My tiniest is an alcohol burner called the Gram Weenie Pro. It's very similar to the homemade YouTube pop can varieties, but a little more refined. It weighs in at less than one ounce, burns for about 11 minutes on one oz of fuel, and easily boils 2 cups of water within those specs. Here it is in action:
At the other end of the size scale, is my Coleman 3 burner classic from 1962. See more on that one by going to this Blog Post.
When I was a teenager, I plunked $20 from my summer job down on a one burner Coleman 505B. I've had it for over 30 years, and it has never failed to light. See the following picture (yes I have a twin pair):
|550B One Burner|
|Feather 400 series|
|PowerFist Butane Stove|
Back to the alcohol end of things, they are worth having as well. First off, they're a little safer as alcohol is not a petroleum product and as such, is not as volatile as the gasoline varieties. By-products of this include lower performance, especially if it's cold out, and longer boiling times. The kettle of water that boils in 4 minutes on a gasoline stove often requires 10 minutes on an alcohol burner, and you had better shelter the latter from any wind. One nice thing about the alcohol burners is the fact that they are SILENT, with no jet-like roar of the Coleman stove...they all have their place. Additionally, fuel alcohol is easy to get. Many gas line anti-freeze concoctions burn fine, along with methyl hydrate from the paint section, as well as that blue fondue fuel from the Dollar Store. The old standby alcohol burner has been the brass classic from Trangia. I have a couple of knock-offs of that, one an ALOCS, and the other a German offering from Esbit:
|ALOCS Burner w/ Stand|
|Esbit Alcohol Burner w/ simmer ring & cover|
...that's enough for one post. To be continued...