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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 7:57 am 
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I want to burn alcohol in my kelly kettle during dry spells in the forest. Which alcohol should be used? Methanols? Isopropyl? Or even something different


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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 8:35 am 
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Never used a Kelly kettle, so I don't know if using alcohol in one would be efficient as a fuel, or potentially create risks, but I can comment of the various types of alcohol that people try to use in stoves.

Grain alcohol: Booze, like Everclear. Works great, most expensive of all types. Available at liquor stores. Not commonly used.

Isopropyl alcohol: Hand cleaner, solvent, gas line antifreeze, contains water so doesn't burn hot, available at supermarkets and gas stations, not commonly used,

Rubbing alcohol: Mixed isopropyl alcohol and water. Found in pharmacies, doesn't burn well, is cheap, not commonly used.

Denatured alcohol: Is grain alcohol with about 10% wood alcohol added to make it poisonous to drink. Used as a cleaner for electronics mostly, burns well, expensive, available in supermarkets/stores, fairly common fuel for stoves,

Methanol: AKA methyl hydrate, meths, wood alcohol, sometimes dyed purple to indicate toxicity, burns best, is inexpensive, available at Canadian Tire, paint stores, camping stores, etc. This is what you want if you want to burn alcohol as a camping stove fuel. By far the least expensive and most easily available type of camping stove fuel of any type. It can be absorbed through the skin. Way cheaper than naptha, kerosene, isobutane, etc. Doesn't stain, not oily, evaporates to nothing, not a petroleum products, created via environmentally sustainable process, the downsides of alcohol as fuel are that it burns near invisible and silent, so it is easy to not know that the stove is lit, and in cold temperatures the BTU output of alcohol is too low to be efficient for melting snow for drinking water.

Hope that helps till people who know more than me chime in.
Cheers.

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 9:11 am 
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Methyl hydrate will work fine for a canoe trip. If you are in the USA the HEET in yellow bottles Is the stuff most folk use, in Canada it’s easy to find by the gallon at Canadian Tire.

You can up your game by switching to something ethanol based either 70% Everclear or a denatured alcohol mix, easy in the USA, harder in Canada. You can find “rubbing alcohol compound” behind the pharmacy counter at Shoppers but it is more than double the cost of methanol. DO NOT buy anything propanol based, most stoves just don’t burnt it very clean and you get a very yellow, smokey flame.

Strongly recommend sourcing an integrated stove system such as as a Caldera Cone or a Flat Cat stove or at the very least use a really good windshield if you want to get the most out of your stove.

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 9:14 am 
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I used to use this stove. (You can get them cheaper but this is the first link I found to the exact stove I had.)

https://www.amazon.ca/Trangia-Spirit-Bu ... 96&sr=8-15


I then "upgraded' to this stove.

https://www.rei.com/product/752671/varg ... ohol-stove

The second one, while looking better and slightly lighter, does not burn nearly as hot.

As a minimalist, I had immediately thrown out my first stove when I got my second...and now need to buy one again.

Edit: Forgot to add (but was reminded by another comment) that I bring some tin foil as a windbreak. Essential.

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 10:35 am 
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The Kelly Kettle is meant to burn small sticks, pine cones, and the like as fuel, but may not be appropriate or legal to use in places where open fires are not permitted. They are somewhat bulky in size. I have two different sizes of KK. They are very efficient and can heat 3-5 cups of water to boiling in a couple of minutes. I have considered putting a Trangia alcohol burner in the fire pan, but I don't think it would be a very efficient use of the KK. Might better just us one of the many Trangia type stove designs with its own pot.


Last edited by nessmuk on July 11th, 2021, 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 11:23 am 
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Location: a bit south ofWinnipeg
WWGOD? wrote:
I used to use this stove. (You can get them cheaper but this is the first link I found to the exact stove I had.)

https://www.amazon.ca/Trangia-Spirit-Bu ... 96&sr=8-15


I then "upgraded' to this stove.

https://www.rei.com/product/752671/varg ... ohol-stove

The second one, while looking better and slightly lighter, does not burn nearly as hot.

As a minimalist, I had immediately thrown out my first stove when I got my second...and now need to buy one again.

Edit: Forgot to add (but was reminded by another comment) that I bring some tin foil as a windbreak. Essential.


The general consensus is you can have hot or you can have efficient. Efficiency probably matters less on a canoe trip if you have to carry 10-15% more fuel.

My current set up is a Starlyte stove from Zelph and a Bobcat windshield from Flat Cat Gear. Using a really good windshield not only protects from the wind but also increases the proportion of heat transferred to the pan. This set up, like the Caldera Cone is extremely stable with almost zero chance of knocking over the stove and setting the surroundings alight. The Zelph stove is also a no spill design, once filled it can be turned upside down with leaking fuel.

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PostPosted: July 11th, 2021, 12:27 pm 
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Just did a boil and methyl is outstanding with Kelly kettle. About 5 min tap water to boil.Thank for the help


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PostPosted: July 12th, 2021, 9:34 pm 
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I've only ever used methyl hydrate. As GuyFawkes pointed out, it's cheap and available everywhere in Canada.

On our last expedition trip, we used an MSR XGK with kerosene, and a Trangia alcohol stove. The alcohol stove served as a backup stove, and the fuel was also very useful for priming the XGK, kerosene being not altogether easy to get going. It worked very well.

The best part of the methyl hydrate/alcohol stove though, was the silence. No more waking up to a jet engine making coffee in the morning (that XGK is quite... loud). It was bliss. The silence and peace alone that an alcohol stove provided in the morning was worth the extra weight.

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