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Hexamine "Esbit" - 101

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by anlrolfe, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Simes Reserved

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    @SveaSizzler

    As SWMBO likes fluffy unicorns, your comment about them not making it onto the Ark did raise a chuckle.

    And I'm now on a Hexi mission. :(

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  2. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Subscriber

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    Did an Pre-Ops shakedown of everything with moving parts this afternoon.

    Fired up the Primus 96 and discovered a trickle of kero from the base of the vaporizer. I let it cool down, cleaned and re-tightened the vaporizer. When I fired it up more of the same. To the basement and produced a spare lead washer. Shameless plug for the Fettlebox, thanks SB. After picking/cutting out the old and installing the new it went off running as it should.

    Grabbed the Nova to prime and out comes little more than a few bubbles. The magnetic pricker was obstinate and I had to remove the jet and coax it into operation. I can see the needle lifting but still nothing. Thinking that the darn "mouse tampon" was the source of the trouble I removed the whole assembly. Nope. Loose the hose at the valve assembly and I get fuel. I remove the valve needle and its cruddy. Blowing through the tube yields nothing more than the taste of kerosene on my lips. Into the house and I drag out a piece of guitar string to root it out. When I first got stove this there was silicone grease, perhaps from assembly, that had gummed up the works. Perhaps the remnants were the culprit? After reassemble and a few brisk pumps I've got fuel but as it preheats the pump rod starts backing out slowly. Damn, the NVR as well? Don't ask me how but it just stuck. It popped back as soon as the NRV got disassemble but somehow stuck. Go figure. BTW why doesn't the blade on the multi tool fit the NRV?

    Everything else worked without a hitch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  3. Marc

    Marc United States Subscriber

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    @anlrolfe Depending on what version pump you have for your Nova, do be careful about the end off the pump that hold the NRV. I had the end of my pump, NRV and all, loosen and leak. Glad I was burning kero at the time.

    Glad you got everything sorted, and well done doing a shake down cruise.
     
  4. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Subscriber

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    An excellent weekend. I had to work through till 2pm and got to camp by 3pm. Rain was imminent and the troop had staged some logs under cover awaiting my chainsaw. The cabin was equipped with a stove and with temps predicted to drop keeping the young tender feet cozy was top of the list. As I set up the display for presentation the scouts handled, split and stack the load into the cabin and just in time for the first sprinkles. Our Scout Master let me know the presentation was a hit with the Webelos and that was good enough for me. I fielded many questions from inquisitive minds and letting them touch off the priming fuel was good "buy in"
     
  5. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Subscriber

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    Out of the rain and plenty of room to spread out the wares

    Solid, Gel fuel, Alcohol fuels and a few gassies

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    Brass Classics; No. 96, 111T and Primus 71


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    Solo Stove Lite, Bio fuel

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    1945 AGMco 523, Whisperlite and Nova(not pictured).
    The Nova wanted to be finicky and fuel flow didn't want to cooperate at first and probably requires more detailed cleaning.
    This actually have very low burn time on it fueled with kero and CF. Kind of disappointed.

    My son(Tricorne hat) and friend making Scouting's all time favorite breakfast, Bacon.

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  6. Simes Reserved

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  7. crazydave789 United Kingdom

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    Simes the green snot is pretty pathetic troops do not like it, compared to chafing gel or the old swiss cookers it is nothing like as good. vaseline balls are used by a lot of the lightweight people for light quick cook ups. as sooty as a runaway hexy tablet.

    proper hexy you can scrape the wax off the outer and light with a firesteel, we always used to break it up then use small pieces in a small scrape in the ground which worked as the cup stand, kept the flames down and the dirt off the bottom of the cup. using smaller bits also means you can simmer or if using a folding stove then you can also add wood to the flames.

    I also used to turn small tin cans from the ration packs of the time into a mini stove. holes in the side top and bottom, light your piece of tablet then drop into the tin and add more as required. store your bits of block or full blocks inside the can.

    as I understood it it was the same type of stove made by US troops as well.

    amazingly it can deteriorate, I've got a couple of packs that have gone all crumbly.

    a cycle friendly light stove I think is either chafing fuel and a stand or a pop can stove/trangia copy and a stand. I picked up a simple stainess cross pot stand to go on my swiss army trangia burner unit. 2.45 off ebay, it is designed for the civvy version so the slots needed widening a bit for the mil one. the 700ml stanley cookset is spot on for cycling.
     
  8. Simes Reserved

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    Hi @crazydave789

    Thanks for the info, I'm not sure about the age of the tablets that came with the Asda branded one but they have started to crumble a bit.

    That might explain why when using a whole one it ran away as you described, pot covered in soot. Lesson learnt there and will break the others up and use sparingly. It is afterall my first venture into solids, so any advce from experienced users is always welcome.

    Personally for cycle touring low volume is probably higher priority over weight, and the micro gassies have been stove/lamp of choice in recent years, if being honest just for convenience . But it's fun trying different approaches on a short trip to test capabilities.

    I'll possibly not be using this in anger till next year so have time to experiment a bit with fuels stoves and windshield combo's.

    Now off to Poundland to get a couple of Alu roasting trays to make a few windshields.
     
  9. crazydave789 United Kingdom

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    @Simes

    yeah I did two weeks in sept having not done it for 20+ years. Boy did I pack heavy. I expected winter so packed for cold and rode into a mini heatwave for the time of year, I'd also made up and packed 10 days of food just to see how palletable I could make it.

    if you are going to try solid fuel then wood is probably as easier daft as it sounds. that said the vaseline cotton balls works well enough.
     
  10. Simes Reserved

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    @crazydave789

    For several years I did 2 week solo touring Brittany and Normandy as my summer holiday. To begin with I thought it would a reasonably cheap way to get abroad and had enough basic kit to do it.

    It became obvious very quickly that I had to improve vitually everything I had including the bike. To get the same equipment performance in a smaller package certainly raises the cost, and I'm certainly not a minimalist by any means as I do like a few comforts.

    Touring I would take some emergency rations, think Vesta, but generally relied on the wonderful French Supermarkets at the end of a days ride. I'd go over just for their tinned Confit of Duck. :)

    Even after that length of time I always took more than was probably necessary, and I had a check off list for the basics that shouldn't be forgotten, ie tent pegs.

    The minimalist bit is now down to cycle camping on Bromptons, which is an interesting challenge. We could do longer tours but we limit ourseleves to areas reachable by train from home and cycling back overnight, it is a folding commuter bike afterall. Basic rule is drawing a 50 mile radius from here and picking a suitable starting station, a handy campsite halfway home on the selected route, get the train Sat morning, and cycle home.

    Hereford-Bristol
    Oxford-Bath
    Tiverton-Weston super mud
    and this year around the Isle of Wight, which included 3 ferries.

    Trying the trip with solid fuel to warm the All day breakfast Sun morning is next years objective.
     
  11. crazydave789 United Kingdom

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    I think kit often a wish list over you actually need. I've read a lot of the brompton type journals with folks touring japan and china on them.

    not sure I'd go that far but I do appreciate the technology involved and ease of transit over a full bike. I have taken to missing the local bit out by using the train and avoided some nasty weather in sept by coming back a day early. allw as fine apart from being unable to find a chippy in grimsby and a jobsworth conductor who wouldn't let me use the wider door end incase a wheelchair user came along - on a three carriage train so I had to unload then try to get everything off in half a dozen trips.

    I like a brew though and being a yorkshireman think that anything over 50p is robbery (which it is) so I carry a small flask as well as enough kit to make it with. DIY drying veg to bump up a pasta and sauce is simple cheap and fun. I also find that NIDO milk works really well for cereal, tea and pasta n sauce. I open the packet, put milk powder, butter, dried veg, dried chicken roll etc.. then seal back up. Look what I found pouch meals are handy as are the dolmio ones but for some reason they stopped doing the 2 portion carbonara which is a tragedy in our house.

    terribly now we live in Brum so our nearest seaside is weston, a tragedy for a lad raised in scarborough, I'm trying to persuade the missus to do some ride back touring now I've suitably upgraded her bike. the problem is we hate Birmingham and its traffic, even though longbridge itself is okay the city is dangerous for cycling and the cycle routes take too long.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  12. Simes Reserved

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    @crazydave789

    I now have a woodgas Lixada on the way, you sod....:-k
     
  13. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    Took a few shots on my new Esbit coffee maker today. I was coming back from Phoenix and the gear whine, wind noise and rumble of the engine were putting me to sleep, so I decided to brew up at the Sacaton rest stop.
    Esbit's proprietary burner for the stainless coffee contraption, about 5 oz water, a measure of coffee grounds, and a light -- and I was back in the groove with no temptation to slide into the ditch.
    I did have an issue with internal pressure: I may have packed the grounds too tight - like an espresso filter - or the top wasn't screwed on tigfhtly enough -- because you can see streams of coffee leaking out the sides before the final delivery. But I got enough black fluid to adjust my level of consciousness. Also got to use my new Terra Solo cup. Forgot the sugar, alas. One full Esbit cube blasted it out.
    Not much of a flame shot as the unit was turned against the wind.

    Cheers.

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  14. Simes Reserved

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    @SveaSizzler

    Ooooh new shiney coffee making thing.

    That is very neat and has buy me written all over it.

    A new independent coffee shop opened locally a short time ago and he does his own roasting, window full of interesting coffee kit, think even he might be interested in one of those.

    Popped in recently during a roasting session for a personal customer, was informed that the beans in question would have worked out at about £7 a cup. :shock::shock::shock:
     
  15. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    @Simes That's a little expensive for my taste. I did plunk down $16.95 for a pound of Arbuckle's Ariosa Coffee to send to my British friend for sending me a couple boxes of Capt Scott's Tesco Exrta Strength Tea. Arbuckle's will tell you they were the exclusive coffee sellers to chuckwagons, cattledrives, cookies and cowboys in the late 19th Century. They sold pre-roasted coffee beans in sealed containers. The very thing for Cowboy Coffee -- where you throw a handfull of grounds into a boiling enameled pot, for a couple minutes, then pull it off the fire and settle the grounds with a cup of cold water or crushed eggshells. Not for your coffeehouse intellectuals. You are more likely to reelect Judge Roy Bean than spout off about marx and engels, after a cup of bold, bracing cowboy coffee.

    There is a strain of coffee bean from Indonesia, called "Kapi Lu Ang'' [or something like it] that is said to be the world's most expensive coffee. Civet cats are fed green coffee beans, and the post-digested beans are seperated from the cats' dung, and roasted. No thanks.

    I got the Esbit Coffee Maker off Amazon -- from L A Police Gear, [a mail-order outfit for tactical police equipment, on- and off-duty] for under $40. Another catalog had it for $79.95. Besides the sealing issue, the hexi-burning cylinder folds its feet and stores inside the stainless boiling section. Not sure if the burnt hexamine residue will impart an unpleasant taste to subsequent brews.

    As a piece of kit, I think the Bialletti 4-Cup Campers Espresso maker, was a better unit, for about the same money. Now available from CSI [but no longer Italian-made]. It sat atop a Svea123, with pot rest arms inboard, like a prince, and worked great. A gooseneck tube above the boiler pumped espresso into a small cup on a shelf-like perch. I still have the 1-Cup unit, but it's too small for my cafiene lust.
    Mine was aluminum, but unwisely it was stored in a leaky shed below a box of pool chemicals, and a steady drip of corrosives dissolved a hole thru the unit over time. Newer ones are now in stainless steel. No stove is provided however.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  16. crazydave789 United Kingdom

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    @Simes

    ah the joys of hipsterism, you sound like some of the cyclists on the ctc forum who are expressly lightweight then lug a baletto along.

    coffee makes me grumpy so I limit my intake.

    re the wood stove, I'm not sure wood gas makes so much of a difference camping although it can in domestic use, I'd have just gone for a fold flat jobby.

    I picked up a tiny cross piece for a trangia burner for £2.45 that works nicely, shame the mil soze burner doesn't drop into my stanley cookset


    oh going back a bit foil glues to cardboard works as a shield and potentially a light camp oven if you use some spokes as a shelf.
     
  17. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    Who said anything about bicyclists? The thing I don't like about 'em is that it takes forever to get all the hair, blood, skin bits, spokes, chain links and shreds of spandex out of the front bumper and grille of my '68 Chevy C/10 Pickup. You have to blast it with a pressure washer.
    Not worried about weight. Where ever I drop my tailgate is camp.
    Without coffee, I can't function in the morning. Addicted? Yeah, so?
    The Sarma wood burner from Finland, cost about $14 and is a simple flat-folder. Good perch for a Trangia. Haven't had it out in the real woods yet.
    I've seen those cross-forms for the Trangia. Actually, I think they were first made in titanium for the Evernew Titanium alcohol burner. Funny Evernew also copied the windscreen of the Svea123, in titanium but in 2 halves over a titanium clone of a Trangia-mini. But not threaded and no lid. Saw one in a mountain store a few years ago. About $100. I laughed.
    I thought you need a space of about 1'' from lip of burner to bottom of pan with the Trangia for proper flame development. The cross piece gives less than 1/2 an inch.
     
  18. Simes Reserved

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    @SveaSizzler

    Thanks for the cycling observations, cheered the morning up. Unlike many here I've never really used Trangias in anger so it's difficult to comment on various combinations that can be achieved and the potential they offer in lightweight. Like you I do baulk at titanium options. Even my simple commuter folder is available with titanium options but the prices make your eyes water. I would need £4,000.00 in loose change.

    @crazydave789

    Sorry if I've given the impression that I'm a CTC minimalist, and have studiously avoided the group mostly because of it. It was a bit of a game spotting the.obvious CTC members when I was away, not my cup of tea, guess which ones had half a toothbrush.

    The list I previously mentioned was just to ensure I had all the critical bits eg FAK tent etc and the music. How to get the small luxuries into ever smaller rugged volumes is an interesting exercise. If I had a coffee demand on the scale of sveasizzler then the one cup bialleti would have been on the list, as it is a fist full of tea bags does the trick. The original walkman tape player has been replaced by the minidisk. You can get 6 albums on a single disk at almost vinyl quality. I've also travelled with both a 96 and the epigas alpine.

    And I limit the carrying capacity to two rear panniers and a barbag, I'd only consider fronts if I was trying to ride back from Istanbul.
     
  19. SveaSizzler

    SveaSizzler United States Subscriber

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    @Simes: Bialetti! Now I get it. I couldn't make out Crazy Dave's Brummese, ''baletta''. I ran the Italian/English dictionary: ''Paleta'' = a stake or peg. And ''Balletto'' = a ballet. But somehow you knew what he meant. Interesting.
    Also looked up CTC. Don't go to Urban Dictionary for that one. I'm sure it's not the one you meant. It's probably Communist Touring Cyclists, or something.

    As for the Trangia, it has its qualities, but not the driver that the Svea 123 is. I got it as a backup. I tried it in the Swiss Borde Flask Cooker [volcano] and it gets ballistic. Outside by itself, it's slow and tame. Tried the 3-tent-pegs trick, but in Arizona, the soil's so rocky and hard-panned, the pegs don't go in too far without bending back up, like shoenails. Still good for a single brew-up. If I had the -25 or -27 cooksets, I might have a different opinion, the shape may vector convection radically.

    I've seen a mod of the Bialetti, where the handle is removed from the side, and the knob from the lid, the top is un- pinned from its hinge, and the filter put aside and the bottom boiler can sleeve into the inverted upper. A loose pin could be used on the lid hinge, in-use. Or a big thimble over the percolator spout head, in its place. A Sigg-type pot grabber replaces the handle. The inside filter has to be kept separate. Lose that and the whole unit is useless.

    When I was into backpacking, the 4-quart aluminum Dutch oven was considered the ultimate lightweight gear.

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  20. anlrolfe

    anlrolfe Subscriber

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    When I was stationed in So-Cal a group of us got into backcountry hiking with many trips into Sequoia and Kings Canyon. On 1-trip we ran into a group of 3-Senior Ladies at the beginning of the Bub Sphinx trail switchbacks. They were with a group that was going to meet at the top and left to fend for themselves. One in particular was overwhelmed with her pack weight. Marines, if nothing else, possess an exuberance of "can-do attitude" an paired with a touch of chivalry or Moms and Uncle Sam would have been proud of us. Arriving at the crest and getting the ladies settled in the question was asked "why was one of their packages particularly heavy"? We were told 1-dutch oven, 1-fry pan and 1-pot, all cast iron...