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Stoves

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Re: Stoves

Postby vandman » Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:07 pm

I have a MSR pocket rocket which works great except when it gets below freezing, and then it's best to sleep with the canister in your bag or under your pillow. Last summer it wimped out on me at the base of Mt. Goddard, so while I waited for water to boil for my morning coffee, it sputtered at simmer strength. Usually, for most climes it's fast and light, although I don't like the disposable cannister, and supporting the petro chemical industry. I have recently been experimenting with alcohol stoves. I made a super cat and it worked fine, but it failed in a wet snowstorm. The Swedish Trangia, so far has been flawless. Boils water in 7 minutes, has a simmer ring(I made a pot of jasmine rice in 15 minutes), and it has a leak proof cap that lets you carry fuel in the stove, unlike the cat. The denatured alcohol is cheap, environmentally green, easy to find, and you can carry it in a plastic soda bottle. No moving parts, this stove's simplicity is beautiful!



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Re: Stoves

Postby vandman » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:21 am

It was cold and raining this weekend, so I did a comparison test between my MSR Pocket Rocket isobutane/propane canister stove and my Trangia alcohol stove. The temperature was 42ºf and it rained throughout the entire test. I used a Snow Peak titanium pot with tight fitting lid and windscreen for both stove boils. Boil times are for 1 liter of cold water.

The Trangia weighs 4oz empty and holds 4oz of denatured alcohol. It took 20 minutes and 3 oz of fuel to boil 1 liter.

The Pocket Rocket weighs 4oz with its plastic carrying case and a full fuel canister weighs 12 oz. Each canister holds 8 oz of fuel. It took 7 minutes to boil 1 liter. Not sure how much fuel it took, but the canister still weighs 12oz.

Both stoves have advantages and disadvantages, The Trangia is slow, but very dependable. It would however require a lot of denatured alcohol(4 oz a day) for a long trip(14 days+). If you are not drinking coffee and just boiling water for dinner then this would be the way to go. If you are boiling a quart of water in the morning and 2 cups at night, then the Pocket rocket is more efficient. You could get by on one and a half canisters for a 14 day trip, but remember to keep the canister warm when the temperature drops, otherwise it just sputters. I hate carrying around the empty canisters, but this stove is a demon!

So for me it's the Trangia for short trips and the Pocket Rocket for 10+ days.
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Re: Stoves

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:54 am

Vandman,

Alcohol stoves work fine in cold weather if you warm the fuel - it also gives the stove an edge if it has a wick to prime instead of a primer pan. Part of the physics of it - I have boiled 2 cups of water reliably at temps well below freezing, with an ounce of fuel each burn with a Mini Atomic stove from Minibull Designs.

I got rid of the Pocket Rocket a long time ago, but I still have my alcohol stoves, and a Snow Peak that provides better efficiency than the PR with less carbon monoxide output.

You will probably notice a drop in effectiveness with canister stoves when the temps drop below freezing. For very cold temps, a remote canister stove is neat - lets you turn the canister upside down while the stove is operating, for a better fuel supply.
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Re: Stoves

Postby hikerduane » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:55 pm

I use a MSR Pocket Rocket for the summer, a MSR Internationale for snowcamping conditions. However, I am picking up a used MSR Rapidfire which I think I'll use for fall trips, it will use isobutane, regardless of temps, where my PR had to have the fuel warmed just a bit for those single digits in Oct. For weekend trips in the near future, I'll be bringing along a couple vintage stoves to try out each trip. Can't wait to see what I missed all these years. I used a couple of my recent acquisitions, vintage Optimus 111T's on two different snowcamp trips to see how they would do and gain some experience with these mulit-fuel stoves. Smells just like a diesel rig went by without most of the noise.:) My trips will have to be solo as some of the stoves have roarer burners and are loud, even the little ones.

Check out HJ's stove of the week series on some of the MSR stoves at, Classic Camp Stoves. Cool place for stove fans/fanatics.
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Re: Stoves

Postby hikerduane » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:02 pm

Bill Morell, I don't find HST a bit cliqueish like High School. A few here have done trips together, not a meet up group here. One of the better run and knowledge based forums I have seen. Sorry you generated many looks and few welcomes, folks here don't gush like other forums, more seriousness, less nonsense. By the way, welcome, I never made it down to your intro, it got buried. I'm a doer, not a talker.
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Re: Stoves

Postby markskor » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:15 pm

Bill,
Sorry you felt un-welcomed...never the intention for anyone.
Most of the regulars here are sort of loners - typically solo hikers, experienced, eager to share, straight shooters, passionate but perhaps intolerant of any BS…some are relatively incoherent at times too.
Stick around, trade some knowledge – welcome; feel free to ask (and answer) any well-thought-out questions on anything Sierra. I do.
No agendas here; we do not judge, so park the attitude…maybe a little sarcasm (expected and tolerated), but…the only entrance ticket into the “clique” here (you mentioned) merely asks that you bring something positive to the table - share.
FYI, most here have never met, probably never will – the nature of the solo beast.

Again, Welcome aboard!
Mark
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Re: Stoves

Postby freestone » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:31 pm

Trangia has two basic concepts, the 25 and 27 series with the windscreen and the Mini series with a burner support but no real windscreen. The Sierra can be a windy place and the wind is not friend of alcohol stoves. I took the Mini to Whitney last summer during windy conditions and it performed poorly. I prefer the 25 series with a true windscreen and a tea kettle instead of the pots and pan. The windscreen is bomb proof and translates to better fuel conservation when snuffed quickly after the water boils. I can do a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee or tea and a dinner cozy style on about 3 to 4 ounces of fuel per day. I love the versatility but you need to stay within the design concepts to get the best efficiency. My trips are usually about three to four days so I can safely optimize an alcohol fuel setup. Besides all that, I like the stability and quietness.
As a side note, welcome aboard Bob!
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Re: Stoves

Postby Flux » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:22 am

Bill,

I am kind of new here too and it just took a few posts (maybe some dumb ones too!!) until folks feel you are here to contribute by starting topix or chiming in. I will tell you that this is a good place and I have learned alot here in a short amount of time.

I use canister stoves as I am pretty much a warmer weather hiker. I like their ease of use and they can be very efficient. My MSR windpro is a great stove and can simmer and has a nice wide flame. I recently got an optimus Crux lite and paired it up with a small Ti pot for light hikes. Previously, I used an MSR whisperlite international that never let me down. I wouldn't winter camp with the canister stoves, too risky. But I have turned the canister upside down on cold mornings with my windpro and it works better for sure.
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Re: Stoves

Postby freestone » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:59 pm

Did I say Bob? Sheesh, Sorry Bill. I meant you. Wish my brain had spell check.
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Re: Stoves

Postby Herm » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:39 am

Until summer 2007, I used MSR Whisperlite, ca ~1989, the kind with the fiber wrapped rubber supply tube. In late summer 2007, while camped near the shore of First Lake in Big Pine Lake drainage, the supply hose gave out while the stove was in use, and there was just the smallest of fires that started. I was able to quckly close the valve, then extiguish the leaked and burning fuel.

I love how that stove worked, but replaced it with a Simmerlite. I think I would love to get the Whisperlite supply tube fixed, as long as I could still have the non-shaker jet option. I think HJ's video states that the non-shaker jet is best for simmering. I saw HJ's instructional clip on a San Gorgonio site, and his video made me want to revive that "old" stove.
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Re: Stoves

Postby hikerduane » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:48 pm

Herm, you should be able to get a new, upgraded fuel line, check out REI, Campmor. If all else fails, shoot Cascade Designs an email.
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Re: Stoves

Postby Herm » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:16 am

Duane;
Thanks - I will be looking into that. Hopefully, Cascade Designs would be willing to replace just the fuel line, as all other components are in working order. As I stated, I would not want the newer model with the shaker jet, since that apparently has adverse impact on the ability to simmer.
In the past, I have gotten great response from Cascade Designs - sent a broken SweetWater pump for repair, and received a brand new, complete unit for free.
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