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Esbit Alcohol Stove and Trekking Cookset
Name: Ray Tant
Height: 5 ‘ 9”
Weight: 185 lbs
Email address: crtant3@...
City, State, Country: Knoxville, TN USA
Backpacking Background: I always had an interest in the outdoors and I began backpacking when I was in college. Having the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at my disposal made it very easy to fall in love with the trail. After several years of backpacking my focus shifted to caving, marriage and then kids. I recently rediscovered my love for backpacking and camping. Since most of my gear was purchased in the early 90’s I have had to do a lot of updating. I currently spilt time backpacking with friends, car camping with my family and my son’s scout den. I try to do some kind of trip each month. I primarily stay within a 4 hour radius of Knoxville, TN but have limited experience in Utah, Arizona, California and Oregon.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Listed weight: 14.71 Ounces (417 Grams)
Weight as delivered: 15.10 Ounces (428 Grams)
Total Pack size: height 147 mm / 5.5'',
Diameter 128 mm / 5''
Volume of the pots: 985 ml (33 oz)and
470 ml (15 oz)
Burning period of the spirit-burner:
Maximum of 30 minutes
Burning period of a 14 g (0.5 oz) solid-fuel
tablet approx. 10-15 minutes
Fuel Type: Alcohol (various) and Solid Fuel (various)
The Esbit alcohol stove arrived in a cardboard box bearing the images and technical data for the new stove. Out of the box the stove is contained in a black mesh bag. The cooking kit breaks down into a small (470 ml) Frying pan/drinking cup, a 985 ml cooking pot, a cooking stand, a solid fuel stand, and alcohol stove. The alcohol stove breaks down further into a stove, sealed screw on lid and put out lid. The sealed lid has a rubber gasket that makes the stove leak proof and eliminates the need to empty the fuel between usage and transport.
The system can use either the alcohol stove or Esbit solid fuels using the adapter.
The two pots conform to one another allowing the smaller pot to be used as a lid to help water boil faster or its own cooking pan as a miniature skillet. Although the small skillet is a nice notion, it seems to add bulk when a good lid would do. Every time I repack the kit I always find myself looking into the pots and all the empty space wishing I had a flat lid. Both pots have handles.
The alcohol stove is very similar to a Trangia style of cooking stove and utilizes approximately 2-3 ounces of alcohol fuel. I usually can boil 4 to 6 – two cup rounds of water. There are many types of alcohol to use, but I have found denatured alcohol to burn the cleanest.
After placing the stove in the cooking frame and lighting, the stove takes less than a minute to warm up and begin to push vaporized fuel through the jets located along the outer rim. I have always used the larger pan to cook with. To date I have used the stove on several occasions and the average boil time is approximately 6 to 8 minutes. The time to boil is very contingent on the ambient temperature as well as wind conditions. Although not included I did purchase a small lightweight aluminum windscreen to increase cook times. I have not experienced it, but there are cold temperature limitations on alcohol stoves. Most people recommend to only use alcohol stoves above 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The esbit solid fuel attachment can be used in replacement of the alcohol stove and inserted in the same position. A single solid fuel tablet takes approximately 10 minutes to achieve the boil for 2 cups of water versus the 6 to 8 minutes of the alcohol fuel.
The construction of the pans and stove are impressive and appear to be the high quality. The pots are made of lightweight anodized aluminum. The alcohol stove is made of what appears to be a brass material. As with most alcohol stoves, the base of the system is narrow and could be unstable, I have yet to experience this. Additionally, you are using a liquid fuel that after lit when spilled can be a very dangerous situation.
The unit has been tested both in ideal conditions in my kitchen, my back porch as well as on the trail. The first use in the field was in the great Smoky Mountain National Park backcountry campsite 21 and 24 off the Little River Trail. The area is relatively flat at an approximate elevation of 2640' feet of elevation with a temperature of approximately 65 Degrees. Raining both nights.
The second time the unit was tested was at Naked Ground campsite at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest at an elevation of approximately 5200 feet. The temperature was about 80 agrees and windy. Dry.
I typically use this stove for boiling water for freeze dried meals and making hot drinks. I also like the quiet nature of the stove. In addition, the fuel was relatively lightweight and compared to other cooking systems such as a jet boil, primus or whisper light it is total serenity. Although slower to boil, the fuel efficiency and time is excellent.
I have only used the solid fuel in controlled conditions and carry it for emergencies. I did not buy the system for this purpose.
Overall the Esbit Trekking Cook Set is a great compact and lightweight alcohol stove system. Although the top lid/ fry pan is somewhat redundant and seems to make it bulkier than necessary, the extra space is very good for storing a second stove system such as a Brunton Optimus Crux and fuel canister.
Things I like
2) Efficient (cooking to fuel use)
4) Alternative fuel sources (both alcohol and solid fuel)
5) Extra space in container allows storage of additional backup stove systems
Things I don't like
1) Bulkier than needs to be
2) Doesn't cook as fast as other systems
3) Noisy in backpack clanking around
4) No auto light, need matches or lighter