Author Topic: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types  (Read 2928 times)

alan de enfield

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Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« on: 09:50:00, 23/02/18 »
 I have recently been looking to improve my cooking set up & get “bang for my gram”
 
I have been a confirmed Hexamine user since working with the Army Youth team some 40 years ago, sooty, smelly and a little slow (and the hexamine wasn’t much better) it always got the water to the boil – even when wet.
Part used tablets can be extinguished and saved, but its messy.
Temperature cannot be adjusted , its all or nothing.
Comes with its own pan-stand.
Can be used with twigs when hexamine supply is exhausted.


I tried Meths (didn’t like the taste and it made my eyes go funny) but was not happy about either the weight of a 500ml bottle and contents (over half a kg), the smell, and the possibility of a leak in the pack, soaking clothing & bedding.
 
A few years ago I ‘found’ ethanol-gel (also known as ‘Sterno’, or Chafing Fuel), burns fairly cleanly, takes about the same time to boil water as a Hexy stove but benefits from the fact that as soon as the water boils you can extinguish it by putting the can lid back on.
Just about gets water to a ‘rolling boil’, but certainly hot enough to reconstitute dehydrated meals, or, make a brew.
Cannot adjust temperature, its all or nothing.
Need to carry a pan-stand (mine is 35 g) to clip onto the top of the can.
 
I have more recently become a gas convert – particularly the ‘gas-mix’ (a mixture that gives the cold temperature performance of Propane with the output of Butane) Boils water much, much faster than Hexy or Gel, has no smell, & is clean with almost no soot.
Simply switched off when finished
Temperature fully adjustable for boiling. Simmering, or even (heaven forbid) cooking food.
Needs a stove to fit to the gas cartridge – I have several types weighing in at between 45g and 114g both with & without auto ignition Piezo devices, and purchased at costs of between 99p and £5 off Ebay.
 
So having looked at the pros & cons, which performs the best for its ‘carry weight’ ?
 
It takes 105Wh to heat 1 litre of water by 1 degree Celsius, so to heat from (say) 5 degrees to 100 degrees takes 9975 watts (call it 1 Kw)


Looking at each fuel :-
Meths produces 7.22Wh per gram
Petrol / Diesel produces 12.5 Wh per gram
Dry & Seasoned wood produces 4.2Wh per gram
Hexamine produces 8.0Wh per gram
Chafing Fuel produces 7.44 Wh per gram
Camping Gas (70/30) produces 14.2 Wh per gram.
 
A Hexy stove with 8 tablets (and its own built in pan stand) weighs 361 grams and produces a total of 1.47Kwh
A Chafer Gel Can containing 200g of Gel weighs 245 grams, add 35g for the pan stand, gives a total weight of 280 grams and provides 1.49Kwh
A Coleman 220g gas cartridge weighs 372 grams, add 45 grams for the stove giving a total weight of 417 grams, and provides 3.12Kwh
 
My 99p stove head brings 1 litre of tap water to a ‘rolling boil’ in 4 minutes 30 seconds and uses 15g of gas (Camping gas 70% Butane, 30% propane mix) so, from a 220g cartridge I can boil approx. 13-14 litres of water (or looking at it another way – 50 mugs of tea).
The stove is producing 2.84Kw, which is not dissimilar to a domestic gas hob.
 


































 

 
« Last Edit: 15:42:03, 23/02/18 by alan de enfield »

jimbob

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #1 on: 15:28:06, 23/02/18 »
AS good study. Food for thought.

Thanks for this.
Too little, too late, too bad......

Gadabout Bounder

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #2 on: 23:48:15, 23/02/18 »
Is the aim to cut the overall weight of your carried load if so there are other ways of looking at this?


If we are taking kit for a weekend there would be no need to take 500 g of meths.


If we are taking kit for a week I still wouldn't need 500 g.


Decant what you need for the trip into a secure & lightweight bottle and nest it inside the rest of your cook set. Save a lot of weight.


One of my cook sets is the Evernew Appalachian that nests really well all in one - with fuel bottle inside if I need to and with windshield in there as well.


I've never broken a meths bottle, even being a clumsy oaf that can fall over my shadow.


I don't use gas, (my concern with this would be getting near the end of a gas canister and then needing another one as back up and or what I would do with all the nearly empty canisters that I'd never be able to take on the hill) but I have the Whisperlite and Bio ethanol & Primus bottle set up as well - I see this more of a static camp use, not something that I would carry in my pack for overnighters because of bulk.


I don't know it's always as easy as saying  this weighs this much. One of my requirements is compactness and for other bits of kit how quickly can I get them set up, speed of set up is more important than a few g's as long as my overall pack weight is lowered by other kit carried.


For instance tent with footprint can be set up rapidly (weighs 1300g - I can strip this below a kilo taking the footprint off and still have it set up all in one very very quickly) important for me if it is pouring down with rain.


Rucksack weighs just under a kilo but has a stripped weight of just over 550g


The figures given need to be expanded into how long the trip would be at least.


There are lots of MYOG options that would make the Evernew set up look like you were carrying a concrete block.


My rucksack, tent, sleeping bag, sleep mat & cook set come in at (non stripped) around 4 kilo, stripped I could get it down to about 3.5 kilo or thereabouts.

There's also comfort and just how minimal do you need to go to get a brew, good night sleep.


What is right for me some may look at and say too minimal but it affords me all the comfort I need without being uncomfortable, cold or wet.


I've made two major purchases this year, new tent because I couldn't get it second hand and second hand rucksack, not that you would know.


The only thing I can't change at the moment is my sleeping bag, to get well under the kilo I need to spend big because i won't buy second hand - to me it is too personal. If I do change it it will take 500 g off my base weight with the same warmth factor.

A well balanced kit weight is more important to me than the single item weight saving.


There's also how much do you need to spend to save the weight and if the weight saving is necessary.




« Last Edit: 00:25:48, 24/02/18 by Gadabout Bounder »
'We've spilt the same blood in the same mud'

Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #3 on: 16:43:36, 28/02/18 »
All these weight discussions on various forums are a bit of a mystery to me.  Talking from my point of view (I am sure you are all racing snakes compared to me!), I don't think I should bother fretting about a few hundred grams here and there, I could save way more weight by losing a stone  ;D

fernman

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #4 on: 18:04:59, 28/02/18 »
My belief is that it shouldn't make much difference to your walking whether you're a featherweight or built like a rugby forward, but how much you're carrying in a rucksack on your back is going to make a difference to your comfort and your enjoyment.
Therefore the lighter the items you're carrying the better, especially if you save a bit of weight on each of a number of items because that can add up to quite a bit.


Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #5 on: 22:36:17, 28/02/18 »
My belief is that it shouldn't make much difference to your walking whether you're a featherweight or built like a rugby forward, but how much you're carrying in a rucksack on your back is going to make a difference to your comfort and your enjoyment.
Therefore the lighter the items you're carrying the better, especially if you save a bit of weight on each of a number of items because that can add up to quite a bit.


Hmm, not sure about that.  If you are 2 stone overweight and carry a knife, fork, spoon, enamel plate and mug, well you are better off losing the weight than buying titanium everything.

jimbob

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #6 on: 22:55:41, 28/02/18 »
Quote
Hmm, not sure about that.  If you are 2 stone overweight and carry a knife, fork, spoon, enamel plate and mug, well you are better off losing the weight than buying titanium everything.

But whilst losing the weight take advantage of the sales and the forum bargain pages to get the other stuff down in weight as well ;D .
Gotta take advantage of bargains , haven't we?
Too little, too late, too bad......

Doddy

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #7 on: 11:00:35, 01/03/18 »




My trips are mostly multi week. I am a bit of stove nerd and do go lightweight overall.
I do have several gas stoves. I did use one on a 19 day hike on the John Muir Trail in the US when liquid fuel and fires where not possible but would rarely take them as they canisters are hard to recycle and on longer trips a back up canister adds to the weight. I do have a gadget to puncture cans to recycle them as steel. Though the punctured cans can still freak the less well informed refuse collector.
My stove kit is a Feather Fire stove (1.7oz ) which is a pop can inspired stove that can simmer. I carry a Titanium Hexamine tablet holder (1oz) and a few tablets. Liquid fuel these days is Vango Bio ethanol. I have used meths but can it can taint if stored in cook pot. I double plastic bag fuel. I team these up with a Caldera Clone/Flissure and its Infernal insert if twig use is required. With me it comes down to what is to be cooked -which in my case is about boiling water, I make a menu plan and work out how much fuel I need to take. The two stove set up means I have some flexibility; the Ti Hexi holder can be used to make to make quick hot drink late at night or at lunch time without the effort of breaking out the Caldera Cone Flissure set up. I use half the Caldera as windshield for the Ti stove.


 I recently bought a lightweight gas burner and a stand so the cheaper/lighter slimline gas bottles can be used .I am going to try this set up on
 day or multi day trips. Burner, bottle and stand weight 16 oz. I do have MSR Simmerlite stove that takes Coleman fuel or white gas; I might take that if I was to melt a lot of snow for water   

Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #8 on: 11:30:55, 01/03/18 »
To keep on topic!


I have an Alpkit Jackal brukit, which is Jetboilish, but cheaper and just as effective, this sits in my bag all the time with brew-up essentials.


I also have an old school Coleman multifuel thing, which weighs a ton when full, but has never let me down!  This is my overnight addition.


There is also a gas burner Trangia 25 in the cupboard, which is non-stick coated and cost me £12 from TK Maxx  O0   Which to be honest I don't use that much.


And loitering in the bottom of my bag where the waterproof cover is zipped is a hexi burner, a pack of tablets and some waterproof matchess. Habit  ;D

Dan1902

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #9 on: 12:48:25, 01/03/18 »
Anybody refill their gas canisters?
I use a Jet Boil and the refill (with standard butane) works out at around £1 for 200g if gas. Could get it cheaper if bought in larger quantities. I bought a pack of 4 x 200g bottles from B&M.
So 50p as opposed to £4.50 for a small Jet boil canister.
I know butane isn't the best for winter camping perhaps but for most camping it would be fine.


Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #10 on: 13:16:31, 01/03/18 »
Anybody refill their gas canisters?
I use a Jet Boil and the refill (with standard butane) works out at around £1 for 200g if gas. Could get it cheaper if bought in larger quantities. I bought a pack of 4 x 200g bottles from B&M.
So 50p as opposed to £4.50 for a small Jet boil canister.
I know butane isn't the best for winter camping perhaps but for most camping it would be fine.


Camping size cylinders are not refillable are they?  They are single use items and wouldn't be practical to refill would they?

alan de enfield

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #11 on: 13:48:53, 01/03/18 »




Camping size cylinders are not refillable are they?  They are single use items and wouldn't be practical to refill would they?


In theory NO, but in practice it is easily done and the 'adapters' are readily available.
A simple female to female adapter allows a big (say) 500g cartridge to be used to refill several smaller 100g, 230g etc cartridges.
I also have an adapter to fill the smaller cartridges from the big (3.9kg to 47kg) standard Propane cylinders, but, extra car has to be taken with Propane because of the temperatures and expansion of Propane when compared to Butane or Propane/Butane mixes.


A couple of adapter types for refilling / transferring gas.







An interesting article here (scroll down to the bottom for refilling info) :


http://zenstoves.net/Canister.htm
« Last Edit: 14:37:48, 01/03/18 by alan de enfield »

Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #12 on: 15:27:07, 01/03/18 »
Crikey, I scrolled down and looked!


Risk of explosions and death, make sure you weigh the cylinders so you don't overfill them, damage to the canister walls and introducing moisture [/size] :o :o


Crikey!

alan de enfield

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #13 on: 15:40:24, 01/03/18 »

Crikey, I scrolled down and looked!


Risk of explosions and death, make sure you weigh the cylinders so you don't overfill them, damage to the canister walls and introducing moisture [/size] :o :o


Crikey!


Simply weigh your new cartridge - my Coleman 220g cartridges typically weigh 367g. (write weight on the cartridge)
Refill with the empty / part used cartridge sat on the scales, when you get to about 350g STOP.


Simples !

Maggot

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Re: Cooking Fuels & Stove Types
« Reply #14 on: 18:24:10, 01/03/18 »
How much money are you saving by refilling your own?