Three Times More Fuel Than You Need?

1:14 p.m. on August 2, 2011 (EDT)
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I've got an article on windscreens in particular and stove fuel economy in general in the August edition in Seattle Backpacker's Magazine:   http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/2011/08/02/three-times-the-fuel


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I've written a blog post that goes with the article.  The blog post discusses a few windscreen alternatives, including some that may not have occurred to you (they didn't to me):   http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/2011/08/windscreens.html


HJ

10:46 a.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Jim ~~

Not a comment re: this thread ....

BUT, what do you think of my comments in the "Articles & Comments" blog, about  the new Evernew and Jetboil titanium sets ?

                                                      ~r2~

4:56 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I dont use a wind break, but can make a 4 oz canister of fuel last two weeks. By only bringing water to a boil and then shutting off the stove. Water holds its temp for a long time if the pot is covered and longer if insulated. Pasta will cook in the once boiling water in the same amount of time as if you kept it boiling/simmering.

Even at home I cook this way to save on my utility bills.

Some items can actually be pre-soaked in cold water before hand then brought to a simmer. Pasta takes about 30 minutes, precooked rice and beans about the same.

Tretest cooking at home before a camping trip to see how long different things take to soak or cook in the once boiling water.

5:33 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert:  I'll check that thread when I get a chance.

Gary:  Yes, but think of how much more gas you'd save with a wind break.  :)

HJ

5:34 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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Gary,

In all seriousness, your take it off the fire and let it set is an excellent idea, one that I've employed for a long time.  I've used a large insulated mug on snow hikes for the purpose, and that has worked well.  A cozy is of course much lighter.

I'm a little too impatient for the pre-soak method usually, but pre-soaking is an excellent idea as well.

HJ

5:36 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I rarely use a windscreen, I only use one when its really windy. If its just a light breeze i dont bother. I usually just sit with my back to the wind and my stove in front of me. I use an alcohol stove, and unless its really windy the use of a windscreen seems to be negligible when it comes to efficiency.

I typically cook just like GaryPalmer, bring water to a boil then turn it off and insulate. I also presoak alot of things as well.

5:58 p.m. on August 18, 2011 (EDT)
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If you can't tell the difference, then I guess it doesn't make much difference.  :)  HOWEVER, you might be burning more fuel than you need and not be aware of it.

If you're using a remote liquid fueled or remote gas set up, I'd really encourage you to use a windscreen just from a safety stand point.  That windscreen (on a remote set up) sits between the fuel and the burner, which protects the fuel from any potential overheating.  I've seen liquid fuel spill twice from a pressurized bottle while a stove was in use.  In one case,  no windscreen was in place, and the the fuel tank burst into flames.  In the second case, a windscreen was in place, and no fire ensued -- even though ten times the fuel spilled in the second case.

HJ

2:38 a.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Be careful with windscreens on canister stoves like Pocket Rockets and similar burner on top designs. A windscreen can cause the canister to overheat and go off. No personal experience, but I've read several accounts of that happening.

11:26 a.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing the tips, Jim. Good stuff for cannister stoves especially...

My Brunton Vapor AF came with an excellent, durable windscreen that extends half-way up my pots, but is perfectly sized to wrap around the included 22 oz fuel bottle w/out any overlap beyond the straight sides of the cylinder (where the bottle begins to taper in at the top), minimizing contact wear at the edges from lack of bottle support. I just wrap it around the bottle and secure with 2 rubber bands and off I go. Perfectly designed...

I always use a windscreen, but my Primus EF ETA kit has an included windscreen and heat exchanger on the pot. It is incredibly efficient as it is. I would call its design a remote/integrated stove hybrid, as the cannister is remote but the burner is framed and integrates with the windscreen and pot much like an MSR Reactor. Really cool.

11:53 a.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Hikin Jim said: I'm a little too impatient for the pre-soak method usually, but pre-soaking is an excellent idea as well.

 

About a halfhour before dinner after I stop for the night I put my pasta in the cold water in the cook pot, then set up my tent, spread out my sleeping bag and pad, organise my stuff and then all I have to do is bring the water to a boil and the pasta is done, no more waiting for the water to either simmer for 10 minutes or the once boiled water to set for the same. My camp is set and my dinner is cooked all within 15 minutes.

I generally dont use a windscreen like you are talking about, I often heat water behind a tree, big rock, under my rainfly or somewhere out of the wind. Here at 8000 feet where I generally camp it takes about 5 minutes for water to boil.

2:08 p.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Tom D said:

Be careful with windscreens on canister stoves like Pocket Rockets and similar burner on top designs. A windscreen can cause the canister to overheat and go off. No personal experience, but I've read several accounts of that happening.

Tom,

You're absolutely correct.  Take a look at the windscreen article that I started this thread with.  I list three essentials for use of a windscreen with an upright canister stove.

HJ

2:14 p.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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XterroBrando said:

Thanks for sharing the tips, Jim. Good stuff for cannister stoves especially...

You're welcome of course. A lot of people don't realize that you can even use a windscreen at all with an upright canister stove. You can -- if you're careful.

 

My Brunton Vapor AF came with an excellent, durable windscreen that extends half-way up my pots, but is perfectly sized to wrap around the included 22 oz fuel bottle w/out any overlap beyond the straight sides of the cylinder (where the bottle begins to taper in at the top), minimizing contact wear at the edges from lack of bottle support. I just wrap it around the bottle and secure with 2 rubber bands and off I go. Perfectly designed...

I've been wrapping my windscreen around my 22oz MSR bottle for my Whisperlite for about 25 years now. The windscreen is still in pretty darned good condition considering how often it has been used over the years. I own an 11 oz bottle, but I often still take the 22 oz bottle even when I don't need it just so I can wrap the windscreen around the bottle. I guess I could use a water bottle instead and save weight on the fuel bottle, but I'm lazy about the ounces on day hikes which is when I tend to want to take a small bottle.

 

I always use a windscreen, but my Primus EF ETA kit has an included windscreen and heat exchanger on the pot. It is incredibly efficient as it is. I would call its design a remote/integrated stove hybrid, as the cannister is remote but the burner is framed and integrates with the windscreen and pot much like an MSR Reactor. Really cool.

Nice! Yeah, if you've got a good integrated windscreen, there's no reason to carry a separate one.

HJ

8:44 p.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice thread,

The use of a windscreen does make a big difference in cooking / boil times, and amount of fuel used.

I find that if you make everyone in your group skip lunch, they will all huddle around your stove at suppertime creating a human wind screen.

I'm joking of course, but I have seen it happen before.

9:57 p.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
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trouthunter said:

Nice thread,

The use of a windscreen does make a big difference in cooking / boil times, and amount of fuel used.

I find that if you make everyone in your group skip lunch, they will all huddle around your stove at suppertime creating a human wind screen.

I'm joking of course, but I have seen it happen before.

 lol

HJ

8:23 a.m. on August 20, 2011 (EDT)
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GaryPalmer said:

About a halfhour before dinner after I stop for the night I put my pasta in the cold water in the cook pot, then set up my tent, spread out my sleeping bag and pad, organise my stuff and then all I have to do is bring the water to a boil and the pasta is done, no more waiting for the water to either simmer for 10 minutes or the once boiled water to set for the same. My camp is set and my dinner is cooked all within 15 minutes.

Great idea Gary, I'll have to remember that.

11:35 a.m. on August 20, 2011 (EDT)
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35+ years of backpacking an average of 240 days a year has to be worth something! I have spent more days outdoors in my tent(s) around my stove and campfires cooking than I have while working the other 4 months of the years in towns around the USA.

1:34 a.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Yow!  That's a lot of camp cooking!

HJ

5:34 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Yes about 8400 camping overnight in 35 years. Will be closer to 12,000 by the time I am 70 in 14 years. Soon I am hitting the road and trail by bicycle and boots, bike/hike touring.

9:55 p.m. on August 21, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey HJ, not getting off the subject but I had a quick question for ya. You ever have any experience with these? If so what do ya think?

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/boilerwerks_backcountry_boiler.html

12:29 a.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Hey HJ, not getting off the subject but I had a quick question for ya. You ever have any experience with these? If so what do ya think?

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/boilerwerks_backcountry_boiler.html

 Ah, the Backcountry Boiler.  Everything I've read about them has been good. I've been eyeing them for a while, but open fires are by and large illegal where I live, so I've held off.  I've read a lot of what their inventor, Devin Montgomery, has written about them (see http://www.theboilerwerks.com/), and I'm also familiar with the old Sirram Volcano, the New Zealand Thermette, and the Irish Kelly Kettle.

Again, I haven't used a Backcountry Boiler, but compared to the old Thermettes (the first boilers of this type), I think the BB is a really elegant modern implementation of the principle -- and a very sound principle it is.  Thermette type boilers are well known for their ability to heat water quickly.  If BB's were legal here, I'd pick one up in a minute.

HJ

12:32 a.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks HJ, You have become my go too stove guru when I run across something or a situation I am unfamiliar with. Once again thanks for the insight and as always its greatly appreciated. 

1:45 p.m. on August 22, 2011 (EDT)
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I'm going to get a new business card:  "Hikin' Jim, stove guru."  ;)

Thanks for the compliment, Rick.  I'm just a stove enthusiast who enjoys sharing what I've learned over the past 50 or so years of "stoving."  Glad the information is helpful.

HJ

6:46 a.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Put me on the list of grateful stove enthusiasts that appreciate your information and candid comments.

You are an asset to the Trailspace community, Jim.

                                                      ~r2~

1:07 p.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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Oh, well, thank you, Robert.  I try.  Stoves are my little hobby.  I just enjoy collecting and using them.

HJ

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