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Topic: alcohol stove, cold weather< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
GottaGamble Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 2:12 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I love my alcohol stove. I have not used it in cooler weather yet though. Do you think I could get away with using it for 3 days with day temps in hi 40s - low 50s...and night temps in hi 20s - low 30s?  I would only need to boil no more then 2 cups of water at a time. I think it should be fine. At what temperature would you consider NOT using your alcohol stove?

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 2:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It takes longer to get an alcohol stove going in really cold weather, but not enough to deter me from using one.  I take mine to lower temps than I would most canister stoves.  My record is about 15F after overnight low of 10F.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 2:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GottaGamble @ Oct. 01 2012, 12:12 pm)
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Do you think I could get away with using it for 3 days with day temps in hi 40s - low 50s...and night temps in hi 20s - low 30s?

Yes.  Just take more fuel to account for lower air and water temps.  But you should be fine in those ranges... I haven't had issues with my alchy stoves in slightly-below-freezing temps.  You're not proposing melting snow at -10*F or anything.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 3:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks...no, not planning on melting snow.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 4:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use mine in single digits (not below 0 that I am aware of) every winter with no issue at all. Based upon my experiences so far, I wouldn't even be concerned below 0. I use SLX Denatured alcohol. I don't even keep my fuel on me or anything. I sit it down on the snow in my cooking area and pick it up, pour it, and light it. It takes a few seconds longer to warm up enough and I use a little more fuel to compensate for the colder water but that's it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Timely indeed.

May I hijack??

My last outing (last two sections of the Northville Placid Trail), I took my old Brunton canister stove and a fuel cartridge I picked up at a local vendor, (Herb Phillipsons).

Black canister, and when I put it and my stove in the Ti pot it felt like it weighed more than my tent.

Ready for the change:

I am down to boiling 85-90% of my meals..maybe all.

So, for a weekend w/two, if I buy a Whitebox stove...how much alcohol would I typically bring?

Figure coffee, oatmeal for Breakfast...lunch maybe soup and tea...dinner, 4- 6 cups to boil.

That is basically it...late fall will be the coldest, (around 25 degrees), but most is spring summer use.

I'd love to cut the stove fuel weight down


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 5:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use a .9 liter pot filled near the brim. One pot is enough for two large Mt. House meals or several cups of coffee. I use approximately 2.5 ounces of fuel in winter per pot and around 2 ounces in Spring. I usually gage it by the bend on the inside of the stove more than by the bottle of fuel itself. a quarter inch down vs. 1/8th inch down in winter. So, I usually use six ounces of fuel per day or thereabouts in winter for two people including morning coffee, oatmeal, two Mt. House meals and more coffee in the evening.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 7:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some stoves may work better with some bottom insulation.
On one of mine I used a piece of green 3M pot scourer, a small piece of plywood will also work well
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 01 2012, 10:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've used alcohol as a fuel, and a Caldera as a stove system, down to 5 degrees F.  At that temp the alcohol did not volitalize, but a match did.  I lit a bit of alcohol in the priming ring, and in a few minutes it was heating like crazy: water for coffee, and frying Jimmy Dean hash. Blog post here.

As long as you don't need to melt snow for water for 3 people, alcohol is fine as a cold weather fuel.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 05 2012, 9:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think it's vargo that makes a little alcohol stove with feet that would stand up off the ground. I would think you could preheat that stove with a match under it. It's very cute, but for $29 I could make a LOT of cat food can stoves.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 5:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If the Vargo you are referring to is that nitemare with the folding feet I would advise you and everybody else to just pass.  Very, very poor stove.  It went into the recycle bin the very day I took possession.  Vargo will never ever get another dime from me.

Ever.

On the other hand I have had just spectacular results from the TrailDesigns Sidewinder.  Best stove I ever had, can't say enough good things about it, works well down into the 20's if you just use your head, keep the fuel warm and so forth.

I find that below 8,000' 2-3 cups of finger-numbing water can be brought to boil with somewhere between 1 and 1-1/4 ounces of fuel using the Open Country 2 quart pot. The stove will handle 40 ml.  How cold the water is to start with is the driver on the fuel requirement of course.  

Under normal summertime conditions 3/4 ounce is usually sufficient.

I don't carry any other kind of stove these days, but then I don't spend time in the snow so I have no insight as to the utility of an alky rig in really cold conditions.  I do know the Sidewinder works great down into the 20's.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Damn sad to hear that about the little vargo folding feet stove... it looked very promising. I'll stick with my stove, made by the camping department at "Fancy Feast". It cost me 50 cents...

I may go with the caldera cone system though. I have the snow peak 700ml mug/pot, and made a copy of the "Caldera cone" out of aluminum flashing. It's not holding up well. I think the titanium would be a big improvement, and their center hole stove looks more efficient. I lose a lot of heat up the sides of my mug with the cat food stove


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 10:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes it will work at cold temps. take a look at this review of the Keg F that I used all winter .

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews....strella


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 07 2012, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(theosus @ Oct. 06 2012, 6:04 pm)
QUOTE
Damn sad to hear that about the little vargo folding feet stove... it looked very promising. I'll stick with my stove, made by the camping department at "Fancy Feast". It cost me 50 cents...

I may go with the caldera cone system though. I have the snow peak 700ml mug/pot, and made a copy of the "Caldera cone" out of aluminum flashing. It's not holding up well. I think the titanium would be a big improvement, and their center hole stove looks more efficient. I lose a lot of heat up the sides of my mug with the cat food stove

Well, Vargo is Vargo.  In my mind I see some poor smuck spot welding while wearing snorkling goggles.  But that's just me.  I tend to be kinda' cynical on occassion.  Especially after being "had".  Which only ever happens once.  There is no "2".

As for the efficiency of the TrailDesigns center hole stove I think that's right.  

The reason I use a pretty large pot is so that I can keep the water column short and that appears to be a pretty good approach to optimizing the efficiency that is already there in the design of the system.

Drake
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