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#278134 - 12/22/15 08:01 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: hikermor]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
Originally Posted By: hikermor
If you are contending with -40 temps, you want liquid petrochemical fuels. Don't mess with either esbit or alcohol. Kerosene worked fine for me in those conditions.


To be fair, longer term survival in -40 temperatures calls for a radically different strategy and a lot of specialized equipment. A multi-fuel/kerosene stove being just one case in point.

However, I'm not sure if that's what the OP had in mind. As a small portable (and/or emergency) stove I think either alcohol or esbit would work just fine for most people, unless they are actually planning to spend days on end exposed to -40 temperatures. But most people aren't going to do that on purpose, at least not without a good shelter in place.

I've read a lot about the supposed deficiencies of alcohol stoves in cold temperatures. Well yes, I'm pretty sure that trying to boil water on a small alcohol stove in the middle of some windswept icy plain wouldn't work that well. But no sensible person is going to do that anyway.

When it's that cold outside your top priority is going to be a decent shelter. All your boiling and cooking and whatnot will take place there, in a place at least somewhat protected from the elements. A good shelter will trap heat quite effectively so it will get warm fairly quickly, at any rate warm enough for an alcohol stove to work well. Keep in mind that the trangia stove is very popular with the Scandinavian military and outdoor enthusiasts in general, speaking for a very solid track record (even) in the Arctic climate.

I absolutely agree that a kerosene stove is a more effective solution in the extreme cold. But it can be finicky to operate, pretty darn dangerous in less experienced hands and requires a fair bit of maintenance to perform reliably. Unless you're going on a truly hardcore Arctic or mountain climbing adventure I don't think a kerosene stove is really necessary, or even ideal for most people.

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#278135 - 12/22/15 08:39 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: Tom_L]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 339
yeah until it freezes alcohol should be burnable smile hey candles burn and they don't vaporize at room temperature


Originally Posted By: http://www.jureystudio.com/pennystove/myths.html#anchor3
In his book Annapurna: 50 years of Expeditions in the Death Zone, Reinhold Messner relates how the first party to ascend an 8,000 meter mountain made "tea on the alcohol stove" the night before the "assault". At way over 20.000 ft. it was very cold on that trip - Herzog and Lachenal both came back with critical cases of frostbite.


TRANGIA Alcohol Stove IN 2 Minnesota Cold - shugemery
Alcohol stove works below freezing 19 degrees F - Freddy Johnson
Originally Posted By: Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Guide to Ultralight Hiking and Backpacking - Justin Lichter
I have used alcohol stoves in conditions as cold as negative 30 degrees and at 18,000 feet elevation and haven't had any problems.


Alcohol Stove: Rumors, myths & Lies #alcohol-stoves-dont-work-in-low-temperatures

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#278136 - 12/22/15 11:41 AM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: La-USA
I carry Esbit tabs (Trioxine tablets whe I can find them) in my GHB. The Esbit tabs are to use in wet conditions if all else fails. I still prefer feeding twigs into my stove to heat up some coffee, tea, or warm up a meal.
_________________________
QMC, USCG (Ret)
The best luck is what you make yourself!

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#278140 - 12/22/15 03:24 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
You guys are awesome! Thanks so much. I now have three different cook sets and two stoves in my DAY HIKE KIT! LOL!! An over-packed work in progress, as ever. wink

I should have clarified that this is a strictly urban kit. I'm using this bag as my "more than just a walk to the grocery store" EDC, and regularly stopping for trail-side lunches and snacks with the kids, but it isn't my bushcraft/camping/wilderness bag. It may wander a little far from the pavement occasionally, but this kit isn't intended for wilderness trips planned or otherwise. wink Backpackgirl and I are doing a lot of hiking, and we're moving on foot or bus, or carpooling within suburban/urban areas, and this is my just in case kit for those adventures.

In terms of it being a GHB, I'm planning to be caught outside for a few hours or overnight on a walk home, to couch-surf with a friend or in a bus station during an ice/winter storm or power failure - at worst, with one or both of my kiddos. I'm not packing a saw or an axe in this kit, for example, but do have a plug-in recharging system for my radio and cel phone. As Tom wisely pointed out, I am not going to be lost in the barrens with this bag. wink

When it comes to the stove, I want something to use on the trail and I need something that I can use indoors in a power outtage.

What's in my bag:

OUTSIDE OF PACK

*Thermarest Z Seat (attached by side compression strap)
*Fox 40 slim Whistle (attached to zipper)

FRONT OUTSIDE POCKET
*cough drops
*Clif bars
*emergency poncho
*baby wipes
*Purelle
*garbage bags

FRONT POCKET
*Kleenex
*MP3 Player/Radio, ear buds and charging kit
*Mora LMF Fire Knife
*Leather Wave (Mag Solitare, Ferro rod and cotton in sheath)
*bandana (cotton)
*buff (wicking)
*LED headlamp and one set of extra batteries
*LED Glowstick (Thank you Izzy!)
*Pens and pencil
*lip balm
*Sunglasses
*Tylenol, Advil, Benedryl, cough drops
*Mini BIC
*Tweezers & safety pins
*Repair needle
*Fire Tin with fatwood, birch bark and jute twine
*Platypus water bag
*duct tape
*signal mirror
*notebook
*paracord

MIDDLE POCKET

*GI poncho
*silk liner gloves
*balaclava (Camo/Blaze orange)
*baseball hat
*9 oz meths for alcohol stove

MAIN POCKET
*FAK (with water filter straw, BIC, whistle, 2 mylar blankets and standard FAK kit stuff)

*Extra Clothes (merino wool hiking socks, merino wool hoodie, leggings, underwear and a wool poncho in dry bag)
*Shelter kit (Heatsheets 2 person blanket, plastic sheet, jute twine, paracord, chem hand and body warmers)
*Hygiene kit (maxi pads, tampons, pull-up diaper, toilet paper, soap, purelle, shami, bandana, extra ziplock bags)
*Bag of Chow (noodles and rice ,tuna, oatmeal, trail mix and hot drinks)
*Cookset
-32 OZ stainless steel water bottle (and fish mouth spreader) nested in 28 OZ Outbound Robson Adonized Aluminum cook pot and lid
-32 OZ GSI kettle (holds ESBIT stove, BIC, stormproof matches, folding cup and the fixings for tea)
-18 OZ Outbound stainless steel mug and homemade lid (holds alcohol stove kit with fancy feast stove, windscreen/pot holder and 4oz of meths)

I made a video showing this kit, but the cookset is obviously still a work in progress. It's heavier and bulkier than I'd like so I'm still fiddling. All suggestions for improvement are appreciated as always! smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbHBJGIiHD8
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#278141 - 12/22/15 03:37 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7050
Loc: southern Cal
Notice that you are packing hand sanitizer in a couple of places in your kit. Not only is that stuff good for sanitation, it burns quite nicely in an alcohol stove (62%). I would say you are set for anything short of an asteroid impact or Yellowstone blowing up....
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Geezer in Chief

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#278142 - 12/22/15 03:42 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Russ Online   content
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5227
Loc: SOCAL
Hmmm, for indoors during a power outage I go away from anything I'd take for a walk. A single burner butane stove like the Amazon butane stoves are fairly cheap and they work really well.

The basic design seems to be universal, I s'pose the patent ran out or was simply overrun. I have a stainless model from Gas One that simmers well and boils water faster than my stovetop. Iwatani markets a couple that are very nice at over twice the price and also available from Amazon. IME they burn clean, crack the window and don't worry about CO.

I wouldn't consider the other fuels: kerosene, white gas, et al -- for use inside. I never tried Esbit or alcohol because those stoves are either On or Off, and aren't in the same class for serious cooking.

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#278143 - 12/22/15 03:43 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: hikermor]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Notice that you are packing hand sanitizer in a couple of places in your kit. Not only is that stuff good for sanitation, it burns quite nicely in an alcohol stove (62%). I would say you are set for anything short of an asteroid impact or Yellowstone blowing up....


HAHA! I have an almost three year old who feels like dealing with an asteroid impact a lot of the time. wink
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

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

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#278144 - 12/22/15 03:44 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: Russ]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Russ
Hmmm, for indoors during a power outage I go away from anything I'd take for a walk. A single burner butane stove like the Amazon butane stoves are fairly cheap and they work really well.

The basic design seems to be universal, I s'pose the patent ran out or was simply overrun. I have a stainless model from Gas One that simmers well and boils water faster than my stovetop. Iwatani markets a couple that are very nice at over twice the price and also available from Amazon. IME they burn clean, crack the window and don't worry about CO.

I wouldn't consider the other fuels: kerosene, white gas, et al -- for use inside. I never tried Esbit or alcohol because those stoves aren't in the same class for serious cooking.


Thanks Russ! I agree and have a couple of camp stoves that we've used at home before for just those reasons!
_________________________
Mom & Adventurer

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

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#278145 - 12/22/15 04:01 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: bacpacjac]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1762
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Originally Posted By: Russ
Hmmm, for indoors during a power outage I go away from anything I'd take for a walk. A single burner butane stove like the Amazon butane stoves are fairly cheap and they work really well.

The basic design seems to be universal, I s'pose the patent ran out or was simply overrun. I have a stainless model from Gas One that simmers well and boils water faster than my stovetop. Iwatani markets a couple that are very nice at over twice the price and also available from Amazon. IME they burn clean, crack the window and don't worry about CO.

I wouldn't consider the other fuels: kerosene, white gas, et al -- for use inside. I never tried Esbit or alcohol because those stoves aren't in the same class for serious cooking.


Thanks Russ! I agree and have a couple of camp stoves that we've used at home before for just those reasons!


Be aware of those butane stoves. Several recalls and bans were in effect in Australia (https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/water-energ...s-cooker-safety) and EU. Over heating seems to be a issue, make sure you do not exceed the maximum diameter size pans.
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#278150 - 12/22/15 05:46 PM Re: Esbit or Alcohol Stove for GHB [Re: Tjin]
Russ Online   content
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5227
Loc: SOCAL
Thanks for the warning Tjin. I checked the link and fortunately neither my Gas One nor the Iwatani brand names made the list. HOWEVER, as Previously stated, they are all of the same basic design so precautions are probably warranted regardless of the list. I pulled mine off the shelf and I recalled thinking that it was nice that the fuel canister was offset from the burner. Obviously an oversize pan that extended out over the canister compartment could negate that design and become a flaw, allowing the can to overheat. So smaller pans and water kettles only.

Mine is primarily for morning coffee so the water kettle is primary.

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