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Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

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Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby frediver » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:33 pm

I'm trying to get my ducks in a row.
I have been using a brasslite stove and really like it but I
am considering trying out Esbit in a "can" stove.
REI says Esbit will boil 1 pint in 8 min. sea level and the
tab burns at 1400* for 12-15min. So what can I really expect from
the tab, ie, boil 2 cups and then keep it warm for 5 min. or does
one tab have the ability to boil 3 cups in 10-12 min?
3 Cups would give me water for my meal and 2 cups of coffee !
Also at what point is the break even for Esbit Vs. Alcohol, 3-4 one burn
meals or more when total weight is factored in?



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Re: Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby ERIC » Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:36 pm

wrong forum, moving to Outdoor Gear Topix
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Re: Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby markskor » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:01 pm

What elevation are we talking here?
Doubt if 1 tab will get 3 cups hot enough to boil above 10,000 ft, and if cooking fish...no way.
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby hikerduane » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:24 pm

Esbit tabs or similar stuff is lighter then alky. I have only used my Esbit stove and tabs a few times. Protect the stove/pot from the wind, stinks whether burning or not, burns for around 15 minutes last time I checked. Leaves residue on your pot if you haven't used it yet. Seems slow to get going to get your water boiling. I think it could boil three cups, although I have only used it to boil two cups and had half a tablet or less left which I let burn out. Check out TheLightWeightBackpacker, they had a discussion a month or so back on alky vs Esbit. Check out the Gram Cracker stove that holds Esbit type fuel. It is an "H" shape. I can't remember what they are using as a home made stove for the Esbit fuel, aluminum may not work.
Piece of cake.
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Re: Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby copeg » Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:47 pm

I've used esbits to a limited extent (on a few trips as the main fuel and a few others as backup) and hikerduane summed up my experience pretty well. 1 tab about 12-15 minutes, can boil a few cups of water. They leave a residue. They don't work well in wind (even with a wind screen), and are also a pain to light in wind (better to bring a bit of alcohol in a squirt bottle to help light them). One of the serious negatives I remember about them is their smell - a bit like rotten fish that permeates everything, no matter how many ziplocs you use.
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Re: Hot stuff, Tabs Vs Alcohol

Postby paul » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:03 pm

My experience with esbits is thus: using a homemade foil windcreen that fits fairly close to the pot, one tab will bring 2 cups of water to a boil and keep it there for a few more minutes. That's just right for a lot of one-person meals. And I never had a problem with wind affecting my stove, due to the windscreen, which I consider essential. I never tried boiling 3 cups, but it might do it. The stoves are so cheap athat Iw ould get one and try it out at home to see what it can do. Or rig your own tab holder/pot support and just get some tabs.
I haven't tried this on a trip, but did experiment at home, and found that two tabs burning at once will boil a liter of water just fine.
Weight-wise, take a look at this:
http://thru-hiker.com/articles/stovewei ... 14days.php

He finds that Esbit is lighter for just about any length trip.
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