Lowest temperature you have used your alcohol stove
Jan 24, 2019 at 5:32 pm #3574820
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?Jan 24, 2019 at 8:31 pm #3574839James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: 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.Jan 24, 2019 at 8:59 pm #3574840Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: 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.
–markJan 24, 2019 at 9:28 pm #3574845Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: 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.Jan 24, 2019 at 9:46 pm #3574850
Zelph Fancee Feest Alcohol Stove -40 degrees Ely, MinnesotaJan 24, 2019 at 10:03 pm #3574857
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 ;-)Jan 25, 2019 at 1:46 am #3574920windsor akBPL Member
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.Jan 25, 2019 at 6:39 pm #3575015David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: 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.Jan 25, 2019 at 9:15 pm #3575044Jan 25, 2019 at 10:01 pm #3575055David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: 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!).Jan 25, 2019 at 10:11 pm #3575061
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 :-)Jan 26, 2019 at 12:59 am #3575089
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.Jan 27, 2019 at 10:53 pm #3575407
Thanks for all the replies. I always love hearing from everyone what their experiences are and what kind of gear they are using.Jan 28, 2019 at 12:11 am #3575417
It was fun :-)Jan 28, 2019 at 10:48 pm #3575556
-40 degrees with the Fancee Feest ….be prepared to shiver while watching
Minus 26 degreesJan 29, 2019 at 4:26 am #3575617
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?Jan 30, 2019 at 3:25 pm #3575825
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 amJan 30, 2019 at 3:46 pm #3575828Gary DunckelBPL Member
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…Jan 30, 2019 at 5:10 pm #3575841
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)Jan 30, 2019 at 7:00 pm #3575861
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.
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:Jan 30, 2019 at 9:47 pm #3575900
Now thats a video i like to see!!
Thanks Dan!!Jan 31, 2019 at 3:43 am #3575971
Hey you polar vortex people it was 65 degrees today in Santa Barbara.Jan 31, 2019 at 4:10 am #3575979Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Hey you polar vortex people it was 65 degrees today in Santa Barbara.
61 with wind chillFeb 2, 2019 at 1:13 am #3576327
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.Mar 15, 2019 at 1:54 am #3583606Steve ThompsonBPL Member
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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