Two stoves one pot

10:12 p.m. on January 28, 2013 (EST)
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Wondering if there is any reason it would be unsafe or impractical to run two liquid fuel stoves (or other stove with a remote canister) under one large cookpot.  I have a 2.5 gal pot that although I wouldn't want to carry it far, would be great for cooking for a large group or melting an insane quantity of snow.  

As far as I am aware there shouldn't be any safety issues since both fuel bottles and all plastic parts would be outside the windscreen.  

The only other issue I can think of is whether or not there would be a loss of efficinecy over using two smaller pots due to the stoves not being centered.  From the looks of it I don't think the flames would lick over the sides of the pot although It may be close to doing so.  The windscreen is open for the photo, but I am able to fully close it.  

IMG_0001.jpg

6:15 a.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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With that much heat you will scorch whatever is cooking, other than heating water.  As for heating water and melting snow, the height/width ratio of the pot determines efficiency.  A tall pot is less efficient than a squat wide pot of similar volume.  The only safety issue I see with the set up you describe is if one stove malfunctions you have the potential for the event to involve the second stove - think car fire next to the gas pump...

Ed

9:05 p.m. on January 29, 2013 (EST)
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Using multiple stoves under a large pot is something done all the time on expeditions. It is a bit tricky, though, and prone to error. On the climb pictured below, at times we had 2 and at other times we had 3 stoves under each pot. However, at one point the person managing the melting of snow for water left a bit of opening in the windshield.

DnliRT.jpg

And this was the result - a melted pump, a spectacular jet of flame, and a stove tossed out of the cook tent into the snow.
StovFiRT.jpg

Could have been worse - whole tent in flames, people burned, other bad things.

And no, I had no cooking duties on that expedition and no stove operational involvement. I wasn't in the tent at the time, so didn't see exactly what transpired, except for the flaming fuel bottle flying out the second door of the cook tent.

My advice is DO NOT DO THIS! Even though it is faster when melting snow for water for a group.

4:57 p.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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I attended a talk on a north pole trek done by two guys, one is Tyler Fish, can't recall the other name.  They used one very large kettle on top of two whisperlites which were bolted to a sheet of metal as a stove base.  They said they had no problems, but it is possible they were just lucky.  I don't know if they used the windscreens, but possibly not since they cooked inside their tent.  I'm not certain I'd try that method, but you never know.

8:20 p.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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I think the idea of securing the two stoves together is important. That would eliminate one stove falling over and melting/blowing up the other.

8:49 p.m. on January 30, 2013 (EST)
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Note that in the situation I pictured above, it wasn't a stove falling over that precipitated the event, but the windshield being left slightly open so that the heat of the stove (or both stoves) could reach the plastic fuel pump in the MSR fuel bottle, thus melting it and allowing the fuel under pressure to be squirted directly out in a stream, making a flame thrower.

11:25 a.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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Impressive story, Bill.

WISam, are both stoves the same height and thus equal in supporting the pot? I find it hard to believe. If only one supports the pot, only that one is held in place by the weight, which, as you know, causes one to assume through habit that it cannot be easily moved when working around the cooking area. Habits often lead to errors, in new situations.

Besides what is mentioned by others, when something does go wrong, you may waste precious micro-seconds throwing the wrong stove away from the crowd.

Colemen had a 'Max' range of stoves, liquid feed canisters, that included one stove with two burners, I remember. They discontinued the 'Max' range (damn their eyes).

12:52 p.m. on January 31, 2013 (EST)
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They are slightly different heights but it would be pretty easy to find or being something along that would raise the other stove to the correct height. I could secure the windscreen shut with a binder clip or paper clip.

The question is would it really be any faster for melting water to have one 3 liter pot under 2 stoves vs one 1.5 l pot under each stove?

12:36 a.m. on March 5, 2013 (EST)
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Pathloser said:

Colemen had a 'Max' range of stoves, liquid feed canisters, that included one stove with two burners, I remember. They discontinued the 'Max' range (damn their eyes).

That was the Coleman Xpedition.  A very fine stove.  They've discontinued not only that type of stove but the fuel as well.  :(

 

HJ

Adventures In Stoving

12:38 a.m. on March 5, 2013 (EST)
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WISam said:

The question is would it really be any faster for melting water to have one 3 liter pot under 2 stoves vs one 1.5 l pot under each stove?

 Generally, it's more efficient to heat water all at once, and it's certainly more efficient in terms of weight to carry one large pot instead of two smaller ones with the same total volume.

 

Still, in the interests of safety and simplicity, I'd probably just go with two pots.

 

HJ

Adventures In Stoving

8:52 p.m. on March 5, 2013 (EST)
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I think it's an explosion waiting to happen. one pot per stove.

10:37 a.m. on March 6, 2013 (EST)
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Bill S , I hope I never live so long as to see a fuel bottle that looks like that one. Indeed that is a scary thing to allow.

I can see 2 maybe 4 stoves in the msr whisper class under a big pot, each to it's own corner, but keeping a sharp EYE on all the pump, plastic, and tubing.

With that said i am a one pot, 1 stove sort of guy and even then cold camp is more my style, with a single hot meal in a day. In a normal camp day that's firing off for coffee / tea in the morning and not again till dinner.

A good part of why I am here is trying to get foods down in the modern way again, because what I used to pack is no longer for sale.

The invention of the microwave killed the boiling bags frozen foods came in. Then my winter style was all boiling bagged food and with 0 clean up.

12:19 p.m. on March 6, 2013 (EST)
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Bill (no S):

They sell boil bags for the home cooker.  Perfect for your application.  Look in the plastic bag section of the store.

Ed

7:00 p.m. on March 6, 2013 (EST)
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Sounds like the MSR pump performed as designed.  The plastic will melt before pressure builds up and you have an explosion.  Caps on old Optimus, Svea stoves have a safety valve in the cap and will release pressure, resulting in a flame being thrown out until the pressure is remedied.

Duane 

 

8:37 p.m. on March 6, 2013 (EST)
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I remember when retort packed foods were all the rage. everybody was making them, great for desert hiking. I guess they weren't as cost effective as freeze dried, because they all seemed to stop making them at once. bummer. I liked that stuff. no mess to clean up-eat it right out of the bag. I guess you can do he same with mountain house and the like, but the retort packaged foods tasted better!

11:16 p.m. on March 7, 2013 (EST)
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whomeworry said:

Bill (no S):

They sell boil bags for the home cooker.  Perfect for your application.  Look in the plastic bag section of the store.

Ed

 Could you locate a brand name please at some point? My wife has been driven over the edge looking. Everything we find has tiny holes. We are considering heavy duty freezer bags with the zip lock but wonder if that is safe. I have taken in a lot of bad chemicals in my working life and a lot of metals too.

I don't need any more bad just because i cooked something in oil base plastic. I avoid aluminum pots and pans these days too, but I breath that dust still almost every working day. It's not like i don't swim in that dust hours and hours all day each week.

Cute (no S) like it...... :-)

11:18 p.m. on March 7, 2013 (EST)
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hikerduane said:

Sounds like the MSR pump performed as designed.  The plastic will melt before pressure builds up and you have an explosion.  Caps on old Optimus, Svea stoves have a safety valve in the cap and will release pressure, resulting in a flame being thrown out until the pressure is remedied.

Duane 

 

 He heee hee he yeah and ain't that some excitin'

11:22 p.m. on March 7, 2013 (EST)
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Trailjester said:

I remember when retort packed foods were all the rage. everybody was making them, great for desert hiking. I guess they weren't as cost effective as freeze dried, because they all seemed to stop making them at once. bummer. I liked that stuff. no mess to clean up-eat it right out of the bag. I guess you can do he same with mountain house and the like, but the retort packaged foods tasted better!

 Was that stuff dry or wet and frozen? You get the idea though.. No dishes nothing to wash.

The most i ever washed was with one finger and that was for cocoa and around the rim of the cup. That could only be done indoors at places like Gray Knob Camp or Craig.....

Most often I made tang and rinsed a cocoa cup mung out by doing orangy tang... used to mix tang with tea too, and early on, mixed tang with prune juice for ...... err ahh umm (looks up)

4:01 p.m. on March 8, 2013 (EST)
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retort packaging was the forerunner of modern mre's today. you could heat them in water or eat them cold right out of the bag.

12:58 a.m. on March 9, 2013 (EST)
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I didn't know that..... I know what MRE's are, but i don't pack them, and in fact don't really like the foods in them much.

At the time Stoffers was doing boiling bags their size was ok not great but ok and the weight was bearable for 10 days stay. The one thing i didn't need worry about was that they would thaw.

For a solo guy not liking eating much,  cooking at all or washing a dish! Those were as good as it got.

I seem to be that odd duck that eats only when hungry... Mostly eating is a hassle, and i wouldn't do it except I have no choice.

1:22 a.m. on March 9, 2013 (EST)
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One of my old Optimus 8's had to bring two pots of water to a boil to kill the bugs over a year ago in the Fall.  About the time the second small pot was hot enough, the safety valve vented.   Woohoo!  Shut that baby down, flame shooting out more than a few inches.  Some people thought it failed, I said it worked as designed, it vented pressure and did not explode in my face.  After I had it shut down, I heard some noise in the tank, the fuel was boiling.  Now I know the old embossed 8's capability.  Either use it less or use a smaller pot that doesn't transfer heat to the tank.

Duane

8:20 p.m. on March 9, 2013 (EST)
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eating is a hassle? I get hungry on the trail!

12:43 p.m. on March 10, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

eating is a hassle? I get hungry on the trail!

 Yup.... eating is not any hobby of mine.... I don't look forward to eating, and consider it a chore. I always have.

I don't get a choice, but if there were a energy pill that made me feel warm and had power and I could just swallow that with a cup of water that would be the way i would take in most food forms if i could.

Just think 60 pills and you could go 60 days.... A water pill might be handy considering water weighs a pound per pint.

oddly i don't get that hungry on the trail. I can start a hoke on 2 cups of coffee black 1 sugar each and a few crackers and then go most of the day til dinner and then have a smaller meal (hot) cocoa, maybe tang too and be goo to go. In all the mean time, i chug cold clear water at about 1 gallon a day. I can do the water on the fly, so it's lesser hassle.

9:30 p.m. on March 10, 2013 (EDT)
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I drink a lot of water too, about three liters per day. I don't really eat like a pig, it's not a hobby, I'm definitely not a foodie. at home I'll have a sandwich and that will last me all day. I just eat more when I'm hiking, probably because of the extra calorie use.

11:12 a.m. on March 11, 2013 (EDT)
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Cooking is a hassle, cleaning up after is too. That was why I really liked stoffer boiling bag meals in winter. Winter here pretty much means freezing and far below freezing and in the mt usually well below 0. Mt Washington NH holds many 'worst world weather records'.

When it isn't bad weather it's bad bugs. I don't eat them either but i can't say the same for them! I truely know what it feels like to be at the bottom of the food chain ;-)

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