Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#180667 - 11/11/13 05:40 PM Esbit odor
jsb Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2
Although I'm not new to backpacking (going back almost sixty years to my boy scout days) I am new to the Esbit solid fuel tablets. In playing around with them, they seem to have great potential for both day hikes and short over-nighters, however, I've found that the unburned tablet emit an unpleasant odor when stored in a pack for any amount of time. Has anybody found a way to wrap them (perhaps in aluminum foil?) so their fumes don't permeate into the other contents of my pack?

Thanks in advance.

Top
#180668 - 11/11/13 05:44 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Yep kind of a fishy chemical smell. I use a double ziplock bag but still seem to get a bit of smell. Now I just burn whatever I lite so there is no left overs. But the stove still smells too.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#180672 - 11/11/13 07:44 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I just leave them in the sealed package it comes in until I use them. I haven't noticed the smell migrating to other contents while still in the sealed package.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

Top
#180677 - 11/11/13 09:47 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: ETSU Pride]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2107
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I leave them in the sealed package, too. Then I leave the sealed package in the store.

Not a fan - never seemed like as good an idea in the field as it did in the store. I've never had any real success with them, relative to canisters or white gas. smile

Top
#180678 - 11/11/13 10:15 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: Glenn Roberts]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
I've learned to to love esbit, my Ti cup and a Colman tab makes a fine cup of hot tea anywhere any time.

I took the OP as asking about partially burned tabs not new in the box.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#180681 - 11/12/13 01:14 AM Re: Esbit odor [Re: rockchucker22]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2107
Loc: Southwest Ohio
You're right, he was. I have to admit, I was just illustrating why they don't send donkeys to college ("No one likes a smart...")

The few times I tried Esbit, I never found a good solution for storing partially burned cubes. I tried a freezer-strength ziploc, which helped some, but never completely contained the smell.

I've got to wonder, unless the OP is considering a long trip, whether the best solution for smell might be to simply burn the entire cube. Reusing a partial cube certainly makes sense from a point of view of avoiding waste, but it certainly doesn't result in any meaningful weight saving all by itself.

(I don't really remember any partially burned cubes when I tried Esbit; I do remember giving up after two cubes failed to boil water in a large Rocky cup - similar to a Sierra cup, but larger, with a lid; briefly popular in the 80s in Scout circles. After that failure, and some more reading, I was able to boil half a Rocky cup of water using a windscreen. All we had back then were the little "wing" stoves, I think they were called. I've heard there are some better burners out there now.)

Again, my apologies for the lame attempt at humor.

Top
#180694 - 11/12/13 01:33 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 933
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I leave them in the sealed package, too. Then I leave the sealed package in the store.

Not a fan - never seemed like as good an idea in the field as it did in the store. I've never had any real success with them, relative to canisters or white gas. smile


LOL. Well, performance wise for cooking they can be tedious process but I still carry two-three tabs for fire starting. The Smokies is a rainforest and they help me build a fire when kindling are wet.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

Top
#180708 - 11/12/13 08:56 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: ETSU Pride]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6781
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I also carry an Esbit tab for emergency fire starting with soggy wet wood (frequent occurrence here in the Pacific NW for 9 months of the year). Never used it, because I rarely build fires, but there's always the possibility of running out of stove fuel or of once again slipping and falling during a stream ford!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#180709 - 11/12/13 09:14 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: OregonMouse]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 751
Loc: Eastern Sierras
The beauty of esbit is in it's multi use capabilities. You can even boil a cup of water held up on a couple of rocks. My day pack always has 3 tabs and a metal cup of which I can cook in. I now have a small Ti fold up stove that contains the esbit tabs that I always carry for emergencies.
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

Top
#180726 - 11/13/13 04:04 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
jsb Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the responses. To be clear, I do NOT carry used or partially burned tabs - only new ones. I also carry a small, folding Ti stove/pot holder, and a metal cup. They are carried for two purposes. The first, as was mentioned by rockchucker22, is to boil a cup of water for coffee, tea, soup, or a small hot snack during the course of a hike. The other function, pointed out by OregonMouse, is to be able to start a fire under the most adverse conditions if forced to spend an unplanned night out, due to illness, accident, or injury. The "boiling kit" lives in the pack, and may reside there for weeks or even months. My goal is to find a way to contain the odor so it won't permeate the other gear in the pack, or the pack material itself. If I can't find a solution, the only other option I see is to remove the kit after each trip and remember (with the aging process, an ever increasing challenge) to replace it before going out on another hike.

Again, thanks.

Top
#180730 - 11/13/13 06:46 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2107
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I've got to ask: are you talking about this living in a day pack, or are you talking about carrying it in your multi-day pack to use for the cup of tea, etc., during the hiking day - and then breaking out your "real" stove to cook meals with?

If it's the only stove you're carrying for day hikes, it makes perfect sense, and might be a really great choice (I've seen the Esbit integrated-pot-and-stove cooker that came out this year, and it looked like it might be really useful for dayhike use.)

If you're carrying two stoves, I'd suggest dispensing with the Esbit stove altogether; if you can stop for 15 or 20 minutes to brew up a cuppa, can't you stop for 17 or 22 and just dig out your regular stove? (Surely two minutes would be enough to dig it out and pack it away, and I doubt you're timing things so closely that getting to camp two minutes later will make any critical difference.)

I could see that you might not want to fiddle with a white gas stove for those short stops, but a canister stove wouldn't seem like that much of a hassle.

I'm really not trying to be argumentative, and no way am I trying to say you're doing it wrong. I'm just a little confused about how you're using it.

Top
#180743 - 11/14/13 08:39 AM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
jsb,

I have been using Esbit for all solo trips for about eight years, though in the last four I have done few long trips (illness).

I used it all the way on my last thru hike of the AT.

It's a bit expensive and in some places hard to get (it's light, I just carry extras). Most people (evidently including you) are at least somewhat annoyed with the odor. I appear to have an olfactory challenge since I very rarely even notice it.

It seems to work very effectively for me solo. I put a little bit of heavy duty aluminum foil on the ground (protects the ground and reflects a little bit of heat) then put my tiny titanium wing stove and the pellet on that. I use an aluminum foil windscreen that is a bit shorter than ideal, cut that way so it fits snugly in my cook pot, and get a boil on about two to two and a half cups of water, usually in about six or seven minutes depending on the temperature of the water, wind strength, etc.

That usually leaves me with a nub of leftover fuel the size of a large Virginia peanut. I collect the nubs in a simple snack-size Ziplock in my cooking pot. Once in a while, if it's cold and wet and I've walked long in the morning, I will break out the cookpot and have hot Cup-a-Soup (or the broth from a Ramens pouch) or tea with my lunch. About three of the nubs will give me hot water if not a full boil (it's plenty hot for tea or soup). After a trip I throw away the nubs (but obviously be careful).

I am able to detect the odor from the Ziplock if I actually try, but don't find it a problem, and inside my pot, the odor does not seem to carry to anything else. You will need to wipe the gunk off the bottom of the pot once in a while.

Hope that helps, best, jcp

Top
#182669 - 02/09/14 09:55 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: jsb]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3974
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I often carry one military style c ration esbit pack with me, for starting campfires in wet conditions.
Odor? You mean really bad toxic stink...
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top
#183012 - 02/18/14 08:15 PM Re: Esbit odor [Re: Jimshaw]
ndwoods Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/02
Posts: 572
Loc: Santa Cruz CA, Sierra Hiker
Been using esbit for about 15 years I think....always just let them burn to the end...and the stove doesn't pose a problem...goes in the pot and then all into a ziploc cuz the pot is blackened.
_________________________
http://ndeewoods.com/ and http://wilderstatepark.com/

Top
#183015 - 02/19/14 12:13 AM Re: Esbit odor [Re: ndwoods]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I've never been able to keep them (even in the orignal packages) from making anything they are near smell fishy - but I seem to be sensitive to the smell of them - which kind of annoys me, I'd use them otherwise.
_________________________
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
My 3 season gear list
Winter list.
Browse my pictures


Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Recommended SUPER WARM down parka?
by Xilinx
09/24/22 07:27 AM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Yosemite Story in USA Today
by balzaccom
09/07/22 12:19 PM
Mystery Ranch Briedger 65L users? Baltorro 65L?
by a_gunslinger
09/07/22 10:48 AM
Our Morning and Night Wilderness Camping Routine
by walkingnatur
05/09/21 12:46 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 13 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Ethan Mark, fredli10, skeeter, Cag, Pasc
13178 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum