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Jet Boil

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Jet Boil

Postby ibndalight » Wed May 02, 2012 3:13 pm

I'm going to Elbrus in two weeks and I'm trying to figure out how much fuel we will need. We are going to use a jet boil. Any ideas on how much to plan for 2 people assuming 8 days of usage?
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed May 02, 2012 3:48 pm

2 oz per person, per day, so 32 oz. As a general rule of thumb, plan for at least two extra days of fuel for emergencies, so 40 oz total. At least that is my experience with my Pocket Rocket (which I have never used on an expedition, just long weekend climbs) and my friends' Jet Boils seem to be at least as effecient, if not more so, than my Pocket Rocket.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Kai » Wed May 02, 2012 8:01 pm

Here's a quote from a website:

"On the trips where I observed the Jetboil and Reactor more closely, I found a fuel calculation of about 3 oz. per person per day to work quite well in a snow melting cooking environment. Ben Haskell and I fared quite well on Mount Rainier with about 24 oz. of fuel with the Jetboil for four nights and five days at elevations between 8500 feet and 11600 feet."

Link here to full article:

http://www.proguiding.com/tripreport/vi ... us-jetboil
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed May 02, 2012 10:08 pm

3 oz per person per day for an expedition length climb melting snow most of the time makes sense.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Deltaoperator17 » Thu May 03, 2012 4:27 am

An additional hint, use a hand warmer underneath the fuel canister, the warmer you keep the fuel the more efficient it will be.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Kai » Thu May 03, 2012 6:51 am

Deltaoperator17 wrote:An additional hint, use a hand warmer underneath the fuel canister, the warmer you keep the fuel the more efficient it will be.


I carry a titanium bowl. Weighs 1.8 ounces. I heat up about a 1/4 cup of water first, dump it in the bowl, then set the canister in the bowl of warm water. This keeps the canister warm and functioning well while I'm melting snow or boiling water for my meals.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu May 03, 2012 4:45 pm

Kai wrote:
Deltaoperator17 wrote:An additional hint, use a hand warmer underneath the fuel canister, the warmer you keep the fuel the more efficient it will be.


I carry a titanium bowl. Weighs 1.8 ounces. I heat up about a 1/4 cup of water first, dump it in the bowl, then set the canister in the bowl of warm water. This keeps the canister warm and functioning well while I'm melting snow or boiling water for my meals.


There are a number of different techniques to improme butane stove function in cold weather including:

Using a wind screen to reflect more heat onto the cannister (not recommended by the manufacturer)
Wrapping a piece of 1/4" copper tubing around the cannister with one end sticking in the flame (not recommended by the manufacturer)
Holding a plumber's candle under the cannister (not recommended by the manufacturer)
Hand warmers
Rechargeable chemical warmers
Shallow bowl and warm water trickled over the cannister

I personally take the lid from my Tuppware eating bowl and put it under the cannister and trickle water from the pot over the cannister. As gas leaves the cannister it cools down. Trickling water over the cannister warms it up and immediately and dramatically improves performance. The water doesn't need to be hot or even very warm. This is very effective, very safe, and takes no additional gear or mods to the stove.

My partner Nick and I attempted to make the second winter ascent of the NE Buttress of Johannesburg Peak in the North Cascades. A full 5,000 feet high, we made it about 3,000 feet the first day and bivied. It was single digit temps and we were at less than 8,000ft above sea level. Nick said "You are going to love this new stove I bought." He pulled out a new at that time MSR Pocket Rocket. I about choked and then tried to explain Boyle's law to Nick (he majored in philosophy). He insisted it would work. It didn't. I stuffed two hand warmers around the cannister and stuck in my water bottle cozy. It took hours to melt just two liters. We slept poorly as we were dehyrated, and spindrift ran into our bivi sacks all night. The next morning we realized it would take two more days to summit and descend. Going one day without water was conceivable, two seemed potentially deadly so we sadly downclimbed and rappeled 3,000 ft. I sprayed to my friend Colin Haley about it being the biggest and best mixed winter alpine route in the Cascades I'd ever been on. The following winter he and Mark Bunker made the second complete ascent during the worst 5 day weater window of that winter. He still calls it the most difficult climb relative to his experience he's done. 12 years later I still feel cheated that we missed completeing the second ascent of this incredible climb. I've attempted it many times since, but never found it in the fantasic conditions Nick and I experienced. All because of a poor choice of a stove.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Alpinist » Fri May 04, 2012 6:18 pm

Some of the newer canister style stoves position the canister upside down and claim to perform better in colder temps than the older (right-side up) canister stoves. That allows gravity rather than pressure to feed fuel to the burner. The Jetboil Helios in particular has very good reviews and is rated for high altitude expeditions.

From Rock and Ice magazine: "In freezing conditions, the Helios took only a third of the boiling time of its predecessor the PCS."

From GearJunkie.com:
"While other stoves can use the same type of isobutene/propane cartridge as the Helios, the company says it has optimized the cartridge-fed fuel method by ensuring consistent high-output. For traditional cartridge stoves — including the Jetboil PCS, the company’s first model — liquid fuel is evaporated upward within the cartridge and gas is fed under the can’s pressure into the burner. This process cools the cartridge and its contents, reducing fuel output.

In the Helios design, where the cartridge is inverted, the stove is fed liquid fuel, which is evaporated at the burner, keeping the cartridge at a uniform temperature and ensuring a hotter flame.

Further, because there is no evaporative cooling of the fuel in the cartridge, the Helios is less prone to loss of output in cold temperatures, which is a major issue with all cartridge stoves I test."

There are numerous similar reviews online by both commercial entities and individuals. On the downside, the Helios is more expensive and heavier than the older models.

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Re: Jet Boil

Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri May 04, 2012 6:28 pm

Brunton has a remote stove stand for cannister stoves. This can be used with the inexpensive, durable, and light weight Pocket Rocket, Snow Peak Giga Power or what have you. It allows one to invert the cannister and use a windscreen. $15.00 and less than 6oz.

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Re: Jet Boil

Postby AlexeyD » Mon May 07, 2012 4:46 pm

This may be slightly off topic, but I would be careful about assuming that you can buy Jetboil-compatible isobutane cannisters in Russia. According to this page, only liquid-fuel, petrol-compatible stoves are recommended in the Elbrus region, as other types of fuel are not available. This doesn't mean it's impossible to find them anywhere in Russia, but definitely confirm if and where this is possible. My guess is that contacting a guide service familiar with the area is your best bet.

Good luck!
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Alpinist » Mon May 07, 2012 7:53 pm

AlexeyD wrote:This may be slightly off topic, but I would be careful about assuming that you can buy Jetboil-compatible isobutane cannisters in Russia. According to this page, only liquid-fuel, petrol-compatible stoves are recommended in the Elbrus region, as other types of fuel are not available. This doesn't mean it's impossible to find them anywhere in Russia, but definitely confirm if and where this is possible. My guess is that contacting a guide service familiar with the area is your best bet.

Good luck!

Thanks - I did check with Pilgrim Tours and they said canister fuel is the only kind of fuel sold in Cheget. The point made in your link is that white gas is not available. If you have a liquid fuel stove, it must be capatible with petrol. (Not all of them are.)

Interestingly, the website that you linked also posted this recommendation:
"No need to bring special cans for petrol. Ordinary plastic bottles (from soft drinks or water) are good and available everywhere along the valley." :shock:

I don't think I'd carry a soda bottle filled with Petrol in my pack, but to each his own I guess...
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby ExcitableBoy » Mon May 07, 2012 10:21 pm

Alpinist wrote: Ordinary plastic bottles (from soft drinks or water) are good and available everywhere along the valley." :shock:

I don't think I'd carry a soda bottle filled with Petrol in my pack, but to each his own I guess...

I've heard of doing this as well. I was bored one day so I cross referenced the compatibility of the constituent chemicals in white gas (Coleman fuel to be precise) against polyethylene and nylon to see if using a Platypus as a super light weight fuel container would work. My conclusion was that for short periods of time it would be fine, but long term storage was probably not a good idea. It wouldn't eat through the Platypus as the nylon exterior has good resistance to the constituents, but the polyethylene liner might degrade and gum up the stove. I have talked with climbers who have used a negular soda bottle to carry fuel and they reported no problems. The biggest concern would be puncture from something sharp in the pack is my guess.
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Re: Jet Boil

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue May 08, 2012 12:01 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:... I have talked with climbers who have used a negular soda bottle to carry fuel and they reported no problems. The biggest concern would be puncture from something sharp in the pack is my guess.


Yep. Standard practice on Aconcagua and other places. Shops in Mendoza sell it like this. Other problem is climbers don't want to carry these cheap dirty empty bottles out, so they leave them on the mountain. Also, the caps are often poor, so leakage can be a problem, partially fixed by a small sheet of plastic wrap between the mouth and the cap.
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