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Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove

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  • John Ladd
    Re: Brian s Concern re piezos (a.k.a. igniters or sparkers) I’ve never owned a piezo stove, but everyone I’ve talked to says they break easily and they
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 3, 2009
    Re: Brian's Concern re piezos (a.k.a. igniters or sparkers)

    "I’ve never owned a piezo stove, but everyone I’ve talked to says they break easily and they end up using a lighter/matches because they get tired of replacing it."

    I think that there is are good solutions to the breakage problem, at least on the JetBoil.  I replaced piezos 3 times before finding the solution, but haven't replaced one in a significant time since finding solutions (see below).


    The Jetboil piezo looks like this

    01457c57-a46f-4863-a912-65744a96f199.jpg


    1) Sometimes the piezo isn't broken, it just needs to be bent a little so that the tip of the piezo is closer to the burner.  Do this carefully.

    2) I protect the piezo by cutting a small piece of styrofoam that snugly fills part of the space between the the base of the burner and the lid of the JetBoil -- for use when transporting it.  No breakage since this fix (though only about 400 miles ago). I trimmed the styrofoam so that nothing can bump the piezo once the foam is in place and the lid is on.  Obviously, you remove the styrofoam before lighting the stove.  And make sure the burner isn't rattling around in the pot (either place a 110 gram canister in the bottom of the pot or fill the space under the burner element with some food in a baggie)

    3) you can often tell if the piezo on a JetBoil is broken by pressing the sparker in the dark.  The spark should jump between the tip of the piezo and the burner (where the flame should appear).  If you can see a spark jump from the ceramic insulator (the white tube in the picture above) and some different place on the stove, the insulator has cracked and you DO need repair or replace the piezo.  If I had this problem in the field, I would pull the piezo out (not hard on the Jetboil if you know how - instructions attached) and see if I could fix the crack with SuperGlue (if I have some in my first aid kit) or with liquid band-aid or anything else that would seal the crack.  Should work for awhile if the patch material is non-conducting. Can't say that I've tried this, though.  (Make sure the superglue has solidified in the crack before putting the piezo back in place - you don''t want to glue the piezo to the stove, just glue the crack shut)

    Another option would be to carry a spare piezo.  They are available for $10 at REI for JetBoils (don't know about other stoves).  I haven't found the need to do this, but might on a long trip (mine tend to be 130 miles max -- short for some in this group) or where multiple people were relying upon the stove and sharing weight.

    I agree that piezo's are delicate and I agree that you have to carry backup (e.g., stormproof matches - not just a spare piezo).  But with care you can make them work.  And they are sweet.  Significantly reduce the hassle of field cooking, especially for people (like myself) who cook multi-ingredient meals that lead us to turn the stove on and often several times each dinner.  And they do make your fuel last longer.

    John Curran Ladd
    1616 Castro Street
    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
    415-648-9279
  • John Ladd
    Ed asks: This is 1 of the thing am trying to find out with the canister stove there dependability on the trail. I have carried JetBoils for over 1,000 miles
    Message 2 of 19 , Sep 3, 2009
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      Ed asks:

      "This is 1 of the thing am trying to find out with the canister stove there dependability on the trail. "

      I have carried JetBoils for over 1,000 miles without a failure.  The  piezos have failed (before I was protecting them properly) but it lighted just fine with a match.

      There's not much to break on a Jetboil (ignoring the nice-but-not-critical piezo).  It is actually pretty simple technology - the canister screws directly into the burner and it has just one valve. 

      I'd worry more about canister stoves where there is tubing running from the canister to the burner.  And I'd worry WAY more with white gas stoves -- they are much more complicated, lots of gaskets, screens, pressurizing pumps, etc.  To get a sense of how many little things can go wrong on a MSR Whisperlite, XGK, Dragonfly or similar stoves, just look at how many little parts and tools they give you in the maintenance kits.  Each of the things in the kit CAN go wrong and (in my experience do go wrong, eventually)

      I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea - beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light).  I rebuilt mine several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.  But I'm way happier with the JetBoil.  To my mind, reliability is a plus, not a negative, for the JetBoil.

      (And, no, I'm not on a JetBoil payroll)

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      415-648-9279


      On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM, <ed_rodriguez52@...> wrote:
      >
      >  
      >
      > Thanks Brian, good information. On my XGK stove I have one ever had much of a problem with mine but not sure about the canister stove priezo. This is 1 of the thing am trying to find out with the canister stove there dependability on the trail. I could take apart my XGK stove repair and clean it on the trail. Ed
      >
      > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Brian Herrera
      > Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 11:41:50 -0700
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com<johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
      > Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
      >  
      >
      > I’ve never owned a piezo stove, but everyone I’ve talked to says they break easily and they end up using a lighter/matches because they get tired of replacing it.
      >
      >  
      >
      > Brian
      >
      >  
      >
      > From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Barbara Burns
      > Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 11:35 AM
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
      >
      >  
      >
      >  
      >
      > So appreciate the Learning . . .Thank you, John.  I have an old MSR Whisper Lite, which I've sent off to MSR for cleaning and refurbishing, and, am beginning to consider other stove possibilities.  In this place, I am following the groups' discussions about stove options.  Again, my sincere gratefulness for all that this group offers.
      > Karpani
      >
      > --- On Thu, 9/3/09, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
      >
      > From: John Ladd <johnladd@...>
      > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
      > To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      > Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009, 11:08 AM
      >
      >  
      >
      > Barbara Burns asks
      >
      > John, what's a "piezo"?
      >
      > It is a little mechanical device included in many stoves that lights your stove with a small spark when you press a button.  They save you from having to light a match or lighter every time you start or re-start the stove.  It facilitates turning the stove on and off as needed, which in turns lessens fuel use.  They are a little delicate, but are very helpful.
      >
      > John Curran Ladd
      > 1616 Castro Street
      > San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
      > 415-648-9279
      >
      >
      > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      > This message is confidential, intended only for the named recipient(s) and may contain 
      > information that is privileged or exempt from disclosure under applicable law.  If you are 
      > not the intended recipient(s), you are notified that the dissemination, distribution or 
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      >
    • ed_rodriguez52@yahoo.com
      LOL thanks John, say which jetboil do you own Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry® ... From: John Ladd Date: Thu, 3 Sep
      Message 3 of 19 , Sep 3, 2009
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        LOL thanks John, say which jetboil do you own

        Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


        From: John Ladd
        Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 13:18:25 -0700
        To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
        Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove

         

        Ed asks:

        "This is 1 of the thing am trying to find out with the canister stove there dependability on the trail. "

        I have carried JetBoils for over 1,000 miles without a failure.  The  piezos have failed (before I was protecting them properly) but it lighted just fine with a match.

        There's not much to break on a Jetboil (ignoring the nice-but-not- critical piezo).  It is actually pretty simple technology - the canister screws directly into the burner and it has just one valve. 

        I'd worry more about canister stoves where there is tubing running from the canister to the burner.  And I'd worry WAY more with white gas stoves -- they are much more complicated, lots of gaskets, screens, pressurizing pumps, etc.  To get a sense of how many little things can go wrong on a MSR Whisperlite, XGK, Dragonfly or similar stoves, just look at how many little parts and tools they give you in the maintenance kits.  Each of the things in the kit CAN go wrong and (in my experience do go wrong, eventually)

        I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea - beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light).  I rebuilt mine several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.  But I'm way happier with the JetBoil.  To my mind, reliability is a plus, not a negative, for the JetBoil.

        (And, no, I'm not on a JetBoil payroll)

        John Curran Ladd
        1616 Castro Street
        San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        415-648-9279


        On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 11:51 AM, <ed_rodriguez52@ yahoo.com> wrote:
        >
        >  
        >
        > Thanks Brian, good information. On my XGK stove I have one ever had much of a problem with mine but not sure about the canister stove priezo. This is 1 of the thing am trying to find out with the canister stove there dependability on the trail. I could take apart my XGK stove repair and clean it on the trail. Ed
        >
        > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
        >
        >____________ _________ _________ __
        > From: Brian Herrera
        > Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2009 11:41:50 -0700
        > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com<johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com>
        > Subject: RE: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
        >  
        >
        > I’ve never owned a piezo stove, but everyone I’ve talked to says they break easily and they end up using a lighter/matches because they get tired of replacing it.
        >
        >  
        >
        > Brian
        >
        >  
        >
        > From: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Barbara Burns
        > Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 11:35 AM
        > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
        > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
        >
        >  
        >
        >  
        >
        > So appreciate the Learning . . .Thank you, John.  I have an old MSR Whisper Lite, which I've sent off to MSR for cleaning and refurbishing, and, am beginning to consider other stove possibilities.  In this place, I am following the groups' discussions about stove options.  Again, my sincere gratefulness for all that this group offers.
        > Karpani
        >
        > --- On Thu, 9/3/09, John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com> wrote:
        >
        > From: John Ladd <johnladd@gmail. com>
        > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
        > To: johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com
        > Date: Thursday, September 3, 2009, 11:08 AM
        >
        >  
        >
        > Barbara Burns asks
        >
        > John, what's a "piezo"?
        >
        > It is a little mechanical device included in many stoves that lights your stove with a small spark when you press a button.  They save you from having to light a match or lighter every time you start or re-start the stove.  It facilitates turning the stove on and off as needed, which in turns lessens fuel use.  They are a little delicate, but are very helpful.
        >
        > John Curran Ladd
        > 1616 Castro Street
        > San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
        > 415-648-9279
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ----
        > This message is  confidential,  intended only  for the named  recipient( s) and may contain 
        > information that  is privileged  or exempt from  disclosure  under applicable  law.  If you  are 
        > not the intended  recipient( s), you are  notified that  the dissemination , distribution  or 
        > copying of this  message is  strictly prohibit ed. If you receive  this message  in error, or  are not 
        > the named recipient( s), please  notify the  sender at either  the e-mail  address or  telephone 
        > number above and  delete this  e-mail from  your computer.   Thank you.
        >

      • John Ladd
        I own the Personal jetBoil, which is directed at the solo hiker, tho I ve used it for two. [image: 10002907.jpg] http://www.rei.com/product/760622 They have
        Message 4 of 19 , Sep 3, 2009
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          I own the "Personal" jetBoil, which is directed at the solo hiker, tho I've used it for two.

          10002907.jpg

          http://www.rei.com/product/760622


          They have a quite similar group system which REI says has the same fuel efficiency (liters of water boiled per 100 gm of fuel).  But I have no personal experience with the group jetboil.

          John Curran Ladd
          1616 Castro Street
          San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
          415-648-9279


          On Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 1:29 PM, <ed_rodriguez52@...> wrote:
          >
          >  
          >
          > LOL thanks John, say which jetboil do you own
          >
        • onkelb0b
          ... I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea - beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light). I rebuilt mine several times,
          Message 5 of 19 , Sep 3, 2009
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            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
            I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea - beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light).  I rebuilt mine several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.

            When a hiker remembers and has used a Svea stove, well, there's a number a years in the field. Brings back some pleasant and not so pleasant memories.
          • clairehiker
            I use a personal jetboil for 2 of us. The piezo broke pretty early, we tried redirecting it, but now we just carry a bic lighter, which will throw a spark to
            Message 6 of 19 , Sep 4, 2009
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              I use a personal jetboil for 2 of us. The piezo broke pretty early, we tried redirecting it, but now we just carry a bic lighter, which will throw a spark to ignite the gas, and also some storm matches. With lots of cooking, the small canister lasts us about 3 days but more if I'm thoughtful about it.
              Claire
              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "onkelb0b" <onkelbob@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
              > I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea -
              > beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light). I rebuilt mine
              > several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.
              >
              > When a hiker remembers and has used a Svea stove
              > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svea_123> , well, there's a number a years
              > in the field. Brings back some pleasant and not so pleasant memories.
              >
            • ed_rodriguez52@yahoo.com
              Thank you claire, now can you cook meals that require a pan on your stove like a rice a roni or a noodle roni meal Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my
              Message 7 of 19 , Sep 4, 2009
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                Thank you claire, now can you cook meals that require a pan on your stove like a rice a roni or a noodle roni meal

                Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


                From: "clairehiker"
                Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 14:56:25 -0000
                To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove

                 

                I use a personal jetboil for 2 of us. The piezo broke pretty early, we tried redirecting it, but now we just carry a bic lighter, which will throw a spark to ignite the gas, and also some storm matches. With lots of cooking, the small canister lasts us about 3 days but more if I'm thoughtful about it.
                Claire

                --- In johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com, "onkelb0b" <onkelbob@.. .> wrote:
                >
                > --- In johnmuirtrail@ yahoogroups. com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                > I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea -
                > beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light). I rebuilt mine
                > several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.
                >
                > When a hiker remembers and has used a Svea stove
                > <http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Svea_123> , well, there's a number a years
                > in the field. Brings back some pleasant and not so pleasant memories.
                >

              • John Ladd
                Ed asks: now [how] can you cook meals that require a pan on your stove like a rice a roni or a noodle roni meal Anything that just needs to simmer, or come
                Message 8 of 19 , Sep 4, 2009
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                  Ed asks:

                  "now [how] can you cook meals that require a pan on your stove like a
                  rice a roni or a noodle roni meal"

                  Anything that just needs to simmer, or come to a boil and then steep,
                  cooks easily in a jetboil.

                  I've also

                  clarified butter in a jetboil
                  cooked pasta in a jetboil
                  heated pesto in a Jetboil
                  cooked scallops in butter in a jetboil (lots of butter)
                  cooked bacon in a jetboil (cut into small pieces and fried in its own
                  fat) - not crispy but quite edible
                  softboiled eggs in a Jetboil
                  made a sort-of-omlet in a jetboil (lots of butter)

                  Probably can't bake in it. Can do most anything else.

                  Cleans up reasonably well with a Scotchbrite pad.

                  If something needs two pots - like scallops on top of pasta, you cook
                  one part first (the pasta), put the pasta in an insulated mug, then
                  cook the second thing (the scallops), then combine them.

                  John Curran Ladd
                  1616 Castro Street
                  San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                  415-648-9279



                  On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 8:02 AM, <ed_rodriguez52@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Thank you claire,
                  >
                  > Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: "clairehiker"
                  > Date: Fri, 04 Sep 2009 14:56:25 -0000
                  > To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] canister stove
                  >
                  >
                  > I use a personal jetboil for 2 of us. The piezo broke pretty early, we tried
                  > redirecting it, but now we just carry a bic lighter, which will throw a
                  > spark to ignite the gas, and also some storm matches. With lots of cooking,
                  > the small canister lasts us about 3 days but more if I'm thoughtful about
                  > it.
                  >
                  > Claire
                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "onkelb0b" <onkelbob@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@> wrote:
                  >> I loved my MSR Whisperlite for years (it replaced a brass Svea -
                  >> beautiful and simple but heavy and tricky to light). I rebuilt mine
                  >> several times, replacing all the parts that could fail.
                  >>
                  >> When a hiker remembers and has used a Svea stove
                  >> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svea_123> , well, there's a number a years
                  >> in the field. Brings back some pleasant and not so pleasant memories.
                  >>
                  >
                  >
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