Alcohol Stoves

trophytaka

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Just wondering how many guys use these instead of butane? anyone make your own? thoughts and opinions please.
 

Darren Best

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I use the Trangia stove set, have both the 25 and 27 series, they come with alcohol burners.

Was out twice in March with windy snow storms in the teens both times and the stove worked perfect both times. I cooked, heated water, melted snow and even thawed out a pair of frozen boots.

The Trangia alcohol burner is a little heavier than others (4 oz), but extremely durable and reliable. Short of smashing it with a rock or hammer, you won't break it.
 

Backpack Hunter

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I have in the past, but do not any longer. It took me an average of around 2oz of fuel to get a boil. That was quite a bit of weight upfront, and I found that for the little weight I saved at the end of the trip (since you are burning off the weight) the liquid itself was more of a hassle than it was worth. YMMV
 

Wrongside

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A few of us around here have the 'White Box Stoves'. They work pretty well, and are nice and quiet, but are slow and relatively thirsty. As a result, I no longer use mine for anything other than day hikes or light weekends. Fun to play with though. :)
 
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trophytaka

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I have made a few of the bud light aluminum bottle stoves and have been doing some testing. on average i can get a rolling boil (2 cups cold water) in about 5 min. An ounce of fuel will last appx. 8 or so minutes. i have not done any testing in windy conditions or higher elevations yet so im assuming that will change things
 
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trophytaka

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elkhunter do you have the whole cone system? i checked em out and the it looks like the windscreen is made from like aluminum flashing? i have made my own windscreen similar to the caldera systems screen out of aluminum flashing and actually melted that sucker down durring testing ha. the caldera system looks pretty cool BTW
 

Darren Best

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I don't have the Caldera system, I have the Trangia.

I am however going to get two cones for my sons, they need something teenage boy proof.

You can give a teenager an anvil and a ball peen hammer and they will lose the hammer and break the anvil. :)

The Caldera Cones are sized for a specific pot, if you look at the drop down menu, you have choose which pot you have when you order the cone. What is neat about the cones is that it's a pot holder, windshield and focuses the heat on the pot making the alcohol burner more efficient all in one sub 2 ounce package.

Which is exactly the same thing the Trangia system does, just lighter and not as sophisticated. The Trangia allows much more complicated cooking of food.

If all you do is heat water and warm up soups and stews, then the Caldera Cone is exactly what you want.

If you want to be able to do more cooking and even bake, then get the Trangia. It is super reliable and easy to use and very stable as the whole system locks together.

Also check out the Ti Tri Caldera Cone, you can use alcohol, wood and Esbit with it.
 

Tim in Wa.

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I use a titanium ember lite.When you aren't burning twigs in it ,it makes a great windscreen for alcohol stoves or butane canister stoves
Tim
 

Darren Best

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I use a titanium ember lite.When you aren't burning twigs in it ,it makes a great windscreen for alcohol stoves or butane canister stoves
Tim

I would not suggest putting a directly attached canister stove inside a windshield or something like the Emberlit. If the canister overheats it will explode from overpressure.
 

Wrongside

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I have used mine down to 15 F and my cousin used his down to -20 F.

Oh, they work. Just get even slower and use more fuel. At least that's my limited experience with alcohol down to -15C or so. I do not have any experience with the Trangia's though, perhaps they work better in the cold than the stoves I've been around...

I would not suggest putting a directly attached canister stove inside a windshield or something like the Emberlit. If the canister overheats it will explode from overpressure.

+1 Good advice.
 

Darren Best

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The Trangia and Caldera Cone solve the problem of bad weather for alcohol stoves, the Trangia more so, it's why I suggest using the their burner in the Caldera Cone.

Trangia is called Storm Cooker in Swedish and in wind actually burns hotter because of how the windshield is designed and works.

One of the important things about alcohol burners is keeping the burner warm, which helps the fuel vaporize and burn.

Some ways to do this;

Keep the burner and fuel inside your coat to keep it warm. You can get plastic fuel flask that is flat and has a measuring spout that fits inside coat pockets nicely. (This is the method my cousin uses, he served in the Swedish military and despises winter camping because of this)

Preheat the burner with a preheating cup or primer cup. (Overdo this and you get a spectacular flame, even in sub freezing temps :) I stopped using this method because it wastes fuel and I like having eyebrows)

Put some fuel in the Trangia burner, put the cap on, but just barely let the gasket touch the rim, flip it over real quick and coat the jets with alcohol, then remove the cap and light it. (This is the method I use now)

The Trangia burner is made from brass, so once the flame warms it, it will stay warm and keep vaporizing fuel far below any temps you will want to be out in. But if you don't get it warm enough for the jets to light up, yes you will get a cooler flame and fuel use will go way up.

I don't have anything to measure fuel in half ounce increments here yet, but I just ordered the flask I mentioned above. But if you guys want I can run some tests to see how much fuel it takes to boil water and how fast it does it. I was never concerned about it before, just simply didn't care how long it took, but it's plenty fast enough for me.

For me the reliability, user friendliness and how well thought out the Trangia system is, is what sold me on it.
 
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trophytaka

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Elkhunter, have you seen the bud light bottle stoves? Im trying to do the DIY approach with my cook system to cut down cost and weight. Also as Wrongside mentioned its fun to play with ha. The trail designs stuff is way cool and ill look into them further.
 

mhunter

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I'm with Elkhunter. I use Trangia burner with Clickstand and really like it.
After experimenting with DYI "beercan/catfood" burners I went back to Trangia burner for reliability, fuel efficiency and the fact that you don't have to burn the excess fuel for nothing, just close the cap and save for later...alcohol stoves (specially Trangia) are used by many countries armies down to -40...
Matt
 

Darren Best

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I have seen them, but haven't messed with them. We have a couple of can stoves around here. The bottle stoves do alleviate some of the problems of the can stoves, but if it gets cold enough, they still have the same problem of vaporizing the alcohol.
 

Darren Best

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This will give you an idea of the weather we had.

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A little campfire to warm up

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My trusty Trangia heating up my home made crock pot stew. Sorry for the hand in the picture, I didn't see he had done that until I got home and only took one picture.

2013-03-16175139HDR_zpsca21dc01.jpg
 
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trophytaka

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Mhunter thats what my windscreen used to look like before my bud light stove melted it ha. Elkhunter nice fire! looks a bit toasty!!! well i guess ill just have to keep testing my setup. i will look further into the trangia a bit further. i really like my stove, it works well and puts out alot of heat. ive got multiple pics of wut i got goin on my phone but i only have em on my cell phone. im technologically challenged, not sure how to post pics from my phone ha
 
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