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Re: [pct-l] Stove: Primus Titanium butane stove


I have used many butane stoves including the MSR and have used a MSR
Wisperlight. Although there are many mystiques around liquid fuel stoves
and many campers swear that their 12 year old Optimus whatever has never
clogged or let them down, the facts have been verified many times by many
people on the Compuserve Outdoors Forum.

We can find no condition other than sub zero low altitude camping where a
liquid fuel stove works better. While it is really hard to relsove
different campers "I hiked x days and used y ounces of fuel" because of the
extreme differences in what people cook, the results of tests are as

1-You can't get your MSR Wisperlight assembeled, primed and lit before I
can boil a pot of water. Once both are assembled the Liquid stove tales
about 4 min/qt and the butane about 4.5. The numbers vary depending on the
stove, how expert the user is in setting to proper pressure in the liquid
container and the state of the propane/butane canister [full to empty] but
the liquid stove is consistantly slightly faster once set up. Using Primus
canisters, a propane/butane mix, my stove approachs the bring-to-a-boil
speed of a Wisperlight with a new canister. Some people have indicated that
a MSR Wisperlight is a poor choice in liquid stoves. However, many
observations of other liquid fuel stoves show the same cantankerous

2-Boiling water at full blast is a poor test. Too much flame is wasted.
Water boils almost as fast at 1/2 flame and both stoves are more fuel
eficient at 1/2 flame. However a butane stove is trivial to set at 1/2
flame while a liquid stove is a pain.

3-The MSR windscreen makes a HUGE difference. With "canister under" designs
of some butane stoves, it is necessary to rig a support out of a coat
hanger to get a MSR windscreen to properly shield a stove like this. Onec
constructed the support weighs 1/2 ounce while th shield weighs just over 1
ounce but you will save that weight in fuel saved within a day.

4-SIMMERING IS CRITICAL. If my stove can simmer I am able to cook bread
[from bisquick], corn bread [from muffin mix], cake [from Pillsbury or
Betty Crocker] in a BakePacker. I can cook normal rice in a plastic baggie
and avoid any mess to clean up. I can reconstitute powdered egg and arrive
at a decent omelot. I can cook standard pasta like spaghetti or elbow
noodles [for mac n' cheese] and I can cook fresh fish [in the BakePacker].
If all I can do is boil water I am limited to freeze dried cardboard. If I
can simmer I can reconstitute things like powdered gravy that require
starting with "COLD" water and heating to just a slight boil. I couldn't do
that with a liquid fuel stove.

Now assuming that I cook scrambled eggs for breakfast [cook 12 miniutes],
cook rice or pasta by simmering for 20 miniutes every night and cook a
bisquit or cake once a day [14 miniutes], but do NOT boil water for
drinking [I use a filter], how much fuel do I use? Well, three of us did
this for seven (7) days on a single 1 pound [net] canister. I submit that I
eat better AND CARRY LESS TOTAL WEIGHT than people who use  a tiny amount
of alcohol or esbit fuel.

5-EATING BETTER is critical. I wouldn't last 2 weeks on corn pasta and even
less on Mountain House cardboard a la King. But  . . . I can hike a long
ways if I have a hot chocolate cake to look forward to! Couldn't you?

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