What to choose — gas or liquid fuel?

Advantages of gas as a fuel are obvious. Does not require pre-heating burners. Burners themselves structurally very simple, do not litter, do not smell, it is very easy to use. Do not break, unless, of course, do not beat on them with a hammer, is relatively expensive. All provide precise power control flame …

Disadvantages of gas too. For large negative temperature burner becomes unstable and require pre-heating of the gas and the gas cylinder. Not only that, during burner gas evaporates, cooling the pre-tank, and it is sometimes necessary (if the length of the tube) heat tank to the burner, or put it on the lid of the saucepan in which you drown snow or preparing food. After that, sometimes you have to clean up in a sleeping bag that you will agree, is unpleasant. The second obvious minus gas — is its high tsena.Dlya an example, the approximate calculation of the cost of fuel for high-altitude event in October. I needed to provide fuel for four people for three weeks. According to conservative estimates require at least 100 g of gas per person per day, that is, about 8-9 kg (15-16 liters) of liquid gas. That is, at a minimum price of branded fuel (MSR or Primus) for me would be about $ 200. But since you can not save on fuel, the required reserve would have been for at least another $ 100. And take away the plane much fuel is very problematic. Buy on the spot — is also problematic. There are, of course, cheaper options — namely, order one large propane tank, an adapter and fill balloons burners in place … it's troublesome … However, we note that for the July events in the Caucasus gas needed by 20-50% (depending on on the tasks of the group) is less.

Now imagine that we have the oil burner, such as MSR XGK or Primus OmniFuel. Gasoline at this same event would take 20-25 liters, and the cost to him would have been $ 6.10. And it's easy to buy on the spot. See the difference! Practically you can buy specifically for the new oil burner trip, and it will pay off immediately.

Now let's talk about the pros and cons of liquid fuel. In general, liquid fuel does not have to be gasoline. There are burners that operate on domestic or jet fuel, specially refined gasoline, diesel fuel (diesel oil), special fuels, which produce leading manufacturers (eg, MSR White Gas or Primus fuel). There are those who work well with unleaded petrol, Asian gasoline (petrol separate class in which it is not clear what more — donkey urine or diesel), as well as in pure alcohol (but that is a perversion, it is best taken orally).

By the way, note that almost all the oil burners poorly digested alcohol varying degrees of purity, as He eats stuff pads.

So, what we need oil burner (we consider only our Russian conditions). We want to save money, do not want to carry with them the fuel. We wish that for large negative temperatures, our burners are stable, and do not want to mess with the heated cylinder.

Thus, special fuels, manufactured manufacturers, fall away immediately. Yes, MSR White Gas does not smell, it is not as volatile as regular gasoline, it does not clog the burner, but its cost is comparable to the cost of proprietary gas fuel, and get him in Almaty or Bishkek impossible. Thus, in our conditions relevant to use fuel that is easy to get on the site and which is cheap. And it's either gasoline varying degrees of purity (often unpredictable) or diesel oil, too unpredictable purity.

So cons. When working on a poorly refined fuel any burner eventually clog. Ie it should be cleaned. Not only petrol smelly, volatile, smokes on heating burners and generally nasty. In addition, gasoline vapors, gathered in a tent, you can arrange an unforgettable fireworks. Diesel fuel less power for a certain amount of boiling water, for example, you need more time and fuel. And as she smokes quite childish. Another relatively less oil burners — all of which require some care for themselves and not as easy to operate as gas (all of which require at least a pre-heating).

Thus, the dry residue. Your choice — oil burner, ready to digest crude oil, if:

* You are willing to suffer a little, or, conversely, "have fun," inhaling petrol fumes and spending some time to warm up the burner, * do not want to bathe with the cops at the airport on the withdrawal of gas cylinders out of your luggage, ready to cook * in platform tents at large subzero temperatures, no warming in the groin with a gas cylinder, * do not want to spend money on fuel. For other cases, perhaps, the best choice will be gas.

And how much to fuel?

Indeed, how much fuel to take? A common rule for Russia is about 50-120 g nose depending on the activities of competent dishes, burners, and the availability of the windshield of the "human factor" …. Western experts recommend 100 to 450 ml of fuel per person per day. Also depending on the factors mentioned above.

We look at it more simply: the more fuel, the better. You calculate the amount of fuel to your event, and then multiply it by a half or two. Because if you lose a mitten, you can put a sock on his hand, for example. If you run out of food, that's OK …. But if you ran out of fuel, the cup of tea you will not be able to …

A little more about the factors that affect fuel consumption:

Environmental conditions:

In uncomplicated summer cycling trip, even if you do not plan to cook on a fire, you need to boil the water with an initial zero temperature … But on a winter ascent in the cold mountains of first melting the snow and ice, sometimes very cold (if outdoor -50 …) and only then get the water to boil …, respectively, and fuel must be taken much more …

Competent dishes:

It happens so …. For example, it is very difficult for a low-power burner to boil 6-quart pot with snow … I would even say impossible. Heat losses at some point will be greater than the flow of heat from the burner — and you'll be sad to look at her, and not a boiling, water … Ie Cookware must minimize heat loss. The use of the autoclave and the pan with double walls and a single bottom can significantly reduce fuel consumption.


In this respect, the more powerful the better. It is desirable (but not essential) with adjustable power. It should also afterburned fuel to finish. For example, the yellow flame from the burner shows "nedozhige" fuel. Or, say, the gap between the flame from the burner at maximum power …

Windscreens and reflective heat shields:

Also greatly reduce heat loss.

"The human factor":

It is no secret that, in any event, different people want very different number of liquid or food. Can and hungry, and seldom drink coffee — and you can on the contrary … The exception is difficult climbing and hiking, where reasonable, food is often not enough in any case, and fluid — even more so. In different types of work at height, for example, 7000m loss of body fluids can be from 100 to 300 grams per hour! Dehydration — terrible scourge of high altitude. Many have paid the ultimate price for lack of fuel … Well, about the carelessness recall … Current canister left in the sun a gas cylinder, etc. can easily leave you without fuel — and, in the worst case, and without life.

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