Stoking the wasp nest ALC stoves...

Discussion in 'Kitchen' started by Enzo, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Don't think my copy has a regulator, and I agree about not going full blast, but if your doing a test of how quick it'll boil 500ml no point pulling your punches.
    Padstowe likes this.
  2. Rmr

    Rmr Section Hiker

    I'm confused by '' I never tend not to if using gas'', could you please explain.
  3. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Sure i read somewhere that most gas stoves are more efficient at full blast

    Could be the stoves aren't as stoichiometric efficient at lower levels
  4. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    My mistake, shouldn't have the not in there, should be, I never tend to when using gas. :sorry:
    Or maybe it was the never that shouldn't have been there :D
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
  5. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    Guess best thing would be weigh the gas can whack it on a boil full blast, weigh it again then put it less than full whack & see which uses the most fuel?
    Rmr likes this.
  6. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I guess it has a lot to do with the pot, a wide h.e pot compared to a 400ml cup I'm sure would be much more efficient at catching the jouls
  7. Balagan

    Balagan Thru Hiker

    Could be water temp, too. Just to be consistent, I always use tap water from a bottle that's been left overnight in the fridge.
    Enzo likes this.
  8. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    I weigh my underwear, but draw the line there :D:D:D:D:D

    Actually thinking about it, i think it was something to do with carbon monoxide outputs
    Sure i remember the nerds on BPL going on and on (and on and on) about fuel efficiency and CO outputs when using gas burners at lower settings

    I don't go on much there as it's the same people droning on and on about exactly the same thing in every thread

    It's like the forum equivalent of Joe Rogan
    (has a podcast on youtube and no matter who he has as a guest he goes on and on and somehow relates (no matter what the subject is) everything to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, comedy, MMA or lifting weights
    Padstowe likes this.
  9. Calvin

    Calvin Summit Camper

    Looks interesting, could you explain how that works?
  10. Padstowe

    Padstowe Thru Hiker

    I think this pic sums it up for me :D
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
    Cranston, Rmr and Enzo like this.
  11. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    It works like a 'Kelly' 'Ghillie' or 'storm' kettle, but weighs around 25 times less. Making it involves some beer can origami and minimal amounts of 2-pack adhesive. I use small alcohol stoves to do the heating.

  12. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    About 4 or 5 years ago I opened the "secret" shed at work that I'd inherited from the previous job incumbent. Found 20 odd boxes, each with about 48 packets of 8 tablets. Not in a good stable state, leaking everywhere.

    A few days later I got a half 50 gallon drum bbq and started burning them, as I got more and more bored I put more and more in to speed up the process :D it still took the whole day, poisoned half the toon and burnt the arse right out of the barrel.
  13. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker


    I'll bet the majority of that was useable fuel for the less finicky amongst us! ;) The waxed card packaging deterioration always makes it look worse than it is.
    Charlie83 likes this.
  14. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    :D its horrible stuff

    The new stuff is far better, new (ish) cooker is quite dinky as well (if you use mess tins)
  15. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    It's the same hexamine as Esbit fuel. Smells the same, and same performance. I like it.
    The old cookers were a rubbish way to use it.

    I will try the Firedragon fuel sometime.

    I tried the gel version on a bottle. Absolute pants in terms of heat and efficiency compared to hexamine or meths. Maybe the solid stuff is better?
  16. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    I just mess about/experiment with the firedragon stuff at work, haven't really used it in anger although I have a few packets in the shed for emergencies/lighting the barbie. Never tried the gel

    I think we might still have a wad of the old hexi in a store (changed job location, same sh!t hidden away ), its a struggle to get rid of it, I'd need to check with my boys, wouldn't be to keen on posting it but if your driving through Aberdeen, give me a shout
    Mole likes this.
  17. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Ha. Thanks.
    Unfortunately Aberdeen is a long way from Devon!

    I ought to try the Firedragon blocks for myself. I've heard very mixed reviews. Got to use it to have an opinion.

    I'm doubtful I'd change to Firedragon for majority of the time , as from all the specs, it appears to be a 27g block and they claim one tab will boil 500ml of water. That's very poor weight efficiency compared to any other fuel. But maybe its because they use a poor unenclosed stove design not a cone?*

    The main advantage to me, seems to be lack of noxious fumes, and the ability to burn safely in an enclosed space. So it could have its uses for short trips, especially in bad weather where I wouldn't be so keen on opening up the tent.

    * I find that 11g of Hexamine will boil 500ml in a Caldera Cone setup.
    So 27g of Firedragon for each boil wouldn't be very attractive from a multiday backpacking point of view.

    I found a 14g Esbit block consistently boiled 700ml in my MSR Ti Kettle/Cone on my last TGO.
    We used Hexi last year for the Pennine Way.
    2.5 boxes lasted 17nights out for 2 of us. (luckily my companion doesn't do hot drinks like me. But he does do porridge each morning , which I don't)
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
    Charlie83 and Chiseller like this.
  18. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    The one time I was really greatful for using gas was on the coast in Norway. Hunkered behind a tree in winds that were picking up tents and folks couldn't walk straight... The msr windburner with a skillet, brewed up in no time and I cooked a hearty breakfast.
    It was worth every gram of weight that week.
    Really looking forward to trying the esbit mess tin cooker with esbit and a speedster stove :thumbsup:
    Mole likes this.
  19. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Section Hiker

    I seem to be similar to most

    Long trips i tend to take the Kovea spider or latterly a soto amicus

    Couple of days/nights solo and I like to take Alcohol, mainly because I'm chilled out and like fire

    If the wife is there, she always wants to take her jet boil :angelic:

    I really should try hexi/firedragon more, I get it free, but 30 odd years using it at work has scunnered me of it, (i believe it caused all my hair to fall out :eek:) I just prefer the relative cleanliness of gas/alcohol
    Mole likes this.
  20. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Similar. I have an Alpkit Koro which I hardly ever use, mainly because I just enjoy the alcy setup so much.

    As my daily fuel usage is 50ml, it's weight efficient compared with gas for up to 4 days, which is my usual trip length.

    Good can come out of misfortune. I'd still be on my Pocket Rocket (or similar) if I hadn't torched my tent with it in Knoydart several years back.
  21. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Ultralighter

    Saw the thread title, thought "wasp nest" and "Association of Lightweight Campers". Hmm????

    Anyways, alcohol stoves. Never used one myself but have watched friends use theirs, mostly Trangias, and thought about it. For me, the big advantages of alcohol or other liquid fuel would be:
    Can always see how much fuel is left.
    Fuel is cheaper.
    Fuel is almost universally available.
    No discarding of empty cannisters.

    TBH although the first is most pressing in my mind, in practice it's very rarely been a problem for me. The second is in practice the most persuasive. Availability is not a problem as I'm only camping in Europe, almost always UK.

    The disadvantages would be:
    Cooking is significantly slower (I want a cup of tea!)
    While propane-butane smells unpleasant, some liquid fuels smell really, really nasty.
    Containers can leak or spill, either while cooking or in backpack/panniers/etc (both these have happened to friends).

    I'm also unsure, cos I hear different things in different places, on the interchangeability of different liquid fuels (meths, white gas, Coleman fuel, paraffin, IPA, various other non-consumable alcohols... )

    So for the time being, I'll stick with my gas cannisters (and maybe buy one of those Krunchit things - not sure if that's the right name? for piercing and crushing empty cannisters).
  22. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Wasp nest was in the title because people can have strong opinions about alcohol/gas stove choice, and it's a subject that comes around reasonably regularly. And I wanted to stir up debate to produce content whilst stuck at home!

    I use ethanol when on my own and gas with my family. Gas is faster and I think better to cook on and for boiling pasta etc.

    But I'm very happy with a system on solo long weekend trips which is traditionally what I do.
    As you say knowing how much fuel you have is reassuring, and the fact the fuel container weighs 25g rather than 125g.
    I think if your brewing up a lot during the day gas makes a lot of sense, but if you just boil water at night, and or when you get up the extra 2-3 minutes an alcohol system takes isn't a problem as your usually doing something or relaxing anyhow. There is also nothing to go mechanically wrong.

    The price of entry is do low it's easy to give it a go. If your UL I'd avoid triangia and get a speedster stove, no spill, easy to blow out and replace the cap so you only use the fuel you need.
    Charlie83 and Chiseller like this.
  23. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Ultralighter

    The Trangia certainly isn't light! Though I'm aware they do a variety of kits, and it's that 'whole system' nature that appeals as well. And that they seem indestructible and nicely spare-part-able. But very little controllability of flame. Are the Speedster stoves (which certainly seem cheap!) controllable in any way?
  24. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    Kinda, but it's fiddly. I know some cook with them but I stick to boiling water.

    Had another thought, might be worth carrying alcohol as sanitizer in the future anyhow, duel use :)

    Weight is one of the big advantages of alc so trangia doesnt appeal to me.
    My whole kit Inc a weekends fuel weighs the Same as a 100g cartridge and I use a big pot.
    Chiseller likes this.
  25. Bmblbzzz

    Bmblbzzz Ultralighter

    Triple, surely? :devilish::dead:
    WilliamC likes this.

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