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[pct-l] Re: Alternative Stove

Roger, you wrote:

A friend of mine who is thru-hiking this year found an unusual, very
light-weight stove that burns fuel tablets.  The stove, when folded up,
measures 3.5 x 5 x .75 inch deep and weighs 4 oz.  It unfolds into a little
stand that holds your cook pot, and you place two fuel tablets below the
pot.  About 3 tablets total are needed for cooking, unless you boil more
than 2 cups of water.  To be safe, plan on 4 tablets per meal.  A three-meal
supply of tablets weighs about 2.5 oz.  So, for six meals your total weight
for fuel and stove is about 9 oz.  I have not used the stove on the trail,
so I cannot vouch for it's effectiveness.  However, my friend used it on a
two week section hike on the PCT last year, and he feels it will do the job.
On a test run at home I boiled two cups of tap water in 7 minutes.

The use of this type of stove is not something I would recommend for a
lengthly experience on the PCT.  The number of hexamine tablets needed to cook
food and boil water are too heavy and bulky to carry the whole distance, plus
availability is sometimes scarce at resupply points.

The BTU output of a gas or coleman fuel stove is far superior and more
efficient than tablet stoves.  I would recommend purchasing a Coleman Apex
($50) or SVEA 123 Climber ($75) as they are dependable, fuel efficient, and
adjustable from full power down to simmer.  Also, fuel is readily available at
resupply points or in a pinch you can even use gasoline.  The difference in
the cost of fuel more than pays for the cost of the stove.

The weight of an Apex with 16 oz. of fuel is 34 oz and should last for 7 to 8
days, cooking two meals/day.

Wind and elevation are also factors in how efficiently the stove will work.
Wind has a very bad effect on the hexamine stoves and they may require two to
three times as long to boil water in a 10 mph wind than in perfect calm.

Hope this helps.

Bruce Martin
"Dances with Skunks"
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