Stoves

Posted by: bfranke

Stoves - 07/07/14 09:26 PM

Hi all, newb here looking for advice on stoves. We plan on a 2day summit the week of 7/21. My buddy has the "jet boil" system which worked good at San Gorgonio. Just want to make sure the propane/butane system works good at higher elevations. Or should I look into the white fuel burners?
thanks
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/07/14 09:29 PM

Canister stoves work fine at Trail Camp. If it is cold out, just drop the canister into your sleeping bag to keep it warm (or keep it in your pocket), and it will start right up the next morning. Self-ignition can be a bit flaky at altitude/cold -- good to bring matches as back up.
Posted by: Ken

Re: Stoves - 07/07/14 11:11 PM

I really discourage people from using the white gas stoves unless they are very very familiar with them. They have their virtues, but I think they are a somewhat controlled explosion. Somewhat.

I always seem to get gas all over things, and they are a lot heavier.

Akichow is right on with the tricks for warming canisters. works great.
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/07/14 11:25 PM

Yeah, and some of them actually require a certain amount of sloppiness to prime them (not as bad as the Svea, of course....inherited two of them, but just keep them around as momentos)

I went on a trip where everyone had a jet-boil, and I was amazed at how ridiculously easy they were to handle (I have a Dragonfly, or something like that...white gas) I pretty much gave up on hot meals because I dreaded dealing with the stove 'issues'.
Posted by: wbtravis

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 08:41 AM

If you forget to sleep with the canister, give it a bath.

Put the canister in bowl of water, this will improve performance.
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: Bee
Yeah, and some of them actually require a certain amount of sloppiness to prime them (not as bad as the Svea, of course....inherited two of them, but just keep them around as momentos)

I went on a trip where everyone had a jet-boil, and I was amazed at how ridiculously easy they were to handle (I have a Dragonfly, or something like that...white gas) I pretty much gave up on hot meals because I dreaded dealing with the stove 'issues'.


Bee: Lemme know when those Sveas, get underfoot: I'd be glad to provide a new home and life for them. I own several MSRs, but a full Svea 123 is one of my essentials. BTW, every gas flame, including that Bic, is a controlled explosion.
Posted by: Bulldog34

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 05:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Bee
I went on a trip where everyone had a jet-boil, and I was amazed at how ridiculously easy they were to handle


I've been using the same Jet-Boil for over 5 years and have never had a problem at any altitude (12.5K') or temperature (low twenties). I hear regularly that you can't trust isobutane/propane at low temps or elevation, but that's not been my experience. Can't personally speak to JB's performance at higher elevation or frigid temps, but I know people who can and swear by it.

I have a hiking buddy who is a big liquid fuel fan. We go on a trip, he brings his cherished MSR, I bring my JB. I'm usually drinking coffee while he's still fiddling with his connections, priming it, setting up the wind screen. It is ridiculously easy to use, lightning fast (Jet-Boil), and compact. The only downside I've experienced is that, due to it's tall nature, it can sometimes be tricky to balance. And, of course, the auto ignition fails after a few years.
Posted by: Ken

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 07:50 PM

Another issue may be that there has been a distinct change in the mixture of gases in the canisters. I think they used to be butane/propane, and there was a problem with one gas burning off preferentially. But I think they are all different and better now.

I don't hear people complaining of the problems I used to hear, with the modern mixtures.
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 08:38 PM

I've had problems at trail camp starting a stove with a cold canister. But generally been able to work it out. Separately, the autoignite is definitely tempermental when the canister is cold. Matches are a total must.

I've read that MSR uses a better gas mix than the others in its canisters. I usually use Snowpeak (I have a Snowpeak stove) but I understand that, notwithstanding the mfrs recommendations, any isobutane canister with the standard threading may work. I haven't tried this myself much and can't claim to be an expert on this topic. Hiking Jim is the resident stove expert. http://adventuresinstoving.blogspot.com/
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 10:49 PM

I'll put in a plug for the white gas (Coleman fuel) stoves. If you learn how to light one, they work just fine. But I have seen really smart people get into trouble with them.

The right way:
1. Connect everything.
2. Pump the tank to pressurize.
3. Open the valve, allow a spoon full of fuel to fill the stove's little warming reservoir.
4. Turn the valve off! (This is where people screw up.)
5. Light the stove, watch it burn almost out, 30-60 seconds. This heats the metal parts so when you re-open the valve, what comes out is vaporized fuel.
6. Open the valve. If you wait until the flame is out, light it right away.

For big groups on a long trip, the white gas stove is overall lighter than the canister ones, because the weight of those pressurized canisters adds up. I've also gone snow camping with snowmobiles, and the Coleman fuel stove is best for carrying and burning enough fuel to melt snow for water. In frozen environments, you don't have to worry about keeping the Coleman fuel warm enough.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

But... I don't carry a canister stove anymore. They are all too heavy. The titanium wing / Esbit tablet stove is what I use.

Here's the stove folded, 0.4 oz (11 g):


Here's a view as I use it. I add a homemade wind screen: 2" high aluminum foil cylinder. Stove, fuel tablets, lighter and windscreen all fit loosely in a quart zip-slider bag.


$20 on Backpacking Light
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 11:06 PM

Guilty as charged for not doing #4!


BTW, that's a really concise step-by-step...that teaspoon of fuel is very important, too(#3).
Posted by: lynn-a-roo

Re: Stoves - 07/08/14 11:21 PM

STEVE C.

Right on! Your instructions are perfect except for the fact you forgot that one has to put their thumb over the hole of the piece of the pump one has to push in and out (re: old coleman stoves) to pump up pressure. I feel like I'm an expert at the ol' green coleman stoves.
Posted by: Steve C

Re: Stoves - 07/09/14 12:16 AM

Originally Posted By: lynn-a-roo
STEVE C.

Right on! Your instructions are perfect except for the fact you forgot that one has to put their thumb over the hole of the piece of the pump one has to push in and out (re: old coleman stoves) to pump up pressure. I feel like I'm an expert at the ol' green coleman stoves.


My little backpacking stoves didn't have that hole, but Coleman stove pumps do (they open/unscrew, too).

One more thing: Before you head off on a camping trip, sometimes those pumps need a drop of 3-in-1 oil to lubricate the leather or rubber seal that traps and pushes the air when you pump.

Bee, I had a doctor buddy try to light one once, and he had a big two-foot billowing flame before I realized what was happening and closed the valve!
Posted by: catpappy

Re: Stoves - 07/09/14 09:38 PM

Hey Gary, it's me John. I think you were mentioning me in your post. MY MSR Windpro is a canister stove not white gas. The reason I bought it was for the fact I used to do a good bit of winter hiking and still try to when I can. The Windpro is a remote canister stove meaning the canister can be inverted for extra umph if needed in cold temps. Also I like to actually cook when backpacking sometimes (pork marsala - umm) and the low profile works well with a 10 inch pan. Jet-boils and Reactors are darn good stoves though.


Another way to keep the canister warm is to get a chemical hand/foot warmer going and wrap it and the canister in a sock. I did this a couple mornings when the temps got down to around minus 6 and it worked great.

Salty, talk about a blast from the past - I have two Optimus 99's I bought in 79 for when I thru hiked the AT. Both still work great and I use them from time to time. That flame roar would drown out a waterfall at full throttle.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJJcay2w_Tk
John
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/09/14 10:31 PM

I could probably do a timeline of my life based on the stoves I have used

Coleman: Dad thought that he needed to cover his checklist of what he needed to own to be an official American -- Coleman was on the list! (yes, I remember the little hole that you had to cover..)

Svea: A beautiful work of art. I remember watching a friend cook a gourmet meal in a 10" skillet precariously balanced on the tiny stove. The best part was watching him douse the assembled stove(comes in a tiny cannister) in fuel & light it on fire (I thought he was nuts) Worked great every time.

MSR: I still have not gotten the hang of this one.

JetBoil: The Stove for Dummies (me) Absolutely brainless compaired to the others

Homemade Alcohol Stove: Don't try this at home....or on the trail. The flame is almost invisible, & it's a good way to start a forest fire AND it does not burn at a sufficiently high enough temp for many applications



Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 04:38 PM

Originally Posted By: bfranke
Hi all, newb here looking for advice on stoves. We plan on a 2day summit the week of 7/21. My buddy has the "jet boil" system which worked good at San Gorgonio. Just want to make sure the propane/butane system works good at higher elevations. Or should I look into the white fuel burners?
thanks
You should have no problem with canister gas stoves. There's nothing about altitude that affects canister gas stoves.

Now, piezoelectric ignitions on stoves, yes, those tend to fail, particularly above 10,000', sometimes lower, and they also tend to fail with age. A (flint ignition!) lighter and matches are always a good idea. A piezoelectric ignition on a lighter works even less well than on a stove and can fail as low as 7000', so like I say make sure your lighter if you bring one has a flint ignition. The once with the little wheels you crank hard on with your thumb are flint ignitions. A standard Bic has a flint ignition.

As for the gas itself, in warm weather, weather generally above 50F/10C, it doesn't make one bit of difference which brand you buy. Coleman at Walmart is generally the cheapest, but they only sell the 200g size.

In colder temperatures, look for isobutane/propane mixes only. Jetboil, MSR, Brunton, and Snow Peak are all good. Coleman, Primus, Optimus, Glowmaster, etc. all have "regular" butane to some degree or another and aren't good for cold weather.

Generally upright canister stoves (like a Jetboil, PocketRocket, etc.) are good down to about 20F if you use isobutane/propane fuel. It helps even more if you start warm and keep the canister warm. You can start warm on a cold morning by keeping the canister next to your body (under your jacket or in your sleeping bag) before you cook, and you can keep the canister warm by placing it in pan (or ziplock or whatever) full of liquid water. Warmish or tepid water is fine, but do not use hot water which could cause the stove to flare.

Stove nerdily yours, smile

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 04:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Akichow
Canister stoves work fine at Trail Camp. If it is cold out, just drop the canister into your sleeping bag to keep it warm (or keep it in your pocket), and it will start right up the next morning. Self-ignition can be a bit flaky at altitude/cold -- good to bring matches as back up.
Good advice on all counts.

On this, "just drop the canister into your sleeping bag", just remember that you have to be in the bag too in order to provide the warmth. smile Otherwise, a cold canister in a cold sleeping bag will stay... cold.

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 04:44 PM

Originally Posted By: wbtravis
If you forget to sleep with the canister, give it a bath.
Absolutely true, and even better still if you do both. My philosophy (for what it's worth) smile in cold weather with canister stoves is to start warm and keep it warm.

BTW, there are any number of ways to keep a canister warm; water is pretty safe and the one I generally recommend. There are advanced techniques for truly cold weather, but those are not without danger. Heat + fuel = BOOM. Everything in moderation, especially with explosives, yes? smile

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 04:49 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve C
The right way:
1. Connect everything.
2. Pump the tank to pressurize.
3. Open the valve, allow a spoon full of fuel to fill the stove's little warming reservoir.
4. Turn the valve off! (This is where people screw up.)
5. Light the stove, watch it burn almost out, 30-60 seconds. This heats the metal parts so when you re-open the valve, what comes out is vaporized fuel.
6. Open the valve. If you wait until the flame is out, light it right away.
Excellent primer, Steve. The main trick with what gas stoves is to a) know what to do and b) get it down pat. White gas stoves are no big deal once you get the priming sequence down.

Now, interesting (but practical!) side note: Traditionally, alcohol was used to prime liquid fueled stoves. MSR used to even provide a small squeeze bottle with their old XGK stoves. Why alcohol? Well, it burns a lot cleaner for one (no soot all over) and two it is a lot easier to control the amount you are dispensing. Most of the big "fireball" flames I've seen with white gas stoves are due to over priming. Alcohol is much less volatile than white gas and much less prone to fire balling. Just something to try next time you're out with your lovely old school WG stove. smile

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 05:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
I've been using the same Jet-Boil for over 5 years and have never had a problem at any altitude (12.5K') or temperature (low twenties). I hear regularly that you can't trust isobutane/propane at low temps or elevation, but that's not been my experience. Can't personally speak to JB's performance at higher elevation or frigid temps, but I know people who can and swear by it.
Well, pretty much true, but if you start to dig into the details, it gets a little bit complicated. Let me see if I can be succinct while still technically accurate.

1. Isobutane/propane mixes will generally work so long as the canister temperature is above about 20F at sea level.
2. Subtract 2 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet of elevation you are above sea level. In other words, at 10,000 feet above sea level, your canister stove should work down to 0F (10,000 * 2 / 1,000 = 20 and 20 - 20 = 0).

So, really, canister stoves work better at higher altitudes, all else being equal. Of course it can be pretty windy up high, so it's best to shelter your stove down in the nooks and crannies between rocks and such. I'll never know where these old wives tales about canister stoves not working well at altitude come from.

That said, there are hard limits on how cold you can operate a stove, and the closer you get to the temperatures I've specified above, the less well your stove is going to work. Like I say, start warm and keep the canister warm as you cook for best results.

As noted by another poster, with a remote canister stove (where the fuel is connected to the burner by a hose), you can go another 20 Fahrenheit lower than an upright style stove (where the burner just screws into the top of the canister), BUT you must must must have some type of pre-heating mechanism in order for this to be safe. See my article in Seattle Backpackers Magazine for more info.

That said, be careful. Don't take these temperature numbers as absolute guarantees. Sometimes canister mixes vary from what their label says. The numbers I'm giving you are the limits if the canister mixes are precise, but these are not "reagent grade" mixes for laboratories; these are consumer grade mixes. Always allow a margin of safety, particularly in cold weather. But you knew that. smile

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 05:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Ken
Another issue may be that there has been a distinct change in the mixture of gases in the canisters.
Ken, absolutely right. The original mixes were butane only. Butane will not vaporize below 31F, and you need to be at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit above that for your stove to have enough power to work right. In other words, you really can't use butane below 40F, and that's the very lowest you can go. And what happens to a canister after you run it for a while? It gets colder than its surroundings. So even if the outside temperature was 40F, your canister would quickly get colder than the surroundings, and your flame would get smaller and smaller and smaller...

Needless to say, 100% butane went over like a lead balloon and gave canister stoves a bad name for many years. Then people started getting smart. They added propane and made a mix. Propane vaporizes down to -44 F. That's right minus 44. Brr. Now, the propane as it would vaporize would drive the stove. Problem of course is that propane burns off faster (it's a bit more complicated than this, but this is a good approximation) rate than the butane, so toward the end of the canister's life, all the propane would be gone, and you'd be back to square one with a stove that barely functioned at 40F (which isn't particularly unusual even in summer as any Sierra hiker knows). Then they got really smart. Certain chemical processes can "bend" (not a precise scientific term here folks, but close enough) the butane molecule into what's called an isomer. The isomer has the same chemical formula (C4H10), but it's different geometry gives it different properties, one property is that the point at which it vaporizes goes from 31F to 11F. Huzzah! We're saved. smile lol But seriously, that 20 degree Fahrenheit lower vaporization makes a big difference in practical terms out in the field in real world conditions. Even at the very end of the canister, you should still be able to cook even if the temperatures are approaching 20F if you keep the canister warm. If the canister falls below 20F, you're not going to get much more than a flickering candle flame.

Probably WAY too much physics and chemistry for one day, but hopefully a few will find this interesting.

Told you I was a stove nerd,

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 06:06 PM

Originally Posted By: Bee
Svea: A beautiful work of art.
Oh, yes indeed. A very favorite stove of mine to this day. Of all the stoves produced in the 1950's only the Svea 123 is still produced today.

Originally Posted By: Bee
The best part was watching him douse the assembled stove(comes in a tiny cannister) in fuel & light it on fire (I thought he was nuts).
Oh dear me. You have made Hikin' Jim the stovie very sad. frown That is no way to treat a work of art. Just fill the little dimple (depression) around the burner column with white gas or better still alcohol and ignite. That's it. Do not douse. You could ruin the valve.

Originally Posted By: Bee
Homemade Alcohol Stove: Don't try this at home....or on the trail. The flame is almost invisible, & it's a good way to start a forest fire AND it does not burn at a sufficiently high enough temp for many applications.
Hmm. Well, there are good alky stoves and bad ones. And they are slow, but they're very light and there is nothing to go wrong on them. They have their place, but they're not as straightforward as a conventional canister gas stove. Call them an acquired taste.

HJ
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 07:46 PM

A "stovie"! Cool.

I think I will dig out the Sveas and pay them some attention (I truly love them; they are so beautiful)

I always thought that the "douse" method had to bee overkill, as it seemed like we were on teh verge of a 'meltdown'. It was truly amazing how you could finely tune the flame on such a simple contraption. The models that I have (I think they are still in the box after moving...along with the 2 Sierra Cups) were bought in the early 60's and they never failed. Rich bought 2 of them because he was afraid that they would be discontinued (like a favourite pair of shoes.)

I think that the alky stoves really required a certain confidence in their supreme simplicity (one must beelieve in the concept) I think that I was very nervous about the fact that if I spilled some juice, I may not notice if I had a runaway flame...!
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 07:50 PM

The physics and chemistry of the stoves is really interesting reading (uh-oh...letting on my very nerdy background)
Posted by: Bulldog34

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 09:19 PM

Jim, I was bitterly disappointed that you were not present on a stove thread for the first few days. How was this possible? My faith in your stove-radar is restored! wink
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 09:37 PM

Ditto! I felt sure when I mentioned your name you'd appear instantly like a genii! laugh
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 10:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
Jim, I was bitterly disappointed that you were not present on a stove thread for the first few days. How was this possible? My faith in your stove-radar is restored! wink
I was up in the eastern Sierra. A guy has got to go hiking once in a while!

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 10:14 PM

Bee,

Be very careful with a stove that hasn't been fired in a long time. The gasket on the tank cap may have hardened in which case it won't hold pressure anymore.

HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/11/14 11:35 PM

Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
Bee,

Be very careful with a stove that hasn't been fired in a long time. The gasket on the tank cap may have hardened in which case it won't hold pressure anymore.

HJ


Apparently there is a titanium o-ring available that is a perfect replacement for the Svea gasket. So common a guy found one at Charlotte Lake last week . . .
Posted by: Whitney Fan

Re: Stoves - 07/12/14 03:27 PM

Uhh, WAY too late now to "correct', but this thread was better suited to "Stove Heads", e-r-r, "Gear Heads"!
Posted by: Steve Chamberlin

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 07:55 AM

Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
... Then they got really smart. Certain chemical processes can "bend" (not a precise scientific term here folks, but close enough) the butane molecule into what's called an isomer. The isomer has the same chemical formula (C4H10), but it's different geometry gives it different properties, one property is that the point at which it vaporizes goes from 31F to 11F.


Very interesting, thanks! I assume this is what's referred to as isobutane?

Also, if propane vaporizes down to -44F, why not fill the canister 100% with propane, and forget about the butane completely?
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 09:20 AM

Good question. After all, a common backyard grill or a two-burner Coleman camp stove uses propane and works in shivering conditions. But pick up the empty fuel can and it's heavy. The answer to your question is simple. Propane has a high vapor pressure under normal conditions (that's why it works so well) and therefore requires a very strong and heavy container. The can itself is heavier than you would want to carry in your backpack. Going to the next lower vapor pressure simple hydrocarbon, butane, reduces the strength and weight requirement for the can. The problem there is that, as discussed by Hikin Jim, the vapor pressure of butane gets too low to be useful as the temperature gets cold. The butane isomer, isobutane, has a slightly higher vapor pressure and adding a little propane (20% or so) makes a mixture that is fine-tuned for the vapor pressure/strength-requirements. So we end up with something of a compromise: a fuel that has a vapor pressure that is just high enough to be useful under most backpacking conditions, in a can that is not too heavy to carry.
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 06:09 PM

Sexiest WZ thread ever!
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 06:48 PM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
Apparently there is a titanium o-ring available that is a perfect replacement for the Svea gasket. So common a guy found one at Charlotte Lake last week . . .
lol.

For those who aren't in on the inside joke, I lost my wedding ring recently on a Sierra backpack. I posted that I had lost the ring on several forums (including this one and Facebook). Someone recently found the ring and remembered my post. He contacted me... and I now have my ring.

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 06:59 PM

Originally Posted By: Steve Chamberlin
Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
... Then they got really smart. Certain chemical processes can "bend" (not a precise scientific term here folks, but close enough) the butane molecule into what's called an isomer. The isomer has the same chemical formula (C4H10), but it's different geometry gives it different properties, one property is that the point at which it vaporizes goes from 31F to 11F.

Very interesting, thanks! I assume this is what's referred to as isobutane?
Exactly. The isomer form of butane is isobutane, and any time you're out in weather that's going to be below 50F, then it's worth your while to only get brands with isobutane. "Plain" butane does not work well for canister gas stoves in cold weather.

Originally Posted By: Steve Chamberlin
Also, if propane vaporizes down to -44F, why not fill the canister 100% with propane, and forget about the butane completely?
Ah! The classic question. Well, think about a pot on the stove that's gently boiling. Then you open up the burner on full, the boil goes wild, and the lid practically jumps off the pot. What's happening here? The higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature, the more vigourous the boil, and the greater the vapor pressure. Propane vaporizes at -44F. If one is at, say, +100F, one is some 144 Fahrenheit degrees above the boiling point of propane. The vapor pressure is so high that a thin walled steel canister (such as those used for backpacking) cannot safely contain the pressure. Therefore, in the US, you won't find more than 30% propane/70% butane (or 20% propane/80% isobutane) mixes. They just won't meet safety standards. That's the simplest answer I can give. Physicists and chemists among you will no doubt point out that smaller, lightweight canisters that would contain 100% propane are possible, but such canisters would not be as affordable as the current cheap steel canisters commonly used today. However, if anyone wants to provide me with a titanium canister for me to experiment with, I am all ears. smile

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 07:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Glenn
Good question. After all, a common backyard grill or a two-burner Coleman camp stove uses propane and works in shivering conditions. But pick up the empty fuel can and it's heavy. The answer to your question is simple. Propane has a high vapor pressure under normal conditions (that's why it works so well) and therefore requires a very strong and heavy container. The can itself is heavier than you would want to carry in your backpack. Going to the next lower vapor pressure simple hydrocarbon, butane, reduces the strength and weight requirement for the can. The problem there is that, as discussed by Hikin Jim, the vapor pressure of butane gets too low to be useful as the temperature gets cold. The butane isomer, isobutane, has a slightly higher vapor pressure and adding a little propane (20% or so) makes a mixture that is fine-tuned for the vapor pressure/strength-requirements. So we end up with something of a compromise: a fuel that has a vapor pressure that is just high enough to be useful under most backpacking conditions, in a can that is not too heavy to carry.
Very well put and quite correct. Thank you, Glenn.

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 07:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Akichow
Sexiest WZ thread ever!
Smart is sexy? lol.

Well, I hope it helps. There is SO much confusion and misinformation out there about stoves.

HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 07:19 PM

Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
Originally Posted By: Akichow
Sexiest WZ thread ever!
Smart is sexy? lol.

Well, I hope it helps. There is SO much confusion and misinformation out there about stoves.

HJ


Bzzzt! I'm sorry, but thank you for playing:

" Well, think about a pot on the stove that's gently boiling. Then you open up the burner on full, the boil goes wild, and the lid practically jumps off the pot. What's happening here? The higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature, the more vigourous the boil, and the greater the vapor pressure."

Nope: turning up the temperature on the burner does NOT raise the temperature in the pot that is already boiling. It increases the heat input, and therefore the rate of vaporization but without closing the vessel and increasing the ambient pressure, it certainly does NOT increase the temperature of the boiling water. That is already determined by atmospheric pressure plus the weight of the lid and can't be increased by just adding heat.

Try that piece of it again, maybe with a pressure cooker instead of a loose lid.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/13/14 08:02 PM

Sheesh, Salty, cut a guy some slack. lol.

Yes, liquid water will not go above it's boiling point for a given atmospheric pressure. However, in terms of liquified gas in a canister, this statement is correct:
The higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature, the more vigorous the boil, and the greater the vapor pressure.

HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 08:15 PM

Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
Sheesh, Salty, cut a guy some slack. lol.

Yes, liquid water will not go above it's boiling point for a given atmospheric pressure. However, in terms of liquified gas in a canister, this statement is correct:
The higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature, the more vigorous the boil, and the greater the vapor pressure.

HJ

Mmmmmmmm . . . nope, not buying. The boiling point is a function of pressure, so as the pressure in the vessel goes up so does the boiling point. Boiling point is by definition the point at which vapor pressure equals atmospheric pressure. By definition "the higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature" with respect to a liquid in a canister, is a contradiction in terms. Until the canister fails, of course. It should read "the higher the temperature, the greater the vapor pressure". Has nothing to do with the vigor of the boil. That's a function of heat rate, not temperature of the fluid.

;-)
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 08:53 PM

To paraphrase Justin Timberlake, I think it is time to bring sexy back.

So here's my question, science geeks. Not stove-related.

I bought a backup power supply for my iPhone (Goal Zero Switch 8) for use on thru hikes. No solar charger needed because that would be overkill the way I use my iPhone on the trail, which is minimally (i.e., just for music at night).

Am I better off waiting for the iPhone to drop to, say, 10%, over the course of several days, before I use the Goal Zero to recharge it? Or just recharging the iPhone off the Goal Zero at the end of each day, however much charge has been expended? How, in otherwise, should I maximize the amount of charging time that I can get from the backup battery?

Thanks for any thoughts. Apologies for the hijack. (This thread maybe could use a little hijack.)
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 09:01 PM

A reply from the Phone Geek (he works for ATT Wireless)


Since the iPhone uses a lithium battery, you need not wait to charge it. I would just charge it each night; one it is charged, yhou are not discharging the backup battery. I would also recommend turning off the phone when not in use. Cell phones are constantly "looking" for service and especially if there is not service, they will use even MORE power. Also, the display is one of the largest users of power -- same for any GPS device: the display is the real power user.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 10:25 PM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
The boiling point is a function of pressure, so as the pressure in the vessel goes up so does the boiling point. Boiling point is by definition the point at which vapor pressure equals atmospheric pressure. By definition "the higher above the boiling point in terms of temperature" with respect to a liquid in a canister, is a contradiction in terms. Until the canister fails, of course.
Well, I was thinking of the overall temperature of the system, but whatever. smile

Originally Posted By: saltydog
It should read "the higher the temperature, the greater the vapor pressure".
Precisely, and let's leave it at that.

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Akichow
To paraphrase Justin Timberlake, I think it is time to bring sexy back.

So here's my question, science geeks. Not stove-related.

I bought a backup power supply for my iPhone (Goal Zero Switch 8) for use on thru hikes. No solar charger needed because that would be overkill the way I use my iPhone on the trail, which is minimally (i.e., just for music at night).

Am I better off waiting for the iPhone to drop to, say, 10%, over the course of several days, before I use the Goal Zero to recharge it? Or just recharging the iPhone off the Goal Zero at the end of each day, however much charge has been expended? How, in otherwise, should I maximize the amount of charging time that I can get from the backup battery?

Thanks for any thoughts. Apologies for the hijack. (This thread maybe could use a little hijack.)
Actually, I could use a little Jack Daniels, but whatever. smile

Bee has it right in her answer: minimize power drain, recharge often. With lithium based batteries, from what I've read, you want to charge them as frequently as possible. In fact, were it reasonable to do so, you'd probably want to do it more often than just in the evening.

HJ
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/14/14 11:20 PM

Hello.

So I am actually focused more on the capacity of the backup battery than on the iPhone, at the moment.

Will I get more power, over all, from the Goal Zero backup battery to charge my iPhone if I draw from the Goal Zero a little at a time, or if I draw large quantities every few days?

Kind of the mirror image of how I am used to looking at things in the front country.

Jack Daniels. Nice.
Posted by: Bee

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 08:00 AM

Phone Geek says:

Actually, your power usage (of auxilary power source) is a product of the iPhone; that is why I mentioned all the ways your iPhone uses power (that has to be replaced by the auxilary power source). So...how much power the iPhone uses will determine how much backup power your auxiliary power source will compensate for. Since you mentioned that you were not recharging your backup via solar, then whether you use a little power or all at once adds up to the same end expendedure. You are using the same amount of backup power in either scenario; it makes no difference how you use it. I would concentrate more on power conservation in the iPhone than on how to recharge it (so to less deplete the power source)



Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 08:21 AM

OK HJ leaving vapor pressure, but back to stoves: have any thoughts on wood gas? My go-to system (except when I can't resist my Svea) is wood gas stove with Esbit as a back-up (for fire ban areas). Can't beat the fuel/weight/miles.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 09:03 AM

Interesting question inasmuch as I was just testing some wood stoves this past weekend.


What do you want to do? Cook trout? Boil water? Go as light as possible?

HJ
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 09:20 AM

Originally Posted By: saltydog

Nope: turning up the temperature on the burner does NOT raise the temperature in the pot that is already boiling.


Well, not usually on a stovetop. But for the record, it can happen. It's the old cup-of-superheated-water-in-the-microwave trick. http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave.asp . The water temperature will rise above the boiling point if bubbles are not able to nucleate.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 09:46 AM

It should read 'the higher the temperature, the greater the vapor pressure'. -SD

Precisely, and let's leave it at that. -HJ

Yes, that's the essence of it! I like that because it gets away from the pan of boiling water on the stove analogy, and the use of the terms 'boil' and 'boiling point' which can conjure up the wrong image. Inside a fuel canister atmospheric pressure is not imposed upon the system, rather, the temperature is imposed on it by the surroundings and the pressure is determined by the corresponding point on the liquid-vapor P-T curve for that substance (propane, butane, mixture, or whatever). Our only interest in atmospheric pressure is that we want the pressure inside the can to be higher than the barometric pressure outside so gas will flow out, the burner will burn, and then we can talk about a pan of boiling water.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 09:49 AM

Originally Posted By: Akichow
To paraphrase Justin Timberlake, I think it is time to bring sexy back.

So here's my question, science geeks. Not stove-related.

I bought a backup power supply for my iPhone (Goal Zero Switch 8) for use on thru hikes. No solar charger needed because that would be overkill the way I use my iPhone on the trail, which is minimally (i.e., just for music at night).

Am I better off waiting for the iPhone to drop to, say, 10%, over the course of several days, before I use the Goal Zero to recharge it? Or just recharging the iPhone off the Goal Zero at the end of each day, however much charge has been expended? How, in otherwise, should I maximize the amount of charging time that I can get from the backup battery?

Thanks for any thoughts. Apologies for the hijack. (This thread maybe could use a little hijack.)


Re-hijack...

If it's just for music is there a reason for not using an ipod nano instead of an iphone?
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 10:15 AM

Good point. But no, I use it (minimally but importantly) for a few other things. The backup battery will probably be more than enough. I just recognize that battery technology has changed and the old wisdoms no longer apply.
Posted by: Glenn

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 10:33 AM

I see.
Posted by: John Sims

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 10:39 AM

Hi Akichow,

I use a Morphie case/backup battery with my iPhone. Their instructions suggest only charging the iPhone up to 75%. Their position is that it takes disproportionally more power to get the last 25%. I have not tried to "test" this, but I'm inclined to believe it.

One iPhone power saving option that you may not be aware of:
- You can turn off the cell service, without going into airplane mode. Simply activate the SIM PIN (found under settings>phone>SIM PIN). Then, turn your iPhone off. Now, whenever you turn your phone on, you will need to enter the SIM PIN if you want the phone to work. Simply do not enter the SIM PIN, and the other functions will work, but no cell service or "searching". The default PIN for the SIM card is: 1111 Be cautions with this, you are only allowed three attempts to enter this PIN. I "guess" if you fail, you will need to visit the genius bar.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 10:48 AM

Originally Posted By: Glenn
...and then we can talk about a pan of boiling water.
lol. Indeed.

Good points; thank you. Sorry if I confused people with my boiling analogy.

HJ
Posted by: Akichow

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 12:44 PM

Interesting tips!! Thanks!!
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: hikin_jim
Interesting question inasmuch as I was just testing some wood stoves this past weekend.


What do you want to do? Cook trout? Boil water? Go as light as possible?

HJ


All 3 of course!

I was thinking more top-lit gasifier. What else did you test?
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 03:35 PM

I was mainly testing the two shown at left in this photo.

Left to right they are:
1. Suluk46 TDW
2. Suluk46 CT
3. Emberlit UL
4. Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder (sized for a 1.3L Evernew pot)

In terms of a top lit stove, the TDW from Suluk46 is as nice as I've seen, but she ain't cheap. Less than three ounces for a double walled, laminar flow wood gassifier stove, though. Gotta like that.


HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/15/14 05:20 PM

Impressive weight (and price!) on the TDW. Not impressed with the flame color (sooty) or the long slots instead of smaller holes or vertical slits for the secondary air. What did you think of its burn characteristics?
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/16/14 12:41 PM

I'm still evaluating it, but I was impressed. Laminar flow type stoves work really well in my experience, both alcohol and wood type.

The thing that impressed me most was that it lit well under gusty wind conditions. I had a bit of trouble lighting the other stove which is very open in its construction.

I was also pleased that I could control the heat such that I didn't get any scorching while cooking rice even though I was using titanium cookware (a Snow Peak Trek 1400 in this case). The fire box makes a good repository for coals after the fire burns down a bit. I didn't try anything more complex than rice, but I'd be comfortable doing real cooking on this stove.

The pot supports are thin gauge Ti, so there's a bit of flex, but the pot didn't go anywhere, and so I was pleased.

HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/16/14 09:58 PM

Interesting. This is my field, so call me biased, but I think biofuels, even in wilderness, are the future, and hold every advantage over petrochemicals fuels. Big differences between the top-lit and the open design stoves in your post are thermal efficiency and conservation of the char. The latter factor is actually a very important and close bio-mimicry of the effects of natural wildfire. Residual char preserves more biomass than the fire that created it consumes. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but its a function of the char reamaining in the soil essentially indefinitely, and retaining nutrients that would otherwise leach out. There is a very good case to be made that small, responsibly managed wood fires, at all elevations, yes, even in foxtail pine community, are more beneficial than fire prohibitions.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/17/14 06:42 PM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
Interesting. This is my field, so call me biased, but I think biofuels, even in wilderness, are the future, and hold every advantage over petrochemicals fuels. Big differences between the top-lit and the open design stoves in your post are thermal efficiency and conservation of the char. The latter factor is actually a very important and close bio-mimicry of the effects of natural wildfire. Residual char preserves more biomass than the fire that created it consumes. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but its a function of the char reamaining in the soil essentially indefinitely, and retaining nutrients that would otherwise leach out. There is a very good case to be made that small, responsibly managed wood fires, at all elevations, yes, even in foxtail pine community, are more beneficial than fire prohibitions.

Salty,

If you don't mind my asking, what is it that you do?

The whole wood stove thing is kinda controversial. I've had friends take me to task for doing any wood burning at all this year in the Sierra, which to me is a bit of an overreaction.

I need to do a full write up on this some time, but wood stoves are a different animal than a ring of rocks and pile of burning wood on the ground. They use far less wood, burn far more completely (making the chance of starting a forest fire from smoldering remains far less likely), and do not leave fire scars on rocks. They're also a lot more versatile if you know what you're doing than, say, a Jetboil.

That said, there is the issue of denudation of a given area if a lot of people start burning wood, particularly above 9500' to 10,000' (depending on the local micro climate).

Interestingly, to me at least is the fact that I can have a wood fire and leave absolutely no trace (well unless you have some kind of specialized technical equipment). I leave no fire scars, and I can bury what little ash remains in a cathole (or scatter it which is probably better for the environment). If I leave no trace, is it really such a bad thing to have a fire? I think lumping ground fires and wood stoves together is inaccurate.

Lastly, what do you mean by conservation of the char? Can you say more about that?

HJ
Posted by: Ken

Re: Stoves - 07/17/14 09:10 PM

Jim, here is the problem. both wood fired stoves and alcohol and esbit type stoves are currently illegal to use in many areas:
===========================


Forest Order No. 14-08 Sequoia National Forest Fire Restrictions
In response to the increasing high fire danger, the Sequoia National Forest, Tule River Reservation, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Central California District (CND) announced today, an Interagency Declaration to impose fire restrictions for all Federal and State protected lands within Fresno, Tulare, and Kern Counties effective Wednesday May 21, 2014.

In the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument campfires and barbecues are only allowed in developed campgrounds or areas designated as exempt from fire restrictions. A list of designated exempt areas can be obtained from Forest Service offices or here.

Visitors are allowed to have a portable gas stove or lantern (with a flame on/off switch) outside developed or designated areas with a valid California campfire permit. A campfire permit can be obtained, free of charge, at any Forest Service, CALFIRE, or Bureau of Land Management office.
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 06:55 AM


Ken: as of this writing, only a couple of jusrisdictions in the southern Sierra have instituted anything like last year's bans. Inyo has exempted major wilderness areas from its ban, SEKI has only restricted below 6000 feet (expressly allowing alcohol stoves) and Yos has not acted.
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 07:36 AM

HJim:

I work with biochar, charcoal used as a soil amendment. Closely related to activated carbon and it works through similar mechanisms and characteristics to conserve soil organic matter and water and build microbial activity. Before the days of chemical fertilizer and 100% fire suppression policy, it was an important component of the incredibly fertile soils of the plains and prairie states. It is particularly effective in poor, weathered, sandy soils such as we have you-know-where.

Top Lit Updraft Gasifiers -such as your TDW - are an important class of the many devices that can produce excellent biochar. You will notice that it operates in two stages. Properly packed and lit, the entire charge will turn to char before the char itself begins to be consumed. This is really convenient for getting a quick boil and then keeping a pot warm for some time. If it is extinguished at the end of the flame stage, however, the char can be preserved either for later consumption or returned to the earth as biochar.

The same effect can be largely achieved without the stove. A very small fire, criss cross style no more than 4-6" in diameter built in a very small 3 stone hearth and LIT ON TOP works much the same way as the TLUD. We call this the conservation burn, and I teach it on a much larger scale to land managers who have no choice but to use open burns. It reduces emissions by over 90 percent, and because it burns the smoke instead of releasing it, is incredibly thermally efficient, meaning MUCH less wood produces MUCH more heat. And incidentally much less soot on rocks, pots and in eyes.

Fire is a very important element in building the soils to which plants species in the Sierra are adapted, and eliminating all fire is completely unnatural and does not necessarily conserve biomass in the long run. The char in the soils persists for a long long time, and in its life cycle does far more good than the small amount of wood from which it is produced. Obviously the entire explanation is volumes, but in the end not only do I agree with you about wood stoves, but I would carry the principle a step further to include very small top-lit ground fires.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
Ken: as of this writing, Sierra NF seems to be the only jurisdiction that has instituted anything like last year's bans. Inyo has exempted major wilderness aeas from its ban, SEKI has only restricted below 6000 feet (expressly allowing alcohol stoves) and Yos has not acted.
Actually, per a conversation I had with YosemiteFire via Twitter, Yosemite has fire restrictions below 6000', just like Sequoia and Kings. The NPS is far more consistent and sensible in its fire and stove policies than the USFS, I might add.

Quote:
Yosemite Fire Mgmt ‏@YosemiteFire
@HikinJim1 no restrictions for alcohol or propane stoves. Wood campfires will be banned below 6000' beginning this week- end.


HJ
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 08:34 AM

Jim: this is the first year I have seen alcohol stoves w/o valves allowed during fire bans. Do you think there might be a similar adjustment for enclosed wood stoves like the TWD, and would you be interested in pursuing that? I realize the elevation restrictions for biomass conservation are a tougher nut, but I think at least the safety-based restrictions on the would stove could be modified.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 08:40 AM

Originally Posted By: Ken
Jim, here is the problem. both wood fired stoves and alcohol and esbit type stoves are currently illegal to use in many areas
Ken, thank you for pointing that out. I sometimes assume that everyone "just knows" that fires, for example, are always banned above 10,000' in the Sierra. "Everybody knows that", right? Well, maybe not, so thank you.

Now, some issues:
1. Of course Sierra National Forest policies only apply to Sierra National Forest -- and then only certain areas within that forest. National Parks, State Parks, etc. do not have such restrictions. In many areas, wood fires are perfectly fine.

2. ESBIT is supposedly banned (if you read things really strictly). Why on earth would ESBIT be banned? From a fire safety stand point, ESBIT is the number one safest fuel, bar none. Generally speaking, the US Forest Service policies on stoves make little sense. They permit "jellied petroleum". I challenge anyone to even find a stove that works on jellied petroleum (more commonly called napalm), and if you did find one, it wouldn't be safe.

It's possible that what they really mean is Sterno, which is jellied alcohol, but why would Sterno be OK but ESBIT not? US Forest Service regs make little sense and give the appearance that the person who wrote them knew little or nothing about back country stoves.

HJ
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 01:45 PM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
Jim: this is the first year I have seen alcohol stoves w/o valves allowed during fire bans.
Yes, interesting isn't it? To my knowledge, alcohol stoves aren't the main problem in terms of fire safety. If you look at what causes wild fires, wood fires, vehicles, power lines, welding, cutting, etc. are far more likely to cause a wild fire. Still, alcohol can clearly start a fire.

On the other hand, over priming a white gas stove can start fires too. Knock over an upright canister stove on a cold morning, and you'll likely be treated to quite a fire show.

Presumably, someone at the NPS level took a look at the data and decided that alcohol stoves did not pose a significantly greater threat than white gas or canister gas stoves.

ESBIT of course is allowed by the NPS; it is safer than white gas, canister gas, or alcohol. Bewilderingly, the US Forest Service doesn't seem to know that ESBIT exists and while Forest Service regs don't expressly prohibit it, neither are they such that they clearly allow it. Go figure.

Originally Posted By: saltydog
Do you think there might be a similar adjustment for enclosed wood stoves like the TWD, and would you be interested in pursuing that?
Interesting. With the NPS, I think their regs are already fairly reasonable -- no wood fires year-round above 10,000' (9600' in Yosemite), with seasonal fire bans as needed at lower elevations. I'm not seeing that as unreasonable.

The USFS is what would seem to need improvement. For starters:
1) Hexamine (e.g. ESBIT) stoves should be allowed immediately, year round, subject to the same constraints as white gas or canister gas in terms of use (without the requirement for a valve).
2) Liquid alcohol (e.g. HEET, denatured alcohol, etc.) should be either explicitly allowed or explicitly prohibited, either seasonally or year round as appropriate for a given forest.
3) Gelled alcohol (e.g. Sterno) should be either explicitly allowed or explicitly prohibited, either seasonally or year round as appropriate for a given forest.
4) "Jellied petroleum" should be stricken from any mention in the context of stoves.

But you raise an interesting question. What of contained wood stoves that possess not only sides but a raised floor. I've not given it serious thought thinking that it would fall on deaf ears, but perhaps it's worth pursuing.

HJ
Posted by: Ken

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 11:10 PM

"Jim: this is the first year I have seen alcohol stoves w/o valves allowed during fire bans."

I see that SEKI specifically allows that. I wonder if that is because so much of their traffic is PCT/JMT and most of that is above treeline?
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/18/14 11:24 PM

Every jurisdiction sets its own specific bans. SEKI and Yosemite specifically allow alcohol stoves with or without shutoff valve under theirs. Last year as I recall SEKI was still using the pressurized standard and the silly "jellied petroleum" exception.
Posted by: saltydog

Re: Stoves - 07/19/14 11:36 AM

Originally Posted By: Ken
"Jim: this is the first year I have seen alcohol stoves w/o valves allowed during fire bans."

I see that SEKI specifically allows that. I wonder if that is because so much of their traffic is PCT/JMT and most of that is above treeline?


I think the reason is more along the lines of what Jim was suggesting. Not so much PCT/JMT, but all backcountry travel: each has hundreds of miles of wilderness trail other than JMT/PCT and its a lot more important part of their mission.

As for treeline: in Yos only the few miles from Lyell Headwaters to Donahue on the JMT. Don't know about PCT north of TM, but elevetions generally go lower from there north and they have the same rule as SEKI

SEKI has a lot more higher country than YOS, but it also has higher treeline and a lot of heavily traveled trails in the woods, so I don't think that's a consideration. I think both parks are more focused on the hiker in general and have looked closer at the actual safety of alcohol and Esbit.
Posted by: hikin_jim

Re: Stoves - 07/20/14 09:25 PM

Originally Posted By: saltydog
...both parks are more focused on the hiker in general and have looked closer at the actual safety of alcohol and Esbit.
That's what I've put together from my admittedly limited information. The danger from alcohol stoves just isn't in the same league as from wood fires.

The parks' knowledge of and focus on the backcountry traveller is a) evident and b) very much appreciated. I think the fact that the NPS has a number of rangers whose job is to travel in and live in the backcountry is a really good thing and gives the NPS a real leg up over the USFS. The NPS is out there in the field with backpackers and has a much better sense of what's going on than other land management agencies from what I can see.

Also, I can only hope that bloggers such as myself and others who have ridiculed the NPS and USFS over the absurd "jellied petroleum" issue have had an impact. Perhaps the NPS is tacitly admitting, "uh, yeah, those old regs were just plain ridiculous." It's about time that the NPS did away with the old, bizarre regs and introduced some regs that make sense. I for one applaud them for doing so. Now if only the USFS would pull their head out of the sand and follow suit.

HJ