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Scout
2005-04-10, 17:42
I have an MSR XGK multi-fuel stove. It is nice, works well and I haven't had any problems with it.

BUT...it is heavy and very bulky and there really is no fuel control for it - fuel control not a big issue since all I do is boil water.

So, comparing something like my XGK to an ION...what are the real differences?

Weight - Ion much lighter
Time to boil - Ion takes longer (but I am not in a rush)
Fuel used - less fuel for the ION?

What are the real advantages / disadvantages to the common hiker?

SGT Rock
2005-04-11, 23:17
I think you named them all. For me it takes a different idea on camp. I get to camp and start setting up my shelter. I may go ahead and get my food started while I am doing this base on when I want to eat and the weather. By the time I am done with other things, my food is usually ready.

In the morning I get out and start the stove. Often I will set it up the night before except the fuel. I then break down camp. When I am done, breakfast coffee and grits are ready. I eat, the last thing to pack is my cookware, then I get on the trail.

As long as you use an approach similar to this, the slower cook times won't really matter.

Scout
2005-04-12, 06:06
One other factor - the Alcohol stove doesn't sound like an afterburner on a jet kicking in!

I am going to order one. I am not handy so I appreciate your work and am willing to pay accordingly!

AddyB
2005-04-12, 13:28
Well, two:

1) Durability. The Ion is made out of pop cans, whilst the MSR is made out of steel. If you accidently drop your pack on the Ion stove, you won't have a stove anymore.

2) The Ion stove, just like a Trangia or a Tommy Cooker doesn't put out enough BTU's to melt snow. You're screwed in the wintertime.

Just my 2 cents.

Adam

SGT Rock
2005-04-12, 14:37
Actually it isn't made of soda cans anymore. The newer design is a little more durable.

It wouldn't be good for melting snow, LOL. But then again, if you are three season hiking most times you won't need that anyway.

And it won't clog, lines won't break or leak. You don't have to pump it. etc.

Scout
2005-04-12, 16:24
...and now that I made my purchase of an ION this morning, I will have two options when it comes to stoves:

1) the MSR stove

2) the ION stove

Options are good!

Iceman
2005-04-13, 02:53
Well, two:

1) Durability. The Ion is made out of pop cans, whilst the MSR is made out of steel. If you accidently drop your pack on the Ion stove, you won't have a stove anymore.

2) The Ion stove, just like a Trangia or a Tommy Cooker doesn't put out enough BTU's to melt snow. You're screwed in the wintertime.

Just my 2 cents.

Adam

AddyB, I have actually been using a trangia stove to melt snow for my family of four on many backcountry snowshoeing trips this winter. Melting tons of snow for coffee, cocoa, hot jello etc...including cooking breakfast lunch and dinner with them. The alcohol stoves are new to me, this being the first year I have used them. What I have learned, is that the alcohol stoves work flawlessly, even at very low temperatures, but at low temperatures, consume alot more fuel to "get-r-done". In the past I have used pressure gas stoves to do my winter cooking on, but find I like the alcohol stoves better. Simple, quiet, no moving parts. Currently using a trangia, with trangia supplied base/wind guard system. A little bulky, but who cares when you are sledding in the gear. At 10 degrees F this February, I melted snow, and cooked a big breakfast for my family on the single trangia burner. Took a long time 3-4 minutes to really get going at this temperature, but once it heated up, worked great!

Don't discount alcohol stoves, they seem to work as good or better than what I expected. I would imagine the Ion is equally as good, better for the ultralight aficionado (nut).

SGT Rock
2005-04-13, 08:43
That reminds me of a couple of cool nuggets of info. Apparently Sherpas in the Himalayas use alcohol stoves and mushers on the Ideterod (sp?) use alcohol to melt snow for drinking water for the dogs.

KLeth
2005-04-14, 02:29
Well, almost every scout, hiker and biologist in scandinavia has the Trangia (some use Tuareg, Optimus Tor, Tatonka, Simon or similar alcohol burner) and even the Swedish army issues alcohol stoves. I guess that tells me that there are benefits/advantages using alcohol burners. I have also used the Trangia alcohol burner :smile:

The alcohol burners will burn almost any grade and type of strong alcohol and the Trangia can be used inside a tent with a bit of caution (a former friend of mine even claims to have used gasoline in his Trangia :hmmmm: , but I dont know about that and I wouldn't). Just listen to the sound of the alcohol stove . . !

The winter attachment should greatly improve the Trangia at winter.