[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pct-l] re: Hello & Alcohol Stoves

How much alcohol would you expect to use in 5 to 7 day strech with a trangia
stove? I too am planning to use an alcohol stove and wasn't sure exactly
what size fuel bottle I need for such and adventure.  Thanks.



I've used both the Trangia Westwind and my own home-made version of same.
Although the Trangia produces a stronger flame, both are about the same in
boil time and fuel consumption. I've yet to give either a prolonged test;
have not yet prepared a meal with them. But in the 30 degree weather in
which both were tested for boil time, 24 oz of water (maybe 50 deg F) took
between 20 and 25 minutes to reach 212. This was in conjunction with an MSR
windscreen, and a 1.3L Titanium pot with fitted lid. And with a few peeks
inside the pot, no doubt slowing things down a bit.

Despite the protracted boil time, I found both stoves used only 2 or 3 ozs
of fuel in the course of burning for 30 minutes. If I can reach a boil in
somewhere just under 20 minutes - in warmer weather - then I would expect to
burn fuel for perhaps a total of 23-25 minutes, for most of my meals. I
generally add pasta to the water well before the boil, let it soften, and
then allow it to steep soon after reaching boil. So with this efficient sort
of approach, one might expect to use 2 ozs per meal. Cooking but once a day,
this would imply a need for 10 to perhaps 15 ozs of fuel on the longer trail
stretches (5 to 7 days).

As far as fuel options go, I've experimented with the basic three: denatured
alcohol solvent (a la hardware store variety), ethyl alcohol 70%, and
isopropyl alcohol 91% (these second two are readily available at
pharmacies). All three are pretty much the stock options in their category
of alcohol. I am not entirely certain that any difference exists between the
ethyl 70% and the hardware-denatured. All three of these fuels will boil
water in about as much time. The isopropyl is the least favorable option,
mainly because it produces quite a lot of soot. All of them smell pretty
bad, although maybe the solvent is the least offensive.

I'm not counting on the availability of any of these alcohols in PCT trail
towns. And I have no desire to carry more fuel than necessary in each
segment. But luckily, as it turns out, this will not be a problem, since
both ethyl and isopropyl alcohol are legal to mail via US postal service.
The regulations are thus: both fuels must travel by ground only. No priority
mail, or express mail. 3rd class/parcel post only. Restrictions on quantity
are 1 quart per parcel, if the fuel is within a metal container. Or 1 pint
if in some other container. And if you want to be a stickler, the outside of
the box should be labeled as to the contents, amount, and its flash point.
All of this seems like a lot of restrictions, but the plus side is huge -
complete fuel independence! No searching around the towns, walking undue
miles, and buying greater quantities than necessary. Of course, there is the
issue of mailing expense, but 3rd class should be pretty cheap.

I figure my total weight, stove and fuel, should on average be around 9 ozs.

Happy trails,
- Blister

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Kemner <mkemner@go-concepts.com>