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What's the latest and greatest on alky stoves?

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What's the latest and greatest on alky stoves?

Old 12-27-14, 10:04 PM
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What's the latest and greatest on alky stoves?

Hello all and hope everyone had a sweet and memorial holiday

I'm posting in regards to finding out what's been going on with alcohol stoves. I was involved in it back about 10 years ago and figured by now it would just be off into another world! Doing a quick and dirty search just takes me to 10 yr old sites! I figured by now there would be a default standard stove! What am I missing here?

Please include links if you referring to a stove.
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Old 12-27-14, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Hello all and hope everyone had a sweet and memorial holiday

I'm posting in regards to finding out what's been going on with alcohol stoves. I was involved in it back about 10 years ago and figured by now it would just be off into another world! Doing a quick and dirty search just takes me to 10 yr old sites! I figured by now there would be a default standard stove! What am I missing here?

Please include links if you referring to a stove.
Well alcohol stoves are pretty simple so I don't imagine there's much innovation. I suppose the default remains a Trangia or a Pepsi can stove. But I like this one.

Ti Stove ? Evernew America
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Old 12-27-14, 10:51 PM
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I've never used them, but this guy makes a bunch of different alky stoves and seems to be innovating frequently.

I still use the Pepsi can stove I made ten years ago and it works just fine. I also still have a Trangia I bought about 15 years ago and I don't think it's changed at all in many decades.
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Old 12-28-14, 05:04 AM
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I doubt all that much has changed. I use the same pepsi can stoves I built 8 years ago. They work fine, are essentially free, and I find them ideal for bike touring.

Their biggest weakness for backpacking is still that the fuel is less energy dense than other choices, so if you must go longer distances between restock the weight of the fuel offsets the weight savings of the stove. For bike touring it is easy to find fuel in small quantities (12 oz Yellow Heet) so you never need to carry much and it is the lightest stove/fuel option.
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Old 12-28-14, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I doubt all that much has changed. I use the same pepsi can stoves I built 8 years ago. They work fine, are essentially free, and I find them ideal for bike touring.

Their biggest weakness for backpacking is still that the fuel is less energy dense than other choices, so if you must go longer distances between restock the weight of the fuel offsets the weight savings of the stove. For bike touring it is easy to find fuel in small quantities (12 oz Yellow Heet) so you never need to carry much and it is the lightest stove/fuel option.
Agree. On long-dist backpacking, I use a ul stove and canister due to the breakeven in usage/weight between that and alky. For me, it's a no-brainer. My FL tour next month will be with my canister as well - it just doesn't seem worth it to worry about a few grams when I'm riding a 31-lb racked-up bike plus gear. But to your first question, the Evernew alky is a great stove, as are some of the more bohemian ones. Zelph comes to mind - he has a real nice wick'ed stove called Fancee Feest.
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Old 12-28-14, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by User1 View Post
Hello all and hope everyone had a sweet and memorial holiday

I'm posting in regards to finding out what's been going on with alcohol stoves. I was involved in it back about 10 years ago and figured by now it would just be off into another world! Doing a quick and dirty search just takes me to 10 yr old sites! I figured by now there would be a default standard stove! What am I missing here?

Please include links if you referring to a stove.
Nothing has really changed in 10 years. I have a couple of Trangia burners, IIRC the oldest one is pushing 20 years old and still works fine. Only reason I bought the new one was because I had misplaced the original one.

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Old 12-28-14, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by walksomemore View Post
Agree. On long-dist backpacking, I use a ul stove and canister due to the breakeven in usage/weight between that and alky. For me, it's a no-brainer. My FL tour next month will be with my canister as well - it just doesn't seem worth it to worry about a few grams when I'm riding a 31-lb racked-up bike plus gear.
The calculation will vary with the user and the trip, but one other thing to consider is fuel availability. I have generally found that my pop can stove is easier to find fuel for. Just about any convenience store, gas station, of big box store has Yellow Heet. I have not found canisters to be as available. I know that someone will say that you can find them at any Walmart, but in my experience that has not been the case. In 2007 on the TA after leaving Pueblo we didn't find canisters again until Virginia and we checked in a lot of Walmarts and sporting goods stores. Granted things may be better now, but I still think it is easier to find alcohol. I have never gone far at all without seeing a place to buy Heet.
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Old 12-28-14, 09:00 AM
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I have some canister stoves but I almost exclusively use white gas (or Coleman fuel) stoves. I do not like running out of fuel part way thru a meal, thus canisters can be a hassle unless I have a second stove handy and ready to light when the first canister runs out. I do not use canisters enough to be able to put one in a pot of water to guess how much fuel remains in it (by how high it floats) and I do not carry a weight scale to measure remaining fuel in them.

Some of my stoves can take kerosene in addition to white gas, I used kerosene on my last camping trip (canoeing in BWCA in October for 9 days) because I had some old kerosene I wanted to get rid of.

My backpacking trip this past spring I decided that my lightest weight stove setup that was not a canister type was a vintage Svea 123. It worked great.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:02 AM
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For some very innovative stoves and examples of high quality workmanship, check out Tetkoba's videos on youtube. He is creating designs that get ready (bloom) quicker and boil quicker than traditional designs. IMHO, his tools and techniques exemplify why Japan is known for quality manufacturing. His latest design is Capillary Hoop Stove that uses the bottoms of 3 or so cans and is quite elegant.

I wish someone would come up with a stove design that is easy to build like the alcohol stove but uses gasoline.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My backpacking trip this past spring I decided that my lightest weight stove setup that was not a canister type was a vintage Svea 123. It worked great.
I sometimes get nostalgic and think about taking my SVEA 123. Then I pick it up and remember how heavy it is compared to my other choices. I also have found that it tends to be hard to find white gas in convenient sized containers on a trip where I need to buy fuel along the way (just about all of my tours). I have often seen it only in gallons and sometimes quarts. The quart size containers are increasingly but not universally available and are still about three times as much as I'd like to carry.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have some canister stoves but I almost exclusively use white gas (or Coleman fuel) stoves. I do not like running out of fuel part way thru a meal, thus canisters can be a hassle unless I have a second stove handy and ready to light when the first canister runs out. I do not use canisters enough to be able to put one in a pot of water to guess how much fuel remains in it (by how high it floats) and I do not carry a weight scale to measure remaining fuel in them.

Some of my stoves can take kerosene in addition to white gas, I used kerosene on my last camping trip (canoeing in BWCA in October for 9 days) because I had some old kerosene I wanted to get rid of.

My backpacking trip this past spring I decided that my lightest weight stove setup that was not a canister type was a vintage Svea 123. It worked great.
I've used lots of canisters and never had a problem with gauging how full the canister is before I start the stove. I can at least gauge it enough that I don't run out in the middle of cooking.

As for needing a second stove, that would depend on the stove configuration. I have an Omifuel stove where the stove doesn't sit on top of the stove so changing canisters isn't a problem. Even with a stove that sits on top of the canister, it wouldn't be that hard to change a canister in the middle of a meal. Yes, you'd have to let the stove cool but the stoves cool quickly.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:29 AM
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Trangia stoves have been around for 50 or so years. The mini-trangia runs a little over $30 and weighs 330 grams; that's not bad. The ti alky evernew stove (post no. 2) and pot weighs half that but it's going to cost a lot more then $30. I've used trangia stoves a lot and really like them.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Trangia stoves have been around for 50 or so years. The mini-trangia runs a little over $30 and weighs 330 grams; that's not bad. The ti alky evernew stove (post no. 2) and pot weighs half that but it's going to cost a lot more then $30. I've used trangia stoves a lot and really like them.
Just to clarify information about the Trangia Mini. It includes a burner,pot support and windscreen, aluminum pot and lid that doubles as a fry pan and a pot lifter- all in the 330 grams mentioned. My Trangia burners are 50 years old and remain a marvel of simplicity and durability. And they are silent in use.
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Old 12-28-14, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by arctos View Post
Just to clarify information about the Trangia Mini. It includes a burner,pot support and windscreen, aluminum pot and lid that doubles as a fry pan and a pot lifter- all in the 330 grams mentioned. My Trangia burners are 50 years old and remain a marvel of simplicity and durability. And they are silent in use.
Good point; this was a more or less apples to apples comparison as the ti stove includes a pot, support, windscreen, etc. at 160 grams but at considerably higher expense, Ti Stove ? Evernew America

I'm a big fan of Trangia as well.
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Old 12-28-14, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I've used lots of canisters and never had a problem with gauging how full the canister is before I start the stove. I can at least gauge it enough that I don't run out in the middle of cooking.
Is this by feel alone or do you have a more objective method?

In the past, I have taken a brand new container, set it in water and marked where the water level came to on the canister and then took an empty canister and placed it in water and again marked the water level. Since I tended to use the same MSR canister I could then transfer my markings onto a new can, so on tour, if I could find a water basin, I could keep an eye on my fuel levels. My other option was just start every decent length tour with a new canister but then I would end up with a bunch of partially used canisters which I was afraid to take off with until I learned how to better quantify their remaining amount.
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Old 12-28-14, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
...
In the past, I have taken a brand new container, set it in water and marked where the water level came to on the canister and then took an empty canister and placed it in water and again marked the water level. Since I tended to use the same MSR canister I could then transfer my markings onto a new can, so on tour, if I could find a water basin, I could keep an eye on my fuel levels. My other option was just start every decent length tour with a new canister but then I would end up with a bunch of partially used canisters which I was afraid to take off with until I learned how to better quantify their remaining amount.
Good idea on marking the canister float line when new and using an empty cannister to know where the empty line is. I had not thought of that. But, I have used a mix of MSR, Optimus, Markhill, Snow Peak, Primus and possibly other canisters, so that would be more complicated for me. I also have used old Gaz puncture type canisters on a Markhill adapter so I could use those canisters on newer thread-on type canister stoves.

Several years ago I brought a bunch of partly empty canisters on a trip with a spare stove. Then when one canister ran out, I could grab the second stove that was already threaded onto a canister and ready to go. That was a four day trip in hot weather, so we had minimal gear to carry, thus we had the ability to carry the extra volume of the canisters which are lighter weight when nearly empty. Optimus Crux stove (the folding model, not the non-folding lite version) is extrordinarily lightweight (115 grams without canister) and easy to pack under a canister, if I have carried a second canister stove it was usually that one.
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Old 12-28-14, 12:32 PM
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I bought one from this fellow, very satisfied, they have several variations
R&J http://www.traildesigns.com/
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Old 12-28-14, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gracehowler View Post
I bought one from this fellow, very satisfied, they have several variations
R&J http://www.traildesigns.com/
I've been reading the various reviews of this. It might get me to try something other than a trangia, . The price is right, the weight is good, and the design seems very well thought out.
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Old 12-28-14, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The calculation will vary with the user and the trip, but one other thing to consider is fuel availability. I have generally found that my pop can stove is easier to find fuel for. Just about any convenience store, gas station, of big box store has Yellow Heet. I have not found canisters to be as available. I know that someone will say that you can find them at any Walmart, but in my experience that has not been the case. In 2007 on the TA after leaving Pueblo we didn't find canisters again until Virginia and we checked in a lot of Walmarts and sporting goods stores. Granted things may be better now, but I still think it is easier to find alcohol. I have never gone far at all without seeing a place to buy Heet.
I always carry a spare, but I've never had that problem in well over 600 mis on the AT plus vairous other nat. parks. But point taken. Again, I almost always have a partial canister to start, so it is a good idea to bring an extra - at least for me. There are other advantages as well, but I would suggest going over to Whiteblaze,net or Hammock forums or Sgt Rock's site for researching.

cheerss
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Old 12-28-14, 03:24 PM
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These Alcohol Stove - Packafeather.com
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Old 12-28-14, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Good point; this was a more or less apples to apples comparison as the ti stove includes a pot, support, windscreen, etc. at 160 grams but at considerably higher expense, Ti Stove ? Evernew America

I'm a big fan of Trangia as well.
The Evernew set with stove, support, windscreen etc isn't worth it. I recommend just using the stove with a mug or pot you like. I like it because it doesn't need a stand, after the outer ring of jets lights the inner ones don't burn and a pot can be placed right on the stove. The burn gentler than with a pot stand, but it is also more efficient. A simple aluminium foil windscreen works well and you send up with an efficient light weight system that takes up very little volume.....but you are limited to boiling stuff.
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Old 12-28-14, 05:02 PM
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Look into rubbing alcohol stoves. I took an old tin can cut the top off and drilled some holes in it for air intake and I use 70%(I think that is the correct %age) rubbing alcohol for all my cooking at home and on the road. I just used a piece of welded wire mesh to make a pot stand, may change this over shortly to using a bigger tin can cut in fashion to still allow air intake and to also allow the support necessary to keep the pan 'on the stove'. The big secret is the pot stand. You need pretty much right at 1 inch separation between the top of the stove and the bottom of the pot to help minimize/eliminate any sooting up of the pot. The rubbing alcohol is easier to find than the Heet and you get more of it for less money.
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Old 12-28-14, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The rubbing alcohol is easier to find than the Heet and you get more of it for less money.
The problem with rubbing alcohol or isopropanol is that it leaves more soot or residue than denatured alcohol (ethanol) or HEET (methanol)

Cycco as our resident chemist can tell us, correct me if I'm wrong here, but ethanol has a higher amount of calories per gram than methanol but not quite sure where isopropyl fits in the picture?

Edit: had to look it up but yea, isopropyl does have slightly more calories per gram than ethanol but too messy for me to burn.

Last edited by robow; 12-29-14 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 12-28-14, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
The rubbing alcohol is easier to find than the Heet and you get more of it for less money.
Maybe cheaper, but I don't think it is a whole lot easier to find. A while back, as an exercise I checked how many stores around me had the HEET fuel treatment in the yellow bottles. Just about every grocery store, drug store, dollar store and Walmart had it, not to mention the auto parts stores. All of those except the auto parts stores had Isopropyl too. I am not going to use enough for the price difference to be an issue to me.

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Old 12-28-14, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
I'm a big fan of Trangia as well.
Same here; primarily because it has a screw on lid with an 'O' ring so you can put the fire out when cooking is done. I let the stove cool and screw down the lid to conserve fuel, rather than let the stove burn itself out. Also, Trangia has an adjustable flame control ring (probably not the technical term) so that with a little practice, you can moderate the flame to simmer your mac & cheese without boiling over.

The windscreen and pot stand design and build is pretty important, too. A top-heavy setup is going to turn over with your dinner at some point. Someone else mentioned the bottom of the pot needs to be about an inch above the top of the Trangia (and I assume other alcohol stoves) for the sake of combustion efficiency, and I agree with that, also. If you study the design of the caldera windscreen pot stands, you can fashion one of your own making that will work. I like the alcohol fuel, but canister stoves are instant on and adjustable heat. YMMV.
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