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[pct-l] Re: FW: [BackpackingLight] Cat Stove Review

From Tyvek on the backacking light list:  

"Thanks!  Here's my review of the Cat stove.

"I went out last nite and got the stuff for the stove. Luckily, I had 
at home except the actual cat food cans, the insulation and the alcohol.  I
went to Home Depot to buy some insulation, but found that there were tufts
and scraps of the stuff all over the floor in the insulation aisle and more 
in a
garbage can nearby, so I just picked up a small scrap the size of a piece of
string cheese, then bought a can of fuel.  Went home and snipped a small
piece off the excess fencing I put up, the stuff's called "Turkey wire" around
here and can only be bought in 50' rolls, but I already had some.

"It took me about 45 minutes to made the stove and stand, but it could be done
in half the time if I hadn't been so meticulous about neatness. I came very
close to cutting myself several times, as the cat food can metal is very thin 
razor-sharp when cut. When it was finished, I just could not BELIEVE how
light it was, it seemed to weigh NOTHING. Really, like a feather. I had no 
cat food cans were so light. It and the stand fit inside my smaller pot. My
Whisperlite suddenly seemed like a cement block compared to the cat stove
weight. Even my Esbit felt like a little gray brick compared to it! But, I 
had to 
see how it performed before I got too giddy.

"Took it outside with a stopwatch and several pots of water. Placed three
tablespoons of fuel in the stove, then tossed in a match. Wow! I mean, WOW!
A powerful flame and BIG heat came off instantly! Placed my small pot with two
cups of water and a lid on the stove. The sturdy pot stand handled the pot
weight easily. Wrapped my MSR windscreen around the pot and 4 minutes, 34
seconds later I had a ROLLING boil on that baby! I just stared in wonder, a
foolish grin of amazement on my face. Cat food cans did this???

"Next, I boiled 4 cups (1 quart) of water in my larger pot, the one I use for
pasta and mac 'n cheese. At 4 minutes, the quart of water was hot enough for
tea, coffee, etc. At 5 mins, 41 seconds, the stove went out. Working quickly, 
removed the pot, added another 2 tbsp's of fuel, then resumed the boil test.
At 7 mins, I had small bubbles, the water was hot enough to re-hydrate a
freeze-dried meal or do Ramens, etc. The pot came to a rolling boil just as
the stove went out again at 9 minutes, 8 seconds. Boil time would have been
lower if I hadn't taken the lid off to peek several times.

"I am bowled over by this stove and can't wait to get it out in the 
My only question is: what kind of fuel bottle do most people use with their
alcohol stoves? My MSR bottle for my Whisperlite seems way too heavy. Also,
I spilled some fuel trying to add it to the stove with a spoon (of course, I 
measuring, for the test, obviously I wouldn't bother for normal use). I was
wondering if they have fuel bottles with maybe a pouring spout or something
to make adding fuel easier and safer?

"Well, that's my review. I am very impressed by the simplicity, light weight
and power of this little stove and at a total cost of maybe 10 cents worth of
materials, it's awesome!  Thank you, thank you to Brian for posting the
URLs!   -- Disc n Dog, aka Tyvek"

Thanks, Ty, for the great review!  A 500 ml disposable water bottle (Crystal 
Geyser or equivalent) makes a good fuel bottle.  Lasts a week for me, and 
never leaks.  If you use untinted alcohol fuel, put a strip of red tape 
around the bottle so it doesn't get confused with something you intend to 
drink.  These bottles are very rugged and lightweight, and can accommodate 
elevation changes without leaking.  They're also great for carrying olive oil 
or other cooking oils, which are notorious for getting all over the inside of 
your pack from almost any other container.  You can also buy bottled water in 
smaller containers (250 ml).  Real expensive way to buy water but the 
containers are perfect for small quantities of almost any liquid you don't 
want to sleep with.

ps:  Thank you, Brian, for forwarding several nice comments to me from the 
BackpackingLight list.  
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