Some Added Notes On Stoves

Absolute Minimal Stove

I got one of these for Christmas:

Miniature Titanium Stove for Alcohol Burner

Miniature Titanium Stove for Alcohol Burner

They run about $10 on Amazon (some down around $7). You make a cross out of them with the slots in the middle overlapped. This then sits on top of an alcohol burner like a Trangia and makes it into a Very Super Small & Ultra Light stove.

I’d thought it would also fix the way that the Trangia (even the littlest “Mini” one) pot holder doesn’t hold small pots, Sierra Club cups, or my Italian Espresso Maker for one. I’m now sipping on an Ersatz Mocha made using it. Worked Dandy.

I put it on the burner and left the burner in the Trangia Mini pot holder as that does help insulate the table from the burner heat.

Everything was pretty much Just Fine with 2 exceptions:

1) How do you “turn it off”? Normally you toss the flame control ring (closed) onto the burner to snuff it. With this thing in place you can’t do that (nor can you “turn the flame down” with the ring). I’m OK with that for ultralight use and for small cup use, but still “shutting it off” comes as a complication I’d not thought through. The thing is sitting IN the flame so very hot. You can’t just hook it and pull it off without somewhere to put it. I chose to just pour in a guess as to how much alcohol to use and had a bit left over… so ended up trying to fish the stove off the burner anyway. I did it with my pocket knife and got the parts to lay on the burner lid, after some juggling and such. Note To Self: Pack LARGE paper clip shaped into hook in mess kit with stove.

My Espresso maker is rather like this, but with the cheap black plastic handles in a one person small size:

Espresso Pot

Espresso Pot

2) It started rather slowly. I think this was due to the low fuel level and the whole thing, burner, stove, and fuel, being a bit cold. Eventually it got ready to “bloom” and I’d had the Italian Espresso thing on it the whole time. It made the expected POOF sound, and was out! I did a rapid relight, and then it proceeded OK. But just realize that the start up / warm up profile is a bit different with a heat sink in the flame and most of the space blocked by a heavy gauge aluminium object soaking up heat and restricting air flow.

Overall, I like it, and it is a useful addition to the Trangia Mini. It is NOT as simple to use as I’d expected, mostly centring on that whole “shutting it off” thing.

Oh, and I did pick up a bottle of methanol (Yellow HEET) at the auto parts store. Yup, $32 / gallon in 12 ounce units… but at least it is still available in California. So you CAN use your alcohol stove here, it just will cost you and you WILL go to the Auto Parts Store. ( I’ll be picking up a couple of gallons of methanol out of State next trip, but I’ll also be checking the speed shop first, once I find one… the one I knew of has moved or closed.)

Propane Converter / Butane Stove

I have already commented on my Propane bottle to Lindal Valve Butane Stove converter. I tried it again on the Italian Espresso Maker as the “cheap Chinese Stove” that I rather like a lot has a very small base suited to said small sized pot base. But I didn’t want to start a whole Butane Canister for one burn. Running the stove at lower settings works fine. Essentially keep the pressure about the same as the butane would be and the burner is running a little lean, but not enough to matter, and the flame does not go ragged. It did a dandy job of it.

For “on the road” espresso I’d rather be using this stove (on a proper Butane canister) than the ultra-light on Alcohol.

Why? Just because it’s easy to light (piezo striker), easy to extinguish (turn the knob) and can’t spill in the car. So the alcohol stove kit will be in the car emergency bag, including the mini and the titanium cross in a mess kit; but the Butane stove will be used to make espresso at rest stops…

Asian GasOne Stove

With my Amazon Gift Card (from Christmas) I’ve ordered another GasOne Asian Style stove, but this one is dual fuel Butane (hair spray shape) canisters or propane canisters.

The Dual Fuel has a special fitting for the propane hose along with the Butane canister seat. So I can’t just buy the hose and put it on my older GasOne stove.

I really like the stove, and it works well (and reasonably long burn time) on the Butane canisters; but I’d like to be able to use the propane instead. It’s $3.75 more or less for 16 ounces at Walmart. The Butane is about $2.50 for 8 ounces. I can also refill the propane from my BBQ tank at $4 / gallon (somewhere around 4 pounds) so about $1 / 16 ounces. The whole thing cost me about $26, so will be paid off in about: 2 x butane = $5 -1 propane = $4 then $26 / 4 = 6.5 propane cans or about a bakers dozen canisters avoided. As I’m enjoying cooking on the camp stove (and NOT using PG&E electricity at God Awful Prices) I’m figuring this won’t take long. I’m going to be using this with my BBQ in the summer as my BBQ has no side burners on it (just BBQ). I figure about 5 months it will be break even.

The old one will be given to my kid if he doesn’t have an emergency stove… which I’m pretty sure he doesn’t.

Between this stove, and my propane / Lindal adapter, I can run “a few” stoves on either Propane or Butane as available. I also ordered a little brass bit that claims to let me refill the flat camping butane canisters from the hair spray shaped butane canisters that cost about 1/2 to 1/4 the price… so I can pretty much use any of 3 different, relatively common, fuel canister types with either of a few stoves.

Coleman White Gas Stove

Late one night, with the spouse asleep, I made a cup of coffee using my Coleman white gas stove. I really really like it, and it works really well. And it was just sitting there on the table… Well, it does have a slight annoyance that when it goes out, a bit of fuel in the gas generator can continue to evaporate and you get a tiny bit of “smell”. Now I like the smell as it reminds me of nights by the river fishing with my Dad by a Coleman Lantern, camping with family and friends with a Coleman Stove, etc.

The Spouse not so much.

So I wrap up the posting I was making (several days ago) and head off to bed. Spouse has been asleep for a while. I slide under the covers…

“What’s That SMELL?”… Hops out of bed and starts sniffing around the bedroom…

Oh God…

She Of the Vulcan Nose has taken offence. “I think it’s me. I used my gasoline stove.”…

So, OK, 2 days ago I drained all the gas from it and packed it up.

The point? For ME, the “smell issue” of a white gas stove is a nothing. For others, it’s offensive. This did NOT arise with the butane stove, the propane stoves, or the alcohol stove.

Just sayin’… if you are planning on an emergency stove, check the spousal nose too…

When in doubt, get propane or butane stoves.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in cooking, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Some Added Notes On Stoves

  1. Annie says:

    The SOLO stoves burn twigs and such. Obviously they’re heavier and more complicated than this, but since you don’t have to carry around the fuel bottles and they will still work long after your fuel bottle would have run out I prefer them.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Annie:

    In my bugout bag I have a stove that burns both alcohol and twigs. This one I think:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lixada-Camping-Stainless-Titanium-Optional/dp/B07C4WPVJ5

    By Lixada. I’ve not used it yet (avoiding soot in the bag), The alcohol part is clearly pretty standard, and a pile of twigs in a metal pot stand is hard to screw up. But I figured that if I’m grabbing the bug out bag, ability to use found fuel matters…

    The SOLO design does look a bit more efficient on oxygen feed.
    https://www.solostove.com

    Were I actually camping out much I’d likely get one to try. (And a dedicated mess kit so I could ignore the soot issue :-)

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    I just received one of these to add to my car kit – simple little light weight stabilizer for the screw top fuel canisters.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RQS8K13/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00

    If paired with one of these
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RB5K3PM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00

    or one of these
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NJYV3NP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00

    You would have a nice stable complete stove kit for those 8 oz canisters. The fuel would be by far the heaviest item in the set.

    I have not actually run these stove kits in the wild yet but they look to be nicely made and fit for purpose. Price is not bad for the stove burners either.

  4. Annie says:

    Solo Stove also has an optional backup alcohol burner: https://www.solostove.com/alcohol-stove/
    It may even be the same one. In addition to the oxygen feed I like that the Solo Stove encloses the fire so fewer worries about the fire spreading. The negatives are that it is harder to refuel mid burn and, of course, the much higher cost. In my bugout bag I’ve got a nested set: pot, Lite Solo Stove, alcohol burner, another container with a few vaseline soaked cotton balls and a FireSteel.com fire steel with a magnesium rod. Small enough that it doesn’t add too much weight or bulk but allows a lot of flexibility.

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    As far as the solo stove lot cheaper to take a church key to the bottom and top lip of a large tin can.
    You don’t even need to make the little trap door shown here just sit the can over a small hole with a side cut to allow you to insert fuel.

    https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/preparedness/z/zombie-apocalypse-be-prepared-with-a-hobo-stove

    Or get fancy
    https://adventurepro.us/camp-hacks-do-it-yourself-tin-can-stove/

  6. Ossqss says:

    I really liked the Farm Girl stove shown a while back :-)

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Annie:

    Sounds like a nice well thought out kit.

    Yeah, the one I’ve got is not going to be very good in wind. Found fuel in summer out west is not going to cut it as most any spark is a firestarter. Then again, pretty much all the parks out here now ban collecting fuel (to prevent camp fires… I doubt they would notice a few twigs… but…)

    Thus my emphasis on liquid fuels first, twigs as backup in an AwShit when niceties like rules are less important…

    Once I’m in Florida, that changes rather a lot ;-)

    FWIW, the Lixada stove diameter is just a hair smaller than the Trangia or Esbit. They don’t quite fit the stove hole (you could force it but a little sanding to enlarge the hole a fraction of a mm would be better). So I’m glad I bought the whole matched kit, not just the wood stove part (about $15) expecting my other burners to just slide in easy.

    I have an Esbit mess kit, stove, burner kit too, all nicely nested. (yeah, I know… too many stoves and kits…. but I had one in each car for 4 drivers plus home and work. Quake country and all, and it was nice being prepared when a 7 knocked out power for a good while). It is very compact. It can also burn solid tablet fuel and pastes.
    https://www.amazon.com/Esbit-CS985HA-5-Piece-Lightweight-Trekking/dp/B078PDB8MC

    I’d also usually pair a fancier mess kit liquid fuel stove with some simple solid fuel burner in each kit, in case the liquid was gone after a few years in the trunk. So I have a few different solid tablet fuel stoves (some as cheap as a $ or two bent metal). The idea being that you get coffee and a meal or two while looking for a refill on the liquid stove bottle on the hike from work to home post quake. (I almost got to do that in the Loma Priera quake, but no bridges fell on my route and traffic moved, if slowly)

    @Larry L:

    That 2nd stove is the one I used for my espresso… worked well. The first one is on my birthday wish list (didn’t get picked in the Christmas batch).

    I’ve done the hobo stove approach and it works, but the SOLO adds an air heating bypass for less soot and better burn, along with optimized design and stainless steel easier cleaning. I hope to get one someday, but already have way too many stoves :-) including a hobo stove test sample by the BBQ.

    FWIW, I’ve never needed the support base on flat surfaces, so have yet to buy one. A report on utility would be interesting.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    I have 3 new stoves as of the delivery today.

    My new GasOne Asian style. Dual fuel butane propane. Comparing it to my propane only version, the difference is that the metal inlet where the hairspray style can is inserted is also threaded on the outside to accept the propane hose. That hose looks to have a fixed pressure regulator on it to drop down to butane normals.

    Also, a Lixada set of two. Both butane lindal type. One about the size of a small spark plug folded up. The other with hose to the fuel bottle, fold out legs, and larger burner. They came as a set and with a lindal to hairspray butane can converter. I really only wanted the larger stove and converter, but the kit was cheaper…. so I get an extra stove for paying less.

    I tested these two using a propane adapter and they worked nicely. I’ll do a larger more complete test tomorrow and post results.

    I now have adapters for all three fuel can types to all three stove fitting types. Any fuel will do…

    Also, REI Coop has stove alcohol fuel. Seriously overpriced at $7.50 a pint ($60 gallon) but on the shelf. I’ll continue getting mine at Tractor Supply for $2 less per pint until I find a racing shop.

    I’m also going to preferentially use propane from the big BBQ tank at $4 per gallon, I can now easily refill the 1 lb canisters. Thats my lowest cost fuel source (that doesn’t have a gasoline smell issue… but even that is about $4/gallon.)

    Yes, I’m having way too much fun doing this to have started fixing the broken house stove ;-)

  9. Pingback: GasOne Dual Fuel Stove Review | Musings from the Chiefio

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