Propane stoves and windsheilds Question and opinions?

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by Moondog55, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I just came back from a short camping trip with 2 tadpoles.
    Had to cut the trip short because both kids are unvaccinated { don't ask me why because I don't know] and have chicken pox.
    I was using a new very cheap propane stove for the first time and it was taking an age for the kettle to boil for my morning coffee.
    It wasn't cold, just above freezing about 4C but the wind was blowing hard.
    How effective do other people find the integrated shields on most propane stoves? Especially when cooking in the open.
    I am selling off this cheap stove because the thing is too small to be efficient for my style of cooking, too small to fit my favourite pots and pans but that is for another thread. It did get me out of trouble and it was only $45- cheaper than a Pocket Rocket
    I am thinking of refurbishing my old stove with new hoses and jets and if I'm to use it in a similar situation make up a better way of shielding the stove from the wind than the cardboard box I was just using.
    So while I have some sheet aluminium here and probably some hinges etc I was wondering what other people have come up with before I start cutting and riveting etc
    I've never used a propane stove in the open previously, always had some sort of roofed dome shelter as a cooking space or the rear of the utility trailer which was very sheltered due to the box built onto it for storage
     
  2. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    I like this as my cheap setup. The stove is low and the folding aluminum windscreen covers everything really well. Actually have this packed for a trip tomorrow with my family so I can't take photos right now (just stole these from ebay).

    $15 Lixada stove

    s-l1600.jpg

    Short 9-panel windscreen since stove is low. Around $8.

    s-l1600 (2).jpg

    LPG Adapter so that I can use the cheap green Coleman propane bottles from Walmart. Under $10.

    s-l1600 (1).jpg
     
  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Thanx Lars but a good bit smaller than the set-up I am thinking about, I should have mentioned I cook for between 4 and 10 people, usually about 6 of us but I might sometimes do soup or chilie con carne for a dozen
     
  4. TheRambler

    TheRambler Supporter Supporter

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    I use the msr Windburner duo/ group system stove. They have very large pots available. Almost impervious to wind

    2235ED5F-85A7-47BF-8277-E79A32FA62CF.jpeg

    Using the french press to make 1.5 liters of coffee
    96E4CCB5-D79C-49C6-9343-4DFC1B608DEF.jpeg
     
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  5. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    1500ml of coffee, that's about right for my breakfast but what about the others?
    That's about three Australian breakfast cups
    Fellers I am talking about a gallon of coffee; or more. Although a lot of the party do drink tea or herbal tisanes
    This is a serious question about adapting what I already own to work better in windy below freezing conditions, I thought perhaps some of you might have had to winter cater for large groups and could save me some research and trial and error time
     
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  6. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    This type of windscreen works with a Kovea Spyder as seen on BPL:

    [​IMG]

    What size pot were you using?
     
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  7. Line Dawg

    Line Dawg Scout

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    I've used this Jetboil for years with great success. It doesn't require a windscreen, but if it's windy, I try to utilize a natural wind block. You would need a larger version (Sumo I believe) to cook for more than one or two.
    image.jpeg
     
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  8. oathkeeper762

    oathkeeper762 Bushbum & PT Wanderer Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    A windscreen is always helpful when cooking outdoors. The more you are able to concentrate the heat flow onto the bottom and up the sides of your pot the faster the boil time and the more fuel you will save. Most of my cooking is on day hikes, scouts, or overnight backpacking trips so I usually using smaller stoves like @Lars showed above. We do cook fish, boil crawfish, fry turkeys outside with larger cooking burners and even though there is an abundance of heat and flame available I still setup or use a windscreen when I cook. It just makes for a more efficient cook session.

    Without seeing your stove I can only guess but if your cooking for larger groups I assume you may be car camping and if so you can build yourself a windscreen from roll aluminum or you may be able to repurpose scraps or metal you have lying around. It doesn't need to be anything elaborate. A trip strolling around you home improvement store will give you lots of materials that you can be creative with. You might give you existing stove another chance with a windscreen before you give up on it. Cooking on a very windy day without a windscreen can make a good stove look bad. YMMV
     
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  9. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    We usually use one of the Coleman propane stove tops when out with the family, they have a collapsible wind screen built in, and two burners. Not a backpacking setup, but it'll cook a ton of stuff with the two burners. I once lived in a situation where the cook used two of these style stoves for 50-75 people, three times a day, for about a year and a half. That's where I'd point you. A link from Amazon for reference.
     
  10. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    IMHO the stove was not the problem

    the wind protection is quite important

    for my own research i set up on the front porch of the barn which provides a venturi effect and the wind really whistles thru the front door

    this way i can verify the worst case scenario(windage) when testing my stoves(making my afternoon cuppa)

    the wind screen shown in Lars' post(#2) above is the design i have found to be most beneficial

    it wraps around the pot leaving room for me to reach the pot handle comfortably/safely

    an issue you didn't mention would be the addition of a folding pot stand over your present stove to accommodate larger pots instead of buying another/larger stove

    you might already have enough BTU's and simply need support and wind protection

    try boiling water in a larger pot on your present stove w/ a make shift(wood or cardboard) wind screen

    i'm guessin' you're on the right track w/ the sheet aluminium and a few hinges

    just rememberize the size of your kit/pack/camp box... when making the(YOUR) screen

    while you're at it look back thru the thread about modifications for the alcohol stove(smaller than your stove) and take a gander at some of the pot stands used for them many of which would fit nicely folded in your kit

    https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/alcohol-stove-thread-mods-and-in-use.235735/
     
  11. TheRambler

    TheRambler Supporter Supporter

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    That is only the 2l pot, as i said there are far larger pots available
     
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  12. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Sorry I don't seem to be able to find the photos of the stoves in action
    This is the stove from last W/E
    https://www.gasmate.com.au/camping-...pg-camping-stove-range/compact-2-burner-stove
    And the stove I used to take is this larger 3 burner unit
    https://www.gasmate.com.au/camping-leisure/camping-stoves/lpg-camping-stove-range/3-burner-stove
    The 3-burner stove is the unit I would like to use this winter if possible
    We are not car camping, we pack the sleds and ski in and spend a week or so back country touring from a base camp and for this coming winter it will be a lot easier catering from a proper stove. We can share the load of the propane over a couple of the sleds.
    Last season I tried using small remote stoves and it was a right royal PITA.
    Wood fires are not a reliable option here in snow due to the combination of wet snow, wet wood and the wood is very poor quality for burning although we do try and get at least one camp fire
    We have been using a big tarp as an overhead cover but it lets the wind through and we can't rely on snow deep enough to dig in, we get deep snow but it isn't reliable
    We usually have a few plastic crates to use as a table /stand for the stoves.
    My car camping set up is a lot more luxurious and a lot heavier with cast iron Dutch ovens and a new bigger regulated propane stove etc
    I'm a cook by trade so catering falls to me and as this is probably my last hurrah where BC skiing in Australia is concerned I'd like to go out on a strong note.
    I was also thinking that anything I learnt might be applicable to Alaska with modifications to suit the XGK-EX
    66drifter is on the money, it is wind that is the problem more than anything else, it doesn't get cold enough in Australia for that to be an issue most of the time
     
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  13. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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    well then a Pocket Rocket won't do it either. it will scorch anything other than water you try to heat over it.

    Primus makes a pretty good wide angle burner but I don't know what's available where you are.

    [​IMG]

    whatever you use, you don't want to have a wind shield cover the canister as that would heat it and become dangerous. I normally just put my stove in the lee of a log or a rock or my pack, etc..

    using a windscreen this way looks acceptable

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    MSR Pocket Rocket and it's clones warn against use of a closely wrapped wind screen such as the one you have pictured above, they have been known to cause the tanks to explode, the heat build up in the enclosed space can cause the seals on the canister, the stove, or both.
    There's at least one thread in this forum that shows a canister actually exploding and another photo of the damage caused to a canister and stove by such an explosion, if you're going to use a wind screen you should make sure that it sits a good 6"~ 8" away from the canister/stove combo all the
    way around to prevent too much heat build up.
     
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  15. TheRambler

    TheRambler Supporter Supporter

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    Why not just use a remote stove with propane? Easy to do with a $10 adapter. Will give you the cold weather performance at a fraction of the weight. Heck you could bring like 4 or 5 stoves and still be lighter than a big ole 2 or 3 burner unit.
     
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  16. Philly-Billy

    Philly-Billy Scout

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    +1 on this ^^^^^^
     
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  17. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

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    Hmmm, seeing your two and three burner stoves, they should work fine. So like you mentioned, keeping the wind out of the flame may be your best option. I'd consider wrapping the side with tin foil to cut the air space off between the stove and lid. And possibly wrapping a 6" strip around the front as well, to make sort of a cooking well, to keep the heat in the cooking area rather than blowing away.

    Could it have been too cold for propane to heat properly? Just spit-balling?
     
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  18. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I remember reading that propane is better for when the temperature is warmer. You would probably have better luck with a liquid fuel stove in winter temperatures.
     
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  19. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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    no, not true. the windscreen above is a very common method. heat rises. the bottom of the screen doesn't come down and cover the tank so there's plenty of room for built up heat to escape out the bottom. in that situation I bet you'd have more of an issue with the tank not being warm enough.

    below is an example of a potentially dangerous situation. even the fact that it's open on one side still wouldn't be enough for me to feel comfortable

    [​IMG]

    this would also make me nervous

    [​IMG]

    as I mentioned above, the easiest/safest way is just to place the stove downwind of an obstruction like a log or rock, etc.

    this would work depending on the force of the wind

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Pinelogcreek

    Pinelogcreek Supporter Supporter

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    I just set mine in between some rocks or limbs as a windbreak, they don’t have to be close to be effective. Worse come to worse there is always stove in a Dakota fire hole.
     
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  21. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    You've gone full circle John.

    Use this one but modify it to use 2 of the XGK-EX burners. Modify the system to use large propane tanks.

    It was a fun ride, glad you came to the right solution.

    [​IMG]


    What brand name is this pot gripper?

    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    I simply stated the fact that a warning exist by MSR and like makers against using a closely wrapped wind screen on a canister stove that is screwed directly to a gas canister and why, and I included a mention that there is a thread in the BCUSA archives talking about a canister explosion and has a picture of the resulting damage.
    I didn't post to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't do, each of us has been given free will, how we use it is entirely our own business, personally I'd rather err on the side of caution, but if anyone wants to test Darwin's theory, go right ahead. :33:
     
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  23. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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    I agree. as a public forum I believe we have a responsibility to not post unsafe things. there's too much stupid stuff on the internet. and I respect your disagreeing with what I posted when you think it violates that. thank you...
     
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  24. ra2bach

    ra2bach Supporter Supporter

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  25. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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  26. SkipJunkie

    SkipJunkie Scout

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  27. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    You sir are a gentleman. :dblthumb:

    Just to be fair, I didn't disagree with you entirely, I've found through experience that the MSR Pocket Rocket and it's many clones are especially prone to wind problems that require the stove being shielded from the wind to be efficient, some of the wind screens you suggested work very well without sacrificing safety, I have a few that I've made from commercial HD foil baking sheets that are compact and work well, mostly I try to place my stove in areas that have some sort of natural windbreak when possible.
    It was just that one tightly wrapped wind screen that gave me the jitters, I'm not so worried about stoves and canisters made by MSR but do have concerns about the cheap pocket rocket type stoves produced in China, I have several of these stoves, one by MSR, one from Finland, and one from China that costs about $15.00 shipped, all work great but I still have concerns about the build quality of the Chinese made stove or just how much heat build up it can withstand.

    Good talk :)
     
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  28. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I've played with all sorts of windscreens for small stoves, from the big kite type to small tight ones made from foil, never had a problem but I am very careful. Apart from my emergency stove I also use remote canister stoves now tho as they are far more stable
    But where these big stoves and the integrated folding screens are concerned I have no experience as I have always used them in sheltered positions previously.
    As they come from the factory tho they are totally useless out in the open.
    So I have assembled some bits and I'll go and get some very thin ply and the thinnest aluminium sheet I can find and basically build an open fronted box with a small hole for the fuel hose to pass through.
    I was thinking of using hinges to assemble and for a traveling unit I would but for a fixed camp it will be easier and simpler to use small "L" brackets and self tapping screws.
    I should have something knocked up by next week, this week I am demolishing the old shed and need to concentrate on that
     
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  29. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    add your thin aluminum sheet to the sides of this

    [​IMG]
     
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  30. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    What the online pictures do not show are all the open slots for allowing combustion air to reach the flow tubes. This is why I thought of using a solid base
     
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  31. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Put your ideas into motion. Take a break from your chores and work on the fun project :) do it this coming weekend. Pictures pictures and more pictures :)
     
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  32. Ephemeral

    Ephemeral Tracker

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    Here's my version, nylon with little sleeves sewn in to locate the stakes to the fabric. The stakes are arrow shafts with field points and epdm rubber caps to push on. I increased the number of stakes on subsequent screens to get a more round configuration. I even tried attaching space blanket material to the inside for cold weatther use, but the sound it made drove me nuts.

    The stove is an optimus 00 military kerosene burner, and the kettle is an msr alpine.

    These screens roll up to a small bundle and don't weigh very much. Other screens I made utilized titanium stakes with loops bent in the top. Titanium rod is fairly affordable from China.

    Of course these don't work very well on surfaces you can't drive the stakes into. If it is really windy, you have to push the stakes in deep, as the fabric creates a good bit of wind resistance ..... don't want it blowing over on a burning stove. So if you make one of these, make the stakes long enough to get them deep if necessary.

    P9060020.JPG

    P9060028.JPG
     
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  33. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    The green box? Is that the military version of the 111B?
    I missed out on a replacement for my own 111B when the Optimus Hiker went on sale locally and now I can't afford one
     
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  34. Ephemeral

    Ephemeral Tracker

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    I wish it was, but no, it's the steel box that the military version of the optimus 00 fits in. I purchased two of these in NOS condition from a very nice lady in Poland.
     
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  35. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    I have been a little busy with side projects IMG_0907.JPG IMG_0908.JPG IMG_0909.JPG IMG_0910.JPG IMG_0911.JPG IMG_0912.JPG IMG_0913.JPG IMG_0914.JPG
     
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  36. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Indian dinner for the bloke who helped me with the demolition. Next I have to cut all that for the fire
     

    Attached Files:

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  37. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Maybe next week you can finish up your chores and get to your stove project.
    You must be a professional chef by trade.
     
  38. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Cook by trade, Yes I am and a Chef by training but too damned old, stiff and slow these days and I can't keep up anymore
     
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  39. P40

    P40 Supporter Supporter

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    @Ephemeral
    Now thats a windscreen!
     
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  40. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Maybe it's time to rethink your cold weather adventure ???
     
  41. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Nope
    70 isn't too old to climb Everest or Denali but 40 is ancient in kitchens
     
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  42. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Skirt covers full body of Toaks 650 pot with handles.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  43. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Skirt is made of titanium...glows red when too much gas is used :)

     
  44. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Moondog....how are you coming along with the modification of your camp stove project?
     
  45. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Windscreen/skirt for Toaks650 pot:


     
  46. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Colder weather is heading your way. How long before you go on your winter walkabout?
     
  47. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    G'Day zelph
    If I can't shake this walking pneumonia the only place I'm headed is the crematorium.
    On a lighter note I'm attaching a screen shot.
    It's taken from the website of the company that supplies the Australian Antarctic Division with tents and other gear
    They do all the cooking inside so don't need windshields, the dished stove base is to comply with the Antarctic Anti-pollution laws, it contains any spillage. All rubbish and sewage waste [ urine included] is collected and taken back to base for recycling and if it can't be composted all rubbish is taken back to country of origin
     

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  48. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    John, you need to cancel this years polar trek.

    How many calories per person have you planed for being you will be doing the cooking? Have you put together a grocery list?

    Quote from https://explorersweb.com/2019/03/09/using-camp-stoves-at-40/

    Some points to consider about using a camp stove at low temperatures:

    Most polar expeditioners today use time-tested MSR stoves, either the XGK-Ex or the WhisperLite. Neither of these have those sneaky little holes in the top of the pump, like the one that flummoxed the two Swedes. Cold-weather stoves use white gas, sometimes called naptha, a particularly clean type of gasoline. The XGK (and one model of WhisperLite) can also burn other fuels, if you happen to be in a part of the world, like Russia, where white gas is not readily available.

    The XGK’s main drawback is its lack of adjustability. Unless you pump constantly, it has two settings: off and full blast. It is mainly used for melting water and bringing it to a boil for freeze-dried dinners, cups of tea, etc. Some don’t like the model because it’s very noisy. The Whisperlite is not as hot as the XGK, so it doesn’t melt snow or ice as quickly, but it’s a little more adjustable.

    MSR stoves come with a separate pump that screws into a fuel bottle (which you supply). A metal hose on the stove inserts into a hole near the head of the pump. A wire bail holds the assembly securely. These pumps can malfunction in severe cold, causing liquid fuel to leak from the joint between the stove and the pump! It’s easy for this fuel to catch fire. (Turn the stove off, then throw snow on the flame to douse it.)

    The problem is that an O-ring in the pump can stiffen in the cold and not seal properly. Some O-rings seem able to handle -40. (I bring three pumps on every expedition, because one always works without leaking.) Other gaskets are horrible: In the early 2000s, MSR changed its O-ring supplier, and the new O-rings leaked in the cold. They’re better now. But more importantly, MSR now offers a $50 arctic pumpwith a special cold-resistant O-ring. If you don’t want to gamble, it’s the one to bring on a frigid trip.

    [​IMG]
    MSR’s Arctic Fuel Pump



    Those who have never spent weeks on the land wonder how much fuel to carry on their first cold-weather expedition. It’s simple arithmetic: .18 to .25 litres/person-day. .18 is very spartan; .25 is luxurious and adds margin for accidents, such as if you spill a fuel bottle or if, perish the thought, the screw top of a bottle has not been tightened properly, and fuel leaks in the sled as it bounces over sastrugi.

    For this reason, it’s important to keep fuel as far from food as possible in the sled. Gasoline-contaminated food cannot be eaten, even if you are starving. I had this happen once with (luckily) just a single bag of sandwiches. Long after the fuel had evaporated, the taint was just too much for even one experimental bite.

    The .25-litre daily fuel budget is also advisable when you or one of your partners sweats a lot and needs more rehydration. I’ve traveled with guys who had to drink as much as 1.5 litres a day more than I did.

    [​IMG]
    Stove board. Photo: Jerry Kobalenko

    Although more a general winter camping accessory than something specifically designed for the polar regions, a stove board stabilizes the unit and keeps it from constantly listing over as heat melts the snow platform on which the stove rests. Many a tipped pot of water can be attributed to the lack of a stove board. These bases are available commercially, and MSR even makes one. Unfortunately, the metal base still absorbs heat and causes melting underneath. I prefer a thin piece of plywood with a length of rubber tubing staplegunned to it to hold the fuel bottle.

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Jerry Kobalenko

    Finally, while this can’t be recommended, many experienced arctic travelers do risk bringing the stove inside the tent. During cooking, it warms up a tent from -40 to about a cozy -15C. However, one flare-up or leaky O-ring, and your tent can disappear spectacularly in seconds, forcing you to build igloos or quincees every day for next four weeks. I always start the stove in the vestibule and leave it there for several minutes until the flame stabilizes. Then, carrying it on the stove board, I place it on a banker’s box, which holds part of my food and serves as a table. I put the frozen nosepiece of my wind mask on the table, where the heat dries it.

    It’s important to take a pot of water off the stove before it reaches a rolling boil, when great clouds of steam fill the tent, coating the roof with several snowballs worth of frost. Worst of all, the moisture freezes the tent pole sections together. The following morning, you must warm the metal joints with bare fingers to disengage the sections and fold up the pole. At -40, this feels like holding a lighted match to your fingertips.

    If you’re extremely anal, as every cold-weather traveler should be, and constantly watch the stove like a hawk, you may just get away with this dangerous practice. But even with care and experience, I’ve had to throw the stove outside a few times when a leaky O-ring caused the stove board to catch fire.

    I didn’t cook inside for years, and when a partner showed me how cozy it could be, I was initially concerned less about the tent going up in flames — I’m pretty careful — than about carbon monoxide. But tents breathe well, and I leave the inner door about one-third open and a small air hole in the vestibule as well. I’ve never noticed any deleterious effects, including in athletic performance, although the sticky carbon monoxide molecules adhere to your blood cells for hours and decrease your circulation system’s ability to transport oxygen.

    Note, however, that cooking in igloos or other snow shelters — though the Inuit have done it for centuries — is highly dangerous, and the air hole in the roof must be checked constantly for drifting snow. Several people I know have had near-fatal encounters with carbon monoxide in igloos: legs crumbling beneath them when they try to stand up, desperately punching an air hole in the igloo wall before they lose consciousness, knowing that their life is at stake, because their partners have already blacked out.
     
  49. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Alaskan trek not until 2020 so that's OK zelph.
    The combination of Pneumococcus and Pseudomonas at the same time has knocked me about tho but I am slowly recovering. Ski season starts in 3 weeks so I may have something done in time to make things comfortable.
    As for food I know I lose weight at 3600/4200 calories a day in an Australian winter skiing and camping so we had planned for a basic ration of 5500/6000
     
  50. zelph

    zelph Guide

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    Get well soon.:dblthumb:
    Have fun on the slopes :)
    Eat good, Laugh alot, Enjoy life!
     

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