Application to test the Brasslite Turbo I D David Wilkes
- Please accept my application to test the Brasslite Turbo I D. I agree to
comply with all the report requirements found in the
BackpackGearTest.org bylaws v. 0609. I read these documents most
recently on February 19, 2008.
NAME: David Wilkes
LOCATION: Yakima, Washington USA
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 197 lb (89.36 kg)
TORSO: 18" (46 cm)
I started backpacking about 13 years ago when I moved to Washington
State. Since then I have backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I
have usually only managed time for 1-3 trips a year averaging 2-5 days,
and as many day hikes as I can. I am currently getting into condition to
summit some of the higher peaks in Washington/Oregon/California. I
prefer trips on rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I
continuously strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are more
important to me. My current pack is around 30lbs (14 kg) not including
Additional Information to this test call:
This year I changed my focus regarding my backcountry activities and as
a result have been upgrading and/or changing what I carry. Over the
years, I have carried a rather heavy load, focusing on reliability,
comfort, and cost, over weight. I am in the processes of trying out new
configurations and equipment in order to find a new balance (so far, I
have trimmed about 6 lbs / 3 kg off my pack). In that regard, I have
looked into alcohol stoves. I have read quite a bit about them and even
build a few home made versions in order to try them out, but have not
used them in the field yet. My next step is to make use of one of these
stoves on a few trips to see how well they fit into my backpacking style
and if I can adjust to using them.
As far as backcountry cooking goes, my standard cooking involves heating
water for tea/coffee/coco, and maybe hot cereal in the morning, and
heating water for dehydrated meals and/or hot drinks in the evenings. I
virtually never eat a hot lunch (though would probably do this during
the testing of this stove just to get more usage), and almost never cook
anything that requires simmering and or extended cooking times. However
if this stove is capable of simmering I would want to try this as well
as experimenting with any new cooking options this stove provides.
In addition, I am kind of a tinkerer and will use any excuse to set up
my gear and `play' even if it is in the back yard (my kids love
this) or on a day hike. As a result I have prepared more than a few
backpacking meals in my back yard (often camping there) and used my
various fire starters to start BBQ's. [I get strange looks from the
wife and neighbors when I am attempting to light the BBQ using my flint
striker or the kids magnifying lenses] So the chance to test this cool
looking stove as well the possibility of further reducing my pack weight
Finally, my job often has me working in remote areas and/or into the wee
hours of the morning. I normally carry some type of stove (currently my
JetBoil) along with tea/coffee and an easy to prepare meal. The JetBoil
has worked very well for this and I am interested to see if I could use
an alcohol stove such as this one in its place.
During the timeframe of this test I should have the opportunity to use
my stove at altitudes ranging from a few hundred feet above sea level to
above 4000' (1200 m), and possibly 10000' (3000 m) during my
Shasta trip, and/or 12000' (3600 m) while at bishop pass (surprising
my 70yo father-in-law to a hot lunch at the summit should be worth some
brownie points with the wife).
Preliminary Test Plan and objectives:
If I were lucky enough to be selected to test this stove, I would test
the stove in 3 phases.
Phase I Controlled environment tests.
In phase I, I would try out the stove under controlled conditions at my
home and maybe while camping with the family. I would see how difficult
it is to set up and use (I have read some alcohol stoves can be
difficult to fill/empty); and how long it takes to cool down. I am very
interested in how this stove is primed, how long it takes, and if there
optional ways of doing it. I would want to get an idea of how stable it
is when used on various surfaces. I would test how much time it takes
the stove to heat various volumes of water to boiling, and how much fuel
it takes (being that I have not used this type of stove in the field I
will want to get an idea of how much fuel I should carry).
I would also be interested in how safe it is when used on flammable
ground as many of the places I hike are covered with a thick layer of
pine needles, and I once had a bit of a scare while lighting my old
Shaker Jet stove.
I would want to do some head-to-head testing of this stove vs. my white
gas and my canister stoves.
Of course I would be interested to see how this works with the pots I
already have, and it would give me an excuse to purchase one or more new
ones (any excuse for new gear but don't tell my wife <g>).
Phase II Field-tests with `safety net'
In phase II, I would use the stove in field conditions. Possibly
starting by using it on day hikes and then a short backpacking trip
where a failure of this stove to perform would not be a major problem
(such as having an alternate food source or a backup stove). In this
phase I would work on becoming comfortable with how the stove performs
in the field (repeat the timed tests from phase I), how well it fits my
style and how much I must/can change my routine to accommodate the
needs/benefits of this stove. See if I can be as comfortable with this
stove as I am with the others that I normally use, which I prefer
(performance vs. weight), and what conditions the stove works best in.
In Phase III, I would use the stove as my primary (if not only) stove
for backcountry cooking. I would be looking for answers to questions
such as how well does it perform (in different weather conditions: wind,
cold, altitude, etc) and how well it stands up to normal usage/storage,
how much fuel does it use, does it soot up the bottoms of my pot, etc.
Finally, the most important question; am I willing to give up my old
stoves for this one; in all conditions, or just some? If some, which?
Current "adventure" schedule:
o 12 mi (19 km) day hikes in the Cascades (my favorite hike near
White Pass) as soon as the trail is open, then every time I can swing a
o 3-4 day trip to climb Mt Shasta (date TBD one of the last 3
weekends in June)
o Guide a group of co-workers on a climb of Mt St Helens (date
Postponed due to snow conditions. I will probably add a 1-2 nights of
backpacking around this.)
o Climb Mt Adams (July 10-12)
o Hike Bishop Pass [12000'/ 3700 m pass in California's
Eastern Sierras] Sep (plus a few days of backpacking)
o Additional camping and backpacking trips to be added as dates are
o Day hikes as time/conditions/opportunities allow.
I have one pending application (REI Venturi Daypack) at this time and I
am currently involved with testing the Columbia Slipstream jacket
Thank you for considering my pathetic plea for a new toy to play with
and possibly saving me the dilemma of deciding which alcohol stove to
You may find my OR's and test reports at:
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