Understanding that there are many variables in this discussion that make it difficult to put
numbers that can be compared, here is my 2 cents.
I've used an alcohol stove for all of my 3-season backpacking for years.
My 1 liter pot, windscreen, stove and 28 fluid-oz plastic fuel container weigh 9 oz. With
the exception of the stove weigh could be trimmed from all of these.
If I solo I use 1.5 oz of alcohol/day. This gets me coffee and oatmeal in the AM and a
hydrated dinner with tea in the PM. (.75 oz of alcohol will boil 16 oz of water)
For a 7 day hike I use 10.5 oz alcohol. Averaging the diminishing weight over the 7 days
equals 6 oz/day/person.
Add that to my 9 oz "base weight" means I carry an average of 15 oz/day/person to meet
my cooking needs.
If I go with a hiking buddy (which is more likely) the average drops to 10.5 oz/day/person
because the base weight stays the same and only the alcohol use doubles.
It would be interesting to try to compare similar calculations with a canister user.
> "The real question is how much fuel does it take to boil a pot of water,
> right? Because your use per day may vary greatly form my use, right?
> Depending upon how many times
> we brew-up. So how many pots of water on average do you boil a day including
> food and coffee/tea and meals?"
> FWIW, I go with cold breakfast and lunch, and heat something less than a
> liter per day typically for dinner.
> However, I think there are more variables. The water I heat up is already
> filtered, so I don't typically boil it --- depending on what I cook.
> Sometimes I might simmer, but often I just want the water hot enough to be
> adequate for rehydrating and warming whatever meal I'm using it with. If
> it's an off-the-shelf freeze dried meal, then "hot" is good enough, I don't
> need to get it to a rolling boil. This naturally impacts fuel use.
> One issue --- a minor issue, but perhaps measurable over a longer trip ---
> is how much extra fuel an alcohol stove user burns to be sure the water gets
> hot enough. Perhaps this varies with stove design, dunno. I have a
> brasslight alcohol stove, and while in theory I can blow it out and pour
> back excess, in practice I try to put in just enough to heat my water with
> maybe a little more to make sure I don't have to light the stove a second
> time. Hence I might use a fraction of a fluid ounce more than I really
> need each time. With a cannister stove, you can shut the sucker precisely
> when you want, wasting no fuel.
> I still go with the alcohol stove crowd. Can be a little more fiddly and
> take a little more time, but unless I'm doing a faily long unresupplied
> stretch, my overall stove + fuel weight averages out lower.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]