I Made Some Stoves (and I liked it)

Back when I went on the Wednesday night hang, Mr. Gossamer Gear was showing off his rolled aluminum alcohol stoves (BIOS) made by www.minibulldesign.com.  They were pretty cool and I was fascinated by the rolled can.  You can watch how they are made by looking at MBD’s YouTube channel.

I watched a bunch of videos and tried making some stoves.  I know look at aluminum cans in a completely different way.  Sadly, I am more interested in the can shape than the contents.

Here is what I made (no instructions provided, just look on YouTube:

1 “Ultimate Alcohol Stove”.  These are made from a Coke can (or Pepsi, if you are so inclined.

Ultimate Alcohol Stove

Ultimate Alcohol Stove

Ultimate Alcohol Stove.  This one has 32 jets

Ultimate Alcohol Stove. This one has 32 jets

3 x “Bud Light” stoves.  These are made from the Bud Light aluminum bottles.

Bud Light Stove #2: Relief holes only at the top

Bud Light Stove #2: Relief holes only at the top

Bud Light Stove #2:  This one has elevated supports at the top.

Bud Light Stove #2: This one has elevated supports at the top.

Bud Light Stove #3:  Notice the uneven roll.

Bud Light Stove #3: Notice the uneven roll.

Bud Light Stove #3:  Two relief holes drilled in the inner wall down low, and two near the top.

Bud Light Stove #3: Two relief holes drilled in the inner wall down low, and two near the top.

2 x Inverted Neck Stoves.  Not sure what to actually call these.  I made one from a sunscreen can and the other from a Coors Light aluminum bottle.

Sunscreen Stove

Sunscreen Stove

Sunscreen Stove:  Notice the inner wall is too short.

Sunscreen Stove: Notice the inner wall is too short.

Coors Light Stove

Coors Light Stove

Coors Light Stove

Coors Light Stove

Coors Light Stove

Coors Light Stove

All stoves (except the “Ultimate” one) have jets drilled approximately 1 cm apart and 3/4 of an inch from the top of the stove. The “Ultimate” stove has 32 jets.  All jets are 1/16 of an inch in diameter.  I did not use any JB Weld on the inverted stoves, but probably should have.

After building them, I decided to do a comparison.  The test went as follows.  Use 1/2 ounce of 99.99% Methyl Hydrate to heat tap water as much as possible.  Record times to prime and until the fuel had run out.  Measure beginning and end temperature of the water. Ambient temperature was approximately 12 (C).  Same pot was used.  It was cooled with tap water and re-filled with 2 cups of water.  Any water on the outside was dried off with a towel. I ran the video camera to capture each test.  There was no wind.  I used a normal household thick bottomed pot and not a fancy titanium camping / hiking pot.  I expect temperature increases would have been more significant with a thin titanium hiking pot.  I have not weighed any of the stoves.

Results:

Stove Starting Temp (C) Final Temp (C) Time to Prime (sec) Time to out of Fuel (sec) Temp Change Seconds/ Degree
Ultimate Stove 16 67 40 376 51 6.6
Bud Light #2 Stove 13 48 41 160 35 3.4
Coors Light Stove 12 65 39 264 54 6.0
Sunscreen Stove 15 75 29 289 60 4.3
Bud Light #2 Stove 14 65 36 249 51 5.9

Video Evidence:

Observations / Conclusions:

The Sunscreen stove produced the highest increase in temperature, and did it relatively quickly.  This was a bit surprising given that I built it wrong (the inner wall does not touch the bottom).  Perhaps this is due to the smaller diameter resulting in more heat directly on the bottom. I am not sure what happened to Bud Light #2.  It fizzled out pretty quickly and produced the lowest temperature increase.  I probably should have re-run the test of this stove.  Maybe the video will show what happened.

The Coors Light stove performed better than I expected.  It is still burning off the internal layer of stuff.  This stove is not as rugged as the Bud Light nor Sunscreen stoves.

During the test I could hear the Coors Light stove “gasping” for air.  I likely need to file some groves in the rim to allow air in as the fuel vaporizes.

I am going to try and re-make the sunscreen stove as I think it is the best size and seems to hold promise.  I also want to make one of the Andrew Skurka style “Fancy Feast” stoves and try it.  I’ll compare it to one of the stoves from this test.

If you want a simple and relatively indestructible and inexpensive alcohol stove, just make one.  If you want one done “right”, buy one from MBD.  Or, if you really want an awesome stove, get a JetBoil.  I have the Sol and it will boil 2 cups of water in well under 2 minutes.  But, I can’t make one of those.  Might post some video of the stoves burning.

A Wednesday Night Hammock Hang

There is nothing in this post about motorcycles (except that I didn’t ride mine on this adventure).  The hammock guys had a plan: After work we drive up to a beautiful spot, hang the hammocks, tell some stories, enjoy the scenery, sleep and then head to work in the morning.

A brief note about product mentions:  There aren’t any sponsors of this site.  All of the gear mentioned has been purchased by us.  We don’t owe anyone any favorable mentions.

There were four of us on this mini camping trip.  Since the names will be changed to protect the innocent, here are the intros with a brief gear list.

Mr. CF, Mr. C and Mr. GG

Mr. CF, Mr. C and Mr. GG

Mr. Cuben Fiber:  Mr CF owns everything Z-Packs produces.  It was inspirational.  The entire weight of his cuben fiber pack, tarp, jacket, ground sheet, various utility bags was actually -376 grams.  That’s right.  If you used his stuff, it reduced the weight of the contents!  OK, seriously, Mr. CF had some beautiful gear.  Given that no one makes a cuben fiber hammock, he was using a Hennessy hammock (bottom loader) suspended via home made whoopie slings and tree straps.  Most of his hardware was titanium from Dutchware.  Mr. CF had some great stories about bears.  He was the only one of us that braved a swim in the lake. It was my first time hanging with Mr. CF.

Mr. Gossamer Gear:  Mr GG has great taste in hammocks.  He sports an awesome Warbonnet Blackbird (whoopie slings and tree straps) and Warbonnet Superfly tarp. That’s a great setup.  He can’t be called Mr. Warbonnet as I also feature Warbonnet hammocks and tarp.  Could be confusing.  His pack is an awesome Gossamer Gear unit. Versatile and light.  Clearly not in the negatives like Mr. CF’s Arc Blast.  Last year, Mr. GG inspired me on our canoe trip to take my gear to the next level.  This year he upped the ante with his Tinny stoves. For the record, the stove is not on my must acquire list.  Sorry, Mr. GG.

Mr. Clark:  Mr. C (not to be confused with Howard Cunningham) is my hammock inspiration.  He is the one that introduced me to the beauty of sleeping in the air.  Mr C was hanging in his Clark Jungle Hammock with Clark Tarp.  Mr. C was showing off his new eGear Splash Flash light.  It was awesome.  Unfortunately Mr. C did not acquire one of these lights for me.  He does deserve a shot a redemption so I will let this oversight slide for now.

Me:  I’m a Warbonnet guy.  I have the Blackbird and Superfly just like Mr. GG, but I also have the most awesome hammock ever created:  The Warbonnet Ridge Runner.  This hammock is a bridge hammock and takes just seconds to “dial in”.  I have made plenty of whoopie slings but have reverted to the stock web suspension based on advice from Mr. C.  The Warbonnet Web suspension is ultra easy to adjust.  My hammock was setup and dialed in within a few minutes.  I really like the Blackbird but find it takes much longer to get “just right” to have the structural ridge line perfect and to eliminate calf pressure.  I was using my Hammock Gear Burrow 20 degree top quilt (over stuffed and 2″ wider than stock). Mr. GG has the same quilt.  I ordered mine after seeing his on the canoe trip last year.  My under quilt is a Warbonnet Yeti 3 Season.  I’ve added extra bungie so it works on my Ridge Runner.  I also brought my new Go-Lite Jam 50 pack.  It did not get nearly as much attention as the Z-Packs pack that Mr. CF brought, but I like it.  At about 1/4 the price of the Z-Pack and only twice the weight (still under 900 grams), I’ll stick with my Go-Lite.  I also have the Go-Lite Shangri-La 3 tent for when I have to sleep on the ground.

We had fun and the trees were beautiful.  Mr. GG mentioned how the sweet sound of Mr. C and I snoring helped him have a great night’s sleep.  I forgot to give Mr. GG some ear plugs.  Next time!

Special thanks to Mr. C for getting me into hammock camping and to the other guys for providing an endless shopping list for me.  Next virtual visit is to Dutchware.  Then I need some more Zing-It.

Here is some evidence.

Me taking down the gear at 7:16 a.m.

Me taking down the gear at 7:16 a.m.

Mr. Clark's place on the left.  Mine on the right.

Mr. Clark’s place on the left. Mine on the right.

5:58 p.m.

5:58 p.m.

5:58 p.m.

5:58 p.m.

5:58 p.m.

5:58 p.m.

Panorama at 7:20 a.m.

Panorama at 7:20 a.m.

Mr. Clark's setup on the left. Mine on the right.

Mr. Clark’s setup on the left. Mine on the right.

Ridge Runner and Superfly

Ridge Runner and Superfly

Ridge Runner and Superfly

Ridge Runner and Superfly

7:13 a.m.

7:13 a.m.

Ridge Runner with Superfly

Ridge Runner with Superfly

Ridge Runner uncovered.

Ridge Runner uncovered.

View from the campsite as the sun sets.

View from the campsite as the sun sets.