Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stove Selection

Went with MSR WhisperLite International stove, I liked the reviews and decided on the international version over the standard because it’s a multi fuel stove, can run on white gas, unleaded gas, kerosene and diesel fuel, this might come in handy if I run out of white gas seeing as there aren’t many places along the way to find white gas, can always find a gas station. Also bringing two 30oz fuel bottles, specs rate it for 110 minutes / 20oz so two bottles works out to ~22 minutes of cooking per day, roughly 7 minutes per meal for 15 days. Should be enough fuel as I’m sure I won’t be cooking every meal every day.

There are some good videos on YouTube which show how to properly use and maintain the stove, I have been playing with it for a couple of days now and have it down pat, happy with the purchase and so far, recommend this stove.

During my reading on different stoves I came across a whole group of people “ultralight backpackers” who have found some ingenious ways of making alcohol stoves to reduce weight. Spent a couple of days and made 3 different versions. Open Fuel, Pressurized and Side Burner, they all work very well and I lean towards the Side Burner version although it was more difficult to make. FYI, you can make them out of coke cans in about 5 minutes. I spent an hour on mine to polish them up etc.
Fun side project, decided to buy a commercial stove anyway because it’s more fuel efficient but is worth consideration if you are only going away for a day or two. Many YouTube videos on how to make and just search alcohol stove. They primarily run on Methanol and the most readily available source is denatured alcohol from camp stores or HEET from Walmart (brake line de-icer in the yellow bottle)

WARNING… Methanol burns invisible so make sure if you light this stuff you do it outdoors and around dusk, you can’t see the flames in daylight, TRUST ME on this one and I won’t go into my first hand experience, take my word for it. I did come across an article somewhere about adding something to make the flame visible but could never find it again.
This is the side burner version.

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