Hot answers tagged

65

Comparing hydrocarbons with batteries As Olin Lathrop wrote, the big problem is energy density: hydrocarbon fuels simply offer a huge amount of energy per unit mass, compared to any current battery technology. To put some numbers on this, we can look at Wikipedia's page on energy density. Let's compare ethanol (probably the least energy-dense of the ...


29

Note on boiling and stove weights, obviously there are dozens of stoves out there for every fuel. I'm just estimating based on commonly used stoves. Petroleum, Gas, White Gas, other liquid petrol products Stove weight: 12+ oz (340+ g) Water Boil per 100g fuel (rough): 5 to 6L Good: Works below freezing incredibly good heat fuel is easy to come by fuel ...


25

There are no electric backcountry stoves because there aren't long enough extension cords. Seriously, where do you propose to get the energy from? Batteries of current technology don't have the same energy density by weight or volume as chemical fuel does. Battery technology is advancing rapidly, so some day this may no longer be the case, but today it is....


23

I'm going with "it's too dangerous, so don't do it". I have two manufactured alcohol stoves, and both contain warnings against refill while hot. That being said, my answer is "You don't". Pictured (I can't see the video) suggests a squeeze bottle with a plastic tube running into a reservoir where the alcohol is supposed to be while flames are clearly ...


21

When I get to the "simmer" part of cooking on the Whisperlite, I take the pot off the stove, put the lid on, and wrap it in a towel including underneath and on top. Whatever I am cooking will stay simmery for at least 20-30 minutes that way. It's great for making a sauce with dehydrated ingredients. While the sauce is sitting aside staying hot, I can cook ...


21

This information is available under the Specs on Jetboil's website. 100g canister: 100g fuel; gross weight 194g; empty weight 94g (51.5% fuel by weight) 230g canister: 230g fuel; gross weight 356g; empty weight 126g (64.6% fuel by weight) 450g canister: 450g fuel; gross weight 645g; empty weight 195g (69.8% fuel by weight)


17

The short answer: don't. Edit: Instead of simmering on the stove, remove the pot from the flame and keep it insulated to retain heat. See @KateGregory's excellent answer for more details. The long answer: you can reduce the pressure in the fuel bottle, and this will reduce the flow rate of the fuel. This is done by pumping fewer times! The exact number ...


17

To test your hiking kit/boots to see if it is all comfortable/fits you can do a day walk but carrying your full rucksack and kit (or stuff of similar weight). This will give you a idea of how your kit fits and the difference in hiking with a full rucksack compared to a daysack to help you judge how far you should aim for. Most of your camping kit can be ...


17

You don't, adding liquid fuel to stove with a live flame is never recommended. Related meta post Do we want a post notice for questions where people are using equipment in ways that are clearly incorrect or dangerous? Believing the stove to be out of fuel, she tried to pour more denatured alcohol into it from a large container that exploded, shooting ...


15

Most gear you can test out in your house. Take your boots out on any trail, each time you go out pack a little bit more in your pack and get used to the weight. Come up with a good clothing layer system. Make sure you can get your tent set up quickly. There is nothing like setting up in a downpour minutes before sundown. You can practice this inside. Make ...


14

If you don't have a scale, you can still figure out roughly how much fuel is in each canister with a simple bowl of water. Drop a full canister in bowl of water and mark the water line. Then, drop an empty one in the bowl of water and mark the water line. This gives you your full and empty lines for reference. Now you can drop each of your partially-full ...


13

I think you mean "light" the fuel. "Lighten" means to reduce it's weight. It seems you want to ignite it. The basic problem is that the vapor pressure of ethanol goes down significantly with cold. Keep in mind that liquid doesn't actually burn, it's the gas the liquid gives off combining with atmospheric oxygen that actually burns. If you have a fuel ...


13

The hydrocarbons are going to dominate in this category. Gasoline, diesel, and kerosene, and diesel are all nearly the same in terms of energy content by mass and volume, and are significantly higher than everything except propane: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density#Common_energy_densities Those fuels contain an enormous amount of energy, that's ...


12

There is also the question of heat exchange. How much of the generated heat will end up in the water/food, and how much will go into the surrounding air. I use a Jetboil for this reason. It has a heat exchanger at the bottom of the "pot" to absorb as much of the heat as possible. It also has neoprene insulation to maintain the heat. This is so effective that ...


11

Make sure your fuel container is not in direct contact with the ground. It'll suck the heat right out of your fuel, reducing vapors. Warm your fuel first (armpits work, closed container obviously) If you are using actual alcohol, you're going to have trouble below freezing. As Olin mentioned, the vapors are what burn, and alcohol just doesn't produce ...


11

When I cook home-dehydrated food, I often rehydrate for a day - but not on the stove. In the morning, I boil water for coffee, pour some over dehydrated meat in a Nalgene, leave the lid on loosely until the water is only warm, then tighten the lid firmly. It spends the day in the pack and by dinner time the meat is rehydrated. For some vegetables, such as ...


10

If car camping, you should go for the two-burner stove: It will be far more stable than the backpacking stove. This is IMO the most important feature. It will probably have a larger burner (thus more heat output) than the backpacking stove. The two-burner stove will not take up much more space than the single-burner stove, and for car camping you will ...


10

Looking at the photo, if the ground is as soft as that, burying the canister by 2-3 cm could help a lot. If you're camping at a beach and bury it halfway in the sand, then that should even work in high winds. Apart from that, if you're willing to buy a new stove, there are a number of them that come with built-in legs, such as this one


10

This may be a contrary position, but I think methane has actually gone out of favour in many parts of the world (definitely in Europe) as propane and butane have become popular. In fact propane or butane have greater energy by volume and are available at every camping supplies shop.


9

I would imagine the "testing" others referred to is suitability for purpose rather than will the gear end up damaged or broken. For example, if using a new tent, have you practiced pitching it at home first rather than waiting until you have to use it while in the middle of nowhere? Or is the stove and cooking equipment you plan to carry able to cope with ...


9

All the other answers are correct and good. Car-Camping If the problem is that you want a realistic test but either (a) do not have much time, or (b) wisely do not want to go out backpacking on a test trip alone, then do a car camping trip as a "dress rehearsal". Find a car-camping site.Preferably in the wild or woods, rather than a developed KOA-stlye ...


9

If it seems unstable as in wobbly then you might get better results by clearing out the ground you place it on so you have a level surface to work with (or by building a level surface with rocks or what you can find) Another option is to get legs that attach to the underside of the bottle to make the setup more stable. Here is an example from ebay, but ...


9

I've never heard of a methane stove for camping but I can give some justification as to why you would not want to use it. Since methane has a much higher vapor pressure at room temperature than e.g. propane or butane, you cannot reasonably keep it in liquid form without a ridiculously heavy tank. This is the same reason why you can find household propane ...


9

Battery powered stoves and ovens are available, but they don't get as hot as a regular oven. They are designed to plug into a car's 12V outlet, so they need a car battery, which is impractical for someone on foot. As a result, they are not designed to be light weight. They work for car camping, though. In the US, they are often used by truckers living out of ...


9

There are four common types of stove alcohol: methanol, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and isopropanol. You can usually find them in hardware stores and (but not always) in camping stores. You can also get it as gas line antifreeze in automotive stores but be careful to read the label because antifreeze also comes in several other forms. Methanol Methanol is ...


8

Not all fuels mix well. However, in the case of white gas and unleaded gasoline, one is basically a (much) cleaner version of the other, so you're not mixing so much as diluting the white gas with its inferior (for cooking) sibling. Still, you would get better performance out of the remaining white gas if you don't mix it with the unleaded. There's really ...


8

Each fuel has a flash point. Below that point, the fumes are not dense enough to sustain a flame. You can find a table here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point And a nice video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83UfBD92DfI&feature=fvwrel Ethanol : 16.6 °C (61.9 °F) Gasoline : −43 °C (−45 °F) Diesel : >62 °C (144 °F) Below that temperature, the ...


8

Remove the igniter from the stove. Take a fine file or sandpaper and make sure there is only clean metal on the electrode tip. Often times these get corroded and dirty. Use a Scotch-Brite pad or steel wool to clean the burner itself so that it also exposes clean metal. DO NOT use sandpaper on the burner. Get some electrical contact cleaner and spray it ...


8

As seen in the photos of the repair kits below, the wick is the fabric-like material which is made of fiberglass. It doesn't burn but does eventually degrade when exposed to the high heat of a stove. A simple replacement wick could potentially be fashioned out of nearly any fiberglass insulation such as that used in home construction. Furnace filters are ...


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