[pct-l] Why I'm I carrying an alcohol stove?

Tim Umstead tumstead96 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 15:44:04 CST 2015

For more then 15 years I have carried an alcohol stove.  While doing the
JMT last summer, as an experiment, I carried a Soto Wind Master and a
canister.  I'm looking at some of my math and I'm surprised at what I'm
seeing and I'm asking myself "Why I'm I carrying an alcohol stove?"

Some background information, I cook for four people, me, my wife, and two
kids.  This means I have to go with a bit bigger alcohol beer can stove
then most.  (Yes I did sacrifice my liver and drink the beer myself)  We
only cook once a day, dinner.  Our meals only need 1.5 -2 cups of boiling
water and a little cooking time.

Alcohol Stove data:
Foster Beer can stove - .75oz
Titanium rod and brass pot stand - .6oz
Plastic 35mm film canister (for measuring fuel) - .2oz
Titanium windscreen - 2oz
Hardware total - 3.55oz

MSR 11 floz Aluminum fuel bottle - 2.8oz  (Yes I know I could use a plastic
bottle and lighten this up)
Denatured alcohol - 17.2oz
Fuel total - 20oz

Canister Stove data:
Soto Wind Master w/pot support - 2.3oz
Hardware total - 2.3oz

Empty 8oz canister - 5.5oz (So we are comparing apples to apples)
Butane/propane mix fuel - 8oz
Fuel total - 13.5oz

When just looking at the weight the canister stove is the better choice,
but here is the kicker.  In all the years of using an alcohol stove I have
found, for my family, that a single 11 floz fuel bottle lasts for 8.5
dinners.  This summer a single 8oz canister lasted 15 dinners.

So if a single canister lasts almost twice as long as a bottle of denatured
alcohol and the canister stove weights less then... "Why I'm I carrying an
alcohol stove?"

The Ravens
PCT '96

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