Richard Bucker

size matters when it comes to stoves

Posted at — Sep 2, 2016

My RUCAS stove cost $20 and the Olicamp ION+cup stove combo cost $55. If you’re not interested in reading then just buy the ION. Once you are on the trail you can always buy a can of tuna and some denatured alcohol and make an alcohol stove. There are a number of advantages to the RUCAS but a number of serious failures. Tuna or soda stoves might have been better in the long run.left: alcohol stove, right: ION+Right away I was blown away by the size. The actual stove is time and the cup is a light aluminium. I should include a screen and top but they are not necessary.The stanley has some extra height but also the 8oz fuel bottle.I’ve heard hikers talk about lightening their load by carrying half full canisters. I suppose you can save a little that way. You can also carry a 4oz canister instead of an 8oz. Also the ION is very small. So small that one should be very careful with the windscreen. As I experienced with the screen and the RUCAS.There are no more or less partsThe base of the 4oz can is wider than the RUCAS and so are the extended arms of the ION. The only potential challenge is that it is higher and on a questionable surface it could be a spill hazard. On the other hand the RUCAS has a very small diameter and the flame temp is not controllable. you really cannot cook on it. And rain can be a problem.4oz fuel fit in StanleyJust for grins I placed the fero rod and ION in a bandanna and into the Stanley under the fuel. I might not have to make a foil lid after all.Stanley fits inside ION cup. Appears lid may be reusable.Now that everything fits snug, although heavier since it’s a combined kit, I feel better and more confident. My biggest worry is having enough fuel around the house as part of my hurricane and hiking kits.PS: the fuel is much cheaper than MSR.PS: buy directly from Olicamp and there is a $10 coupon (see details)If you’re worried about running out of fuel while hiking, bring a second can, use a larger can, or bring some extra food that does not require cooking.UPDATE: I just performed my first burn and I learned a few things. [1], the cup that came with the ION is just barely 2 cups. Any sort of vigorous boil is going to get sloppy. Also, the first mean I made required 2 1/4 cups water so the cups was not going to work. [2] I watched a number of demos where the operator either ignited the stove with the pot on or the pot off. After practicing [i] pot off and low flame [ii] increase flame before putting the pot on. [iii] take the pot off before trying to turn it off.trying to adjust the flame while the pot it on can be dangerous.  You are better off removing the pot before adjusting. Once the pot is in place the heat tends to radiate back toward the fuel and the controls. [3] The stove cools quickly. Probably before the meal is ready to be eaten. I was able to prepare the meal and clean the rest of the kitchen before getting back to the stove and it was still hot. In total I think it took 15 minutes to become temperate enough to be handled. At that point I rook it apart and put it away. [4] I used a fero rod to start my stove. While it worked it was unreliable as unspent fuel waited for an ignition and for some strange reason I was not getting a spark. Something was off. So get a reliable lighter or a button igniter.Finally [4], given my observation of the ION cup in (1) I discarded the cup and put one of the green Stanley cups inside the Stanley pot. It worked like a charm.