Is your backpacking stove unstable?

Posted by: Racoon

Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 09:24 AM

Hello fellow backpackers,
I am currently enrolled in a High School technology class where i must identify a problem and design and produce a solution for it. I am investigating the stability of common backpacking stoves and possibly going to design a universal mechanism to stabilize backpacking stoves. In order to verify my problem I have drafted a survey and this is the link to it: I am asking if anyone could please fill it out it would help me out tremendously, i would deeply appreciate it.
-Xavier

(admin's note to op: if you want to conduct a survey you may do so within the confines of this forum. We suspect Survey Monkey is used to mine user ip's for advertising/spamming purposes and do not allow it's use here.)



Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 09:29 AM

I filled it out, but it's a little biased because I know of several products on the market that stabilize canister stoves already.
Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 09:46 AM

Thank you for filling out my survey.
I was just wondering if you could elaborate on why you believe the survey is bias. Also, if possible could you be specific about the products you mentioned before so I could investigate them? Thanks again.
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 10:19 AM

I'm biased because I quoted the lowest price I've seen for a stabilizer. Haven't seen the need for buying one, because you want flat spots to place the canister anyway, and I've never failed to have a flat spot.

Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 11:29 AM

Here's a problem $COST$ most quality items are made by big name brands! If you could manufacture say a stable, light canister stove of your own! Thats capable of boiling efficiently water as well as simmering at a fraction of the price. Say half of the average marketed price. And the item be of the Same quality & let's throw in made and assembled in the USA.

Then My Friend you have identified and created a solution.

Otherwise there are plenty of nice stable stoves out there if your willing to pay for them.

But I'm with Lori even on mountain sides its usually not to hard to improvise a bit of a flat spot. And if your truly in a situation were a flat spot is Improbable . A lot of stove manufactures make hanging kits
Posted by: Cranman

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 02:00 PM

He was asking about stability of existing stoves. I have a MSR rocket and I have meant to pick up one of the plastic stabilizers, Jetboil makes one that snaps onto the bottom of your fuel canister.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 02:21 PM

In addition to the commercial ones mentioned, there are many homemade solutions to the stability of canister stoves, such as 3 titanium shepherd hook stakes (which most of us carry for our shelters), 3 halves of wooden clothespins plus a rubber band. I've never seen the need for any. I want my stove on bare ground anyway to avoid catching any dry vegetation on fire, so if the surface is sloping I generally level the ground with a stick, replacing the surface dirt removed afterwards.

Level ground is necessary anyway, whether or not the canister is stabilized, because if the burner surface is slanted the pot will slide off. This inevitably happens just when your water is just starting to boil!
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 05:05 PM

The design issues remaining for backpack stoves are fuel efficiency (reducing loss of heat)and wind protection (which is a big factor in heat loss). Some pot/stove systems have a heat exchanger built into the pan, but these are still quite heavy. I would think a good project would be to accurately measure heat loss (in various conditions, cold,windy, sunny, shady, etc)for several of the commercially available stoves out there, and then design gadgets or stove modifications that significantly reduce the heat loss. Look into such things as burner size vs pot size - what match has the least heat loss. Another factor, pot shape - does a tall skiny pot heat water faster than a wider lower pot?
Posted by: Brotherbob12

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/08/12 05:19 PM

Hi
Stability in canister stoves can be a problem. I use a plastic support with three legs. It works fine. It is not absolutely necessary but fot instance in forest with lots of soft moss a hard flat spot can be difficult to find.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 09:13 AM

In that case, would you be willing to take our survey? Xavier and I would greatly appreciate your input. (We are both members of the group that is currently exploring this topic.)
Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 09:33 AM

Thank You. My group is taking your thoughts into consideration. We would also appreciate you taking our survey as well. If anyone else has any other ideas on problems you run into while camping that you might want to be solved feel free to post them here.
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 12:41 PM

I'm going to offer that you might consider focusing on the popular "DYI" stoves used by a lot of backpackers.

Google "Pop can stove", "Penny Stove", "Supercat stove", "homemade alcohol stove" to get started learning about them.

These might benefit from a well designed stand, especially one that's easily made by the user. Besides added stability, some of these stoves also have another problem that could be solved with a stand. When it's cold they can be harder to light and could benefit from some insulation between them and the cold ground, maybe a way to warn the fuel too.

Let us know what you come up with!
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 12:44 PM

Okay, now I took your survey. I don't use one of those stoves.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 01:18 PM

I took the survey but would never consider the Pocket Rocket (the stove pictured) because its pot supports appear quite fragile (which has been noted in reviews). Mine is a Primus (since discontinued); another high quality brand is Snow Peak.

As mentioned before, I make sure my stove is set on bare ground and level the ground under the canister if necessary, so I have no need of any separate device to make the stove level.

Should you wish to address a more complex and more important issue with canister stoves, there are two: First, the isobutane/propane mix fuel does not perform well in below-freezing temperatures, although using a remote stove that allows the canister to be turned upside down (keeping the propane part from evaporating first) helps a lot, as does keeping the canister warm before and during use. Second, without a scale (something most of us have at home but certainly don't take backpacking) it's difficult to tell how much fuel is left in the canister.

As mentioned by others, many--probably most--lightweight backpackers use alcohol stoves. I have both but prefer the convenience of the canister.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 09:17 PM

I have been using a Pocket Rocket regularly since it first came to market and the pot supports have worked just fine all that time for the one to two person meals I have prepared on the stove. I have never had a significant problem with stove stability because I have always been able to find a small flat surface on which to set the stove. If a natural surface is not readily available, I fiddle around and prepare one before I set up the stove and begin cooking.

A little ingenuity is much lighter than yet another gizmo weighing down the pack.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/09/12 10:09 PM

I've used Pocket Rocket, Snow Peak Giga, Jetboil, MicroRocket, and Superfly canister stoves, I usually use a .8L pot (Titan Kettle), relatively low and compact. The only one I ever used a stabilizer with was the Jetboil, because its pot is taller and narrower, and the rig is slightly tippier. Otherwise, I never needed one. Like others, I've never had a problem finding or creating a level surface. The reason I finally settled on the Pocket Rocket (later, Micro Rocket) was that I didn't have to fiddle with the stabilizer. I've never lost a pot to lack of level. (There was that one time, though, where the right hand literally didn't know what the left hand was doing...)
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/10/12 01:36 AM

My problems with the original Pocket Rocket were legion. I never figured out why people even bothered with it. Some trips the water never boiled at all, sometimes the stove just went out inexplicably at the slightest breeze. One of the supports warped and then the pot sat lopsided on the stove, wiggling at the slightest movement. Another support got so loose that it flopped around instead of staying folded. Sad that I used it for just one year, and was not going out every single month as I do now, and still had all kinds of issues with it. I replaced it with a Snowpeak Giga and have had zero problems.

Of course, then I started with alcohol stoves, and now have a big box full of those. But canister stoves are useful when the fire bans descend.

I don't think I've ever felt the need for a stabilizer from the store. If I need to level something, rocks or chunks of wood or sticks fill the bill nicely.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/10/12 06:46 AM

What we have here is a solution in search of a problem.

[quote=lori

I don't think I've ever felt the need for a stabilizer from the store. If I need to level something, rocks or chunks of wood or sticks fill the bill nicely. [/quote]
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/10/12 11:02 PM

I think I ordered a PR the first month they were available from REI; it is still in use on a regular basis. No problems at all. It's probably preferential treatment given to REI members with low memberships numbers.....
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/11/12 11:27 AM

Originally Posted By oldranger
I think I ordered a PR the first month they were available from REI; it is still in use on a regular basis. No problems at all. It's probably preferential treatment given to REI members with low memberships numbers.....


I'm sure you're right. I wonder how much you could get for that number on eBay wink
Posted by: llamero

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/11/12 07:04 PM

I used to set my stove on the ground, then I upgraded to using a bucket out of a pannier. Several years ago I built this elevated stabilization platform from scraps out of my shop. I call it "the table". laugh The llamas don't mind carrying it-weighs about 2 pounds. Plus, the plywood pieces fit into a pannier, keeping the sides flat. Llamas and tables and big meals in the back-country are not for everyone, but I like it.
Posted by: Richard Cullip

Is your backpacking stove unstable? Nope - 11/12/12 05:50 PM

So far so good. Mine seems stable. Been using it for two years now and haven't spilled it yet. Evernew 900ml Ultralight Ti pot (wide version), Fancee Feest stove (alcohol) from Zelph Stoveworks and a home made Ti cone






Sweet and simple. It does what I need it to do - boil a bit a water for my evening meals.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/12/12 07:50 PM

Originally Posted By billstephenson
I'm going to offer that you might consider focusing on the popular "DYI" stoves used by a lot of backpackers.

Google "Pop can stove", "Penny Stove", "Supercat stove", "homemade alcohol stove" to get started learning about them.

These might benefit from a well designed stand, especially one that's easily made by the user. Besides added stability, some of these stoves also have another problem that could be solved with a stand. When it's cold they can be harder to light and could benefit from some insulation between them and the cold ground, maybe a way to warn the fuel too.

Let us know what you come up with!


I agree with Bill! Those DIY stove can be unstable and when they tip over, the fuel spills out. If my memory serves me there was a major California fire that was started by a bakpacker on the PCT doing just that.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/12/12 08:22 PM

Also one in Colorado last spring.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/13/12 09:35 AM

It is important to note that the survey says, "Are you familiar with the type of backpacking stove pictured above?"

It was a picture given so that you could have a general idea of the type of product to which we were referring. We picked this stove to display because the base it has is a good example.
Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 09:17 AM

Thank you for all of your ideas and for those who answered the survey. It seems to me that a major issue with backpacking stoves isn't just the stoves stability but also pot stabilizers and wind putting out flame. Would it be beneficial to design a product to make a stove be able to support a larger pot better? I guess that has to do with the overall stoves stability as a whole but I'm talking about the pot supports itself.
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 09:34 AM

Originally Posted By Xavier
Thank you for all of your ideas and for those who answered the survey. It seems to me that a major issue with backpacking stoves isn't just the stoves stability but also pot stabilizers and wind putting out flame. Would it be beneficial to design a product to make a stove be able to support a larger pot better? I guess that has to do with the overall stoves stability as a whole but I'm talking about the pot supports itself.


Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 09:41 AM

That isn't the type of stove we are talking about. Our group is focusing on the canister stoves where the canister is located beneath the stove not on the side attached by a cable
Posted by: JBrzysk

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 09:41 AM

Samoset are you implying that the stove you pictured is a fix to the stability problem?
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 10:48 AM

Well, it is a fix. If you are frying or simmering, remote canisters are the best option, because the burner is wider and it's lower to the ground. The top mounted stoves are basically torches that focus on a spot in the center of the pot.

Trying to stir something on a top mount stove is tempting fate... I've been a little hungry before thanks to the pot tipping off entirely and throwing the gnocchi into the duff. Boil and rehydrate for me.
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/14/12 10:59 AM

Yes I'm implying that there are plenty of stable canister stoves available there is either a $ penalty or a weight penalty usually both!

The micro rocket pictured in your survey is ment for boiling water in a small pot by an experienced backpacker. If you have met all those criteria than. Stability is seriously not an issue.
Posted by: JBrzysk

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/15/12 09:19 AM

From your responses Im finding the top mount stove is best used boiling water because when you try to stir food in the pot atop the stove there is a tendency for the pot to fall off.

With this said would the real stability with these types of stoves be with the pot itself compared to the base of the canister?
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/15/12 09:37 AM

Originally Posted By JBrzysk
From your responses Im finding the top mount stove is best used boiling water because when you try to stir food in the pot atop the stove there is a tendency for the pot to fall off.

With this said would the real stability with these types of stoves be with the pot itself compared to the base of the canister?


Not necessarily true I've used one of these

For about to years with big pots, small pots, big frying pans, small frying pans. Titanium cups and done all sorts of real cooking. All kinds of stirring and egg flipping actions and never felt like I was going to loose any of it!

Very stable lightweight canister stove! Where the burner itself sits above canister wink
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/15/12 10:56 AM

Originally Posted By JBrzysk
From your responses Im finding the top mount stove is best used boiling water because when you try to stir food in the pot atop the stove there is a tendency for the pot to fall off.

With this said would the real stability with these types of stoves be with the pot itself compared to the base of the canister?


The top mounted stoves are poor choices for cooking for several reasons. That doesn't keep some of us from trying, obviously. People also say (I also say) that the home made cat can stoves aren't really for cooking either, yet I have also fried an egg on one successfully without torching anything or damaging myself.

You can add a heat diffuser to avoid the scorching that can happen with a single-point flame, but that adds weight, of course. And there are some top mounts with wider burners, though they are necessarily heavier than the narrower ones (you should be detecting a theme here - some of the resistance to a stabilizer you will get is due to weight reduction - see the name of the forum for another clue).

Then there is the fact that all stoves have fiddle factor - all of them require tending at all times, just because they are on fire. You clear an area and you mind it, and try to avoid things like kicking it over (I did that) or tipping it over (did that too) or putting it where others will walk through... Since I am already minding the stove closely to avoid lighting the forest on fire, I really don't mind not having a tripod or stand to keep the stove upright. I should have done that already before I ever lit it - create a stable platform if the ground isn't level. That's part of good stove-manship.
Posted by: llamero

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/16/12 03:01 PM

Samoset, that looks exactly like the stove I am currently using and my experiences are similar to yours. In my 10" fry pan I cook two or three items at once and have never dumped a meal. Knock, knock, knocking on wood. Sometimes I cook in a three liter pot. I also use the tall fuel canisters on long trips. Could just be luck, but I start with a flat stable surface and center the pots over the burner. Often I keep the fry pan off center to put more or less heat on different foods. My Pocket Rocket is much less stable, but it is just a back-up.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 09:17 AM

Would you ever consider a product that perhaps expanded the surface on which you place your pot or pan? (Everyone can feel free to reply)
Posted by: DTape

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 12:51 PM

Originally Posted By Tobi
Would you ever consider a product that perhaps expanded the surface on which you place your pot or pan? (Everyone ca
n feel free to reply)


No. I have no problem with the stove support. There just isnt a problem which needs fixing for me.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 04:25 PM

No. Not necessary and not worth carrying the extra weight. There are a number of stoves with wider pot supports designed for really large pots, but very few carry such pots except in winter for melting snow. In winter we can't use canister stoves anyway because they don't work in below-freezing temperatures.

You folks seem determined to find a "solution" to a problem which doesn't exist!
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By Tobi
Would you ever consider a product that perhaps expanded the surface on which you place your pot or pan? (Everyone can feel free to reply)


No
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 10:55 PM

Here is your competition:

http://www.amazon.com/Brunton-Foldable-C...unton+Can+Stand

Hard to beat something that light and compact that works with all sizes of canister available.

Not that I want one.
Posted by: llamero

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/19/12 11:52 PM

As I read your question you are proposing a device to increase the stability at the burner level, not at the bottom of the fuel canister. I don't see how it would compensate for an unstable canister and my system is working just groovy (toally awesome), but if you can demonstrate it's effectiveness I would consider it. Tripod down-rigger arms and such aren't likely to be taken seriously. KISS.

Just maybe there are more pressing issues. Can you design a more versitle tarp system for example? Currently I'm working on a small insulated box, for perishables, that will compliment my Bearikade canister.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:13 AM

Well, the problem with this is that it doesn't fit all canisters. The product you referenced to only fits 111.5 mm canisters or very loosely fits a 109.5 mm tank (The most commonly found size), and doesn't fit the other sizes at all. Our product will be one that fits all sizes of canisters, not just a few. So this really isn't our competition, because it is not universal.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:17 AM

Why do you feel that it won't be taken seriously? Is it not as effective in your opinion? If so; what would you feel is a more stable or effective mechanism. (Picture examples would be appreciated)
Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:17 AM

Actually it is quite the opposite. We are focusing on the bottom of the stove but Tobi was merely suggesting a possible stabilization at the burner. This would reduce the risk of tipping over a larger pot on a small diameter burner, like most of them currently are.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:31 AM

What you are missing is that this is a LIGHTWEIGHT forum and the folks here are willing to sacrifice some function for lighter weight and less fiddle factor. What would be great for car camping is just not going to sell to a lightweight group.


Originally Posted By Xavier
Actually it is quite the opposite. We are focusing on the bottom of the stove but Tobi was merely suggesting a possible stabilization at the burner. This would reduce the risk of tipping over a larger pot on a small diameter burner, like most of them currently are.
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:40 AM

Originally Posted By Tobi
Well, the problem with this is that it doesn't fit all canisters. The product you referenced to only fits 111.5 mm canisters or very loosely fits a 109.5 mm tank (The most commonly found size), and doesn't fit the other sizes at all. Our product will be one that fits all sizes of canisters, not just a few. So this really isn't our competition, because it is not universal.


It works with all size canisters. So do the more expensive competitors. I've seen them at work (other people have gotten them with their Jetboils).

And, they aren't necessary, as has been mentioned. I think that people who don't really know how to use their stove or are afraid of it are the most likely customers. There's a lot of things marketed to backpackers that haven't really filled a need, however, that sell nonetheless.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 09:40 AM

Or, depending on how securely the pot is attached to the burner to prevent it tipping off the burner, you may just tip over the whole stove-and-pot combo. Think "Jetboil." (Not that I'd ever admit to doing such a thing myself. smile )
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 12:52 PM

Tobi, here are a few observations given with the best of intentions:

It's been gently pointed out that the problem you're attempting to solve does not exist to any great degree for anyone here.

You've received this feedback from a very experienced focus group, but you're not doing much with it.

You've been urged you to look into other types of stoves where we do see room for innovative solutions, but you never even asked a follow up question about that. You should never let a path like that go unexplored.

You can not do better than starting off with looking to refine what the DYI crowd is doing at any given time in the category your looking into. That is the very cradle of innovation Tobi. It always has been.

It's also important to realize that changing course based on what you learn is key to success in any venture. Today, more than ever, it's absolutely critical to understand this.

As of yet, I've haven't seen that in the progress of your interaction here. This suggest your looking for affirmation as opposed to information. That can be a costly path. The "Segway" is an example of an amazing product that used that approach and fell flat on it's face despite it's amazingness being affirmed by very respected sources.

I suggest you step back, forget for a moment your initial approach, forget you even started this thread, then reread all that's been offered to you here with fresh eyes and see if you can come away with anything new from it.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 03:14 PM

I agree with Bill!
Posted by: DTape

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 04:15 PM

I also concur with Bill. Well stated.
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 04:42 PM

There are no problems only solutions!


left: MSR Reactor on a short 4oz/113g isopro
Canister "using a few rocks found around campsite to increase stability"

Right: MSR superfly on a tall 73/4oz / 220g Coleman fuel canister" using three MSR titanium nail pegs to secure the canister to the ground" < íVERY STABLE!

I would however love a light weight pressure gauge or something that would let me know how much fuel remains in partially used canisters . say 2-3 oz id buy one!
Posted by: BZH

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 06:57 PM

Originally Posted By Samoset
...
I would however love a light weight pressure gauge or something that would let me know how much fuel remains in partially used canisters . say 2-3 oz id buy one!


A pressure gauge won't tell you how much fuel is in a liquid fuel canister. The pressure inside the canister is the saturation pressure of the liquid for the temperature the liquid is at. That is pretty technical, but what it means is that a pressure gauge will just tell you the temperature of the fuel inside the tank.

You need to weigh the tank to know how much fuel is left. I think there are some lightweight postal scales that would meet your requirements.

something like this: http://shop.miniscience.com/navigation/detail.asp?id=PSS_US1
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/20/12 08:08 PM

Originally Posted By BZH


A pressure gauge won't tell you how much fuel is in a liquid fuel canister. The pressure inside the canister is the saturation pressure of the liquid for the temperature the liquid is at. That is pretty technical, but what it means is that a pressure gauge will just tell you the temperature of the fuel inside the tank.

You need to weigh the tank to know how much fuel is left. I think there are some lightweight postal scales that would meet your requirements.

something like this: http://shop.miniscience.com/navigation/detail.asp?id=PSS_US1


Makes Sense.

If one of these comes in under 3 ounces might have to check one out!

Does anyone know off hand how many grams a tall fuel canister weighs full? So I know which scale I would need?
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 12:20 AM

It's a relative thing. You need an idea of how your stove really burns fuel for the kind of "cooking" you do, so it's no good to just do this once.

Weigh the canister when you get it. Write it on the top of the can in Sharpie Marker.

When you get back from a trip, weigh it again, and note how many boils you did.

Next trip do the same. You start to get an idea of how much fuel you're using per boil.

When empty, measure the can - gives you an idea of what an empty really weighs for next time.

Variables include temperatures (very cold operating temps = less efficiency) and amount of water boiled.

I can tell you with some certainty that the way to get a solid boil more quickly is to place the canister in a dish of water (not warm or hot, just water). Worked great last trip when it was 30F in the morning and the stove was being wimpy about heating the water.
Posted by: Racoon

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 09:30 AM

You are exactly correct Bill; we are looking for affirmation of a problem that we think exists. We began surveying local boy scout troops and it showed that a problem existed. We just wanted to see if experienced backpackers have the same reaction to our suggested problem. All the information and ideas people are throwing out there is great; however, we simply must stay on our topic or else we will have to begin our project over. Our class we are in prevents us from just easily switching topics no matter how slight they may be without conducting a new survey and validating a new problem statement.
Posted by: JBrzysk

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 09:37 AM

All your replies help us when it comes to researching a market for a product. We now know how concerned you backpackers are about weight. our group being younger more agile kids don't think about the weight to a matter of ounces, we just pack and go.
Posted by: lori

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 10:36 AM

What's agility got to do with anything?

Pack-and-go is the beginner default. at some point you figure out all that stuff weighs a lot more and has a bigger impact on the trip and your body than you thought. Some of us figure it out at 25 and some of us later on, but it doesn't matter how old you are.

As I said, folks who don't use backpacking stoves a lot (scouts go what, once a year? twice?) are going to be the target audience. People also think that I'm a lunatic for using a backpacking quilt instead of a sleeping bag because their preconceptions tell them it won't work as well, despite the fact that I've used it for five years and would definitely do something else if I were ever cold or uncomfortable in any way. Ideas and preconceptions are what sells useless items like bear bells.

If you want to create a marketable item, you have one - there's no real need but clearly they are selling for MSR, Brunton, etc. If you want to create an item that's needed - that's another thing altogether. We need things like water treatment (if we don't want to be sick, ever) and food, shelter, navigation tools, first aid kit, pack, insulation, clothing,... everything else in the pack, even the stove if you want to be honest, are optional and a matter of preference.

Posted by: DTape

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 11:07 AM

It isn't an age thing, nor an agility thing. Mostly it is an experience thing, and a why carry something that isn't needed thing. Less weight isn't about age nor agility, it is about being able to carry more of other things (like food) or cover more distance or both. Since we are in the same area, I will extend an open invitation to join me on any of my trips. I get out at least twice a month to the Adirondacks including multi-week trips in the summer.
Posted by: aimless

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 11:21 AM

All your replies help us when it comes to researching a market for a product.

Our typical forum members are a very hard sell when it comes to any item that is an add-on which serves only one function. I agree with lori's assessment that your natural target market would be inexperienced backpackers who have not learned how to optimize their loads for the highest functionality per ounce.

From a purely marketing perspective, there is no reason to design your gadget to any specification that does not help to move it off the shelf. If your product is perceived to serve a need, it does not matter whether that need actually exists, or could be better served at lower cost, or is purely an illusion. Once the gadget is sold, your job is done.

Sadly, those boy scouts you surveyed are prime examples of your natural target audience. They are too inexperienced to distinguish between want and need, or to judge cost and utility. Also, they have equally inexperienced relatives who buy them gifts!
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 12:35 PM

Those are great points aimless.

Marketing is not one of my strong points. blush

From what I've read here and from others, it's certainly not the Scouts' Leadership's fault. Parents will send those kids ill prepared in incredibly creative ways that would never occur to most of us here. laugh

Posted by: DTape

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/21/12 03:52 PM

Bill your post reminds me of a funny story which seems to repeat every year. Scout brings his pack to be be inspected by patrol leader. All is well. The next day the scout is dropped off for the campout and we arrive at the site. Scout complains his pack is heavy. Arrive at camp and scout's patrol leader notices many items in the pack that weren't there previously when it was inspected. Scout says, "my mom put them in there". Patrol leader replies, "well your mom isn't carrying your pack". Scout learns.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/28/12 09:17 AM

I would recommend simply weighing it before and after to calculate the weight of the fuel. You could probably tell how full it is afterward if you hold it to see how much it feels like it weighs. That way you cant take the scale completely out the equation.

Weight: Nothing.
Cost: Free.

I cannot really see this being a problem so long as you are able to get "a feel" for how much it weighs, which, seems viable.
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/28/12 10:12 AM

All of your comments about scouts are right on, in my experience. With my troop, I try and do 2 backpacking trips a year, minimum, with at least one winter sled haul in addition. This year we did 1 and the sled haul was cancelled from lack of snow. Last year we did 3 with a 50 miler in there and one sled haul. But, talking with other troops in the area, we are the exception and backpack way more than most. A lot of troops don't backpack at all. You need leaders that want to, or even know how to. I have to pressure some of my leaders to go, just to get the minimum number required so we don't cancel trips.

Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 11/28/12 02:16 PM

Originally Posted By Tobi
I would recommend simply weighing it before and after to calculate the weight of the fuel. You could probably tell how full it is afterward if you hold it to see how much it feels like it weighs. That way you cant take the scale completely out the equation.

Weight: Nothing.
Cost: Free.

I cannot really see this being a problem so long as you are able to get "a feel" for how much it weighs, which, seems viable.


I've held a lot of canisters and different types and can tell you I've Ben burnt once or twice. Holding a canister in my hand and guessing at how much fuel is left in said canister.

The scales main use will be at home. Wich has no adverse effect on pack weight!
But would help in deciding wether to bring the canister or new one!

I would however like a ul scale for trips up towards a week to help regulate fuel uses and avoid running out!
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/06/12 09:40 AM

Thank you all for your participation and input. All of the constructive responses posted on this thread have been fully taken into consideration and reveiwed by me as well as all members of our group. We appreciate your coopoeration, and your willingness to participate in our survey. Due to the fact that we have hit our quota (100 responses) for our survey, we will likley become inactive on this thread. Again, thank you for all of your help and we will see you on the threads.
-Tobi
Posted by: billstephenson

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/06/12 11:11 AM

So we won't get to see your end product?

I was really hoping we would.

In any case, I hope you do well with your project!
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/06/12 12:54 PM

That's actually a good point. I hadn't really considered that. I think that we will show our final product, however the class in which we are doing this product and our teacher is kind of inhibiting the process with some needless things, so, for now we won't be posting it for a while. I will try to get the final product on this forum. That won't probably happen for months though, seeing as the teacher hadn't allowed us to start making solutions to the problem until about 1 week ago.
Posted by: MMD

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/11/12 01:52 PM

My stove is unstable. one time it shot fireballs in all directions.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/12/12 12:48 PM

Well I don't think that I can help you with that. However you might want to contact some sort of manager for your product.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/13/12 09:26 AM

Hey OM, what would you say are some vital aspects of a product like this? We are trying to design a product, but we need some vital criteria around which we can base our product, and I would like to hear what you have to say. (Or anyone with some criteria in mind.)
Posted by: Samoset

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/13/12 07:52 PM

light weight: as in less than 1.5 oz

Low cost: less than seven bucks

Multi use. Make one leg a can opener, another a Phillips and one a flat head,

Then pack it twice, use it once, then place it atop the pile of gear that you'll eventually unpile onto some noob wink

Posted by: oldranger

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 12/14/12 10:32 AM

One leg should be a 400 lumen flashlight, with three light levels, SOS code, and stroe.
Posted by: Tobi

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 01/31/13 09:14 AM

As a backpacker, do you tend to prefer LED lights over normal lights?
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 01/31/13 09:18 AM

Originally Posted By Tobi
As a backpacker, do you tend to prefer LED lights over normal lights?


Yes, absolutely. LEDs require less power, so the battery lasts longer, so you don't have to carry as much power. They can also take a hit, so you don't have to carry spare bulbs. I won't buy a light unless it is LED. That is my first requirement.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Is your backpacking stove unstable? - 01/31/13 07:22 PM

"normal lights??" - LEDs are the "new normal" - vastly superior to incandescent bulbs