Hiking stoves

17 Oct 2011 09:18 #4384 by diverian
Replied by diverian on topic Re: Hiking stoves
@ Boerkie, whilst this is not the lightest, this more heavy duty alumininum shield ,sold at camping stores, works pretty well and helps stabilise the pot on the small burner head.

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17 Oct 2011 11:25 - 17 Oct 2011 12:51 #4389 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Re: Hiking stoves
I have used almost all hiking stoves - the first being an optimus 8R bought in Aliwal Street, Durban (Outdoor Inn - long since gone). See vid here of an 8R:


The list includes many gas stoves, meth stoves and, for the last 15 years, the benzine MSR pressurised stoves. None has ever failed me. In the beginning I even carried two stoves in case one broke - an example of early, misguided decisions.

I have done trips where we forgot matches (Bell Cave) or forgot the stove (Bell Traverse and down Tseke). Both those trips featured major snow falls and everything was frozen on the latter. We were thirsty when we got to Tseke hut!

Theoretically the most reliable is the meth stove as it has no moving parts. Time to boil is not such a big deal unless there is a really strong wind or if one has to melt snow. Under those conditions the MSR type liquid fuel bottle would be my choice. Under other conditions, a 20% increase in time-to-boil wouldn't worry me much as there usually isn't too much on the agenda once you're at destination. Putting a lid on a pot makes an important difference though.
Last edit: 17 Oct 2011 12:51 by tiska.

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02 Nov 2011 09:55 - 02 Nov 2011 09:57 #4592 by elandman
Replied by elandman on topic Re: Hiking stoves
My general use is GAS burner during summer months, and MSR XGK-EX during winter.

Choice depends on how long I'm out for vs. how many with me vs. season vs weather.

Most times I just carry my MSR, quick to get going on benzine/unleaded, light, and will cook or boil anything in under 2 minutes, being careful not to cook yourself or the grass hillsides around if you not careful ;) hehe. It being pretty frugal on fuel too unless you cooking for a small army.

So far ive never had issues with MSR. I'm maybe a little fastidious about keeping it clean though :)
Last edit: 02 Nov 2011 09:57 by elandman.

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02 Nov 2011 11:02 #4593 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Hiking stoves

So far ive never had issues with MSR. I'm maybe a little fastidious about keeping it clean though :)

I think that's pretty key with those kinds of stoves. Welcome to the forum, by the way!

@mnt_tiska: I have one of those Optimus stoves. I was given it by my mountaineering buddy in Canada. He has a bunch of old gear, some it still in use (like an ice axe with a wooden shaft). The stove served him well over many years - he swore by it - and was used once by the two of us together. During that particular trip it gave up the ghost and we just could not get it going in spite of totally dismantling, cleaning and fixing what we could, and it even stopped responding to the trick of holding a lighter under the fuel chamber to build up pressure. At least we had a limited amount of tepid water to rehydrate our food that evening and late the next evening we just made use of the long daylight hours and walked out. From the first day I saw the stove and the few times I saw it operated, it had me in stitches, and added much fuel to the teasing I generally direct at him for his gear. After he purchased himself a new gas stove recently, he gave the old one to me as a souvenir and I keep it for laughs. :thumbsup:

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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03 Nov 2011 08:29 #4615 by elandman
Replied by elandman on topic Re: Hiking stoves
Thanks :)

Another thing to note... its really worth doing a little homework around what fuel burns the cleanest when stove it as operating level, and also how it burns when you starting up.
Usually the most soot is produced when lighting the stove and during warmup.

I generally try use the cleanest burning fuel available so that soot production is kept to virtually nothing. Then to light the stove I use meths. Burns VERY hot and sootless :)

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06 Nov 2011 15:44 #4627 by Sterkhorn
Replied by Sterkhorn on topic Re: Hiking stoves
I have also been through the various stoves - gas, meths, optimus, MSR, but I always return to my Coleman Feather (Benzine) for the most efficient burn and for its reliability. I have been using it since the early 90's with a couple of pump and generator replacements, but it is still going strong. I have estimated that one tank can last for about 2-3 days for a single person, similar to the old Gaz gas stove, but with tons more performance and a lot cheaper on fuel. At about 700-800 gms, it is worth it.
I have also attached a picture of a light alternative for a wind-shield. It is light, but supported with a few strategically placed rocks, provides good protection. It is made from the light aluminium sheets used for printing plates.

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06 Nov 2011 20:39 #4628 by tiska
Replied by tiska on topic Re: Hiking stoves
That Coleman is one of the few (only?) stove I know that tolerates burning petrol. I've used mine a lot in the Sahara where Benzine is hard to find. My MSRs have defintely had a grudge against petrol but the Coleman laps it up. I expect the tolerances in the Coleman are not as precise as the MSR although the performance difference when running the two stoves on benzine is marginal.

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18 Nov 2011 14:16 #4913 by Geordie
Replied by Geordie on topic Re: Hiking stoves
It's been a Jet Boil for me over the last few years. Not the lightest and a little bulky, but it boils water really quickly and efficiently. Not good for cooking, but I am quite happy eating dehydrated foods in the "just add boiling water" category, of fresh stuff, and we do just love our tea. I have never had a problem in the Berg, even well above 3000m. It's just a matter of keeping the gas a warm as possible all the time. At night, the next day’s gas bottle come into my sleeping bag with me. During the hike the gas is then usually snug in my pack along with my woollies and only taken out when needed..
All our gas is a propane /butane mix.
A lot of folks come short with gas because they use it cold. When the gas is really cold, then only the propane burns off ( enter a chemist to please explain this) so it burns like a bastard for the first few uses, then you only have butane left and this burns badly on its own, and hardly at all at 0 degrees or below. So then for the rest of the bottle we glare at the stove and swear never to buy that brand of gas again, or change to a new bottel and start the process again.

Oh yes, I just remembered, different gasses vaporise efficiently at different temperatures, and the propane component vaporises below the butane component, temperature wise, and this is why it burns off quicker at low temperatures. (We may still need a chemist to intervene please).

This is why the new inverted gas burners are catching on. The “mix” stays mixed in liquid form until it hits the burner, then it has no choice but to burn, and, if I remember they have a little super heating loop to heat the gas liquid gas in the line just before it vaporises (and burns) at the jet.
Nice technology, and probably my next stove, but for the meantime just keep you gas warm and you won’t have any problems, in the Berg at least.
This does not exonerate badly designed gas stoves prone to wind and to falling over. You need to come to the party with a good stove to start with.
And here endeth the lesson- Phew.

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29 Nov 2011 04:59 #5021 by renebur
Replied by renebur on topic Re: Hiking stoves
Hi
Please can anyone tell me if i can get gas cylinders for Coleman F1 Spirit in South Africa?

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30 Nov 2011 07:02 #5046 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Re: Hiking stoves

Oh yes, I just remembered, different gasses vaporise efficiently at different temperatures, and the propane component vaporises below the butane component, temperature wise, and this is why it burns off quicker at low temperatures. (We may still need a chemist to intervene please).

Sounds right. Propane is a chain of 3 hydrogenated carbon molecules, whereas butane has 4. The butane molecules are thus heavier and cling to each other more, and more energy is needed to cause them to "break free" into the gaseous phase.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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