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stoves, especially for Tomsie

Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby Rudolph » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:14 pm

morag1 wrote: Tiso are selling small stoves with small canisters but I'm not sure how long they last, one day or two? It would be great to find something very small and light so you could just make a coffee whenever you want


We guess about 20g gas per person per day if you are not doing a meal as well. I love instant coffee at home but the stuff made outside is (for some odd reason) horrible. The best solution I've found is a wee espresso maker. .
espresso.JPG


One other thing to say about gas stoves is that there are two types. One sort (like Tomsie's video) screws into the gas cansiter which acts as the base. Very neat but a nightmare for falling over if you cant find somewhere flat or it is windy. For these you can get (sometimes - Go outdoors had them a week ago) special tripod feet which make it a lot more stable). The other sort have an armoured tube which allows the stove to sit on the ground with the cyliner about a foot away. These are much safer for tall mugs and espresson makers. They also allow you to invert the gas cylinder so that the mixture reaching the flame is the same as the mixture in the cylinder which is important in winter.

Science alert :clap: :clap:
[the 'gas' in most cyliders is a liquid mixture of propane and butane. The propane is more volatile so the gas which comes off is higher in propane content. Especially in winter. If you always run it upright, you end up having burnt off all the propane and are left with butane which (again especially in winter) doesn't have enough pressure to burn properly. You end up throwing away half full gas caniisters. That's why meths (or other liquid fuel stoves are more reliable in really cold conditions
alert over :( :(

Finally, check the flame width. Some burners are designed to spread the flame to give an even heat over a wide pan base. Great for controlled cooking but very bad for narrow pots with handles (or espresso makers).
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby morag1 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:23 pm

Oh, this is great Rudolph, I never thought of half of that so thanks very much :D

I love a good cup of coffee so I think I'll have a look for an expresso maker just like yours, will let you know how I get on :thumbup:
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby mrssanta » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:32 pm

just in case you were thinking, hey but that espresso maker is not on a gas stove, you were right! It is a little titanium meths stove which is great if there is absolutely no wind. (ha ha)
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby Tomsie » Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:29 pm

Think I might have to read that science bit again :lol:
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby mrssanta » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:24 pm

morag1 wrote:Oh, this is great Rudolph, I never thought of half of that so thanks very much :D

I love a good cup of coffee so I think I'll have a look for an expresso maker just like yours, will let you know how I get on :thumbup:

that little one is a "3 cup" size which makes about 100ml of very strong coffee, then add hot water to make normal coffee. Rudolph likes his strong. In his opinion that's about the right amount for one person.You can pay funny money for them so shop around a bit. I think ours might be Kitchen Craft. It's not a high quality one but it does the job.
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby morag1 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:26 pm

Thanks MrsSanta, hmmm, that espresso maker might be a little bigger than what i was looking for. I do like my coffee but not too strong as it gives me the shakes :thumbdown: Also not sure I could manage 3 cups at a time, Rudolph must be made of tougher stuff than me!!!

Will have a look for something a bit smaller, thanks again for all the great advice :D
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:01 am

Rudolph wrote:Science alert
[the 'gas' in most cyliders is a liquid mixture of propane and butane. The propane is more volatile so the gas which comes off is higher in propane content. Especially in winter. If you always run it upright, you end up having burnt off all the propane and are left with butane which (again especially in winter) doesn't have enough pressure to burn properly. You end up throwing away half full gas caniisters. That's why meths (or other liquid fuel stoves are more reliable in really cold conditions
alert over


Ah, I always wondered... I stopped using those gas cylinders ages ago, I figure meths is lighter and less hassle, also less wastage. Of course, my favourite is the whale-oil rendering kiln, but it is so difficult to lug a whaling vessel around in the hills....
whale oil poster.jpg
barrels.jpg
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby Rudolph » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:36 pm

morag1 wrote:Thanks MrsSanta, hmmm, that espresso maker might be a little bigger than what i was looking for. I do like my coffee but not too strong as it gives me the shakes :thumbdown: Also not sure I could manage 3 cups at a time, Rudolph must be made of tougher stuff than me!!!

Will have a look for something a bit smaller, thanks again for all the great advice :D


At the risk of dragging this thread off topic

http://www.kitchencraft.co.uk/catalogue ... 34Sg%3d%3d Very lightweight

Also try decaff ground coffee (available from all good Traidcraft stockists). I need to use that otherwise I become cheerful and optimistic about life.
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby whiteburn » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:06 pm

Gas Stoves
Rudolph’s comments on the potential drop in performance in cold weather is quite correct; the typical backpacking stove canister contain a mixture of propane, isobutane and butane (Primus ‘Power gas’= 25%/ 25%/50%) at temperatures below zero the butane evaporates more slowly (the cheap canisters available are generally 100% butane and hence useless).
You can take a few simple steps to mitigate against this; carry the canister deep inside your rucksack, not in an outside pocket; pop the canister inside your jacket as you prepare camp; overnight put the canister in the bottom of your sleeping bag; employ a windshield to keep warm air around to stove (make sure the canister doesn’t get more than hand warm or you may get a nasty surprise :twisted: ). Doing this I haven’t had a problem down to well below zero.
I’ve two gas stoves: a MSR micro rocket and a Vango X-Lite Ti Stove, both are good stoves, the major difference is the flame pattern. The MSR has a very focused high power flame, great for boiling water up in the small (<1L) backpacking pots/ mugs. The Vango has a much wider flame spread (uses 50% more gas when used with a small pot) and is really good for the frying pan when car camping!
After a couple of meals nearly ended up on the floor I bought a MSR canister stand, think I paid £8 for it, it’s not so important with the 230g canisters but the small 100g canisters are very unstable. I've seen other people employing tent pegs or rocks to stop the stove tipping.
I reckon on using about 30g of gas/ day during the summer, boiling ~2L of water per day, in winter this will increase due to the temperature of the water (or snow) but it's mainly down to consuming more hot fluids.
To get the most out of the canisters I’ll weigh them after a trip (an empty 230g canister weighs ~150g and a 100g ~ 90g) so that I can use the dregs on short outings.
Meths Stoves
Main advantage of meths stoves is the low weight possible for 1 -3 day backpacking trips. I have an 'Evernew' Titanium burner and a simple aluminium foil windshield and I reckon on using around 60ml of meths/ day (2L) during the summer, with a titanium mug this makes a very lightweight set up for 2 – 3 day trips (<400g).
Meths stoves do suffer from the cold, they can be quite difficult to get going when the temperature is below zero, I'll resort to keeping the stove and a small bottle (50ml) of meths somewhere warm. :shock:

Getting the one pot cooking system/ recipes perfected OR using pre-packaged meals like 'Wayfarers' or Mountain House' does mean you only need one pot. While relatively expensive I'd always recommend a titanium pot something like the MSR Titan kettle (0.85L) or Evernew Pasta Pot (1L), as they're light, nonstick and will last a life time. At the budget end there's the Alpkit MytiiMug (0.75L) but personally I find these just a little small. Due to the geometry of the mug style pots they all generally work very effectively with a pot cosy saving a lot of gas or meths.

Also get a magnesium rod striker as while convenient the piezoelectric igniters, lighters and matches invariably fail.

Lot's of good information on practically every type of stove, http://zenstoves.net/

Favourite backpacking coffee - Kenco Millicano washed down with a a good malt 8)
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby murwilson » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:10 pm

Guys, please be careful. Some of the information in this thread relating to gas stoves and there use in cold weather is not wholly accurate and I don't want anyone to get hurt.

I am going to post some links to web pages from an author who I believe has this subject covered way better than I could discuss in here. Please have a read, get informed, practise somewhere safe before you go out into the wilds and then enjoy.

THIS is what you need to know about canister stoves, how they work in cold weather and more.

http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/stoves-for-cold-weather/

http://seattlebackpackersmagazine.com/stoves-for-cold-weather-ii/

http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/stoves-how-gas-works-and-winter-choices.html

The last link is the authors blog. It goes into great detail on the subject of stoves in general.

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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby whiteburn » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:22 pm

murwilson wrote:..........http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/stoves-how-gas-works-and-winter-choices.html
The last link is the authors blog. It goes into great detail on the subject of stoves in general.


Some good info but believe http://zenstoves.net/ is a far more comprehensive source, sometimes too much info :roll:

Even 'adventuresinstoving' pays homage to ZENSTOVES as "The grand daddy compendium of stove web sites"
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby morag1 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks again Rudolph, I appreciate you and MrsSanta taking the time to share your experiences. I will let you know how I get on with the coffee maker. Espresso coffee on the hillside - how cool is that 8)

I have the tricky problem in that I get the shakes if I drink strong coffee, but also get them from the withdrawals if I go too long without any!! Best just to be able to make myself a small cup anytime I feel like one.

Don't want you getting too cheerful now Rudolph ha ha. I must say coffee doesnt really affect my mood - little ray of sunshine me :D

Murwilson and Whiteburn - thanks very much for the information and warnings, although you are scaring me a bit, I only want to make a coffee, not blow myself up!!! I dont really understand about all the different gasses but rest assured I will be careful whatever I do. Thanks again
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby Rudolph » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:03 pm

murwilson wrote:Guys, please be careful. Some of the information in this thread relating to gas stoves and there use in cold weather is not wholly accurate and I don't want anyone to get hurt.


Sorry Mur but I can't see where I differ from the info in these links.
In what way were the (pretty general) comments from Whiteburn and myself not wholly accurate? More important how would someone be likely to get hurt from what we said?

Their data on vapourisation temperatures of azeotropic alkane mixtures is so oversimplifed as to be wrong but they come to the same usability conclusions as far as I can see.
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby whiteburn » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:04 am

morag1 wrote:....thanks very much for the information and warnings, although you are scaring me a bit, I only want to make a coffee, not blow myself up!!! ......


Knowing that there are potential hazards is the key point. 8)
Using a windshield with a gas stove/ canister combo is potentially hazardous BUT providing you don't fully enclose the stove and checking the canister temperature occasionally, doesn't want to get more than hand warm, every thing will be OK. Having the canister insulated from the floor also helps, e.g. a canister stand or foam sit mat.
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Re: stoves, especially for Tomsie

Postby morag1 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:11 pm

Thanks Whiteburn, I dont want to have any accidents with gas and I really appreciate you taking the time to point out the hazards. :thumbup:
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