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[pct-l] Stove Burning Times

Folks --
Just a comment or two on burning times with no illuminating data whatever. 
 I've got the Trangia Westwind as I mentioned a few days ago and it seems a 
little heavier and slower than some of those mentioned; I've also seen one 
stove built that follows one of the online design plans that, although the 
inner cup was filled to the brim with alcohol, didn't boil a half-liter by 
the time the alcohol was finished.  So probably each person building their 
own stove, even with plans, probably will have to experiment some to verify 
and modify to achieve adequate performance.

But what does faster burning time really achieve?  Probably nothing 
time-wise; I can do my hamstring stretches and other multiplexing 
activities while the water is boiling so whether boiling times are 
5/10/15/20 minutes is inconsequential most of the time.

If a stove is a slower boiler but more efficient, thus conserving more 
alcohol, it might be a better stove for reducing overall weight with no 
effective loss of utility.

Careful technique with a windscreen is important, according to my (VERY 
limited, non-qualitative) experimentation, and will have a significant 
effect on boiling times and fuel efficiency.  More significant than with my 
Whisperlite or X-GK.

Faster boiling time, however, is also a partial measure of a stove's 
ability to "bust-through" environmental conditions and get the job done. 
  So a faster-burning stove is probably more desirable when the weather is 
weathering than a slower burning stove.  It might be true, though, that 
under those conditions the difference between a slow-boiling alcohol stove 
and a 50%-faster fast-burning alcohol stove is negligible and that 
windscreen technique is much more significant.

In short, reason alone says that the utility of an alcohol stove is a 
complex function of several parameters, and that garage (or in my case, the 
lawn on the side of the hotel) - based boiling times are only one part of 
the picture.

But to run the experiments to examine these musings are beyond my time and 
resources at this time.  I also don't have the time to build my own stove. 
 It sounds like fun.  I do like the Trangia so far and hope to use it most 
of the time, except possibly for the Sierras and Cascades.

Look forward to seeing your alcohol-fueled rocket engines out on the trail! 
 Perhaps we can run some drag races.

-- Dave

David B. Stockton

I just made my Jeff E. design alcohol burner and they were right. It heats
twice as fast as any of my store bought burners. ( trangia etc.) I boiled a 
quart in 10 minutes in a little tea pot with lid. This would be the time 
2 cups with my trangia. Of course, I filled my masterpiece 3 ozs. for full
fame effect. Monte
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