I have recently been considering what cooker I am going to use when I undertake the TGO Challenge next May. For my recent overnight lightweight backpacking trips I have taken to using solid fuel tablets with the Esbit titanium stove [pictured]. It is very light, weighing in at just 13g, and the solid fuel tablets that you require for an overnight trip are light too. However, for a longer trip the amount of solid fuel you require becomes rather heavy and you are better off with another fuel (I have not worked out at what point yet, i.e. how many days) and so you are looking at either an alcohol or gas stove.
I took the opportunity last weekend to record the amount of gas I used with my little gas cooker (a Coleman F1) so that I could roughly calculate how much gas I would require for the TGO Challenge next year, which is 13 or 14 days backpacking – should I decide to use a gas on the Challenge that is.
Over a 24 hour period I had a few cups of tea and a dehydrated dinner and breakfast. I weighed the gas cartridge before and after, and this represents the gas used for one day:
Two cups of tea: 300ml each = 600ml
One cup of tea: 200ml
Gas cartridge weight, before and after: 174g – 152g = 22g of gas used.
Therefore, assuming the amount of water boiled above is representative of a typical day then a 250g gas cartridge would last me approximately 11 days, which means I would have to obtain more gas along the way.
I plan to do some more tests to verify (or disprove) my calculations, and I will work out how much solid fuel I would need as a comparison. I’ll post the results here at some point.