After warming up to my canister stove and getting the hang of it I started looking into some alcohol stoves. I made a few Pepsi can stoves and to my surprise they were actually fairly efficient. I made one of the Supercat stoves and it was way too much flame for me. (I never felt that I did well with the Supercat so I would like to toy around with it again one day.) I also made some of the aluminum Bud Light bottle stoves. I made 2 of them, each with a different take on the jets.
I eventually ended up getting a smaller Ti pot and decided to get an alcohol stove to go with it. I figured I would purchase one since they were fairly cheap and much better quality than what I was producing. They are fun to make and all but I figured I would go with the White Box SOLO Stove.
I chose the SOLO stove over the Original White Box Stove because the SOLO was a smaller stove that was meant to be used with smaller pots. I found out over time that the SOLO was best used with stoves with at least a 4″ diameter. The SOLO is smaller than the Original in that it is not as tall, it holds less fuel, and there are fewer jets. Long story short, I did not read about the SOLO in its entirety and the stove ended up not working with my pot since it’s diameter was 3 5/8″ which was way too narrow for the SOLO stove to work efficiently with.
Bill from White Box Stoves was very kind and ended up sending me the Original since the SOLO was too small to work with my larger 1.8L cook pot and too big for my 700 ML Ti pot. He explained the stoves to me in more detail even though I did not do so before hand. So, now I am looking to get a GSI Ultralight Tea Kettle to use with the White Box SOLO Stove.
As far as the stoves, they are beautiful little stoves. They look oh so sweet with the flames shooting out. The rolled top is crafted flawlessly. The stoves are pretty tough considering they are just aluminum bottles due to the rolled tops. They are very sturdy when using them with any of my cook pots. Once I use them a little more I will write a more detailed report on them and be sure to post it on here.
Update: So last night I decided to record some boil times using my GSI kettle with my Original WBS using different amounts of fuel (HEET) as well as with and without the windscreen inside a controlled environment. I also did a boil time with the GSI kettle and my Optimus Crux stove (without a windscreen). Here they are:
Each test was completed using 2 cups of cold tap water straight out of the faucet. (I do not have an exact temperature, but it did indeed feel cold.)
#1: GSI Kettle with Optimus Crux Stove & no windscreen. I used a 4 oz Jetboil fuel canister that had previously been used, but not much out of the canister. The canister weighed 5.1 oz (145 g) before boiling. This stove brought the 2 cups of water to a full rolling boil in 1 minute and 55 seconds. The stove was turned up half way. After the boil, the fuel canister weighed 4.8 oz (138 g). So 2 minutes and 0.3 oz (7 g) for a boil is pretty sweet, and efficient.
#2: GSI Kettle with the Original White Box Stove & heat reflector. No windscreen was used with this test. I used 1/2 oz of HEET (yellow bottle), and a few drops in the primer pan to help the stove blossom faster.
Stove Blossomed: 23 seconds
Kettle placed on stove: 40 seconds
Begin Boil: Did not begin to boil.
Full Rolling Boil: Did not come to a boil.
Stove Burn Out: 5 minutes & 4 seconds.
#3: GSI Kettle with the Original White Box Stove, heat reflector and the windscreen was used with this test. I used 1/2 oz of HEET (yellow bottle), and a few drops in the primer pan to help the stove blossom faster.
Stove Blossomed: 23 seconds
Kettle placed on stove: 37 seconds
Begin Boil: 5 minutes & 27 seconds.
Full Rolling Boil: Did not achieve a full rolling boil.
Stove Burn Out: 6 minutes & 18 seconds.
#4: GSI Kettle with the Original White Box Stove, heat reflector and the windscreen was used with this test. I used 3/4 oz of HEET (yellow bottle), and a few drops in the primer pan to help the stove blossom faster.
Stove Blossomed: 23 seconds
Kettle placed on stove: 38 seconds
Begin Boil: 5 minutes & 14 seconds.
Full Rolling Boil: 6 minutes & 8 seconds.
Stove Burn Out: 8 minutes & 48 seconds.
Of course this was in a controlled environment, free from any wind and in a room about 68 – 70* F. However, the canister stove was just fast & efficient. For long trips, this would be an excellent set up.
As for the WBS, even in a controlled environment the windscreen made a difference. Without the windscreen, 1/2 an oz did not even bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. With the windscreen, using the same amount of fuel and water, the WBS efficiency was increased 2 ways. 1. It actually retained more heat and brought the water to a boil, and 2. It increased the overall burn time.
What is also interesting is that while the 1/2 oz of fuel did in fact bring the 2 cups of water to a boil just by adding the windscreen, by the time the water was at a boil, the fuel was getting low and the flame was dying down. Because of this, the water never actually reached a full rolling boil.
However, when I added just a little more fuel (3/4 oz) and kept the windscreen and heat reflector in place there was enough to bring the water to a minimal boil, and there was still enough fuel to burn hot enough long enough to continue heating the water, bringing the water to a full rolling boil. It even maintained that full boil for about 2 1/2 minutes.
So, 5-6 minutes for a good boil using the White Box alcohol stove. While it is not < 2 minutes, it is still not a long time. I guess it just depends on how hungry you really are!
I will be happy to carry this stove with me. I have 3 trips I am going to do by the end of June (each of them lasting 3 days), and I will bring this exact set-up for each one. I will be sure to report back on how it does in the field after these trips.