Review of new Alcohol cookset.

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:07 pm

Y.T. wrote:Squirrley,
yeah, it seems all acohol stoves suffer from the same issues. some are better than others. my question was really about the problems nfa had with this specific stove over others.
All things being equal though, a trangia type stove/windscreen combo optimizes the performance of an alcohol stove. It makes sense to try to keep a trangia burner warm in cold weather. In my experience alcohol is hard if not impossible to light if it is very cold. If you do manage to get it working in cold temps, not having a very efficient windscreen to contain that heat will cause your beans to remain cold.

For real cold weather performance... the pros use petroleum.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Festus Hagen » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:42 pm

There are lots and lots of alcohol stove designs, to play around with one or two is not to have experienced all of them. I'm just getting into building and using them- over the past week or so I've fabricated three distinct types (open top with wick and mesh screen pot stand, double-wall side jet, and penny stove) and they all seem to have pluses and minuses.

My main problem with testing them these days is getting weather to cooperate. So far the lowest temp I've had to deal with was in the 20F range. In these temps I've had little trouble getting any of them lit, but the open top has been by far easiest, and the penny stove by far the hardest. I have plans to add a fiberglass wick around the outside of my double-wall stove to hopefully make it quicker and easier to get operating. Of the ones I've played with the open top with fiberglass wick seems to be simplest and most foolproof, I'm just praying for colder weather to really test it out :) And fear not, at the upcoming Northern New York Winter Camping Trip I'll have the white gas Coleman to do the heavy lifting!
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:56 pm

Check out this page from an old optimus catalog:
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Festus Hagen » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:29 am

Hey, for the record I boiled water a couple weeks ago in the Adirondacks, at approx -14F, using my alcohol stove. I used the aforementioned open top/wick stove but I did get my penny stove lit also- you just need to use a lot of alcohol to prime it and this would be a neat trick in any significant wind.

Then when my Coleman white gas camp stove wouldn't light, I stuck a small piece of paper under the generator, soaked it with alcohol, and lit it on fire. This got the generator warm enough for the gas to vaporize. Could have done the same with gas but the alcohol bottle was right there, so...

Here's my sidejet stove (with the wrong pot on it) which I got running at -14 just for giggles.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Jamie » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:40 am

Y.T. wrote:
nfa wrote:I've played with these stoves, but they work less well in really cold weather, which is when I need my stove the most, so I only plan on using mine in the warm months...
do you have the Trangia brand or the knockoff?

can you share more about what doesn't work as well?
is it the burner itself? (many people have reported that it has to be warmed up first in cold temps)
does the aluminum disperse the heat too quickly?
does it take too long to get hot? too long to cook? doesn't stay hot long enough? burns through fuel too quickly?
Sorry to post and ignore...I had trouble with a swedish stove kit, basically the burner was difficult to get going and didn't seem to put out much heat once it did...I think that based on what I saw Festus doing with various alcohol stoves while we were camping earlier this month, I was just doing something wrong or using the wrong fuel...I failed, not the stove...

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:43 pm

It's not that alcohol stoves don't work in cold weather... there are two main points to consider,

1) Alcohol fuel can be hard to light if it gets very cold.
-solution: keep the flask of fuel within your clothing so it is warmed by your body. It is CRITICAL that the flask be LEAKPROOF. Any fuel that leaks and comes in contact with your skin may rapidly cause frostbite. This goes just as much for white gas as alcohol. White gas can be allowed to get a lot colder than alcohol while it still works normally.

The trangia line of stoves... including the trangia or SVEA military versions have a lip around the burner jets, on top of the fuel font. Spill some extra fuel on this part to help the stove 'blossom' faster. Additionally, trangia makes a winter adapter
http://www.campsaver.com/Itemdesc.asp?ic=327581" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.trangia.se/core/files/2249.P ... 602101.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
which is essentially a cup that sits under the burner. You splash a little fuel in it and it heats the burner from below. I cannot imagine that this would be very hard to fabricate from a tin can of the appropriate diameter. The brand name device is intended for the consumer type burners only. A tuna can would probably work for the mil-type burners.

2) Because it has a relatively low heat output, the alcohol stove is much more prone to any wind that may be present.
-solution: The alcohol stove MUST have a tight fitting windscreen that protects it from wind and concentrates as much heat as possible into the cooking pot.

Oh and if you use any sort of alcohol stove where the burner normally is in direct contact with the ground, you must insulate it so that it doesn't melt itself into a hole. This goes for all stoves that i'm aware of. A pressurized wg stove will do the same thing. A lot of people carry an old license plate. MSR makes the trillium and there are a couple of after market thingos. If you use a self pressurizing wg stove, such as a 123r or an optimus 8r you need to watch out because cooling the fuel tank (by setting it on snow) will cause the stove to loose pressure and possibly go out.

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 6shooter » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:11 am

Good thread, thanks for the review :)
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by hikin_jim » Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:43 pm

Super nice thread; thanks for taking the time to post so much good information. That little air flow diagram of the Trangia is a super helpful visualization. I pretty much knew what was going on, but it's really nice to see it like that in diagram form.

I like the inexpensive Ledmark set up. I may have to get one even though I already have a Trangia 25 and a Trangia 27. Interesting that the price is still $20 even though this post is several years old.

QUESTION: Now that you've had the Ledmark set for a few years, what do you think of it? Has it held up well?

HJ

P.S. The video clips don't seem to be working.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:57 pm

My set has been used a fairamount and held up fine. Great group setup, a fuzz big for one person.
I've got the ultralight bug, my entire cooking setup with fuel weighs 6 oz. Heiny pot and pop can stove with two days of alcohol fuel. :mrgreen:
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by hikin_jim » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:20 am

Flying Lead wrote:My set has been used a fairamount and held up fine. Great group setup, a fuzz big for one person.
Ah, it's a big big for solo use? Interesting. Thanks for that.
Flying Lead wrote:I've got the ultralight bug, my entire cooking setup with fuel weighs 6 oz. Heiny pot and pop can stove with two days of alcohol fuel. :mrgreen:
How does it do in wind? What kind of wind screen are you using? Do you have any photos you can post? (if it's not too much trouble)

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:10 pm

Alcohol stoves have two things that are bad, cold and wind. Alcohol has a low BTU yeild, in cold weather there are more efective stoves. In a hostile cold environment, I go with a Brunton gas stove with the Iso cannisters. A simple wind screen works well with them. I own 8 alcohol stoves and maybe 15 other stoves of different types. If you just one stove that's a fit all, get a jet boil, and the really long titanium spork. The only down side to a jet boil, it's a little heavy, about a pound.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:05 pm

Two things that are good about the ledmark configuration (and indeed the trangia 25/27 systems.) The burner is not in contact with the ground. This prevents conductive heat loss and allows the use of a preheat tray beneath the burner. Secondly the ledmark and trangia 25/27 windscreens completely enclose the flame. this maximizes the heat transfer to the cooking vessel which is also protected from the wind. The shortcomings of alcohol as a fuel are minimized by the design of these integrated cooksets as opposed to the ultralight burner/pot support which is optimal under ideal conditions, as far as bulk and pack weight. The increased efficiency of integrated pot/windscreen design will eventually pay for the added weight, in fuel savings. Additionally, in difficult conditions, the lighter weight options may fail to boil water.
Last edited by 111t on Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:42 pm

My favorite feature of the cookset is the ability to cook things like pasta and soups or stew. The burner is great for keeping a boil going for 10 minutes or more and you don't need to take the pot off the cooker because it's geting too hot. It's a nice set but I wish the potstand/windscreen setup was smaller. I let a buddy borrow mine because he is a pasta nut, needs it every other meal, and he thought it was fabulous. He now owns one.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by hikin_jim » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:49 pm

111t wrote:Two things that are good about the ledmark configuration (and indeed the trangia 25/27 systems.) The burner is not in contact with the ground. This prevents conductive heat loss and allows the use of a preheat tray beneath the burner. Secondly the ledmark and trangia 25/27 windscreens completely enclose the flame. this maximizes the heat transfer to the cooking vessel which is also protected from the wind. The shortcomings of alcohol as a fuel are minimized by the design of these integrated cooksets as opposed to the ultralight burner/pot support which is optimal under ideal conditions, as far as bulk and pack weight. The increased efficiency of integrated pot/windscreen design will eventually pay for the added weight, in fuel savings. Additionally, in difficult conditions, the lighter weight options may fail to boil water.
Hi, Paul,

Well, I definitely like the Ledmark set. Very tempting, although I'm not sure I can justify it just yet with she-who-must-be-obeyed. We do have a very small place now, so I'd better hold off.

There is one ultralight rig that works pretty darn well in the wind. It's a bit more frail than the Ledmark set, but it really does work well: The Caldera Cone. I took mine out this weekend for a little backpacking.

The whole kit fits into an old stuff sack I've got. The Sierra cup is there as a size reference.
Image

Inside is a standard MSR Titan Kettle, into which the other components nest.
Image

Open up the Ziploc container, and inside is a Pepsi can type stove optimized for use with the set. Note windscreen rolled up inside the container.
Image

Here, I've taken everything out of the Ziploc container: measuring cup, eyedropper (for recovering unburned fuel), 4 fl. oz bottle of denatured alcohol, and of course the burner.
Image

The cool thing about the Caldera Cone is that the windscreen is the pot support.
Image

A closer look at the Ziploc everything goes into. I use the Ziploc as a bowl.
Image

Around the Ziploc container, I've got a cozy made out of Reflectix. I boil the water on the stove, put whatever I'm re-hydrating in the Ziploc, and then let everything steep.
Image

Here I am ready to make Top Ramen
Image

Starting to boil
Image

And, after lunch
Image

A satisfied customer. :)
Image

I'm still attracted to the Ledmark which would do the same thing but be a whole lot tougher, but the Caldera Cone is really light. I've got a Trangia 25 and a 27. I've got a Meta 50 somewhere in our storage unit too. I've also got a Clistand that I just bought. Better hold off a bit on yet another alcohol stove.

Other than being a bit frail, but not overly so, the other down side of the Caldera Cone is that you have to buy the specific windscreen for your particular pot. Each windscreen only fits one pot. The MSR Titan kettle that you see in the above photos is a decent size for my needs (0.85 L), so I'm not unhappy with it, but with my windscreen, I can only use the Titan kettle.

HJ
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by DaveT » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:49 pm

I'd been planning to get a couple of these sometime after the first of the year. I was looking on Campmor yesterday, and they're now coming up as "currently unavailable." Looking a few more places, I was not coming across any. Finally, I saw Swisslink still had them and I ordered them just to make sure we're not in some Ledmark drought. It just struck me as odd that they were suddenly unavailable.

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:38 pm

Yeah very interesting... :?

I ordered 2 more of these about two months ago from campmor. One was for my brother in law's christmas present BOB. The other was a dedicated 'user' for me. Sure i have three of them packed away in the 72 hour kits. Sure I did some initial testing with them, mostly boil tests back when I first did the review. But after that they got packed away. I'd always had a nagging fear that they'd not hold up well to repeated use.

On the contrary, I've been using this new one to prepare an average of three meals per week for the last two months. The kit is still in great shape. I'm not just using it to boil water either. I've been using it mostly to prepare brown rice and i've got it down to a counter-top science.

It would be a shame if these went off the market, but not completely unexpected. They're not wildly popular, and out of the box they're not without fault. I believe the trangia burner upgrade is mandatory for ease of use and proper function.

I'm glad swisslink still had some. Hopefully it's just a supply hickup.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:14 am

These are back in stock at campmor!!!
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82857
And they actually show it assembled properly!


Don't forget your Arno straps!
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23035
Campsaver has the spirit stoves in stock!!!
http://www.campsaver.com/spirit-stove
All the best!
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"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by TacAir » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:14 pm

111t wrote:These are back in stock at campmor!!!
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___82857
And they actually show it assembled properly!


Don't forget your Arno straps!
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___23035
Campsaver has the spirit stoves in stock!!!
http://www.campsaver.com/spirit-stove

Good price as well!

thanks for the heads up...
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Rednex » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:21 pm

While i do not have pictures handy. I have a Trangia Spirit Stove that will sit in a Swiss Volcano Stove, use tent stakes to raise the stove closer to the cups bottom. The stove us multi use ( wood, alcohol stove,fuel tabs anything) and acts as pot stand and wind screen.


Searching for a pic of the stove i found a post on AR15 that has a mod for the stove and alcohol burner.
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html? ... 8&t=647855
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:45 pm

Cool. I know the Swiss volcano is a popular item among bushcrafters and Preppers. Though I I've never owned one I've often thought that I figuring out a good sized SS Kleen kanteen to replace the SIGG? bottle would be a good upgrade.

In similar fashion to the Swedish military kit, these were once dirt cheap but are starting to go up in price. At some point their value is diminished by increasing cost.

At some point I did a video review of the Swiss meta 50 which is very similar to the ledmark kit. It is designed to run on solid fuel tablets but it works with the military trangia burner just fine.

http://youtu.be/QtPD1JjULG8

The meta 50's came up on Swisslink a few months ago and I grabbed a few. Keep in mind these were $25 without a burner or fuel. As it happened I had a few of the Swedish mil burners laying around from a Sportsman's guide sale in the early 2000's

What I really like about the ledmark kit (when it's available) is that it is relatively low cost. Even with the upgrades it is a cook kit and stove for less than $40.

It is regrettable that it doesn't adapt to fire use as well as some of the other options such as the Swedish mil set or possibly the volcano cooker. But any metal cooking container can be used with a fire with care.
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"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by TacAir » Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:25 pm

111t wrote:Cool. I know the Swiss volcano is a popular item among bushcrafters and Preppers. Though I I've never owned one I've often thought that I figuring out a good sized SS Kleen kanteen to replace the SIGG? bottle would be a good upgrade.

In similar fashion to the Swedish military kit, these were once dirt cheap but are starting to go up in price. At some point their value is diminished by increasing cost.

At some point I did a video review of the Swiss meta 50 which is very similar to the ledmark kit. It is designed to run on solid fuel tablets but it works with the military trangia burner just fine.

http://youtu.be/QtPD1JjULG8

The meta 50's came up on Swisslink a few months ago and I grabbed a few. Keep in mind these were $25 without a burner or fuel. As it happened I had a few of the Swedish mil burners laying around from a Sportsman's guide sale in the early 2000's

What I really like about the ledmark kit (when it's available) is that it is relatively low cost. Even with the upgrades it is a cook kit and stove for less than $40.

It is regrettable that it doesn't adapt to fire use as well as some of the other options such as the Swedish mil set or possibly the volcano cooker. But any metal cooking container can be used with a fire with care.
System is easy to use with Esbit fuel tabs. I use a lid from a tin can. One tab will boil 2 cups of water with ease.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:09 pm

Cool!
All the best!
-Paul

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"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:40 am

I think you’re a necro robot.
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"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Halfapint » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:13 am

111t wrote:I think you’re a necro robot.
At least it's a good thread to Necro!
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