not be my first choice in an exposed spot with a 40mph wind.Jan 11, 2020 at 9:29 am #3626545MattBPL Member
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
I have entertained this very question many times given the frequent fire bans in SW Colorado, and I always end up leaving the Esbit at home. Blowing out a burning Esbit tablet is a risky maneuver in dry conditions. It’s a strong flame and most times it takes several large puffs to get the job done. In the process, the flame gets scattered over some pretty good kindling. Obviously, you can minimize the risks, but the on/off button dividing line does make sense (and I rarely admit that about government regulations). So, I hope you’ll honor it. You don’t want to be THAT guy.Jan 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm #3626580Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
IMHO, speaking as an ESBIT fan, I would not use ESBIT in a fire ban situation BUT I strongly feel it is safer than alcohol, which can spill.
I use ESBIT inside a Trail Designs Sidewinder cone stove on a ti sheet so it’s very safe under “normal” conditions. Additionally I use a BGET tablet holder that prevents the ESBit liquid residue from running down onto the ground or base sheet and off it onto the ground.Jan 14, 2020 at 12:39 pm #3627056
I am sure I would not have broken the rules – would have chickened out at the last minute:-)
Anyways, I tried cold soaking with couscous and freeze dried Mountain house Chicken Teriyaki with cold water from fridge. They tasted great – as good as boiling water soak! I think freeze dried is easier to hydrate than dehydrated is what I have read somewhere. If other Mountain House meals hydrate as well, then I am going to just not take any stove!Jan 14, 2020 at 5:39 pm #3627112dirtbagBPL Member
Alcohol in a kojin stove can not and will not spill, even if you somehow knocked it over. You can also blow it out with a good direct hard puff, or snuff it out with the lid.. Just place it on top of it. .. Just sayin..Jan 18, 2020 at 8:44 pm #3627852Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Hoswomever, one could easily fabricate a little aluminum box from a pop can to snuff EBIT out instead of blowing it out.
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