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Backpackers' Alcohol Stove Plans

August 7, 2017

 

Most ultralight backpackers will use alcohol stoves to help cut backpack weight and save expense on fuels during camping or hiking trips. And it 's kind of clean energy that will not do much harm to the nature and it's quiet when it's burning. 

 

White Box stove can be one of the better one to use for 2-3 people (for boiling only) because it burns faster than many , it has a largish flame and holds more fuel than some.It is also a lot stronger than the typical Pepsi can.As for the output, if you use Ethanol (95%), for solo use you can add a few drops of water to cool it down. (to reduce flame size).

 


Let's take a 5 day hike as an example. I will also assume that you are are going to boil a full quart per meal (drinks and the meal). In cold weather, it may take 1 fluid oz of alcohol to boil a quarter, and we can go with that. Stove weighs one ounce, fuel bottle weighs one ounce. Alcohol for these five days weighs 5 x 1.4 = seven ounces. Remember, we were talking about fluid ounces to boil the water. Total now weighs nine ounces. 

Even if you take a smaller canister of iso-pro at four ounces, the steel can still weighs five ounces. Counting your stove, this would bring the set up to about twelve ounces. Weight savings on Day 1 is three ounces, but that gets multiplied each day. You never get away from bringing that steel canister.

 


On the last day of a trip with an alcohol stove, your kitchen weight is two ounces, the stove and the empty bottle. On a last day using a Pocket Rocket, even if the canister was now empty, you would be carrying three oz for the stove, and four for the empty steel canister. 7 in total. Those five ounces were carried 5 days, making your pack a pound and a half heavier over the course of less than a week. Yes, we are talking about 4-5 ounces each day, and that seems insignificant. (Think of the treats you can carry that only weigh two ounces per day!) At the risk of being stoned to death by the UL'ers, I will say it isn't really all that much. A delighted saying among BP'ers is to mind the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves. This is just one place backpackers can lighten their load.

Also, alcohol is much cheaper. Resupply places usually have alcohol they sell by the ounce, not in carry cans, so Thrus can buy only what they need. I can buy that alcohol for less than $2, while a small canister of iso-pro takes about $4.

 


Finally, I changed to alcohol not for the weight savings or the price. I swapped because it is absolutely quiet. The Pocket rocket is named that for a reason. It sounds like a rocket is taking off close by. Whisper light is a misnomer. I can set my water to boil, and enjoy my surroundings without being bothered by noise created myself.

 

And you need to have a stove head to snuff the flame of the alcohol stove. You can cut a coke for it. Ways for cutting the coke can smoothly: 1. Mark out. Use a rubber band to create a straight line for a Sharpie to mark the can. 2. Lay the can on it's side and roll it while holding the Sharpie in one place, making a straight line to cut. 3. My personal favorite. Just use tin snips and eyeball it. Any sharp pair of scissors is able to cut a can, but I hate to risk dulling them, so I use my tin snips. 

 

 

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