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#131034 - 03/21/10 03:42 PM Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
I've seen all the fuel comparison tables but none have mentioned buffalo chips/cow patties. I'm wondering why, when they used to be so popular. And in fact dried dung (herinafter called DD) is still used in so many other parts of the world, notably India.

Now alcohol has its proponents who love its nearly invisible flames, UL stoves and nifty fuel bottles. In fact REAL alky afficiandos usually have several homemede stoves and a handful of commercial ones as well. They also have endless debates and tests on the merits and demerits of each.

But they've never known the heady aroma of burning DD mixed with the savory smells of curried cous cous. Pity, that. And then there is the absolute serendipitous delight of finding "trail DD" in the form of elk or bighorn droppings.

Of course bear DD does not burn well so must be avoided. The same for coyote and fox DD. One must learn that only ungulates provide the correct mix of "processed" plant fibers. Sort of like learning about which type of alcohol works best.

I'm thinking, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the Caldera Cone Tri Ti is the best way to use DD efficiently. Getting it started with some ESBIT has always been my preferred method. But how much more cheerful is a roaring fire of DD than the invisible flames of alcohol. Many's the Mongol who has warmed their yurt with DD and been glad of it when the cruel steppe winds howled outside.

So gentle backpackers, what should I do for fuel? DD or alky? Before you answer consider the merits of "recycled" fuel.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#131037 - 03/21/10 03:59 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Alcohol and DD are both renewable fuels. How about propane/butane?

I think it depends on the pH of the soil. Rapid oxidation of DD creates alkaline soil. Slow oxidation moves the pH to less than 7.

Has your March Madness brackets crashed?
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#131052 - 03/21/10 08:09 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I think DD qualifies as "wood fire" and would be illegal many places. I hear the main difference is in the aroma and fine camel DD is the best for heating your yurt. that said , there's enough deer DD in my front yard to do some testing with. In fact I bet it would work well in my "pellet" stove. But would it work in a wood gasifier? smile
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#131088 - 03/22/10 03:58 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Jimshaw]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Jim, Hmmm... "pellet stove". That might be a breakthrough when adapted for DD fueled stoves.

BTW, I notice a dearth, a dearth I say, of responses from alky stove users here. Whatever could be the reason? smile

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#131091 - 03/22/10 05:34 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
You ust can't sip on DD at night like you can everclear - for purely medicinal purposes of course wink
_________________________
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?

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#131107 - 03/22/10 11:29 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: thecook]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
True Cook, but DD (Dried Dung) makes a "most excellent" purgative if one forgets to wash one's hands after feeding the fire and before feeding oneself!

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#131125 - 03/23/10 09:31 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

Come on, DD has multiple uses. including the classic medicinal one:

Old one: Look young one - on the trail - smart pills...
Young one: Really? I'd never heard that..
Old one: Yes indeed. How do you think I became so wise?
Young one: <picks up and eats a handful>
Young one: These taste like $<censored>!
Old one: See! You're getting smarter already!
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
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#131142 - 03/23/10 06:37 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Experiment time:

A box of DDD dried deer dung



In the hopper of my pellet stove



burning wood pellets



burning deer pellets. They didn't burn as hot and made more ash, round ash.
Jim

_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#131218 - 03/24/10 08:30 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Jimshaw]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
James m' Boy, you are a lunatic! When I posted my tongue-in-cheek jab at alky stove users I never, EVER expected to see photos of a DD fuel trial on this thread.

Thank you for the empirical "investigation". I'd have loved to see you gathering the DD fuel.

Thanks for your effort. It shows the doubters that DD fuel IS feasable.

Eric
BTW, how did it smell?
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#131227 - 03/24/10 11:40 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Eric
You can't smell anything from a pellet stove, they are sealed. The chimney carries all of the smoke away above the top of the house. However I collected the DDD by hand from large piles in my neighbors yard and I dried them in the oven at 250 for half an hour in order to get the testing done and the odor from the oven that escaped the range hood smelled quite sweet, almost like Rhubarb cooking.
It would appear that pelletised ungulate dung, like dear, llama, elk or moose is feasable. I suppose buffalo chips would need to be pulverised first so they would feed into the hopper correctly.
All in the name of science.
Jim thanks
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#131245 - 03/25/10 10:17 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Jimshaw]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Don't forget rabbit.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#131248 - 03/25/10 11:42 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Buffalo chips were the primary fuel of the Plains Indians and commonly used by the whites that moved in. In some cases, for both Indians and whites, the buffalo chips were a food source as well. It was/is easy to pick out of the dung undigested food, particularly seeds. Some references to 'mesquite beans' are actually references to stewed buffalo chips (or parts thereof).

As for the reference to the pellet stove and its smoke: If there is visible smoke going up and exiting the chimney the stove ain't working right.

None of this has anything to do with this thread. But after reading the entire thread...I feel entitled. grin

FB


Edited by Fiddleback (03/25/10 11:43 AM)
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#131312 - 03/26/10 04:28 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By Jimshaw
Eric
You can't smell anything from a pellet stove, they are sealed. The chimney carries all of the smoke away above the top of the house. However I collected the DDD by hand from large piles in my neighbors yard and I dried them in the oven at 250 for half an hour in order to get the testing done and the odor from the oven that escaped the range hood smelled quite sweet, almost like Rhubarb cooking.
It would appear that pelletised ungulate dung, like dear, llama, elk or moose is feasable. I suppose buffalo chips would need to be pulverised first so they would feed into the hopper correctly.
All in the name of science.
Jim thanks



Mrs JimShaw must be a woman of saintly patience. I am reminded of seeing a 1950's era outdoors hint book from Herters which advised the prospective outdoorsman of the day that the easy way to dress a deer that had been brought back into town from the hunt was to borrow your wife's ironing board.

Maybe back in the days when men were men and women were women and a good cigar was a smoke... But me.. I can only imagine the consequences of trying that stunt, and none of them aren't painful...

Not to mention drying deer dung in the oven wink

_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


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#131316 - 03/26/10 07:14 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: phat]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
Note to self: if the situation ever arises, politely decline any baked goods Jim offers.
_________________________
Light, Cheap, Durable...
pick two

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#131323 - 03/26/10 09:44 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
phat
you mean to say you don't hang yer swamp donkey in the kitchen to butcher it? wink All I'd have to do is leave the door to my shed open and about 300 pounds of mule deer would wander in. The hanging hoist would be ready... smile

My choclate chip cookies have a very special though unusual earthy taste... and you don't even want to know about my brownies. eek
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#131457 - 03/29/10 03:30 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Fiddleback]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
Fiddleback,
Your post is entering the realm of TMI...
I'm trying to imagine seeds "gleaned" from buffalo chips, then roasted on a hot skillet with a bit of sesame oil. Mmmmmm... wink

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#131509 - 03/30/10 10:10 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Years ago, My Lady was roped into being a judge for a chili cookoff an hour or two outside of San Antonio. The senior judge was a PR character from one of the SA breweries...an old cowboy type in full regalia. The actual cooking took place in a very large corral and the senior judge's guidance was something like...

'The first thing to do is take a spoonful and smell it. If it doesn't smell good, don't eat it. There's a bunch of Aggies here and there's no telling what they put in it (the chili).'

Since I wasn't doing the tasting (and I knew a bunch of Aggies), I thought it was quite funny. Since then, I've come to know it was very wise advice for the trail...

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#131511 - 03/30/10 10:18 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Fiddleback]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By Fiddleback
Years ago, My Lady was roped into being a judge for a chili cookoff an hour or two outside of San Antonio. The senior judge was a PR character from one of the SA breweries...an old cowboy type in full regalia. The actual cooking took place in a very large corral and the senior judge's guidance was something like...

'The first thing to do is take a spoonful and smell it. If it doesn't smell good, don't eat it. There's a bunch of Aggies here and there's no telling what they put in it (the chili).'

Since I wasn't doing the tasting (and I knew a bunch of Aggies), I thought it was quite funny. Since then, I've come to know it was very wise advice for the trail...

FB


Yeah, good advice. Never eat chili made by an Aggie. grin

Reminds me of my Economics professor that told an Aggie joke a day.
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#132258 - 04/18/10 10:09 AM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
And then there is this 'fad' (?);

QUOTE: Coffee lovers might think twice about exotic brews, especially ones that are made from beans found in the excrement of a Southeast Asian animal. When the civet eats coffee cherries, the fruit’s innards ferment in the animal’s stomach to make beans that cost hundreds of dollars per pound, according to the New York Times. There is a growing demand for the “smooth, chocolaty” brew in the United States, Europe, and East Asia. The Philippines and Indonesia have high populations of civets and are therefore seeing a lot of profit. But as with any market, “fake and low-grade civet coffee beans are also flooding the market.” Despite the delicious taste, the origins of the brew be enough to turn any coffee addict off.ENDQUOTE

The delightful story appears at the end of this posting;
http://www.thebigmoney.com/features/todays-business-press/2010/04/18/volcanic-ash-continues-ground-europe?page=0,1


Edited by Fiddleback (04/18/10 10:09 AM)
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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#132357 - 04/19/10 11:15 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Fiddleback]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
So, Fiddleback,
What you're saying is that "recycled" coffee beans ain't all that glamorous but still the gullible/decadent Westerners are willing to be bilked of fortunes just to savor the "heady" aroma of the stuff. Was this how the fall of Rome began, unbridled decadence of the effete elite? FOR SHAME!

BTW, fiddleback maple made for beautiful stocks on the original Pennsylvania rifles. That where yer handle comes from?
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#132361 - 04/19/10 11:34 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Back in the early 70's, while attending Elko Community College in Elko, NV, my room mates brought their well seasoned, skinned deer inside and cut it up on the kitchen floor, only after the mailman offered to take it off our hands to feed to his dog. It wasn't the best meat as it was taken the morning after the season ended, so the buck was in rut by then we believe. We lived across the street from a grade school, so the kids always got a show of one kind of another in the Fall, as a couple of my roomies called coyotes, so at one time there were over a dozen hides on stretchers along side the house.:) Felt sorry for the garbage men as my friends just dumped the carcasses in the trash can for weekly pick up.:)

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#132390 - 04/20/10 12:38 PM Re: Help me decide: buffalo chips or alky [Re: 300winmag]
Fiddleback Offline
member

Registered: 06/22/04
Posts: 478
Loc: Northern Rockies
Originally Posted By 300winmag
So, Fiddleback,
What you're saying is that "recycled" coffee beans ain't all that glamorous but still the gullible/decadent Westerners are willing to be bilked of fortunes just to savor the "heady" aroma of the stuff. Was this how the fall of Rome began, unbridled decadence of the effete elite? FOR SHAME!

BTW, fiddleback maple made for beautiful stocks on the original Pennsylvania rifles. That where yer handle comes from?


No...I never intended to get into the issue of the fall of Western Civilization, i.e., what happens out here on this side of the Mississippi.

And no...while I'm aware of the beautiful wood, the trail name refers to the other fiddleback, the handsome spider reflected by my avatar on other backpacking forums. grin

FB
_________________________
"...inalienable rights...include the right to a clean and healthful environment..." Montana Constitution

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