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touring stove

Old 09-06-10, 10:18 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Sorry but from a purely physical chemistry standpoint, alcohol is a poor fuel choice. Pound for pound, alcohols just don't measure up to alkane gases...
This is true, however, alcohol is available just about everywhere. I think it's a trade-off between output and fuel availability. Unlike mountaineering where you have to maximize every ounce for BTUs, with bicycle touring, you have more options. You can find fuel at grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, gas stations auto parts stores along the way.

I have all three; alcohol, white gas, and isobutane stoves. I used my butane stove on a recent overnight trip but that was simply for space savings. If I was going for a week-long trip, I'd reach for the alcohol stove.

BTW, I have an MSR Dragonfly. If anyone is interested, it's for sale.
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Old 09-06-10, 10:21 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I don't use gasoline in liquid fuel stoves because I know the dangers of gasoline. I'd use other fuels long before I'd use gasoline...including a wood fire. Just the hazard of putting gasoline in a MSR fuel bottle is enough to give me the willies. The fuels I would use...naphtha, white gas, mineral spirits, etc...have a higher flash point than gasoline and are safer. They also evaporate cleanly if you do spill them and won't leave any more residual odor than any alcohol.
I'm wondering what specific dangers you're thinking of. I know that if a spark ignited the gas while I was pouring it into a tank it would be bad. But I fill up my truck without worrying too much. There's often some spilled gas - usually from gas left in the nozzle - when I fill up my vehicles. I can fill my MSR bottle with no spillage, but not much more than 50% of the time. It's similar to when I buy gasoline for my lawnmower. It seems like it calls for caution, but not something that is so dangerous as to be completely avoided.

When I filled the tank on my Coleman 442 from my MSR bottle, and when I disassemble my Whisperlite, there can be some "loose" gasoline. I keep the gas away from any flames, and don't do any of this until the stove has cooled off. Should I be worried?
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Old 09-06-10, 10:28 AM
  #53  
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I think most would agree that there are lots of factors to consider in deciding what kind of stove to bring on tour. I choose one that burns unleaded gas as I've said. The reason is the easy availability of fuel. For me that trumps the facts that unleaded burns dirty (smelly and black soot), sputters, and doesn't simmer especially well. If availability wasn't an issue I'd prefer butane. My Primus weighs almost nothing, the cannisters hold a lot of fuel and don't weigh too much, there's no pumping, and it simmers beautifully.

I haven't tried alcohol.
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Old 09-06-10, 10:54 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I don't use gasoline in liquid fuel stoves because I know the dangers of gasoline. I'd use other fuels long before I'd use gasoline...including a wood fire. Just the hazard of putting gasoline in a MSR fuel bottle is enough to give me the willies. The fuels I would use...naphtha, white gas, mineral spirits, etc...have a higher flash point than gasoline and are safer. They also evaporate cleanly if you do spill them and won't leave any more residual odor than any alcohol.
Coleman fuel is assorted hexanes. (probably around 50% n-hexane, with the rest being assorted other isomers and related molecules.) It's got a flash point of about -10 F. While that's quite a bit higher than gasoline (about -40, depending on various things), it's ridiculously low. The autoignition temperature of hexane is a lot lower than it is for gasoline. VM&P naptha is essentially identical. Mineral spirits are a bit safer, with a flash point of 100F.

I think you've got a case of the irrational fear of gasoline.
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Old 09-06-10, 04:59 PM
  #55  
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I used a MSR pocket rocket on a long tour last summer. I don't like the stove, it was really unstable and didn't hold pots/pans well. On the plus side I never had trouble finding canisters for it. They are more common than you'd think. You will have to get away from the brand that came with the stove. Most places only sell the generic types. But they all have the same threading in the canister so they will work with any stove.
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Old 09-06-10, 05:54 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Paint thinner is not alcohol based. Shellac thinner is but paint thinner is usually mineral spirits which should never be burned in alcohol fuel stoves. Other items that may be used as "paint thinner" are acetone, mineral turpentine (turps), true turpentine, naphtha, toluene, white spirit, xylene, or methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). Not a single one of those would be appropriate for a mass burning stove like an alcohol stove. Each burns far too hot and could be an explosion hazard even upon ignition due to extremely low flash points.
hey, stu, you're out to lunch. I buy denatured alcohol in the paint thinner/solvent lineup at hardware stores all the time, dude! I said, "check the label" - your endless pimping of compact canister stoves as the ONLY CHOICE for cyclists is way over the top, terribly tedious and does not reflect the common experiences of many, many bike tourists and ultralite campers out there and the validity of alcohol burning stoves..

Originally Posted by wildergeek
You can find fuel at grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, gas stations auto parts stores along the way.
absolutely, virtually universal availability at any hour day or night in the states if you are in a population center of virtually any size. any whistlestop with a 24 hour convenience store will have fuel for an alcohol store.

I will repeat this for cycocommute and the rest of the forum....... you can purchase fuel for an alcohol stove in EVERY 24 hour convenience store/gas mart in america.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-06-10 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 09-06-10, 07:18 PM
  #57  
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I went to an outdoor show and saw demos of many stoves. I liked the easy operation and short boil time (1 L less than 3 min) of the Jetboil Helios. Checked the Walmart, Kmart and several outdoor stores for fuel, and I bought one. 2.6 lbs, 8" x 5" (stove, fuel, and pot) fits in a water resistant pannier easily, and makes good coffee. I don't intend touring on the back side of Outer Mongolia so I don't believe fuel will be a problem for me. But each to his/her own. If it suits you, it suits me.
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Old 09-06-10, 10:58 PM
  #58  
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I think stoves, along with tents, are one of the items where personal preference, behavior, and avaliability are all a big thing. There are literally hundreds of stoves on the market, with as many home made stoves as well.
Propane is a good product, but the cannisters are heavy. If you choose liquid fuel, any one that can also burn diesel or auto gas is a good option. If you want to cook inside a tent, a cannister stove is the way to go, no soot, no danger from invisible flames and spillage (alcohol stoves), they cool off quick but the downside is finding replacement fuel in remote areas. In any civilized area (US, all of Western Europe) you can find it in most any decent sized town, but then again you may be wanting to avoid towns of that size.
Really, with stoves, there is no right answer, its all just a personal preference thing. I have 5 stoves and use them for different purposes...an ultralight butane one, a multifuel liquid stove for really remote areas, a zip stove for burning sticks, a propane stove for kayak and car camping, and another liquid fuel that just uses white gas. They are each good for their intended purpose.
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Old 09-07-10, 03:06 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by benajah View Post
I think stoves, along with tents, are one of the items where personal preference, behavior, and avaliability are all a big thing. There are literally hundreds of stoves on the market, with as many home made stoves as well.
Propane is a good product, but the cannisters are heavy. If you choose liquid fuel, any one that can also burn diesel or auto gas is a good option. If you want to cook inside a tent, a cannister stove is the way to go, no soot, no danger from invisible flames and spillage (alcohol stoves), they cool off quick but the downside is finding replacement fuel in remote areas. In any civilized area (US, all of Western Europe) you can find it in most any decent sized town, but then again you may be wanting to avoid towns of that size.
Really, with stoves, there is no right answer, its all just a personal preference thing. I have 5 stoves and use them for different purposes...an ultralight butane one, a multifuel liquid stove for really remote areas, a zip stove for burning sticks, a propane stove for kayak and car camping, and another liquid fuel that just uses white gas. They are each good for their intended purpose.
^^^^
That about covers it, to each their own. Now if you excuse me I need to go fire up the Kelly Kettle so I can have a cuppa..

Aaron
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Old 09-07-10, 06:27 AM
  #60  
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i certainly use white gas and canister stoves in my outdoor pursuits when i find them appropriate. canister stoves are great in a assault pack. white gas on long trips without resupply.....

For me, bike wise, a petrol stove is the way to go for bike touring where you need to melt snow for water avisign.jpg so i do take petrol stoves on occasion....
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Old 09-07-10, 08:52 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
^^^^
That about covers it, to each their own. Now if you excuse me I need to go fire up the Kelly Kettle so I can have a cuppa..

Aaron
Those things are great! I don't have one but have used a friend's several times. Very cool concept.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:03 AM
  #62  
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big fan of the trangia or my homemad starlyte and can stoves.
here's the trangia boiling water for coffee on a cold november morning.
home made windscreen and spoke pot stand.
whole kit fits into the cup. if its just an overnight, i leave the fuel bottle @ home and store fuel in the stove.

i have various sized pots / screens / stands (all home made save the pots / cups) depending on what i may be cooking.




i've also used a whisperlite international, and wouldn't carry it on a bike trip unless i needed to melt snow or cook for a large group...
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Old 09-09-10, 08:52 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
hey, stu, you're out to lunch. I buy denatured alcohol in the paint thinner/solvent lineup at hardware stores all the time, dude! I said, "check the label" - your endless pimping of compact canister stoves as the ONLY CHOICE for cyclists is way over the top, terribly tedious and does not reflect the common experiences of many, many bike tourists and ultralite campers out there and the validity of alcohol burning stoves..
Denatured alcohol is an entirely different beast than 'paint thinner'. To imply that you can use 'paint thinner' in any kind of mass burning stove is to invite disaster...even if you say 'read the label'. You didn't say what to read the label for. Someone with out any knowledge of chemistry...covering roughly 80% of the US population...could follow your advice, pick up a can labeled 'paint thinner', read the label which says 'paint thinner' thinking that you can use it in an alcohol stove and cause themselves serious harm.

If you are going to offer advice on using paint thinner and tell everyone to 'read the label' you really ought to tell them what to read the label for. Alcohol stoves should only be use with alcohols. Further they should be limited to methanol (methyl alcohol, methylated spirits, etc), ethanol (ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, alcohol, etc.) or 2-propanol (rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol).

I don't really care what you use to cook with. I do care that you are giving out very bad advice on fuels and possible improper use of them.
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Old 09-09-10, 09:07 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by wildergeek View Post
This is true, however, alcohol is available just about everywhere. I think it's a trade-off between output and fuel availability. Unlike mountaineering where you have to maximize every ounce for BTUs, with bicycle touring, you have more options. You can find fuel at grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, gas stations auto parts stores along the way.

I have all three; alcohol, white gas, and isobutane stoves. I used my butane stove on a recent overnight trip but that was simply for space savings. If I was going for a week-long trip, I'd reach for the alcohol stove.

BTW, I have an MSR Dragonfly. If anyone is interested, it's for sale.
The issue is that with alcohol you have to replenish more often since you use almost twice as much fuel to do the same job. If that isn't an issue for you, feel free to use whatever fuel you want. There are other safety considerations that I have addressed here that should be considered when choosing a stove. Looking at flammabilities and the safety of chemicals is something of an occupational hazard for me
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Old 09-09-10, 09:10 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
I'm wondering what specific dangers you're thinking of. I know that if a spark ignited the gas while I was pouring it into a tank it would be bad. But I fill up my truck without worrying too much. There's often some spilled gas - usually from gas left in the nozzle - when I fill up my vehicles. I can fill my MSR bottle with no spillage, but not much more than 50% of the time. It's similar to when I buy gasoline for my lawnmower. It seems like it calls for caution, but not something that is so dangerous as to be completely avoided.

When I filled the tank on my Coleman 442 from my MSR bottle, and when I disassemble my Whisperlite, there can be some "loose" gasoline. I keep the gas away from any flames, and don't do any of this until the stove has cooled off. Should I be worried?
The control on a gas pump nozzle isn't all that fine. I'd be concerned about spills and sparks.

As for spillage at camp, you should be fine as long as you don't have any ignition sources around when you disassemble your stove. Letting the stove cool before taking it apart...liquid fuel, butane or alcohol...is always prudent.
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Old 09-09-10, 09:21 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
Coleman fuel is assorted hexanes. (probably around 50% n-hexane, with the rest being assorted other isomers and related molecules.) It's got a flash point of about -10 F. While that's quite a bit higher than gasoline (about -40, depending on various things), it's ridiculously low. The autoignition temperature of hexane is a lot lower than it is for gasoline. VM&P naptha is essentially identical. Mineral spirits are a bit safer, with a flash point of 100F.

I think you've got a case of the irrational fear of gasoline.
Coleman Fuel is about 25% n-hexane and has a flash point of 0 F according to the MSDS. Gasoline, with a flash point of -40F, is far more dangerous to use than Coleman fuel. The auto-ignition temperature of n-hexane is 225C (437F) and it's 280C (536F) for gasoline. That's not 'a lot lower'. It's only slightly lower. Gasoline is a substance that should be treated with extreme respect and used with extreme caution. Like I said, I'd use just about anything else before I used gasoline while camping.
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Old 09-09-10, 11:14 AM
  #67  
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I am going to have to give another vote for the jetboil. Fuel last quite awhile. I can usually get 7-10 days from a can cooking 2 times a day. I recommend getting the stabilizer legs and pot stabilizer. I have 1 pot in addition to the jetboil cup. I only boil water in the cup which is 50% of my cooking when hiking, for the rest I use the small pot to cook in.
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Old 09-09-10, 01:56 PM
  #68  
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captain fuel making the rules about telling the people about the wide variety of fuels usable in an alcohol stove! oh, i feel so bad for saying 'paint thinner' when i meant 'denatured alcohol you purchase in the paint thinner aisle, make sure to check the label'.

Originally Posted by cyccommute
Further they should be limited to methanol (methyl alcohol, methylated spirits, etc), ethanol (ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, alcohol, etc.) or 2-propanol (rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol).
limited? thats a whole lot of stuff you can burn in an alcohol cooker. wow!!! methyl, ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. man, you can find that stuff ALL OVER. You know what truly defines limiting in the stove world? BEING REQUIRED to find canisters of pressurized fuel!


Im not responsible for people understanding how to operate their stoves, dude. i suspect more than a few americans have put kerosene in their white gas stoves.

wait, can i even say 'white gas stove,' captain fuel???? Or do i have to say something about hexanes?





bwauhahahahahaha! stuart, get a grip.

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Old 09-09-10, 02:07 PM
  #69  
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I apologize if someone already suggested this one, but I'm not going to read all these responses to make sure.

I have a Bushcooker LT and it is awesome. It weighs about 3 oz., fits in a pot, and you can use any fuel you want. Most importantly, the stove works great with wood. You can easily go on extended tour and never worry about carrying or finding fuel. Just take a few solid tablets for when everything around you is wet, and other than that, just use wood and other debris.

https://www.fourdog.com/index_files/bushcooker.htm

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Old 09-09-10, 02:53 PM
  #70  
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hey there Bek, from an outsiders point of view, your tone and captain fuel use sure dont make me feel like taking your posts seriously. Aint too socially polite is all im saying.

neat topic though, nice to see some good examples of other types of stoves that folks have used.
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Old 09-09-10, 03:41 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
captain fuel making the rules about telling the people about the wide variety of fuels usable in an alcohol stove! oh, i feel so bad for saying 'paint thinner' when i meant 'denatured alcohol you purchase in the paint thinner aisle, make sure to check the label'.



limited? thats a whole lot of stuff you can burn in an alcohol cooker. wow!!! methyl, ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. man, you can find that stuff ALL OVER. You know what truly defines limiting in the stove world? BEING REQUIRED to find canisters of pressurized fuel!


Im not responsible for people understanding how to operate their stoves, dude. i suspect more than a few americans have put kerosene in their white gas stoves.

wait, can i even say 'white gas stove,' captain fuel???? Or do i have to say something about hexanes?





bwauhahahahahaha! stuart, get a grip.
You are being either overly dense or just plain asinine now. You know that by 'limited' I mean that you should restrict the use of any alcohol burning stove to those three fuels. Use of any thing outside of those fuels puts the user at risk of injury. I have experimented with other fuels in a pop can stove. While alcohols are well behaved, 'paint thinners' like naphtha or white gas burn very hot (damaged the stove) and flared uncontrollably and dangerously. If you are going to use fuels like 'paint thinner' or gasoline, you have to have a stove that you can control the burn rate. You know that and yet feign ignorance. Congratulations on being insulting while doing so.

Kerosene, by the way, is just fine to burn in a pressurized fuel stove. MSR's Whisperlite is designed to do so.
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Old 09-09-10, 04:13 PM
  #72  
Greg_R
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Newsflash: all fuels are dangerous unless handled properly.

Important things to focus on when selecting a stove:
- How available is the fuel (alcohol is the most available in the US, white gas is probably the least accessible here with the push toward butane/propane canisters)
- What kind of cooking are you doing (do you need to simmer or are you just boiling water for re-hydrating meals)
- What is the total weight of the entire -system- to handle a 10 day tour (stove, fuel, fuel storage, WIND SCREEN, stability bases, etc.). Anything longer than 10 days I'd assume that you'll be refilling the fuel.
- Ability to function in horrible conditions (high wind, dumping rain, etc.)

Things that are not important:
- How quickly the stove will boil water (who cares about a few minutes difference except for how it relates to the amount of fuel spent?)
- Ruggedness comparisons. Most modern stoves are durable if stored carefully (inside a cook pot, etc.) and come with cleaning tools if clogs occur (like if you drop the stove in mud). My old scout troop used a mix of Coleman, Primus, and MSR stoves... if scouts couldn't destroy them then they will hold up on a tour.

Alcohol stoves are by far the lightest system out there. You can also carry the fuel in a standard Nalgene (labeled appropriately of course)... there is no need for special metal fuel containers (like white gas). The stoves weigh ~ 1/2 oz. The downside is there is no easy way to simmer and you should let all the fuel burn off after each use. If you are boiling water then this is not an issue (you've already experimented and know that X oz of fuel boils Y oz of water, right?). I have used these systems + insulation bags for most of my recent backpack cooking. Yes, alcohol does not burn as hot as white gas but the overall weight of a system to boil a certain amount of water 2x a day is the lightest solution (besides stick burners / firewood).

White gas and multi-fuel stoves can burn at very hot temperatures & some models have variable temperature (simmer, etc.). They tend to be a bit more fragile (specifically the bottle->stove connection) which just requires some care in packing (I stick it inside my cook pot). While white gas may not be as prevalent, some of these stoves can burn kerosene when the appropriate jet nozzle is attached. Filling a white gas stove often results in some spills, etc. (one reason why butane/propane style screw-in stoves have become popular). My favorite stove in this category is the Primus Omnifuel because it will burn pretty much anything, can work with canisters, & functions at high altitudes.

Canister stoves require that you carry around screw-in fuel canisters. The stoves are smaller than the white gas options because you don't need a pump mechanism. In general, they do everything just as well as white gas with no fuel spill / refilling issues. However, you need to have access to a source of the canisters.

You can buy a pre-made pop can stove for $12 here along with some pot cozies. A pot cozy will allow you to continue cooking without any flame. I would highly recommend them, regardless of the stove solution you pick.... you will save a lot of fuel.

Last edited by Greg_R; 09-09-10 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-09-10, 04:44 PM
  #73  
djb
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thanks greg for all that, good points.
Especially like the "if scouts cant destroy it...."--I have two kids in scouts...very appropriate.
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Old 09-09-10, 06:17 PM
  #74  
NeilGunton
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Originally Posted by Greg_R View Post
The downside is ... you should let all the fuel burn off after each use. If you are boiling water then this is not an issue (you've already experimented and know that X oz of fuel boils Y oz of water, right?).
This is not true for Trangia burners - when you're done cooking, extinguish with the closed simmer ring, then there is a screw top which you can use to save any remaining fuel (after the stove has cooled down - you need to wait a couple of minutes, otherwise risk damaging the O-ring on the cap). So you can just fill it up and go, no need to worry about having to waste some at the end by being required to burn off.

Neil
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Old 09-09-10, 07:45 PM
  #75  
djb
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a german friend of mine had a stove like the alcohol ones mentioned, very simple and I find them rather intriquing now, just from the simplicity side of things.
So cheap too, would be interesting to try one out sometime.
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