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FR 180 Tack 180 Stove - Frances Penn

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  • fpenn@sbcglobal.net
    http://tinyurl.com/a3trouo 180 TACK 180 STOVE TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN FR January 08, 2013 TESTER INFORMATION NAME: Frances Penn EMAIL: fpenn AT sbcglobal
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 7, 2013
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      http://tinyurl.com/a3trouo


      180 TACK 180 STOVE
      TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN
      FR
      January 08, 2013

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Frances Penn
      EMAIL: fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net
      AGE: 56
      LOCATION: Costa Mesa, California, USA
      GENDER: F
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 135 lb (61.20 kg)

      I have been backpacking for five years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with one or two 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight is usually 28-30 lb (13-14 kg). I am a tent camper and have experienced all night rain, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.



      FIELD REPORT

      FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

      Trip #1:
      Location: Joshua Tree National Park,California USA
      Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: sandy desert terrain
      Temperatures: 70 F (21 C)
      Weather: very windy

      I wasn't able to get the stove lit using the dirty paper towels with a little hand sanitizer added because of the extreme wind at night. The next morning, there was no wind and I added a tiny bit of dryer lint with some hand sanitizer soaked in, with the dirty paper towels as a bed and some small twigs and grass on top, the fire started quickly.

      Trip #2:
      Location: Joshua Tree National Park,California USA
      Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: sandy desert terrain
      Temperatures: 50-70 F (10-21 C)
      Weather: windy

      I had a lot of trouble lighting the stove in the wind. It took 25 mins to get a good set of coals and subsequently get the water to boil for dinner and hot drinks.

      Trip #3:
      Location: Big Bear area, California USA
      Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 M)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: off trail forest
      Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1 -15C)
      Weather: cold day hiking in the forest on about 3 inches of snow pack

      After much difficulty, it took me 25 minutes to get a good set of coals burning. Once the stove was lit, the pre-cooked food was hot within 2 minutes. I found the dried leaves and pine needles were good fire starter. I took a dried portion of pine needles including the sap portion from a pine tree and used that with dryer lint soaked in rubbing alcohol to get the fire started. That combination burned long enough to add some dried grass and finally some small twigs and then small pieces of bark to get a fire that would stay lit.

      Trip #4:
      Joshua Tree National Park,California USA
      Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: sandy desert terrain
      Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1 -15C)

      I tried lighting the stove with cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly and dryer lint soaked in rubbing alcohol on a bed of paper towels with dried grass and small twigs on top. The fire started quickly. I then added more small twigs and some little larger twigs. The fire went out but the coals were burning. I wasn't able to get the fire lit again. I then added another lump of dryer lint soaked in rubbing alcohol and the lighter assisted with getting the fire going again. Now that the coals were hot, the fire continued to burn the larger twigs and smaller sticks.

      Trip #5:
      Location: Big Bear area, California USA
      Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 m)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: off trail forest
      Temperature: 30 F (-1 C)
      Weather: cold day hiking in the forest on about 6 inches of snow pack

      In the snow, it took 70 mins to get the fire burning after many restarts, using denatured alcohol, leaves and twigs as firestarter. I may have not been patient enough to get the coals hot before placing the pot on the stove.

      Trip #6:
      Big Bear forest area
      Location: Big Bear area, California USA
      Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 m)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: off trail forest
      Temperature: 30 F (-1 C)
      Weather: snowing lightly in the forest on about 8 inches of snow pack

      It took 20 minutes to get the fire burning after a few restarts using fireplace firestarter, cotton balls with petroleum jelly, dried pine needles, dried leaves and small twigs. After the fire was burning, it took 3 minutes to get the boiling water. When cooking in snow, as the fire gets going, the snow under the stove melts from the heat and the stove leans to one side. It is important to get the surface as flat as possible and reinforce with rocks or bigger pieces of wood under the ash pan to keep the stove level during cooking.

      Trip #7:
      Joshua Tree National Park,California USA
      Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
      Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
      Conditions: sandy desert terrain
      Temperature: 30 F (-1 C)
      Weather: cool and slightly breezy

      Broken pieces from a fireplace starter burned long enough to get the dried leaves and small twigs to establish some good coals. I then added the larger twigs and bark. The water was hot in 3 minutes and dinner was ready.



      PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

      I was disappointed in my fire starting capabilities. The fire starter that worked best for me was small pieces broken off from a fireplace starting block. I tried dryer lint soaked in rubbing alcohol, cotton balls with petroleum jelly, dried leaves, dried pine needles, and small candles. These items worked to get a quick flame but most of the time they were not able to sustain burning long enough to get the small twigs to catch fire to establish the coals.

      The biggest challenge for me was to be patient enough to get a good bed of coals hot and then add the larger twigs and eventually smaller pieces of bark and then wood. The stove is very efficient. Once the coals are established, it doesn't take very long or much wood to get the water boiling. It is easy to add more wood to the fire with the large opening on the stove. The stove is large enough to accommodate a pot that will cook for more than one person. I usually had at least one other person with me on my trips and we were able to eat our meals from my one larger pot.

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "cooking dinner">>

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "enjoying dinner">>

      SUMMARY

      The stove is constructed out of sturdy materials. I had a little trouble getting the grate pieces to slid into their slots on the stove sides after a few cooking sessions which resulted in getting soot on my hands before lighting the fire.

      I am still not a fan of the soot that gets on my fingers when putting the stove together and taking it apart. The bottom of my cook pan that was silver is now completely black from the soot and after many scrubbings remains black. Each time the bottom of the pan was coated with soot, I wiped it with paper towels and a little leftover hot water. Each time a little less soot was removed in the cleaning process, resulting in a completely black pot bottom. The soot does not affect the performance of the pot, just the appearance. I wiped off as much soot as possible so it would not make contact with the rest of my pack contents.

      Considering the weight of the stove and ash pan, I only saved weight by not having to carry fuel canisters. I had to carry small pieces of the firestarter block and extra paper towels for clean-up which then became the bed for my coals on the next cooking session. Using this stove made me look around a lot more at the end of a hiking day for good fire fuel which added an extra element of fun to my outdoor adventures.

      Likes:
      I always had readily available fuel
      Once the fire is started, the stove is very efficient
      Packs down to a small size for carrying

      Dislikes:
      Soot gets on my fingers during assembly and disassembly of the stove
      Difficult to get the grate pieces into the stove sides, but easy to remove after cooking
      I needed to carry firestarter to get the fire burning long enough to be able to add wood
      Difficult to light in windy conditions

      This concludes my Field Report. Please check back in approximately two months for my Long Term Report. Thank you to 180 Tack and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.



      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.
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