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Hike-N-Light Stove - Reports 1 & 2

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  • David & Monica Harris
    Hike-N-Light Stove 1st & 2nd Reports David Harris I received the stove in good condition at my office on June 5th. Having been rather excited about the
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 7, 2001
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      Hike-N-Light Stove
      1st & 2nd Reports
      David Harris


      I received the stove in good condition at my office on June 5th. Having
      been rather excited about the opportunity to test this piece of gear, I
      had already been in contact with Jack at Hike-N-Light and discussed fuel
      types and already had two fuels ready and waiting for the stoves
      arrival. I ran my first test at the office, and another at home later
      that evening. I was out of town all day yesterday, and this is my first
      opportunity to post my initial impressions.

      Packaging: The stove was packaged as if for a store display. It was
      placed in a plastic bag that was held closed with two staples that also
      served to attach a neon orange product info/promo card that had been
      hole-punched for hanging. Inside the packaging (along with the stove)
      was a 'thank you' note from Jack McGuire (owner/designer) and an
      instruction sheet. The instruction sheet did a good job of explaining
      the working of, care of, and use precautions of the stove. All of this
      same information was also available on the website. I was however left
      with some unanswered questions that I will address later in this report.
      Included in the mailing envelope was a home-made (tri-fold) promotional
      brochure. Aside from a few typos, it was a nice piece.

      The Stove: The design and function of this stove is just about as simple
      as it could be! The stove is round and has only six parts: a primer
      tray (measuring 5" across with a 1/2 " lip), the stove itself (measuring
      4" across x 1 1/4" high)-basically a tin can composed of a base into
      which you put the fuel and a lid with 8 1/8"-holes punched around the
      circumference plus one in the middle, and three clips (made of wire
      roughly the diameter of large paper clips) that serve to both hold the
      stove closed and create an elevated pot holder above the burners. Note:
      there is no adjustability of the flame.

      I am also impressed with what I will call the "truth in advertising" of
      the product. It claimed set-up times under 2 minutes - no problem. It
      claimed a 4 oz weight, and came in at 3.99 (empty, w/o windscreen). It
      claimed a 4 minute boil time (2 cups), and in my testing it brought
      ~500ml of room temp water to a 'full-whistle' boil (I used a traditional
      teapot) in 3 minutes 56 seconds.

      My Test: The conditions for my test were mid-upper 70's, with little to
      no wind. I tested it using both methyl (HEET gas additive per Jack's
      suggestion) and denatured alcohol, used my Whisperlight windscreen, and
      compared it to my wife's Snow Peak Giga Power stove (both my Peak-1 and
      my Whisperlight have seen better days and I didn't think it would be
      fair to use them for comparison as they no longer work 'like new'). As
      previously mentioned, the Hike-N-Light stove set up in less than 2
      minutes, the Snow Peak was slightly faster. The Hike-N-Light boiled
      500ml of water (using denatured alcohol which seemed a tad slower than
      the methyl) in 3 minutes 56 seconds (from flame to boil, set-up not
      included). The Snow Peak took 2 minutes 33 seconds. The weight of the
      Hike-N-Light came in at 3.99oz, and the Snow Peak was 3.94oz (including
      carrying case-3.11oz w/o). The biggest difference between the two
      stoves is obviously the fuel. Unlike the Hike-N-Light, the Snow Peak
      runs on isobutene canisters. With the Hike-N-Light, a mere 3 fl oz of
      fuel (per literature) will generate over 45 minutes worth of burn time,
      while one 110 gram (approx 3.88oz) canister of Snow Peak fuel burns on
      high for ~56 minutes (per REI website). The Hike-N-Light fuel would
      take up roughly 20-25% the space of a Snow Peak fuel canister. Then
      there is the problem of canister disposal vs. simply refilling one's
      fuel bottle with alcohol.

      Preliminary Impressions

      I like this stove. For a party of one or two, it would be an excellent
      replacement for any of the more mechanical 'gadget' stoves currently on
      the market. I look forward to testing it in the field (hopefully this
      weekend).

      Strong points: 1. Light weight. 2. Simple design. 3. Easy to set-up
      and use. 4. Fuel efficient. 5. MUCH more quiet than any other stove
      I've used. 6. No clogs or mechanical breakdowns.

      Issues: 1. I had some problems with the clipping system. The clips
      seemed rather inclined to loosen to the point where they no longer held
      tight to the stove. This created a somewhat wobbly pot stand and left
      me concerned about stability. Perhaps the clip could be made wider
      (like the little gadgets that are commonly used to hold a tablecloths to
      picnic tables), I think that would create a much more stable pot surface
      w/o adding much (if any) weight. 2. I also found that the stove was
      very easy to blow out, making the use of a wind screen much more
      critical. And I wonder about relighting or re-priming (dangerous?) the
      stove if it did blow out, which would not be an issue with most other
      non-alcohol stoves.

      I also found the fumes a bit overwhelming, especially the methyl
      (contrary to the manufacturers' comments regarding denatured). Do not
      use this stove in an enclosed area of any sort.

      Suggestions: The documentation contained no recommendation regarding
      containers for carrying the fuel in while on the trail. The lid on a
      bottle of HEET leaves much to be desired, and the can of denatured
      alcohol is no better. Unfortunately, MSR fuel bottles specifically
      state (on the bottle itself) that carrying alcohol in the bottle may
      cause it to corrode, leaving me unsure what I should use. I sent a note
      to Hike-N-Light this morning, and hope to hear back soon. So far, Jack
      has been very prompt in responding to email questions. I'm thinking a
      small plastic bottle (perhaps with a flip-up squirt lid) would work, but
      will wait for his recommendation and post it to the list.

      The documentation suggests priming with 2 tablespoon of fuel, and gives
      expected burn times for 1, 2 and 3 (max) ounces of fuel. However, I
      don't make it a habit to carry measuring spoons in the field, so I am
      left with no other option other than to "ball-park" it. As a result,
      each time I ran the stove, and subsequently blew it out, I had left over
      fuel. I was reluctant to reintroduce the 'used' fuel to the original
      container, and ended up dumping it. It would be helpful if there were
      some guidance in the documentation as to measurement tips and what to do
      with unused fuel. I would also like to see 1, 2, and 3 ounce markings
      on the inside of the stove.

      Marketing suggestions: Perceived value is important. The American
      public is geared to the notion of "you get what you pay for". The list
      price of $14.95 is cheap, and could therefore be viewed by some as a
      reason not to invest in one of these stoves. Along the same lines, I
      question the use of the term "disposable" in the promotional materials,
      and would suggest replacing it with "recyclable", or eliminating it
      altogether. This term disposable also suggests a low-quality item and
      could turn potential buyers away. To me, "disposable" suggests a
      single-use item that I would no longer want to keep after using it once
      (ala disposable diapers or razors). The materials might rather
      concentrate on its light weight, ease of use and lack of field repair
      issues. Lastly, in its current design, the stove simply looks like a
      tin can with holes. Granted, that's what it is, but the simple addition
      of an etched logo on the exterior of the stove and measurement markings
      on the inside would go a long way towards increasing the stove's
      perceived value.

      Thanks again to Jack and Jerry for the opportunity to review this stove.
      I hope to have a third report out early next week.


      David S Harris
      harrises@...
    • Amy Friends Stone
      David, most people use an empty plastic soda bottle, well-rinsed and dried. I have te Nalgene alcohol fuel bottle (red LDPE? plastic), but it s heavier than
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 7, 2001
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        David, most people use an empty plastic soda bottle, well-rinsed and dried.
        I have te Nalgene alcohol fuel bottle (red LDPE? plastic), but it's heavier
        than the soda bottle, which works just as well (although the Nalgene does
        have a little spout which sometimes makes pouring easier). Just be sure to
        mark it and/or use a different shape or color of bottle if you also use soda
        bottles for water!

        >The documentation suggests priming with 2 tablespoon of fuel, and gives
        >expected burn times for 1, 2 and 3 (max) ounces of fuel. However, I
        >don't make it a habit to carry measuring spoons in the field, so I am
        >left with no other option other than to "ball-park" it. As a result,
        >each time I ran the stove, and subsequently blew it out, I had left over
        >fuel.

        After a while you figure out how much you ned. To help with this you could
        measure that amount of water into it at home, and see how it fills it - then
        you'll be closer to the amount.

        >I was reluctant to reintroduce the 'used' fuel to the original container,
        >and ended up dumping it.

        Maybe burning it off rather than dumping it would have been better...

        >I would also like to see 1, 2, and 3 ounce markings
        >on the inside of the stove.

        Now that would be great!

        >Marketing suggestions: Perceived value is important. The American
        >public is geared to the notion of "you get what you pay for". The list
        >price of $14.95 is cheap, and could therefore be viewed by some as a
        >reason not to invest in one of these stoves.

        Are you telling them to charge more? No way.

        Amy
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      • David Harris
        ... Actually, yes. The capitalist in me says that if he wants to sell more stoves, he might well do so at $19.99 than at $14.95. The gear hound in me is with
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 7, 2001
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          Amy wrote:

          >>>Marketing suggestions: Perceived value is important. The American
          >public is geared to the notion of "you get what you pay for". The
          >list price of $14.95 is cheap, and could therefore be viewed by some
          >as a reason not to invest in one of these stoves.
          >
          > Are you telling them to charge more? No way.
          >
          > Amy


          Actually, yes. The capitalist in me says that if he wants to sell
          more stoves, he might well do so at $19.99 than at $14.95. The gear
          hound in me is with you................
        • cstarnes@nehp.net
          ... recommendation regarding ... a ... note ... Jack ... thinking a ... work, but ... gives ... am ... result, It would be helpful if there were ... David S
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 7, 2001
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            --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "David & Monica Harris" <harrises@e...>
            wrote:
            > Hike-N-Light Stove
            > 1st & 2nd Reports
            > David Harris
            >
            >
            > > Suggestions: The documentation contained no
            recommendation regarding
            > containers for carrying the fuel in while on the trail. The lid on
            a
            > bottle of HEET leaves much to be desired, and the can of denatured
            > alcohol is no better. Unfortunately, MSR fuel bottles specifically
            > state (on the bottle itself) that carrying alcohol in the bottle may
            > cause it to corrode, leaving me unsure what I should use. I sent a
            note
            > to Hike-N-Light this morning, and hope to hear back soon. So far,
            Jack
            > has been very prompt in responding to email questions. I'm
            thinking a
            > small plastic bottle (perhaps with a flip-up squirt lid) would
            work, but
            > will wait for his recommendation and post it to the list.
            >
            > The documentation suggests priming with 2 tablespoon of fuel, and
            gives
            > expected burn times for 1, 2 and 3 (max) ounces of fuel. However, I
            > don't make it a habit to carry measuring spoons in the field, so I
            am
            > left with no other option other than to "ball-park" it. As a
            result,
            It would be helpful if there were
            > some guidance in the documentation as to measurement tips and >
            David S Harris
            > harrises@e...

            David

            I enjoyed the report. Here is a suggestoin on what to carry fuel in.
            I like hydrogen pyroxide bottles. I have a 16 oz. I havent used and
            an 8 oz. which I have used. I could probably get by with a 4 oz for
            short trips of 3 days or less if not cooking a lot or boiling to much
            water for coffee. Also a good solution for measuring out fuel is to
            use a 20 cc syringe without needle attached. I have found that 40 cc
            is almost an ounce ane is about right for most heat-um-up meals. I
            get about 8 minutes burn time and 4 minutes rooling boil with this
            amount of fuel. I would be intereted to hear if 3 oz, fuel will give
            45 min burn time. The most I have heard is about 10 min burn time/oz.
            of fuel so I would guess 30 min would be more realistic. However I
            would like to hear from the testers if this is true rather than make
            a blind judgment.

            Coy Boy
          • Amy Friends Stone
            ... ok, I don t know enough about marketing to say, but I still with gear hound side since it s all I knaw! :-)
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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              >Actually, yes. The capitalist in me says that if he wants to sell
              >more stoves, he might well do so at $19.99 than at $14.95. The gear
              >hound in me is with you................

              ok, I don't know enough about marketing to say, but I still with gear hound
              side since it's all I knaw! :-)
              _________________________________________________________________
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            • Amy Friends Stone
              ... Coy, where would you find this? Thanks, Sandpiper _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer
              Message 6 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                >Also a good solution for measuring out fuel is to
                >use a 20 cc syringe without needle attached. I have found that 40 cc
                >is almost an ounce ane is about right for most heat-um-up meals.

                Coy, where would you find this?

                Thanks,
                Sandpiper

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              • Eric Jensen
                ... I also use a 20 oz. soda bottle for storing my alchohol (HEET). The cap stays very tight. I use a green 7up bottle so that the color of the bottle is
                Message 7 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                  --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Amy Friends Stone" <coelura@h...>
                  wrote:

                  > David, most people use an empty plastic soda bottle, well-rinsed
                  >and dried. I have the Nalgene alcohol fuel bottle (red LDPE?
                  >plastic), but it's heavier than the soda bottle, which works just as
                  >well. Just be sure to mark it and/or use a different shape or color
                  >of bottle if you also use soda bottles for water! The documentation
                  >suggests priming with 2 tablespoon of fuel, and gives expected burn
                  >times for 1, 2 and 3 (max) ounces of fuel. However, I don't make it
                  >a habit to carry measuring spoons in the field

                  I also use a 20 oz. soda bottle for storing my alchohol (HEET). The
                  cap stays very tight. I use a green 7up bottle so that the color of
                  the bottle is distinguishable from the normal clear bottle that we
                  all typically drink from. It gives me enough volume to light the
                  stove about 7 times. I carry an old plastic rice scoop (weighs less
                  than 1/2 oz.) with self-made markings on the side to indicate 1 and 2
                  oz. measurements. I just bought the stove and my first coupple of
                  tests have gone well, although I am still playing with trying to find
                  the right heating fluid balance between the pre-heat pad and stove.
                  With such large flames I almost cooked the insulating rubber off
                  my .9 litre titanium pot handles.

                  > _________________________________________________________________>
                  Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com
                • David Harris
                  ... in. ... much ... cc ... give ... time/oz. ... make ... Coy: I heard back from Jack today, and he also suggested Hydrogen Peroxide bottles, but sadly I ve
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                    Coy Boy wrote:
                    >
                    > David
                    >
                    > I enjoyed the report. Here is a suggestoin on what to carry fuel
                    in.
                    > I like hydrogen pyroxide bottles. I have a 16 oz. I havent used and
                    > an 8 oz. which I have used. I could probably get by with a 4 oz for
                    > short trips of 3 days or less if not cooking a lot or boiling to
                    much
                    > water for coffee. Also a good solution for measuring out fuel is to
                    > use a 20 cc syringe without needle attached. I have found that 40
                    cc
                    > is almost an ounce ane is about right for most heat-um-up meals. I
                    > get about 8 minutes burn time and 4 minutes rooling boil with this
                    > amount of fuel. I would be intereted to hear if 3 oz, fuel will
                    give
                    > 45 min burn time. The most I have heard is about 10 min burn
                    time/oz.
                    > of fuel so I would guess 30 min would be more realistic. However I
                    > would like to hear from the testers if this is true rather than
                    make
                    > a blind judgment.
                    >
                    > Coy Boy

                    Coy:

                    I heard back from Jack today, and he also suggested Hydrogen Peroxide
                    bottles, but sadly I've only been able to find 16oz bottles. I will
                    also be carrying a tablespoon measure on the trail w/ me (hope I can
                    stand the extra weight ;-)) and will give more exact data on burn
                    times in my next report. By the way, as mentioned in another report
                    (and confirmed via www.onlineconversion.com), 2 tablespoons = 1 fl.
                    ounce.

                    Thanks for the feedback,

                    David
                  • Tom Hodge
                    I carry alcohol in a small bottled water bottle. Airlines usually pass out 8oz bottles which are great. I used red nail polish to clearly identify them as
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                      I carry alcohol in a small bottled water bottle. Airlines usually pass out
                      8oz bottles which are great. I used red nail polish to clearly identify
                      them as alcohol. Also, you can use the bottle cap as a measure. Just
                      determine how many caps equal your typical burn requirement.

                      Thanks, Tom


                      >I heard back from Jack today, and he also suggested Hydrogen Peroxide
                      >bottles, but sadly I've only been able to find 16oz bottles. I will
                      >also be carrying a tablespoon measure on the trail w/ me (hope I can
                      >stand the extra weight ;-)) and will give more exact data on burn
                      >times in my next report. By the way, as mentioned in another report
                      >(and confirmed via www.onlineconversion.com), 2 tablespoons = 1 fl.
                      >ounce.
                      >
                      >Thanks for the feedback,
                      >
                      >David
                      >

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                    • GearTester
                      That s what I ve been using for about a year now. Seems to work great. Jerry ... From: Tom Hodge To:
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                        That's what I've been using for about a year now. Seems to work great.
                        Jerry
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Tom Hodge" <GA2ME@...>
                        To: <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 10:38 AM
                        Subject: Re: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Hike-N-Light Stove - Reports 1 & 2


                        > I carry alcohol in a small bottled water bottle. Airlines usually pass
                        out
                        > 8oz bottles which are great. I used red nail polish to clearly identify
                        > them as alcohol. Also, you can use the bottle cap as a measure. Just
                        > determine how many caps equal your typical burn requirement.
                        >
                        > Thanks, Tom
                        >
                        >
                        > >I heard back from Jack today, and he also suggested Hydrogen Peroxide
                        > >bottles, but sadly I've only been able to find 16oz bottles. I will
                        > >also be carrying a tablespoon measure on the trail w/ me (hope I can
                        > >stand the extra weight ;-)) and will give more exact data on burn
                        > >times in my next report. By the way, as mentioned in another report
                        > >(and confirmed via www.onlineconversion.com), 2 tablespoons = 1 fl.
                        > >ounce.
                        > >
                        > >Thanks for the feedback,
                        > >
                        > >David
                        > >
                        >
                        > _________________________________________________________________
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                        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
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                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Amy Friends Stone
                        ... Cool - I may need to try this. The Trangia doesn t seem to require priming, but I think I use more fuel than I need just pouring. This may be just as
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jun 8, 2001
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                          >I also use a 20 oz. soda bottle for storing my alchohol (HEET). The
                          >cap stays very tight. I use a green 7up bottle so that the color of
                          >the bottle is distinguishable from the normal clear bottle that we
                          >all typically drink from. It gives me enough volume to light the
                          >stove about 7 times. I carry an old plastic rice scoop (weighs less
                          >than 1/2 oz.) with self-made markings on the side to indicate 1 and 2
                          >oz. measurements.

                          Cool - I may need to try this. The Trangia doesn't seem to require priming,
                          but I think I use more fuel than I need just pouring. This may be just as
                          good as the syringe idea Coy posted earlier....

                          Sandpiper
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                        • cstarnes@nehp.net
                          ... cc ... Amy I found it lying in a junk drawer here at the house. You know that drawer where mysterious stuff appears. But if yours don t have one I think
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jun 9, 2001
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                            --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Amy Friends Stone" <coelura@h...>
                            wrote:
                            > >Also a good solution for measuring out fuel is to
                            > >use a 20 cc syringe without needle attached. I have found that 40
                            cc
                            > >is almost an ounce ane is about right for most heat-um-up meals.
                            >
                            > Coy, where would you find this?
                            >
                            > Thanks,
                            > Sandpiper

                            Amy

                            I found it lying in a junk drawer here at the house. You know that
                            drawer where mysterious stuff appears. But if yours don't have one I
                            think your doctor might give you one or maybe the drug store sells
                            them or if all else fails contact your local drug dealer (not funny).

                            Coy Boy

                            PS: nobody's idea's are as good as mine.LOL
                          • Amy Friends Stone
                            ... I actually just noticed some in the kitchen store, for getting marinade into meat... might be a bit big though. Maybe I ll stick with the plain ol
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jun 11, 2001
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                              >I found it lying in a junk drawer here at the house. You know that
                              >drawer where mysterious stuff appears. But if yours don't have one I
                              >think your doctor might give you one or maybe the drug store sells
                              >them or if all else fails contact your local drug dealer (not funny).

                              I actually just noticed some in the kitchen store, for getting marinade into
                              meat... might be a bit big though. Maybe I'll stick with the plain ol'
                              pouring method, since I don't often go out more than 4 days...

                              Thanks,
                              Sandpiper
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