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#159282 - 12/27/11 04:01 PM The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
OK, so the Caldera Cone is an efficient alcohol stove system. But why is the Caldera Cone so efficient?



In today's blog post, I take a quick look at The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone

HJ

P.S. This is the last installment in my series on the Caldera Cone. I promise that I will move on to other topics although I may review some other Trail Designs equipment at some future point.

In case you missed any of the series:
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159283 - 12/27/11 04:38 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1153
Loc: Florida panhandle
The caldera is a similar but much improved idea to this one (scroll to stove 6).

I was recently thinking about re-trying the idea only this time using titanium instead of a candy tin. It would be interesting to compare the tin to the caldera to see how much of a difference there is.





Edited by PerryMK (12/27/11 04:38 PM)

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#159368 - 12/30/11 12:26 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
naturegirl Offline
member

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 83
Loc: Southern California
Thanks for this. It's been fun and informative.

Annie

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#159377 - 12/30/11 10:13 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: PerryMK]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Perry: Thanks for posting that link. I've been too busy to read it yet! Ack! Maybe this weekend.

Annie: Glad you liked the posts. I think it really is a good system for those looking to go light.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159408 - 01/01/12 12:17 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1153
Loc: Florida panhandle
I just found and ordered two more canteen cup stoves to add to my collection. One is for the US military canteen cup, another for a British army canteen cup.

From what I gather about the Caldera stove from reading about it online (never actually saw or used one).
*It requries some assembly before use.
*It is a windscreen and stand, but not a stove.
*It leaves the forest floor unprotected.
*However, it is probably very efficient.

There are a couple of things I like about canteen cup style of stove.
*Minimal assembly (appeals to my occasional sense of lazy, er, simplicity).
*Pot stores inside stove, thus helping to prevent debris from *getting in the pot.
*Some versions protect the floor, though some don't.

My next version will be to use two titanium pots, one nested inside the other, similar to stove 6 mentioned earlier. This can be used with solid fuel (hexamine or even twigs) or with an alcohol burner. I will have to drill air holes and support wire holes in the outer pot but it should be very light, around 3-4 ounces. This is for a combination solid fuel stove, windscreen, and stand.

I was actually thinking about all this a month or so ago after not having tinkered with it a while, but now you've motivated me to work on it a little more. thanks



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#159446 - 01/02/12 01:19 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: PerryMK]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
The CC doesn't require much assembly. Just slide one side of the dovetail joint into the other and then set the pot on top. Not bad at all compared to say a Whisperlite or something like that. About the same level of effort maybe as a gas stove, although on gas stoves you can vary the flame whereas a CC is just on or off.

You are right, there is no protection for the forest floor. I've had very few problems. Heat rises.

I wouldn't run it in dry chaparral though! Find a clear spot, a sandy creek bed, a rock, etc. No biggie.

Canteen cup stoves are OK, but heavy and typically not very efficient.

Sounds like you've got some kind of DIY rig in the works, yes?

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159475 - 01/02/12 02:50 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1153
Loc: Florida panhandle
I should have been clearer. I like the canteen cup style, that is, nesting the pot in the stove/windscreen. The stoves themselves are heavy and generally inefficient.

Here is my plan for the next long weekend.
I will use the same titanium pot and wing stove, the same amount of fuel (whatever brand of hexamine is on sale), the same conditions (my garage), water from the fridge (same temp), etc. The change will be different shapes and configurations of stove/windscreen to see what works best. I will try to fabricate the sidewalls of heavy aluminum foil. This is to tes tthe concept and shape. Eventually I will get appropriately sized titanium pots to make a durable version of the stove.

Variables
1. no windscreen, wing stove only
2. replicate more or less the Caldera
3. windscreen to the top of the pot but not snug to the pot (the Caldera appears snug)
4. windscreen halfway up the side of the pot
5. windscreen to the bottom of the pot (see if the hot air is funnelled straight up with any efficiency)
6. then try bottom ventilation options

Maybe you could try the same and we could compare notes.

I anticpate the caldera is the most efficient, but if even the half way up the pot works almost as well, it would be preferable for me and my desire for simplicity (laziness).

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#159484 - 01/02/12 05:52 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: PerryMK]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
I suspect the Caldera will be the most efficient. The beauty of the Caldera is that the windscreen is also the stove support. I have the compact Caldera with the MLD 850 ml pot. It is NOT as efficient as the full length Calderas.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#159501 - 01/02/12 09:25 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Ringtail,

Do you have a photo or two of your set up?

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159525 - 01/03/12 09:51 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
HJ,

That is like asking for a picture of Jay Leno's car. shocked shocked

The stoves that I use are the Caldara Cone with MSR Titan Kettle and a Caldera Cone with 600 ml Evernew wide pot.

I would be embarassed to list all the stoves I own.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

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#159533 - 01/03/12 01:18 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Originally Posted By ringtail
HJ,



I would be embarassed to list all the stoves I own.


Wanna bet? smile

Top
#159538 - 01/03/12 01:37 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
CamperMom Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 1186
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
Yeah, not embarrassed: "Bragging rights" as a collector!

CM

Top
#159555 - 01/03/12 03:54 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Originally Posted By ringtail
I would be embarassed to list all the stoves I own.
How about your top ten?

You Caldera Cone type rigs for starters. smile

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159667 - 01/05/12 11:40 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
More than you wanted to know.

In order of use:

Caldera Cone with 600 ml Evernew pot:
Pros:
The Caldera Cone fits into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Wide pan is THE most fuel efficient of all the Caldera Cones,
No pot lifters needed,
Very stable..
Cons:
Takes two burns to boil 12 oz. for food and 8 oz. for beverage.

I use a 16 oz. solo cup inside the 3 cup Ziploc with cozy to do freezer bag cooking. After hydration the bag can be turned down over the sides to make eating easier. I use a JetBoil spoon.

Caldera Cone with Trangia 28:
Pros:
This kit will FRY food!!!!!,
The Caldera Cone fits into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Very stable with pot,
Cons:
The skillet is a bit unstable,
Need to use pot lifters.

This is the kit I use when cooking in the pot and frying. Yes, Rand will make one if you ask.

Caldera Cone with MSR Titan Kettle:
Pros:
Can boil enough water for both food and beverage,
Very stable,
No pot lifters needed,
The design of the Titan Kettle is classic and aesthetically pleasing.
Cons:
The Caldera Cone does not fit into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Pot handles tend to get hot.

The solo cup and JetBoil spoon are also a part of this kit.

This is the Ti Caldera Cone complete wood burning setup. The firebox is big enough that it does not require constant attention. This is the stove I use when I want to primarily use alcohol, but have the option of melting snow.

Trangia 27-5:
Pros:
Stove is elevated so it can be used on picnic tables,
Use a metal shovel for a base and cook on the snow,
Very stable,
Very wind proof,
Reliable - no moving parts.
Cons:
Heavy,
Need to carry the burner and fuel in pocket,
27.0 oz.,
Need pot lifter.

This is the stove I use to cook lunch when nordic skiing. A fun stove to use.

GSI Minimalist pot and V8 stove:
Pros:
The pot lid works well as a beverage lid,
Has a new and innovative pot lifter,
Inexpensive,
Needs a very small flat area to set up.
Cons:
Not as fuel efficient as a Caldera,
Needs a pot lifter.

Made a replacement cozy for the pot from a ccf pad. Used when I want to make a cuppa on day hikes. Just a simple hardware cloth stand and Al flashing windscreen.

Optimus Nova:
Pros:
High BTU output,
Simmers well,
Robust all weather stove,
High energy per ounce content of the fuel,
Field repairable,
No plastic components,
Good for melting snow.
Cons:
Heavy - the stove alone weighs more than my normal complete kitchen,
Fuel is not environmentally friendly,
Priming is time consuming, messy and maybe dangerous.

I have owned MSR Whisperlite, DragonFly and SimmerLite but had a plastic pump failure and cooked over a camp fire for two nights. Now use an Optimus Nova for winter overnights.

Snow Peak Giga Power with piezo - 3.7 oz.:
Pros:
Easy to use,
Simmers well,
Easy on/off makes it fairly fuel efficient,
Two or three people can share this stove conveniently.

Cons:
High profile is unstable,
Wind screen is difficult,
Small flame pattern makes hot spots on the pan,
Empty fuel canisters are not environmentally friendly,
Need to keep the canisters warm in below freezing temperatures.

IMHO the selection of the gas canister blend is more important than the stove. I look for canisters with a high percentage of propane and isobutane rather than regular butane.

Current test stove:

Emberlit-UL wood burner.

Stoves I do not use and why - in no particular order.

Caldera Cone and antigravity 3 cup pot - kept at the office to cook lunch.

Fosters Caldera Cone - nice little setup but wider pots perform better with only small weight penalty and the system is a little fussy to setup and take down.

Ultralight Outfitter Fosters can System - nice stove and has the burner off the ground, but wider pots perform better with only small weight penalty.

Compact Caldera Cone with Mountain Laurel Designs 850 ml pot - nice set up but less fuel efficient the full sized Caldera Cone and the tent stakes used for the pot support are a bit fussy.

Bushbuddy Ultra with Snow Peak 900 ml pot - nice stove, but the small fire box requires constant tending to melt snow.

Four Dog Bushcooker LT with Vargo Ti Lite Mug - nice stove that works well but the fire box is even smaller than the Bushbuddy Ultra.

Tís Side B stove - works great, but unstable.

Brasslite Turbo I - adequate stove, but unstable.

PackaFeather FeatherFire stove - best temperature control I have ever seen on an alcohol stove, but that is not a feature that I use.

Brasslite 600 ml Caldera Cone - nice system, but the Evernew 600 ml has the same features, but the wider pot performs better.
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

Top
#159673 - 01/05/12 01:27 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
That's it? Good start. smile I need to try a few more different alky stoves, but I like the kerosene stoves very much, like a Optimus 111T, 8R's etc. and the roar of a old MSR stove.
Duane

Top
#159693 - 01/05/12 04:37 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Originally Posted By ringtail
More than you wanted to know.

In order of use:

Caldera Cone with 600 ml Evernew pot:
Pros:
The Caldera Cone fits into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Wide pan is THE most fuel efficient of all the Caldera Cones,
No pot lifters needed,
Very stable..
Cons:
Takes two burns to boil 12 oz. for food and 8 oz. for beverage.

I use a 16 oz. solo cup inside the 3 cup Ziploc with cozy to do freezer bag cooking. After hydration the bag can be turned down over the sides to make eating easier. I use a JetBoil spoon.

Caldera Cone with Trangia 28:
Pros:
This kit will FRY food!!!!!,
The Caldera Cone fits into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Very stable with pot,
Cons:
The skillet is a bit unstable,
Need to use pot lifters.

This is the kit I use when cooking in the pot and frying. Yes, Rand will make one if you ask.

Caldera Cone with MSR Titan Kettle:
Pros:
Can boil enough water for both food and beverage,
Very stable,
No pot lifters needed,
The design of the Titan Kettle is classic and aesthetically pleasing.
Cons:
The Caldera Cone does not fit into the 3 cup Ziploc,
Pot handles tend to get hot.

The solo cup and JetBoil spoon are also a part of this kit.

This is the Ti Caldera Cone complete wood burning setup. The firebox is big enough that it does not require constant attention. This is the stove I use when I want to primarily use alcohol, but have the option of melting snow.

Trangia 27-5:
Pros:
Stove is elevated so it can be used on picnic tables,
Use a metal shovel for a base and cook on the snow,
Very stable,
Very wind proof,
Reliable - no moving parts.
Cons:
Heavy,
Need to carry the burner and fuel in pocket,
27.0 oz.,
Need pot lifter.

This is the stove I use to cook lunch when nordic skiing. A fun stove to use.

GSI Minimalist pot and V8 stove:
Pros:
The pot lid works well as a beverage lid,
Has a new and innovative pot lifter,
Inexpensive,
Needs a very small flat area to set up.
Cons:
Not as fuel efficient as a Caldera,
Needs a pot lifter.

Made a replacement cozy for the pot from a ccf pad. Used when I want to make a cuppa on day hikes. Just a simple hardware cloth stand and Al flashing windscreen.

Optimus Nova:
Pros:
High BTU output,
Simmers well,
Robust all weather stove,
High energy per ounce content of the fuel,
Field repairable,
No plastic components,
Good for melting snow.
Cons:
Heavy - the stove alone weighs more than my normal complete kitchen,
Fuel is not environmentally friendly,
Priming is time consuming, messy and maybe dangerous.

I have owned MSR Whisperlite, DragonFly and SimmerLite but had a plastic pump failure and cooked over a camp fire for two nights. Now use an Optimus Nova for winter overnights.

Snow Peak Giga Power with piezo - 3.7 oz.:
Pros:
Easy to use,
Simmers well,
Easy on/off makes it fairly fuel efficient,
Two or three people can share this stove conveniently.

Cons:
High profile is unstable,
Wind screen is difficult,
Small flame pattern makes hot spots on the pan,
Empty fuel canisters are not environmentally friendly,
Need to keep the canisters warm in below freezing temperatures.

IMHO the selection of the gas canister blend is more important than the stove. I look for canisters with a high percentage of propane and isobutane rather than regular butane.

Current test stove:

Emberlit-UL wood burner.

Stoves I do not use and why - in no particular order.

Caldera Cone and antigravity 3 cup pot - kept at the office to cook lunch.

Fosters Caldera Cone - nice little setup but wider pots perform better with only small weight penalty and the system is a little fussy to setup and take down.

Ultralight Outfitter Fosters can System - nice stove and has the burner off the ground, but wider pots perform better with only small weight penalty.

Compact Caldera Cone with Mountain Laurel Designs 850 ml pot - nice set up but less fuel efficient the full sized Caldera Cone and the tent stakes used for the pot support are a bit fussy.

Bushbuddy Ultra with Snow Peak 900 ml pot - nice stove, but the small fire box requires constant tending to melt snow.

Four Dog Bushcooker LT with Vargo Ti Lite Mug - nice stove that works well but the fire box is even smaller than the Bushbuddy Ultra.

Tís Side B stove - works great, but unstable.

Brasslite Turbo I - adequate stove, but unstable.

PackaFeather FeatherFire stove - best temperature control I have ever seen on an alcohol stove, but that is not a feature that I use.

Brasslite 600 ml Caldera Cone - nice system, but the Evernew 600 ml has the same features, but the wider pot performs better.
Nice list! And thanks for taking the time to list out all the features. I've never had the time to really try out wood stoves although I think they'd be fascinating. I'd love to try one of Devin Montgomery's Backcountry Boilers. Interesting insight on the size of the fire box. Do you use the Inferno option on your Ti cone?

How do you like your FeatherFire? I've always thought that would be an interesting stove to test.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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#159695 - 01/05/12 05:01 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: hikerduane]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
If any of us wanted to quit we could start a support group. Do you suppose "stoves anonymous" has been taken.

Thank you hikerduane, you made me feel better. crazy
_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

Top
#159696 - 01/05/12 05:08 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
ringtail Offline
member

Registered: 08/22/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: Colorado Rockies
Originally Posted By Hikin Jim
I'd love to try one of Devin Montgomery's Backcountry Boilers.


Me too!!!!

Originally Posted By Hikin Jim
Do you use the Inferno option on your Ti cone?


Yes, the Inferno option works great!!

Originally Posted By Hikin Jim
How do you like your FeatherFire? I've always thought that would be an interesting stove to test.


I like your reviews. They are a real service to the backpacking community. PM me your address and I will loan you the stove if you will do a trail report.

_________________________
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not."
Yogi Berra

Top
#159701 - 01/05/12 07:28 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Hay, I have a weigh with wurds. Nice alky list, I want to expand sometime. I picked up a Caldera Cone for a REI .9 ti pot last summer before my vacation, loved it on my 8 day trip. Very consistant.
Duane

Top
#159823 - 01/07/12 11:51 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: ringtail]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Originally Posted By ringtail

I like your reviews. They are a real service to the backpacking community. PM me your address and I will loan you the stove if you will do a trail report.
PM Sent!!

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#160347 - 01/14/12 01:58 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Just posted something on the FeatherFire in a separate thread here on TLB in Lite Gear Talk.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#160495 - 01/16/12 10:07 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
Ewker Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
I have never used a Caldera Cone before but decided to buy one to try it out. We use the Backcountry Titanium Cookset 1650ml. Looking forward to how this works with that pot

Top
#160518 - 01/16/12 07:32 PM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Ewker]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Make sure you get the right sized cone for your pot of course. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#160623 - 01/19/12 09:06 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Hikin Jim]
Ewker Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
I did get the right cone for the pot I have. I haven't had time to do anything but to unpack and look at it. It is a little hard to roll back up and put it in the container though. Hopefully it gets easier the more you use it. Has anyone went with a larger container to put it back in?

Top
#160629 - 01/19/12 11:17 AM Re: The "Magic" of the Caldera Cone [Re: Ewker]
Hikin Jim Offline
member

Registered: 12/16/11
Posts: 230
Loc: Orange County, CA, USA
Ewker,

I've used a ZipLoc container from the grocery store.


It has pluses and minuses. I actually did a blog post on the subject if you're interested: What "Color" is your Caldera? .

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

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