Click here to load reader

Ultralight Backpacking Stoves

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


A Collection of homemade backpacking stoves and how to make them

Text of Ultralight Backpacking Stoves

Original tests Because of popular demand, and because I want to know, I'll be comparing a few different stoves. So far the models will include the Peak1, Esbit, tuna can stove, Esbit Army stove, can stove, and dryer vent can stoves. A great source of homemade stove designs are found on Wings homemade stove archives. All stoves will be evaluated in the following areas: 1. Cost 2. Fuel type 3. Weight 4. Set up time 5. Boil time, using two cups water in the same titanium pot (except for Army Esbit stove). This is a semi-boil, characterized by some bubbles forming at the bottom and coming up, but not a rolling boil. This starts at 175 degrees 6. True Boil as determined by thermometer or thermocouple and multimeter. This is when there is a constant rise of bubbles. 212.5 degrees at sea level. 7. Burn out time at high 8. Simmer times 9. Fuel efficiency, based on a standard cooking schedule of 2 hot meals per day made with 1 pint of water boiled at each meal. 10. Durability and ease of repair. 10 = tough as nails, 1 = fragile and not worth taking. A rating system to decide which is best will not be done, that is for the hiker to decide. A Peak 1 may be better for someone that needs to fix big meals and melt snow, and Esbit may be better for a slack packer that doesn't want fuel bottles to worry about, and an alcohol may be the best for normal solo hiking. We will see. Comparison Chart: Set Weigh Up Boil t Tim Time e Gas Peak 1 $55 Gas 21oz (dry) 1:00 2:00 2:30 78:0 6 0 Hours .6 oz per day est. 6 Fuel Rolling Burn Simme Durabilit Efficienc Boil Out r Time y y



Fuel type

Wood Zip Stove Wood 19.3o :20 z 4oz 0:10 0:10 5:50 n/a 6:00 4:00 5:00 indef indef indef 7

Solid Fuel Esbit Esbit Esbit w/Screen Homemade Army Trioxane $9.99 Esbit $9.99 n/a n/a 15:1 n/a 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.33oz per day* 1.33 oz per day* 1oz per day 9 9 8 8 10 Trioxan 4oz e

$10.9 Esbit 9 $3.99 Esbit $6.95

4.5oz 0:15 5:50 .5oz 0:10 0:05 5:50 Alcohol

Trioxan 2oz e

Brasslite Duo Brasslite Solo Turbo V8


Alcohol 2.1oz 0:30 3:35


7-8 min 1.0 8:00 @ 12 ounces ml fuel per day 7-8 min 1.0 5:50 @ 12 ounces ml fuel per day 9:25 n/a 1.0 ounces per day



Alcohol 1.9oz 0:30 3:30




Alcohol 1.2oz 0:10 6:05



Simmering $8 Soda Stove Trangia Westwind Tuna/Cat Stove

Alcohol 1.6oz 0:10 5:05


30 min 1.0 8:05 @ 12 ounces ml fuel per day



6 7: 13 9:07 Highly 0.8 boils Alcohol 7.3oz 0:45 averag averag variabl ounces @ e e e per day 3oz Alcohol 1.7oz 0:45 3:18 5:58 6:00 1.0 14:00 ounces @ .5oz per day




* A true boil could not be achieved even at this weight of fuel. For Weight over time comparison chart, go here. Back to top

Update 19 0900 August 2001

More scientific tests of the Pepsi Can Stove and the Cat Stove. ***Note - I have had to modify this report on August 31, 2002. I used some incorrect data on volume and weight of alcohol in the initial report and have gone back through to fix this*** After reading the article at comparing the Triangia alcohol stove to the Snowpeak and Gaz canister stoves, I knew that a poor performer was used to test against the canister stoves. So I volunteered to test my Cat Stove to show what a better performance stove could do. As a comparison I also tested the Pepsi can stove. The test really opened my eyes to the performance of my stove. I honestly thought that I was achieving a boil when bubbles formed and floated up to the top of my water. Now I have a more objective opinion of my stove's performance. Instructions for the cat stove can be found at: Instruction for the Pepsi Can can be found at: Standards: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 2 cups of water at room temperature 75 degrees. Pot used is a Snow Peak 720ml titanium pot without lid. Both stoves used the same windscreen and hardware cloth pot stand. Alcohol was tested in 6 ml increments, starting at 12 ml alcohol. Each amount was double checked using a scale. The weight of one fluid ounce of alcohol is .82 avoirdupois ounces. Each Test was repeated three times, the average was used. Starting time was when the stove was lit. Stoves were allowed to completely cool between tests. Barometric pressure here was 30.15, the boiling point was determined to be 212.43 degrees. Altitude is 90 meters above sea level.

6. 7. 8. 9.


11. Thermometer used is an Ecko deep fat fryer thermometer, probe was below water surface using a camera tripod. 12. Air temperature was 75 degrees with the stove fan running to simulate a light wind.

13. Scale used was a Royal EX3. Cat Stove: Tested weight: 1.8 ounces with stand and wind screen. Temperature: 150 degrees 175 degrees 200 degrees Max heat: Time to max heat: Avoirdupois ounces Pepsi Stove Tested weight: 1.6 ounces with stand and screen. Temperature: 150 degrees 175 degrees 200 degrees Max heat: Time to max heat: Avoirdupois ounces 12 ml (2 caps full) 210 seconds N/A N/A 170 degrees 285 seconds .32 ounces 18 ml (3 caps full) 225 seconds 305 seconds N/A 185 degrees 365 seconds .49 ounces 24 ml (4 caps full) 260 seconds 320 seconds 414 seconds 203 degrees 651 seconds .65 ounces 30 ml (5 caps full) 265 seconds 330 seconds 415 seconds 209 degrees 512 seconds .83 ounce 12 ml (2 caps full) 160 seconds 190 seconds N/A 176 degrees 192 seconds .32 ounces 18 ml (3 caps full) 162 seconds 198 seconds 267 seconds 204 degrees 298 seconds .49 ounces 24 ml (4 caps full) 164 seconds 205 seconds 274 seconds 208 degrees 333 seconds .65 ounces 30 ml (5 caps full) 166 seconds 218 seconds 288 seconds 215 degrees 345 seconds .83 ounce

Conclusions: 1. Bubbles forming isn't a good indication of boil, this starts at about 175*. Although the water at the pot surface may be at a boil, the water isn't necessarily very hot throughout. The more the alcohol used, the longer it takes to vaporize completely, thus longer times to each temperature at each successive fluid level test. Although the top of the water temperature didn't normally reach 212 degrees, the pot was definitely at a roiling boil by 200 degrees. The Cat Stove outperforms the Pepsi at the lower end of fuel consumption in the area of heat achieved and time to achieve it.





Although the Cat Stove reaches boil faster, the Pepsi can stove maintains a high temperature for a longer period when using 1 fluid ounce or more of fuel. So it may take you twice as long to boil a dinner, but your food will also boil for twice as long using a Pepsi stove. The Pepsi stove may eventually reach the higher temperatures of the Cat Stove with more fuel added, but I didn't find it necessary to test beyond 30 ml of alcohol. The Pepsi Stove maintained a very long roiling boil with 1 ounce of alcohol compared to the Cat Stove. If I had thought ahead, I would have recorded the number of seconds each stove maintained a temperature above 200 degrees.


So what would I choose? If I was only wanting to boil water fast, and get by on the least amount of alcohol a day, then the Cat Stove will be a great choice. If you only need to boil 2 pints of water a day, then you could make it on 36 ml a day with the Cat Stove. If I wanted to cook meals thoroughly and didn't mind slower heating times and larger fuel consumption, then the Pepsi stove is the way to go. It is lighter by .2 ounces, and you could boil 2 pints of water a day with 48 ml of alcohol per day. But you could boil you meals for a long time, ensuring they got completely cooked and were very hot as soon as they came off the stove.

Beverage-can stoveFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search

Beverage-can stove (the pot stand is omitted for clarity)

A beverage-can (or pop-can) stove is a homemade, ultralight portable stove. The simple design is usually made entirely from aluminium cans and burns alcohol. Countless variations on the basic design exist. Some require the use of a steel can to survive the heat they generate.

Total weight, including a windscreen/stand, can be less than one ounce (30 g). The design is popular with ultralight backpackers due to its low cost and lighter weight than most commercial stoves. This advantage may be lost on long hiking trips, where a lot of fuel is packed, since alcohol has less energy per weight than some other stove fuels. Of the available fuels, methanol delivers the least energy, ethanol somewhat more, butanol is hardly ever used, and isopropanol delivers the most. All but isopropanol burn with a smokeless flame; it can provide both light and heat. A stove should never be burned in a tent because even a blue flame produces some carbon monoxide and other poisonous gases. Burning a stove in a tent can kill the occupants silently, without warning.


1 History and design 2 Aluminium-can construction 3 Operation and performance o 3.1 Ratings o 3.2 Comparison with other stoves 4 Variations 5 Safety issues 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

[edit] History and designThe basic design dates back more than a century.[1] It consists of a double-wall gas generator, a perforated burner ring, and an inner preheat chamber. A similar design was patented in 1904 by New York coppersmith J. Heinrichs.[2] Trangia has been selling a commercial version of the design since 1925, and Safesport marketed a stainless-steel stove in the 1990s. The Trangia stove burner is made from brass, although all the other associated parts that come with it are aluminium. In the unpressurized open-top design the double wall acts as a gas generator, transferring heat

Search related