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which backpacking stove to use

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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby longri » Mon May 06, 2013 5:51 pm

I like to use large rocks to crush empties in the backcountry. It's fun and dramatic and it means more space in the pack. Try that with your MSR. When I'm not in the mood for that sort of exercise I take the empties home and pop them open with a church key or a screw driver and then deliver them to the "blue bin".

Partially used canisters go car camping. I have toyed with the idea of topping them up but so far it just hasn't seemed worth the bother.



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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby Alpine high » Tue May 07, 2013 11:15 am

I have done much internet searching on stove fuel consumption and came across this chart. I found it very useful for stove comparison and fuel usage. Here is the website http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin ... d_id=20499
Scroll down and you will see the chart.
Thanks for all your insight. I picked the Olicamp Xcelerator and XTS combo stove pot. This cut 2 lbs. of kitchen weight from my pack! My Whisperlite gave me many hassle free meals, but it had to go. :nod:
Thanks again Scouter9 :thumbsup:
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby longri » Tue May 07, 2013 1:16 pm

Interesting tables but without a subscription to BPL you can't know what assumptions they made. What they are saying is that top mount canister stoves are more fuel efficent than remote canister stoves and that all canister stoves use a LOT less fuel in terms of weight than white gas stoves. Their numbers do not match the specs from MSR about their own stoves so you have to wonder.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby Alpine high » Tue May 07, 2013 2:55 pm

I also came across this graph to show comparisons for different stoves and fuel types http://zenstoves.net/StoveChoices.htm#BottomLine
I was reluctant to give up my MSR Whisperlite because it has been so good for so long, but the total weight comparison vs. the remote canister stoves plus the feedback from people on this site convinced me that I will save weight (my main concern) they are a lot more user friendly and they fit into a smaller space. Yes the fuel costs more per ounce in canisters and yes they are certainly not "green" and yes white gas is more fuel efficient on longer trips such as my 9 day trip, but the total weight savings is 2 lbs. and I can't see hauling around 2 extra pounds because I simply like my old stove.
However, I too did not understand how a remote stove is less efficient than an upright stove, since you have the ability to use a windscreen and some can be inverted but I did not look at their numbers either. Are MSR's numbers less or more fuel efficient than that website?
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby longri » Tue May 07, 2013 5:06 pm

I don't undertand why a remote canister stove would use more fuel either. I think there are factors not being properly included in the analysis.

From the BPL table, fuel burned per liter boiled:
24g - white gas
16g - remote canister
13g - top mount canister

I assumed white gas has a density of 0.7 g/ml. As you can see the white gas stove numbers really suck according to that table at BPL.

But MSR says something different:
14g - white gas (Whisperlight)
15g - remote canister (Windpro II)
14g - top mount (Pocket Rocket)

The Zen guy says:
15g - white gas (MSR Simmerlight)
13g - top mount (Snow Peak Gigapower)

Who are you going to believe?

For a summer Sierra trip like you're planning a remote canister stove will be lighter and more compact than a Whisperlight. A top mount canister would be even lighter and more compact. The main reason for having a remote stove is for winter use or if you're clumsy since a top mount is less stable.

White gas stoves aren't green either but it doesn't matter very much.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby AlmostThere » Tue May 07, 2013 6:02 pm

The fire ban that started in Sequoia NF and will likely be instituted in other Sierra jurisdictions means we'll all be using stoves with regulated flame - alcohol will be included in the ban along with wood stoves and campfires.

So, yeah. Canisters. Not getting a white gas any time soon. Some of them are workable to cook with, not that I do that too often.

I recycle them when they are used up.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby Scouter9 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:27 pm

Hey, white gas is getting squeezed out, anyway: many local jurisdictions and Scout camps now restrict against liquid fuel stoves and lanterns. This gores my ox for car camping, as I still use a well-maintained Coleman stove and lantern set that works as well as when new, 60 years ago. I own a badass LED lantern and I can tell you that I prefer the light of the Coleman even though it's harder to fire and I have to be careful with the mantles.

Anyway, enough of that, but white gas just might get regulated out. Canister fuel for the win, again.

If you're a member at Backpacking Light, check out their recent article on "Frybake cooking". It includes a video with Alpine High's new stove in action.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby longri » Thu May 09, 2013 8:16 am

Scouter9 wrote:Hey, white gas is getting squeezed out, anyway: many local jurisdictions and Scout camps now restrict against liquid fuel stoves and lanterns.

Getting off topic here but you've piqued my curiosity. What local jurisdictions have banned white gas stoves? And I'll readily admit I know nothing about the how the Boy Scouts of America sets its rules, but their official national policy document lists white gas first in the list of recommended stove fuels.

?
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby Alpine high » Thu May 09, 2013 7:15 pm

I guess I'll have to check out the video since my stove hasn't arrived yet, thanks for the update, now back to the Giants game
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby rlown » Thu May 09, 2013 7:20 pm

i still stand with the white gas crowd. I love my stove, and fire is fire, regardless of the fuel. heck, the 151 i carry is as flammable. not like granite stone is gonna burst into flames.

Think that we actually cook.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby Scouter9 » Fri May 10, 2013 8:02 am

longri wrote:
Scouter9 wrote:Hey, white gas is getting squeezed out, anyway: many local jurisdictions and Scout camps now restrict against liquid fuel stoves and lanterns.

... What local jurisdictions have banned white gas stoves? And ... Boy Scouts of America... ?


Several campground administered by the County of San Diego, and campgrounds in the State Parks system now post signage in red-flag periods that restrict against liquid fuel stoves and lanterns (and wood fires, of course). I've been in camp with my mantle lantern on and had the discussion with Rangers in Laguna, making me far more aware of what's being posted and the evolution of ideas. These restrictions are fire-safety based and have nothing to do with the efficacy of the stoves. I expect that we're not on the leading edge, but rather that other Counties and regions are doing the same. This is consistent with the Ranger's understanding.

BSA camps, including Mataguay Scout Ranch, Lost Valley, Cherry Valley, Holcomb Valley, Chawanakee, Whitsett and others, now restrict against white gas stoves and lanterns, allowing only canister propane, canister isobutane and LED (lanterns). The restrictions are within the discretion and autonomy of the local Councils and are based in safety concerns regarding use of white gas and fire-season. These restrictions are safety based and have nothing to do with efficacy of the stove or lantern.

On top of this, as you may or may not know, alcohol stoves, such as the cat-stove, etc... are also on a variation of the Ban List. Specifically, the first version of the rule bans home-made stoves but appears to have a carve-out for commercially made stoves such as the Vargo ti alcohol stoves and, it would seem, any home made soda can stove that somebody markets and sells on the internet... This restriction is purely safety-based, and has nothing to do with efficacy of the stove.

Notwithstanding my frustration with reduced ability to use my old Coleman two-burner and lanterns, I perceive a move in "fire country" that will direct more users to stoves with canned propane, butane and isobutane. In fact, our Troop's patrols are outfitted with two types of stove: "table top" butane stoves and Olicamp remote canister isobutanes.

It's a brave new world, so hang onto your wild-eyed, white gas rebel status while you can. It's way better than a pony tail --easier, too. :) I'll be the fellow over in the next campsite with my Coleman lantern and a "cold dead fingers speech" going.
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Re: which backpacking stove to use

Postby longri » Fri May 10, 2013 9:49 am

Red flag? You mean high fire danger periods? In New South Wales, Australia they total fire bans during such periods. You can go to jail for lighting a stove, even a canister stove!

I was wondering if local BSA groups could have tighter restrictions. Thanks for explaining that.

I don't really get the sense that white gas stoves are going to be widely prohibited anytime soon.

I went on a trip in the Sierra with a friend a couple of weeks ago. We took his stove, an MSR white gas model. It weighed a little more than my canister setup does I suppose, I'm not sure how much, some number of ounces. It wasn't a big deal.
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