No I am not talking about taking a keg of beer on the trail, we are looking at a lightweight and inexpensive way to cook on the trail. This stove can be made with a pair of aluminum soda cans, which is great so you can play around with different designs and ideas for cans that would have been tossed in the recycle bin. The one I made here came in weighing just .3 oz.
Not bad for free and lightweight. There are a number of fuels you can use in this stove. First off just because it is called an alcohol stove doesn’t mean you can use bear or any other kind of alcohol drink in it. The fuels you can use are,
1. Heet this fuel is great for the stove, it burns hot, clean, leaves little or no soot. You have to make sure you buy the Heet in the Yellow Bottle the Heet that they sell in the red Bottle is isoHEET , make sure you only get the Yellow Bottle.
2. Denatured Alcohol, this fuel would be second on my list. It can be found a bit cheaper than Heet and burns hot but may not be as consistent from batch to batch
3. Isopropanol, is the cheapest fuel but not the best. The pros are it can be used as a first aid antiseptic, it is cheep and readily available. The cons are it does not burn as hot and leaves soot on your pots.
If you plan to use an alcohol stove you should plan on using a wind screen, you don’t want the wind to take all your heat away or blow out your stove. The stove that I built here is one that you would need some sort of stand to elevate your cooking pot above the flame. If you put the burners on the side of the stove you can put your pot right on the stove with no stand. The issue with that is your pot would have to be a bit on the wider side for the flame to be effective in heating. All this said I like looking at the options and playing around with these stoves but I am going to stick with my Crux and Minimalist Cooking system. Slightly smaller and lighter than a Jetboil system