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#278077 - 12/21/15 02:23 AM Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I'm building and testing a new Get Home Bag/Day hike kit and I have a question for a collective:

For an EDC GHB/Day Hike Kit, that you are humping all day - Esbit pocket/hexi stove or fancy feast alcohol stove? My primary goal is a solo kit, but with the capacity to support me and the two kiddos if needs be, either under a lean-to or on a friend's couch in a winter power failure. My standard kit for this bag will be - GSI Halulite kettle, anodized aluminum cook set (800 mL and 300 mL pot & cup), aluminum bottle, stainless steel mug... I've ruled out a canister stove for this bag - but do have one in the family kit. wink

Fuel is obviously finite, so which is better - liquid or solid fuel tabs? We're above freezing for now, but winters usually get to -40C. Alcohol is pretty plentiful, cheaper and easier to find around here, so I'm leaning that way, BUT, the cold is a factor AND I can use my esbit as a wood stove if I needed to...

Help!! THANKS!
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
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#278079 - 12/21/15 02:33 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2984
Loc: USA
Esbit advantages:
  • very long storage life
  • works in any temperature
  • makes a great firestarter when you have wood for fuel
  • great if your objective is to boil water
  • higher energy density than many fuels (30 MJ/Kg, vs 21.1 MJ/L for ethanol and 15.8 MJ/L for methanol)

Esbit disadvantages:
  • once it's lit, you're not putting it out until it's used up
  • leaves yucky residue
  • more expensive than other options
  • very challenging for simmering

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#278081 - 12/21/15 02:41 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2027
Loc: Colorado
I have one of these:

http://www.fireboxstove.com/camp-stoves/3-inch-folding-firebox-nano


A Trangia burner will fit inside, as will an Esbit tablet - and the folding stove will act as a windscreen for those while also supporting your pot. Also, you can feed it with small scraps of wood and bark if you run out of other fuel.

[edit] p.s. - All the pictures of this stove on their website show it with the legs angled inwards, but they can be angled outwards too, if you need to support a larger pot. [/edit]

I like the versatility of the setup. You can get this stove in titanium as well, but the stove is small enough that I'm happy with the heavier stainless version - it doesn't weigh much.

I also have this small folding stoves big brother:

http://www.fireboxstove.com/camp-stoves/5-inch-folding-firebox


But this bigger one is pretty heavy (made of stainless). An awesome stove, just not a lightweight one. I've got the accessories for this larger one too - the grill plate and the boil plate. My typical use for this larger version is on car-camping trips. If we're not going to have a campfire, this stove will sit on the picnic table, fed with scrap wood and bark, and serves as a heater and something to gaze into as you sit around in the dark. Also good for heating your hot chocolate or roasting marshmallows.

But for a get home bag, I'd recommend the small version at the top of this post.


Edited by haertig (12/21/15 02:46 AM)

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#278082 - 12/21/15 02:47 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I should have mentioned that boiling is my primary goal for this kit. wink

I love the ease and dependability of the esbit, but the residue has been bugging me. I don't mind washing dishes at the end of the day, but in an emergency, I'd like to go with the easiest solution.

I like Wetfire because it will light even when wet, but holy soot, Batman! It's the most expensive and hard to find solid fuel I can get around here too. Coghlans/Coleman hexi cubes are cheap and plentiful, and better but still a mess. Esbit brand is better still but not as clean as alcohol. UGH. Zip - forget it. It will light in a hurricane, i bet, but what a disaster to clean up.

Any weight, leakage concerns with alcohol? Freezing isn't an issue, I think, but cold temps are. Tips? I keep my fuel bottle with the stove and windscreen in an insulated bag in my backpack.

P.S.

Sharing just cause: My hubby made me a new pot holder/windscreen today. It's a perfect fit with my alcohol stove kit. AWW!!

_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#278083 - 12/21/15 02:49 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: haertig]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: haertig
I have one of these:

http://www.fireboxstove.com/camp-stoves/3-inch-folding-firebox-nano


A Trangia burner will fit inside, as will an Esbit tablet - and the folding stove will act as a windscreen for those while also supporting your pot. Also, you can feed it with small scraps of wood and bark if you run out of other fuel.

[edit] p.s. - All the pictures of this stove on their website show it with the legs angled inwards, but they can be angled outwards too, if you need to support a larger pot. [/edit]

I like the versatility of the setup. You can get this stove in titanium as well, but the stove is small enough that I'm happy with the heavier stainless version - it doesn't weigh much.

I also have this small folding stoves big brother:

http://www.fireboxstove.com/camp-stoves/5-inch-folding-firebox


But this bigger one is pretty heavy (made of stainless). An awesome stove, just not a lightweight one. I've got the accessories for this larger one too - the grill plate and the boil plate. My typical use for this larger version is on car-camping trips. If we're not going to have a campfire, this stove will sit on the picnic table, fed with scrap wood and bark, and serves as a heater and something to gaze into as you sit around in the dark. Also good for heating your hot chocolate or roasting marshmallows.

But for a get home bag, I'd recommend the small version at the top of this post.


SO SO SO WANT!!! No funds right now but some day. laugh

EDIT: My hubby works with sheet metal and is determined that he can make something similar to this. I'm really hoping he's right. wink


Edited by bacpacjac (12/21/15 03:18 AM)
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

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#278085 - 12/21/15 03:00 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
Fuel is obviously finite, so which is better - liquid or solid fuel tabs?


Both fuels have roughly the same specific fuel energy/weight ratio.
Ethanol fuel such as bio ethanol does better than methanol.
There are also gels fuels, which are gelled Methanol. These are somewhat safer to use than liquid fuels.

Evernew does a nice Trangia replacement but it is not as efficient due to its higher faster burn times. Trangia fuel bottle work well.

Esbit is messy, but can make for very lightweight stove kits

All the fuels above such as alcohols, gels and Hexamine fuels can be problematic is very poor weather conditions.

Why not stick with a good quality stove burner like the Soto Windmaster and some good quality fuel for cold weather using a isobutane/propane mix from Jetboil.

For really cold weather my stove fuel combo might even be a

Coleman Propangas cartridge
Kovea LPG Adaptor
Firemaple Stove









Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (12/21/15 03:07 AM)

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#278086 - 12/21/15 03:09 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks Fear!

I have a Primus Classic Trail stove and an old Peak 1 Micro stove, that I really like, and do carry on bushwacking hikes with the family, and have been called into action more than once when the power has failed. I just hate lugging around the canisters every day. Maybe it's just a mental block?

backpackgirl and I have more time on our hands now that I'm a full-time stay at home mom agin, and I want to make the most of it and go lighter weight/less space. wink

p.s. - I need to check out Jim's site and compare the stats.
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#278087 - 12/21/15 03:16 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

There are also gels fuels, which are gelled Methanol. These are somewhat safer to use than liquid fuels.


I saw some at the local Army Surplus store. Might just have to try it out. Thanks!
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT9fpZEy5XSWkYy7sgz-mSA

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#278088 - 12/21/15 04:04 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4964
Loc: SOCAL
I actually prefer little wood-stoves. Not for use in SOCAL, but assuming you have wood in Canada...
Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove

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#278089 - 12/21/15 04:09 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 327
Hi bacpacjac,
So what is the tallest/widest cooking container you have?

Pick your dedicated boiler (say a bottle)
and wrap aluminum foil/flashing around it,
this is your pot skirt (more than a wind screen)
attach to bottom a metal can/cup with skewers,
this is your grate / wood stove / pot stand
you can put soda can stove inside this cup


Links to construction/theory/fancier version in this caldera cone thread

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