Camp Fuel Testing – part deux

In my last post, I discovered that Sterno-style stoves are less than ideal for what I wanted to achieve: Bringing 16 oz. of water to a boil. A few readers suggested I try a “pocket rocket” style stove and while the price for the MSR brand disuaded me, I managed to find something similar for less than $10 on Amazon.

It's so cute and little!

It’s so cute and little!

More than meets the eye!

More than meets the eye!

After making the long trek from China, it showed up in my mail bin yesterday. Today, I used my $12.50 REI dividend to purchase fuel and promptly tested it out in the kitchen.

Attached to the fuel canister.

Attached to the fuel canister.


Where my previous attempt had failed to bring the water to a boil after over an hour, this bad boy had it rolling in about 3 minutes. That’s what I’m talking about!

Camp Fuel Testing – part 1

In preparation for the Messabout trip, I’ve been procuring provisions. One item in particular was at the front of my mind: FOOD. I had done a bunch of research on YouTube, checking out the “prepper” solutions for heating up their food of choice, Mountain House dehydrated meals. The general consensus was that Sterno stoves were a good idea, and that the chaffing fuel found at Sam’s Club was the best bang for the buck.

I spent the $6 or so bucks on the stove, and another $14 on the fuel. Once home, it was time to test!

The camp stove was setup on my range in the kitchen, and the kettle that I’m bringing along was filled with the 2 cups of water needed to reconstitute the meals.

Yo dawg. I heard you liked stoves, so we put a stove on your stove, so you can cook while you cook.

Yo dawg. I heard you liked stoves, so we put a stove on your stove, so you can cook while you cook.

The water I used was roughly room temperature, figuring on the trip the water will also be the ambient temperature. After 45 minutes, I checked on the kettle and found this:

45 minutes later...

45 minutes later…

Oh no… I left it on there for another 25 minutes, and it had almost reached 200 degrees.
The preppers had steered me wrong! My brother (a professional chef) gave me his opinions about this predicament, he said the fuel I was using doesn’t get hot enough to bring the water to a boil. Great. So I’m out $20, plus the costs of buying something that works.

I found a backpacking stove on Amazon fairly cheap, and the fuel for it is also pretty inexpensive. I’ll be testing that out once it arrives in a few days. Though, I imagine it’ll work quite a bit better, since the fuel is a pressurized propane/butane/something-else mix, instead of a Sterno style fuel.