I have never known anyone that uses an alcohol stove and I've always used either white gas or a canister style stove. I recently have gotten the bug to drop some weight off the pack and to make some gear myself. I just made a pop can stove, windscreen/pot stand, and a pot cozy. I was curious what kind of performance most people get out of their alcohol setup?
I just very unscientifically tested my stove under these circumstances:
2 cups of water @ 45 degrees
1.3 ounces of Heet fuel
Room temperature of 60-61 degrees
Boil time of a little over 5 mins. after the stove was primed (pot was not placed on the stove until fully primed)
Rolling boil at around 6 mins. at 208 degrees or so in Colorado
Stove was also placed under a breezy partially opened window to let out any fumes and the outside temp was around 10 degrees.
Stove ran for somewhere around 19 mins before it petered out. The last few minutes were a little weak as far as the flame goes and not really useful for cooking. I kind of lost track of time here as I was screwing around with my cookset and new pot cozy that I made. I was also making ramen noodles in the cozy and for some reason they tasted really good, almost as if I was camping and famished.
Most of my backpacking will be at considerable altitude anywhere from 9-14,000 feet and the cooler temps that go along with that altitude. How well do alcohol stoves do as far as boiling water and running in the cold?
As far as cooking goes, generally how many fuel ounces a day do you guys carry at altitude? This would be for two people boiling water for lets say breakfast and dinner and maybe two hot drinks in the day for each guy.
What do you prefer for fuel, Heet or something else?
I was somewhat critical of the whole cozy idea but was astounded at how well and fast my noodles cooked and how well it held the heat. Ingenious idea and kudos to the guy that thought this up.
Your thoughts and advice are appreciated. I plan on building a super cat stove and one of the aluminum beer bottle stoves as I am REALLY enjoying building this stuff.