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Revised APPLICATION: Brunton Vapor AF All Fuel Expedition Stove - Tim C

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  • tcoug7
    Tim Coughlin – Application to test the Brunton Vapor AF All Fuel Expedition Stove I appreciate the opportunity to be considered to test the Vapor AF All Fuel
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2007
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      Tim Coughlin – Application to test the Brunton Vapor AF All Fuel
      Expedition Stove

      I appreciate the opportunity to be considered to test the
      Vapor AF All Fuel Expedition Stove.

      Thank you BGT and Brunton for considering me.

      I have read the Survival Guide (v. 1202), BackpackGearTest's By Laws
      (v. 0609), along with all the appendices and agree to completely
      comply with all requirements therein.

      My tester contract has been filled out, signed and mailed to Shane.
      He has acknowledged reception.

      Personal Biography:

      Name: Tim Coughlin
      Age: 45
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5'11" (1.8 m)
      Weight: 190 lb (82 kg)
      Email address: Tcoug7<at>yahoo<dot>com
      City, State, Country: Western New York, United States
      Application date: 9/30/2007

      My Backpacking Background:

      I have been an active backpacker for 30 years, with experience
      hiking in many parts of the continental United States and Canada.
      Most of my time is spent in the Northeast, especially the Adirondack
      region of New York. I love 3-season backpacking!

      My Style:

      At heart, I'm a lightweight backpacker. I'm
      not a gram weenie per se, but I definitely look for the lightest that
      will do the job. I simply don't require that much gear to make me
      happy. My needs are basic, but I expect the stuff I carry to work
      well.

      I also have a large family and they all love to
      backpack and hike with me. Since many of my kids are so little, I have
      to carry the lion's share of gear when we go out. For example, for a
      simple dayhike I may have my baby on my back and carry some snacks or
      a lunch and my pack can weigh 30 lb! Truly this has turned us into a
      family of lightweight backpackers; it's the only way we can do it!


      My Motivation for Testing the Brunton Vapor AF All Fuel Expedition
      Stove

      To be honest, I've never tested a stove before! Given that I've been
      around here for awhile now, I find that kind of amazing. A stove is
      a very technical piece of equipment; the kicker is I consider myself
      a pretty technical guy. I love testing more sophisticated gear, like
      tents and backpacks. One of my favorite tests of all time was a
      water purification system utilizing stabilized chlorine dioxide. At
      the onset, this test appeared to be a piece of cake; yet, by the time
      I finished the report, it required more research than any other test
      I've partaken in. Although I've never formally tested a stove
      before, I've used one for years. I love a hot meal. I usually have
      at least one/day when I'm 3-season trekking and more when I'm out
      during the winter months. Even when I'm out dayhiking or snowshoeing
      I always include a stove in my pack. In my part of the world, a
      working stove really becomes an "essential" item in my pack. When
      I'm soaked to the bone cold, that cup of hot tea or quick bowl of
      oatmeal has offset the effects of hypothermia more than once. Over
      the last couple of years, I've done quite a bit of experimenting with
      different designs of alcohol stoves. But, my favorite stove of all
      time is my MSR Whisperlite Internationale.


      Expected Conditions

      There are three primary areas I frequent for my gear testing. They
      include Western New York, Northwestern Pennsylvania and the
      Adirondack Mountain region. I will use the estimated time span from
      November through March to define testing conditions.

      Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania have similar weather
      patterns. Temperatures during the test period will range from below
      freezing to mid-50s F (10 C). Elevation near the Great Lakes is
      around a 700 ft (200 m) with the hills steadily increasing to close
      to 2000 ft (600 m). There will be plenty of rain, especially during
      the early portions of the of the test series. The latter
      part of the series will include full winter conditions: snow, sleet,
      ice and cold.

      The Adirondack region is much cooler, where winter conditions
      dominate this entire test series. It gets cold in the mountains.
      Temperatures can range from a sunny 50 F (10 C) during the day and
      plunge to -20 F (-30 C) at night. This mountainous region has
      elevations starting at 3000 ft (900 m) and upwards of 5000 ft (1500
      m).

      Scheduled Treks:

      November 9-11, Schoelkolf Scout Reservation, Western New York
      This trek will include whatever the conditions allow – from hiking to
      snowshoeing and even sledding. This trek will be around 10 mi (16 km)

      January 18 -21, Camp Scouthaven, Western New York. This is our
      Winter Klondike Weekend. Not a lot of time is spent hiking per se,
      but all cold weather camping skills are utilized. This entire
      weekend is spent outdoors, although I will be sleeping in a lean-to.

      On the horizon, we are putting something together for Feb/March as
      well. This will probably occur over the winter break from school in
      February. Details are still sketchy.

      Besides the planned backpacking weekends as outlined above, I will
      also be doing quite a bit of dayhiking. This will include
      snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when conditions permit. I am
      leading a group of boys working on the Hiking Merit badge; we have at
      least 50 mi (80 km) of hiking planned. I will also be doing as much
      day hiking and snow shoeing as I can with my dog. I will be using a
      stove on all these outings too.

      Test Plan

      For the past four years, I've been using a MRS WhisperLite
      Internationale as my stove of choice for winter outings. This stove
      has served me very reliably over this time. I've even mastered the
      fiery inferno that sometimes comes with lighting the prime! In the
      summer, I usually use my own homemade alcohol stove. Since this test
      series is right through the heart of winter for me, every outing will
      provide a great testing opportunity!

      I use a heat shield, heat reflector and wind screen with all my
      stoves. I see in the literature that these items are not included
      with the Brunton Vapor AF. I also cannot discern if a fuel bottle
      for the liquid fuels is included. I have two fuel bottles – 11 oz
      and 22oz, that I will use if a fuel bottle is not provided. If the
      other items are truly not part of the Vapor AF stove kit, I will be
      very determined to find out why. For example, if a wind screen is
      not included, then I will try to determine whether or not there is an
      increase in function if one is used. I will document my results and
      report on the effectiveness of all of the heat transfer aids. Or, if
      legitimate reasons exist why these stove improvement aids should not
      be used, I will document those too

      Because of the extreme temperatures that are reached in my hiking
      areas, many times it is not practical to use butane. The literature
      makes it sound like going from one source of fuel to the next is a
      simple task. I will time such transfers and report my findings in my
      reports. I will also monitor any extra cleaning steps I will have to
      follow going from each type of fuel and report those as well.

      I live in the Northeast United States. That, coupled with the fact
      that I also live on the western shore of Lake Erie, and that spells
      water! It's everywhere, in all its forms. Everywhere I hike, there
      are creeks to ford, puddles to jump, and slush to slop through.
      Plus, it's damp. The air is moist and the snow is heavy. It's very
      easy to end up wet. Frost nip is common, as is frostbite. A good
      stove is critical for survival. I use it for melting snow for
      drinking water, heating water for hot tea, and even cooking. I've
      begun to be more creative in my cooking. I've even used my stove to
      provide heat for one of my crying kids.

      I'm very interested in the stove's stability. This stove is being
      marketed as an extreme stove – good for the mountains and
      backpackers. I propose to test this by using the stove on a variety
      of surfaces, from packed snow to hard ice. I'm interested to see how
      stable it is, especially as the snow beneath it begins to soften.
      How much of a heat shield do I need to provide?

      I also propose to test the stove on a variety of pot sizes, to see
      how the holders work with larger pots. Is there a limit where it's
      just impractical to go larger? Is stability affected by pot shape,
      i.e. low and wide versus tall and thin?

      I propose testing the Vapor AF stove on a variety of outings. Of
      course, I'll use it on every backpacking and day hiking trip I take
      over the test series; but I would also use it on days out skiing,
      cross country and downhill, and at a day of sledding with the kids,
      even when we go out on the lake for a day of skating after the lake
      freezes. Its compact size would be ideal for these trips.

      Other specific issues I will be evaluating and reporting if chosen
      include:
      - What affects the stove's performance?
      - What other environmental considerations affect its stability? Can
      steps be made to improve it?
      -How durable is the stove and associated parts? Are there any parts
      susceptible to the extreme winter conditions?
      - How easy is the stove to operate? Can I do it with gloves or
      mittens on?
      - How easy is the stove to service? Do I need any special tools?
      Can I fix it easily in the field?
      - How well does it work in extreme cold?
      - How well does it function in the wind?

      For a list of all my reporting involvement at BGT, see:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/TCoug7

      Current Test Involvement:

      - Coleman Chinkapin X65 Backpack – just arrived; IR phase
      - Kelty Light Year 3D Synthetic 45 Sleeping Bag; long term testing

      Applications Pending
      - none

      Test Monitor for 3 years
      - Currently monitoring Montbell ULAP Thermal Sheet
      - Currently monitoring Optimus Nova + White gas stove


      Thanks again,

      Tim
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