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Lowest temperature you have used your alcohol stove


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)
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  • #3574820
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I’m sure this has been well discussed and debated plenty of times here but I’m bringing it up again. So do tell, please, what is the lowest temperature you have used you alcohol stove in, which stove were you using, what kind of alcohol (fuel) did u use, how much water were you boiling?

    I used my newest alcohol set up last weekend and the temps were close to the lower/mid 20s outside. I was using my Ti/Tri Sidewinder, the kojin stove, yellow heet, and boiling just about 2 cups of water. I didn’t time it, but it was fairly quick and I was satisfied.

    I’m just curious what is the lowest temperature commendation for alcohol? 

    #3574839
    James Marco
    BPL Member

    @jamesdmarco

    Locale: Finger Lakes

    Well, I was out in about the same conditions (around 25F or so) and it worked fine. I used a standard cone with a 12/10 stove, methyl alky. It took around 7-8 minutes or so, a little longer than in summer but not real terrible, to boil 3 cups of water…I had to warm it up a bit for the third cup.

     

    #3574840
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I have used alcohol stoves down to 10F. Boiling 12-16oz water heated at a time.  I used ethanol (Sunnyside brand typically). My memory is that it took a minute or two longer than on more temperate trips. I originally used Sgt Rock’s Ion stove which was super fuel efficient, super quiet, and super sllooowwww …  something like 15mins to bring 16oz water to a boil on the coldest trips.  Also used UL Caldera with their original burner which was much quicker.

    No idea if it made a difference or not… I pre-warmed the fuel my carrying it next to my body for awhile before using.

    –mark

     

    #3574845
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    I have a customer who has run the Iditarod Trail Invitational running race in Alaska for the last 3-5 years.  He has competes in both the 350 and 100 mile races.  I made him a custom Lynx alcohol stove (obsolete now) that he still uses to melt snow during the race.  Temperatures have been from the high 40’s to sub zero.  After the first few races, he asked for a remote feed fueling system in order to heat up lots of water.  I made him a custom rig that attached to HEET bottles, one squeeze would refill his stove with about an ounce of fuel.

     

    You can read about Peter Ripmaster and his trial through the Iditarod 1000 here.  In 2018, he came in first finishing in 26 days, 13 hours and 44 minutes, averaging 38 miles a day.  BTW, while running, Peter is pull a sled that is holding up to 40 pounds of gear.

    He lived on “junk,” like runner’s gels and Snickers bars, only occasionally able to set up his stove and heat water for a hot freeze-dried backpacker meal. Distances between shelters and checkpoints were about 100 miles.

     

    #3574850
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Zelph Fancee Feest Alcohol Stove -40 degrees Ely, Minnesota

     

    YouTube video

    #3574857
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Zelph StarLyte stove denatured alcohol in minus -13 degrees in bitter cold/windy Minnesota weather. Used the stove to thaw a frozen door latch on my car. hehheh, multi use stove ;-)

    YouTube video

    #3574920
    windsor ak
    BPL Member

    @windsor

    Locale: MN

    Zelph Mega Starlyte and Caldera Cone with yellow Heet to melt snow at around -15 F after my MSR Universal went up in a ball of fire. Pre-warmed the alcohol with body heat.

    #3575015
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    The Iditarod mushers I know all use alcohol stoves of a sort to melt snow to water the dogs.  They use a cooking pan, a handful of fiberglass insulation, and two 12-ounce bottles yellow HEET “gas-line antifreeze” under a large pot on a stand.  Around -40 and below, they have to start using tricks like insulating the alcohol-containing pan on the bottom so it gets hotter and cooks faster.

    My first year in Alaska, I discovered the bottom of my “fun meter” was about -15F.  I can and do work at -20F or -30F at times, but I don’t play at those temps.  So white gas, alcohol and butane (with a Moulder Strip™) all work fine.

    #3575044
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    YouTube video

    #3575055
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    In addition to being the second-winningest Iditarod musher, having won it 4 times, Jeff King is the most innovative musher with all manner of tweaks to sleds, using trailers, a seat on the sled, even heated handlebars.  Some get widely adopted and others get shot down by the Iditarod Board of Directors (which tends to worry about image more than the Rules Committee which focuses on safety).

    He’s probably got more solo, middle-of-nowhere, it’s-got-to-work-at-minus-50 experience than all BPL members combined and he uses an alcohol cooker (to make 3 gallons of hot water from snow!).

    #3575061
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Jeff King said:

    it’s kinda fun when I’m goin down the trail and flames shootin outta there(chuckle chuckle)

    I like the way he thinks :-)

    #3575089
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    Probably the 30s or upper 20s. Desert-ish morning cold in So-Cal.

    Any time it was fairly cold, it was a struggle and took a long time. The struggle was having a homemade stove that I would set the pot directly on so the flames come out the holes. The flames would just go out. When I got a caldera cone things worked way better and I can’t remember having any difficulty at any temperature using the cone.

    #3575407
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Thanks for all the replies. I always love hearing from everyone what their experiences are and what kind of gear they are using.

    #3575417
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    It was fun :-)

     

    #3575556
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    -40 degrees with the Fancee Feest ….be prepared to shiver while watching

     

    YouTube video

     

    Minus 26 degrees

     

    YouTube video

    #3575617
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I had to watch because it was Ely. You have to be Finnish because you are crazy and you are in Ely. Do you know anybody named Nappa?

    #3575825
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    That is not me in the video. He(Shug) likes using the Fancee Feest stove I designed.

    -30 degrees in Ely, MN this morning. -23 here in Rockford, IL where I am :dblthumb:

    #3575828
    Gary Dunckel
    BPL Member

    @zia-grill-guy

    Locale: Boulder

    So, Dan, what is the coldest temperature that YOU have used one of your stoves? Maybe today is the day for you to try it out and then report back to us. We polar vortex-challenged folks need you muy frio BPLers to do some beta for us. You know, you can’t just have frigid temperatures, you have to take advantage of it. For science, you understand…

    #3575841
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Gary, -13 degrees is the lowest. I’ll try testing the Fancee Feest this evening when the Polar Vortex is at it’s most challenging. This mornings temperature on my deck was -24 degrees. I’ll wait till the wind subsides a little this evening for the test. It will be a “fast” test (for science) :dblthumb:

    YouTube video

    #3575861
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Gary, I made a slight mistake in my favor. I won’t be braving the Polar Vortex . I had forgotten about the video I made early on in the year 2009 related to how well alcohol stoves work in cold temperature. The stove in the video is the Starlyte Stove.

    YouTube video

    I searched the house/basement and porch and could not find a Fancee Feest stove for testing. They are in the Polar Vortex Garage which I have not shoveled my way out to yet. been too darn cold 

    Todays Polar Vortex Garage at -17 degrees:

     

    #3575900
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Now thats a video i like to see!!

    Thanks Dan!!

    #3575971
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    Hey you polar vortex people it was 65 degrees today in Santa Barbara.

    #3575979
    Jon Fong
    BPL Member

    @jonfong

    Locale: FLAT CAT GEAR

    Hey you polar vortex people it was 65 degrees today in Santa Barbara.

    61 with wind chill

     

    #3576327
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    Yeah, that windchill is rough. Actually, it’s supposed to rain any second now, and there was lightning yesterday. Maybe we’ll get more lightning.

    #3583606
    Steve Thompson
    BPL Member

    @stevet

    Locale: Northeast

    Nothing too severe…mid 20’s, denatured alcohol.  Used 1oz to boil 1/2 liter in about 10 min, stove burned for a couple minutes after that.

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