The Vault Regulars

Monday, July 26, 2010

Gram Weenie stove test

The postman was early today and with him came a package from Australia.
It was the Gram Weenie stove.

I have now spent a couple of hours this morning testing it out and here are my findings.
On opening the package you will find:-
1. The stove
2. Windshield
3. A 5 Fl oz fuel bottle (approx.)
4. Priming pan
5. Instruction pamphlet.

The 3 containers i have used for testing are as follows.
From R-L.
 Hi Gear 105mm diameter, 0.75L pan. (Aluminium)
Optimus 95mm diameter 0.5L pan. (Aluminium)
 Lifeventure Titanium cup 80mm diameter 0.43L.
First of all what does it all weigh. (measured by me)
The stove - 19 gr.
Windshield and pan 55gr.
Fuel bottle (empty) 25gr.
Total. 99gr.

My first set up was with the Lifeventure mug because this was the lightest container and i was hoping to use this in the field.
I put 1 fl oz of meths in the stove, as per instructions and a couple of drops of meths on the priming pan.
Then ignited the fuel and waited until the flames blossomed from the small jet holes. This took about 45 seconds.
Then i put the pan on which contained 430ml of cold water and then wrapped the windshield around.
The 430ml was determined from the fact that most dehydrated food packets require in the region of 400ml to rehydrate.
The wind was swirling and ambient temperature was 11 degrees.
After about a minute the flames went out so i set it up again and the flame went out again.

I decided to try out the test in the kitchen where it would be out of the wind. Not a good start as you cannot do this on the fell side, but at least the results will be made in stable conditions.
Anyway, this is what i found, using the same amount of water in all the pans and 1fl oz of fuel in the stove.

The Hi Gear pan - 6.00 mins to boil and then the flame burned for another minute.

The Optimus pan - 6.40 mins to boil and then the flame burned for another 30 seconds.

The Lifeventure cup - 9.00 mins and just as it boiled it went out.

From the results i ascertain that the stove works better if the pan is wide and shallow rather than narrow and tall.

Having got these results it was now time to take it outside again and use the Hi Gear 105mm dia. pan as the best test.
Set up was as previously stated.
The water boiled in 7.00 minutes and the stove burned for another 20 seconds after.

My conclusion is that for the UK hills this stove is too small. 
In very blustery conditions, which is the norm here, there is a good chance that the stove will not boil your water in time, before it goes out.
 Also there is the chance that it could self extinguish depending on the wind speed and if it's blustery or your pan is too narrow.
It also takes too long to boil.
The windshield is very light and i will have to find a way of keeping it on the ground when its windy.
I don't think i would depend on it at the moment, unfortunately.

The next time we go backpacking, in about 3 weeks time, we will take this stove as well as our gas stove and see if i am correct with my findings.

Back to the drawing board. Maybe a new cone type windshield next. Mmm
Oh. And i must say that this testing has been done for my own personal use and there is no commercial involvement whatsoever.



8 comments:

afootinthehills said...

Pity about your conclusions, but worth the try. I've recently changed from Camping Gaz to the usual butane/propane mix and I think I get a lot less cooking time on the latter. I've not experimented thoroughly though. What sort of time do you get from a 250 cart - cooking an evening meal for 2,and say perhaps 3 litres of water for coffee etc a day?

Sorry for this long comment/question.

The Odyssee said...

Hi Gibson,
I have only started to use gas this year after many years of only using meths.
I havn't done any comparative testings between different gas mixes or components.
When i am out i only ever boil water. I never 'cook' anything.
What i found with the 'Crux" gas stove can be found here at the link.
http://alanrayneroutdoors.blogspot.com/2010/05/optimus-crux-stove.html
Hope this helps...Alan

afootinthehills said...

No I guess I don't 'cook' anything either. Don't know why I said that - Peewiglet would have an expression for that lapse!!

Useful info on the 'Crux' stove - I'm grateful.

The Odyssee said...

Interesting what Peewiglet would say?

On the Crux info, i would imagine that there would be little differences from one gas stove to another. Based on the thermal heat output the gas used should be pretty much the same.

Mac E said...

Alan I would definately recommend using a cone type winndshield with a lightweight meths burner as it dramatically improves efficiency. Of course it'll only work with whichever pot you design it to fit but then if you're using a light meths burner you won't be carrying a selection of pots anyway.

The Odyssee said...

Mac, you must have read my mind. There is a new pot on its way and a new cone being made as we blog.
Should be done in a couple of days and more tests to do.

Mac E said...

It's the way to go Alan, look forward to finding out which pot you've choosen and how it all performs.

The Odyssee said...

Mac,
I have previously done some test work which you can read when you get bored, at the link below. (if you havn't read it already.)
http://alanrayneroutdoors.blogspot.com/search/label/Stove%20tests

So the testing i am doing now is to see if i can get the weight down further or the boil time down. Or in a perfect world, both.

It does seem to me that the best scenario is cone windshield with a wide, shallow pot.
Also it might be beneficial to have a double cone but this would add weight and it may not be worth it.
I am not going to go down this route at the moment as it would only confuse matters.
Thank's i appreciate your comments.

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