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  1. #1
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    Default Caldera Keg System vs Jet Boil Sol for thru hike -

    Leaving NOBO first week in April. Any suggestions - should I use the Jetboil to Damascus and the Alcohol later. Any suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Tough choice, there are good arguments for and against either way. Toss a coin.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, both are great choices, but why switch? The jetboil is certainly higher power... maybe you're thinking you'll be heating more earlier then more modestly starting around Damascus? Actually... not a bad idea really.

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    I used the Jetboil Sol Ti down south, switched to Esbit in the summer, then got my jetboil back for Maine.

    It (and your plan is similar) is a great way to go. The Sol did very well at low temps, I actually helped out 5 others boil water when they could not with their systems, and high efficiency, long lasting canisters worked great for hot meals (B&D) on the trail. In the summer when all I really wanted was a hot cup of Joe in the AM, esbit was a much lighter choice (till I started accumulated too many tablets).

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRamsey View Post
    Leaving NOBO first week in April. Any suggestions - should I use the Jetboil to Damascus and the Alcohol later. Any suggestions appreciated.
    Start with the Jetboil and then switch to alcohol for more quiet hiking experience.

  6. #6

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    I see you double posted this in two forums. Just so I get my 2 cents in, I copied my response here!

    The Jetboil is best for heating up water fast. If you only want to boil water for Freezer Bag meals or Mountain House, then the Jetboil is super easy, but doesn't simmer well. Best for really cold weather when I burn through tons of alcohol.

    I prefer alcohol for most of my trips. I can use my Ti Caldera Cone with esbit and wood in a pinch if I run out of alcohol. With the Starlyte stove, you can make a "simmer" ring to cook muffins or rehydrate food in the pot instead of a FB. When done, put out the stove and store any leftover fuel in the stove.

    When cold, just put your canister in your sleeping bag for 5 minutes or your alcohol in your pocket. I used alcohol at -5°F without a problem.

    In this blog article and video, I bake with a Fosters, Caldera, and Starlyte

    http://demeters-dish.blogspot.com/20...t-caldera.html
    Demeter's Blog

    Demeter's Video Channel

    "What is a weed? A plant who's virtues have not yet been discovered" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
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    Thinking back to my AT training hikes and just to add, I was all set to use the Caldara cone set up for my thru. I did 2 training backpacks in the snow the weekends before the thru that totally changed that.

    The weekend one I used the alchy cone (the one I was planning on). Using it on the snow I found a lot of heat was going to melt the snow beneath the cone (due to the round hole in the snow after), which used more fuel then expected. I did bring extra, but also wanted to cut it close as I might on the AT. I also desired a campfire but had trouble getting that going, so a little more fuel for that. That still didn't work and I just had to save the remaining fuel for the morning as I only now had exactly enough for that.

    The next weekend I was all set with my cone, but something inside me had me bring the jetboil instead. I pretty much gave up on the jetboil before this, as in nice but the AT seems to use alchy stoves. As a last minute switch I decided to give the JB another chance. It was even colder then last time and more snow. The Jetboil worked for cooking, getting the camp fire going and I even took the burner into the privi for some hear to warm my hands over (and yes it made a huge difference). From there I knew that's what I would be using (to start - again switched to esbit for summer).

    Now perhaps I could have refined my cone to put a insulating or reflective layer on the bottom and use less fuel, but the test showed that the rate of use of alchy fuel can be unpredictable at times, and the JB just worked dependably with no worries.

  8. #8
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    You'll get a plethora of opinions on stoves.

    EtOH stoves come in hundreds (literally) of designs; some more efficient than others. But generally speaking they are on the lower end of fuel efficiency, especially in adverse conditions.

    Pros:
    Simple
    Almost fail-safe
    Fuel widely available
    Light

    Cons:
    Not very fuel efficient, especially in cold temps
    Longer boil and cook times
    Windscreen is an absolute must


    The pros/cons of Esbit stoves are similar, except Esbit cubes leave a smelly, sticky residue on your pot.

    Canister stoves also come in many iterations, the JetBoil being the most popular. A lot of ultra-lighters hate on the Jet Boil, but it is a very user-friendly, highly efficient stove. Other lighter options include the MSR whisperlite and pocket rocket.

    Pros:
    Very fuel efficient; canisters will last well over a week if used judiciously
    Wind screens usually aren't necessary
    Fast boil and cook times

    Cons:
    A bit heavier
    Canister fuel not as ubiquitous as alcohol or Heet



    Hopefully that helps. Use what is easiest for you and your needs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Thinking back to my AT training hikes and just to add, I was all set to use the Caldara cone set up for my thru. I did 2 training backpacks in the snow the weekends before the thru that totally changed that.

    The weekend one I used the alchy cone (the one I was planning on). Using it on the snow I found a lot of heat was going to melt the snow beneath the cone (due to the round hole in the snow after), which used more fuel then expected. I did bring extra, but also wanted to cut it close as I might on the AT. I also desired a campfire but had trouble getting that going, so a little more fuel for that. That still didn't work and I just had to save the remaining fuel for the morning as I only now had exactly enough for that.

    The next weekend I was all set with my cone, but something inside me had me bring the jetboil instead. I pretty much gave up on the jetboil before this, as in nice but the AT seems to use alchy stoves. As a last minute switch I decided to give the JB another chance. It was even colder then last time and more snow. The Jetboil worked for cooking, getting the camp fire going and I even took the burner into the privi for some hear to warm my hands over (and yes it made a huge difference). From there I knew that's what I would be using (to start - again switched to esbit for summer).

    Now perhaps I could have refined my cone to put a insulating or reflective layer on the bottom and use less fuel, but the test showed that the rate of use of alchy fuel can be unpredictable at times, and the JB just worked dependably with no worries.

    I'm up in Maine myself and understand the difficulty of finding appropriate shakedown hike conditions in the middle of winter that will replicate AT hike conditions.

    I might add that while you chose your JetBoil over the Caldera Cone system, and that's totally fine, that you tested the Caldera in conditions that are not *likely* to be expected while hiking the AT.

    Also, you found additional uses for your JetBoil (warming hands, lighting a fire(?), cooking...), and that is where you got additional use out of your JB setup. A multi-use tool per-se.


    Personally, I'd rather have a lighter cooking setup (the Caldera) and know that it will only do one thing well (boil water), than rely on my JB for those multiple uses.

  10. #10
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    If you go alcohol, be safe, easy to spill and light your clothes on fire, do not cook near your tent/bag.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bemental View Post
    I'm up in Maine myself and understand the difficulty of finding appropriate shakedown hike conditions in the middle of winter that will replicate AT hike conditions.

    I might add that while you chose your JetBoil over the Caldera Cone system, and that's totally fine, that you tested the Caldera in conditions that are not *likely* to be expected while hiking the AT.

    Also, you found additional uses for your JetBoil (warming hands, lighting a fire(?), cooking...), and that is where you got additional use out of your JB setup. A multi-use tool per-se.


    Personally, I'd rather have a lighter cooking setup (the Caldera) and know that it will only do one thing well (boil water), than rely on my JB for those multiple uses.
    Bold mine, just to note that I did find similar conditions on the thru hike. however what I learned in the shakedown hike would have helped be somewhat compensate if i used alky.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demeter View Post
    . . . The Jetboil is best for heating up water fast. If you only want to boil water for Freezer Bag meals or Mountain House, then the Jetboil is super easy, but doesn't simmer well. . .
    FYI: The JetBoil MiniMo stove uses a pressure regulator on the burner that works quite well allowing for very effective simmering, while, at the same time, the MiniMo boils water more than twice as fast the the older JetBoil burners (2 cups in 1:58 instead of 4:30).
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  13. #13

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    I changed my mind.................go silent all the way...................do alcohol ;-)

    Jet Boils are for the Jet Set city slickers....oh my!

    Get the Caldera Cones.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by zelph View Post
    I changed my mind.................go silent all the way...................do alcohol ;-)

    Jet Boils are for the Jet Set city slickers....oh my!

    Get the Caldera Cones.
    Just purchased mine a few days ago. Can't wait to get some time out on the trail with it.

  15. #15
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    It's a question of how each device fits into your day. In cool weather I like to stop for a hot drink mid-morning; cook dinner mid-afternoon; hike a bit farther and often have another hot beverage before bed. With my Jetboil in an outside pocket I can have it assembled, filled with water, and lit in less than a minute after setting my pack down. For me, the efficiency and ease of using it multiple times per day overcomes the weight penalty.

  16. #16

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    Good news for those of you that have Caldera Cones and need a stove for it that has more fuel capacity for melting snow in larger pots. Yesterday and today I tested the Fancee Feest stove in the confines of my set-up which is the cone made for the Imusa 15cm pot. I purchased it used last year. The stove with 3 ounces of fuel in it behaves well, no radical flames shooting out beyond the pots sides and up and out the holes. In the coming weeks I'll have a video or 2 showing it in action.

    Anyone know if Trail Designs sells 32 ounce kegs? The FF would be ideal for that.
    Last edited by zelph; 01-15-2016 at 23:42.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starchild View Post
    Thinking back to my AT training hikes and just to add, I was all set to use the Caldara cone set up for my thru. I did 2 training backpacks in the snow the weekends before the thru that totally changed that.

    The weekend one I used the alchy cone (the one I was planning on). Using it on the snow I found a lot of heat was going to melt the snow beneath the cone (due to the round hole in the snow after), which used more fuel then expected. I did bring extra, but also wanted to cut it close as I might on the AT. I also desired a campfire but had trouble getting that going, so a little more fuel for that. That still didn't work and I just had to save the remaining fuel for the morning as I only now had exactly enough for that.

    The next weekend I was all set with my cone, but something inside me had me bring the jetboil instead. I pretty much gave up on the jetboil before this, as in nice but the AT seems to use alchy stoves. As a last minute switch I decided to give the JB another chance. It was even colder then last time and more snow. The Jetboil worked for cooking, getting the camp fire going and I even took the burner into the privi for some hear to warm my hands over (and yes it made a huge difference). From there I knew that's what I would be using (to start - again switched to esbit for summer).

    Now perhaps I could have refined my cone to put a insulating or reflective layer on the bottom and use less fuel, but the test showed that the rate of use of alchy fuel can be unpredictable at times, and the JB just worked dependably with no worries.


    I Always put put aluminum foil under my my cat can wick stove. Works much better

  18. #18

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    I used 4" discs under the cat can stove....that should work much better than aluminum foil. give it a whirl next time out. Use a larger piece for use under the entire Caldera Cone....it heats up also and will sink in snow.

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