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Old 03-18-2014, 14:24   #1
G29Reload
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Sterno....who uses it?

I just made a post in What have you done this week about a cheap Sterno find.

Occurred to me ive never seen anyone stock this in their BOB.

It certainly isnt as ferocious a fire as an iso pro stove but its remarkably cheap and effective especially if youre warming a beverage or soup to warm your core in cold weather. Its low profile so it can heat without attracting the attention of a fire and doesnt require any infrastructure other than a match and maybe a soupcan for an improvised stove.

Bonus use as a scoop fire starter.

Who stocks/uses it?

Discuss.
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Old 03-18-2014, 15:27   #2
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I carry a small wood stove that can burn smaller branches without cutting them and fuel tabs in the unlikely event that wood isn't available.
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Old 03-18-2014, 17:41   #3
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I've got probably 15 cans or so of petrol-gel. A friend had a catered buffet and I got to salvage all the cans from the chafing heaters. Most of them are mostly full. Funny thing, I haven't used them once. And I've had them for a few years.

I don't carry in my pack. I have an isobutane stove and I carry paraffin soaked newspaper firestarters when I can have open fire. I find paraffin is useful besides fire... I've rubbed a starter on a sticky zipper before
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Old 03-18-2014, 18:34   #4
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I use it but not in a bob/ghb setup. I don't carry any liquid fuels even when camping unless vehicle camping, just don't like the nature of combustible liquids in my pack. I use trioxane & esbit mostly, using them to light other fuel; typically broken up twigs & limbs.

Not knocking liquid fuels as a species. I do use sterno-type fuel and compressed propane & butane; just not when I'm carrying it on my back.
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Old 03-18-2014, 19:04   #5
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I keep some on hand, but only intend to use it in an absolute emergency.
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Old 03-18-2014, 19:22   #6
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I keep a case or two of gelled alcohol , and it burns for 3hrs+ per can. It's really for a fireplace , BUT...Shelf life is forever and as mentioned, you can scoop out a bit at a time and save the rest.... great fire starter.

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Old 03-18-2014, 19:32   #7
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I have 42 sealed cans of it....just for back-up and just to have.
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Old 03-18-2014, 19:51   #8
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I don't - but no dislike for it. Only the weight/space/burn time ratio. Overall, not a choice for limited flame needs.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:03   #9
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I have had an Esbit stove since '77, still use/carry it. Got a pile of tri-oxane tabs after the Army stopped issuing C-rats, still using them too.

That said, I do have a flat of Sterno cans, bought when the Ft Knox Four Seasons went away, for cheap. Figure if nothing else, I can give them out to others in case of need.
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Old 03-19-2014, 11:01   #10
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I have 4 sealed Sterno's in my BOB setup.
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Old 03-19-2014, 18:32   #11
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I keep some cans at home as back up, back up, back up... but when I did testing (that I posted on GT many years ago) sterno wouldn't boil water, which limits it's effectiveness.

I MIGHT could see keeping some in the car for winter situations (since it won't 'spill' ) but not in a bag.
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Old 03-19-2014, 19:36   #12
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I keep several cans in the basement incase of power outages. When we have snow or ice here in Georgia the power almost always goes out because we have so damn many pine trees. Sometimes it is off for more than a day as in the blizzard of '93 when it was off for five days.
After a couple of days with indoor temps near freezing a can of warm stew tastes pretty good.
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Old 03-19-2014, 19:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ric0123 View Post
I keep some cans at home as back up, back up, back up... but when I did testing (that I posted on GT many years ago) sterno wouldn't boil water, which limits it's effectiveness.

I MIGHT could see keeping some in the car for winter situations (since it won't 'spill' ) but not in a bag.

huh! `Water boils just fine for me on the mini-sterno-stove when making instant Coffee
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:35   #14
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Sterno is better than nothing...that's about the best I can say about it. I tried it on a backpacking trip, and never did fully boil water. It would heat it to steaming, but no more.
An alcohol stove is far superior.
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Old 03-20-2014, 05:39   #15
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I don't get the "in my bag" so much, but great for home use.
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:55   #16
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I don't get the "in my bag" so much, but great for home use.
I keep them along side a couple of alcohol burners I made, doesn't hurt.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:20   #17
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Ok, so while there's some use, the overwhelming reaction seems to be a resounding "meh".

It will fry up some spam.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:47   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G29Reload View Post
I just made a post in What have you done this week about a cheap Sterno find.

Occurred to me ive never seen anyone stock this in their BOB.

It certainly isnt as ferocious a fire as an iso pro stove but its remarkably cheap and effective especially if youre warming a beverage or soup to warm your core in cold weather. Its low profile so it can heat without attracting the attention of a fire and doesnt require any infrastructure other than a match and maybe a soupcan for an improvised stove.

Bonus use as a scoop fire starter.

Who stocks/uses it?

Discuss.
I carry it and use it sometimes.

If you dig a little hole not much bigger than the can and light that where you can sit down with it between your feet or legs and put a rain poncho, blanket, or a really big coat over it where it catches the heat coming up then you can stay warm no matter what the weather is doing.

It's a little pioneer trick they used a lot way back in the day only they use white oak bark and made a bigger hole.

The sterno is awesome, a lot faster and easier than bark and less smoke. Just enough for a little one man poncho tent.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:51   #19
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I carry it and use it sometimes.

If you dig a little hole not much bigger than the can and light that where you can sit down with it between your feet or legs and put a rain poncho, blanket, or a really big coat over it where it catches the heat coming up then you can stay warm no matter what the weather is doing.

It's a little pioneer trick they used a lot way back in the day only they use white oak bark and made a bigger hole.

The sterno is awesome, a lot faster and easier than bark and less smoke. Just enough for a little one man poncho tent.

Sounds like that could be a lifesaver on the trail. The bark thing....talk about getting smoked up. But it beats freezing to death. As long as you can breathe fresh air.

Speaking of breathing fumes....methanol ingestion is toxic. Sterno is suppossed to be nontoxic. But i was under the impression it was based on methanol. Breathing its fumes when burning....safe? Anyone?
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:18   #20
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Sounds like that could be a lifesaver on the trail. The bark thing....talk about getting smoked up. But it beats freezing to death. As long as you can breathe fresh air.

Speaking of breathing fumes....methanol ingestion is toxic. Sterno is supposed to be nontoxic. But i was under the impression it was based on methanol. Breathing its fumes when burning....safe? Anyone?
100% on the smoke. You don't put it over your head. The pioneers and scouts often brought a blanket on trips and that was their shelter. You could just build a little fire in a hole with the white oak bark and with a little supply and then a flue and that's what you would sit near so air came in one and up the other. Supposedly the white oak smoked the least and put the blanket around their shoulders and over the warmth coming up. It was suppose to be a source of heat with out giving away your position with a big fire and also low maintenance way to stay warm through a sudden cold spell.

Just use the Sterno the same way with modern equipment just the "old" concept. It's really no different from standing over a Coleman lantern and letting it go up your coat to warm up a little. It's just with setting it up with that intent, it works a lot better than just noticing you can warm up over the lantern.
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