QuietStove.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Clikstand (alcohol) -- A Brief Introduction

I recently featured some tests of the Clikstand with Trangia burner.  For my general thoughts about the Clikstand stove system, I suggest you check out that link.

In this post, I thought I'd show the Clikstand with Trangia burner in a little more detail, and I thought I'd show you my typical day hike configuration.  My overnight hike configuration is the same, only I'd carry more fuel.

First, a pot of about 1000ml in capacity with "traditional" proportions (wide not narrow, short not tall) works well with the Clikstand.   Smaller pots don't fit well with the span of the Clikstand.  I tried a 780ml Snow Peak pot and an 850ml MSR Titan kettle on the Clikstand, and neither was very stable.  See the Clikstand compatibility information at the bottom of this post for more details.The other big advantage of a pot of about 1000ml size is that all of the of the components will nest inside the pot (Clikstand, burner, small fuel bottle, lighter, spoon,windscreen, and fuel measuring cup).
A 1000ml Snow Peak pot containing all the components necessary to operate a Clikstand/Trangia combination.
The same set up as above with the pot lid removed so that you can see the contents.
The Clikstand is quite compact in terms of stowage.  To better appreciate just how complete the set is, let's take a look at all the components spread out.
All of the components of my Clikstand/Trangia set up on display
Now, let's take a little closer look at the central components.  Note the roughly triangluar piece with the circular cut out.  This will form a "deck" and hold the burner.  The burner can be seen just above the upper point of the triangular shaped "deck".
The central components of my Clikstand/Trangia set up.
Top row, L to R:  fuel bottle, Trangia burner, lighter
Middle Row, L to R:  fuel measuring cup, Clikstand "deck", telescoping spoon
Bottom row:  the Clikstand's "walls"

Let's take a closer look at the Clikstand's "walls."  Note the tab on the left side of each piece, the slot on the right side, the "hooks" to the right of the slot, and the projection on the top of each piece.   The slot and tab connect the walls.  The hooks hold the windscreen.  The projection supports the cook pot.
The three identical stamped pieces of stainless steel that form the walls of the Clikstand burner stand/pot support
The Clikstand is first formed from the three identical pieces of stamped stainless steel (there is a titanium version as well; see below).  The tab from one piece is fitted to the slot in the next until all three pieces are connected, forming a triangle.

A fourth piece, the "deck" that you saw in earlier photos (roughly triangular in shape, with a cut out for the burner) is then fitted within the triangle.  The deck "clicks" into place when inserted properly, hence the name "Clikstand."
The three identical pieces form the "walls" and the fourth piece is emplaced as a "deck" within the walls.
The Trangia burner is then placed into the cutout in the center of the deck.  A windscreen is then placed onto the "hooks" that extend from the slotted end of each of the wall pieces.  Note:  The windscreen shown is not a Clikstand windscreen.  The windscreen is a BPL titanium windscreen.  The Clikstand I bought was used and did not include a windscreen, so I included one of my own.
Clikstand with Trangia burner and windscreen in place.
A pot is then of course placed on the assembled burner and stand.
A Clikstand with a 1000ml Snow Peak pot in place.
The regular stainless steel Clikstand with brass Trangia burner isn't the lightest set up out there (see my thoughts on the titanium Clikstand below).  Indeed, many will argue that a small upright gas stove will be as light or lighter, even when you factor in the weight of the steel canister that a gas stove requires.  True, but the Clikstand has a several advantages over a gas stove: 
1.  Windproofness.  Upright gas stoves are typically quite vulnerable to wind.  The Clikstand functions very well in wind (although its fuel consumption will typically go up)
2.  Foolproofness.  The Clikstand has almost nothing to go wrong on it.  There is no delicate thread that you might cross thread.  There are no "O" rings or gaskets to crack or dry out (well except for the one in lid of the Trangia burner, but that gasket does not affect the operation of the stove).  There is no tiny, single jet to clog.  There is no Lindal valve to get stuck open (It happens!  Ask me how I know!).
3.  Fuel availability.  To get a gas canister, you generally have to go to a specialty shop.  Alcohol, at least in the US, is far more available.  Stove appropriate alcohol is available at gas stations, hardware stores, cleaning supply stores, paint stores, and even some grocery stores and pharmacies.  Availability is particularly important when traveling by air and you don't want to burn a day gathering supplies.  Who wants to drive around looking for a specialty store when you could just grab some alcohol from the first hardware store you pass?  For information on what alcohols are appropriate for stove use, see my post on Alcohol as a Stove Fuel.
4. Alternative fuels.  Not only is alcohol fuel widely available, the Clikstand can run on alternative fuels.
  • One alternate fuel is hexamine, which is commonly sold under the brand name ESBIT.  Hexamine is  a little smelly and leaves a residue on the bottom of your pot, but it is very light and convenient.  You'd have to rig something up in the cut out of the deck of the Clikstand, but that shouldn't be too hard.
  • Another alternate fuel is wood.  Yes, you heard me right, wood.  The Clikstand is either stainless steel or titanium, both of which will withstand heat quite well.  You can pile small sticks and such in the body of the Clikstand and burn them.  You will of course blacken the pot, stand, and windscreen in the process, but there are times where having an alternative fuel source like wood (which is often available where there are no stores or points of resupply!) could come in really handy.  Note:  As of this writing, I have not tried my Clikstand on wood.
5.  Silent operation.  Don't underestimate the value of silence.  I love to be able to hear the natural world that surrounds me when I'm out in the wilderness.  Experience the Zen of an alcohol stove!

COMPARING THE COST AND WEIGHT OF TITANIUM vs. STAINLESS STEEL
(All prices in USD)

Steel (g) Ti (g) Weight Savings
(g)
Conversion Factor Savings (ounces) Steel Price Ti Price Price Difference Cost per gram
saved
Cost per ounce
saved
Stand 94 57 37 0.035 1.3 $29.95 $59.95 $30.00 $0.81 $22.99
Screen 37 20 17 0.035 0.6 $14.95 $19.95 $5.00 $0.29 $8.34
Subtotal 131 77 54 0.035 1.9 $44.90 $79.90 $35.00 $0.65 $18.37
Burner 111 34 77 0.035 2.7 $15.95 $45.95 $30.00 $0.39 $11.05
Total 242 111 131 0.035 4.6 $60.85 $125.85 $65.00 $0.50 $14.07

MY THOUGHTS ON THE TITANIUM VERSION OF THE CLIKSTAND
The difference in weight between a Ti Clikstand and windscreen and a stainless steel (SS) Clikstand and windscreen is 54g (about 2oz), for which you will pay an additional $35.00.  $35.00 is a bit much to pay for two ounces in weight savings, although it may be worth it for some.

The argument for going with the titanium version is more compelling if you get everything Ti (stand, screen, and Evernew burner). If you get everything Ti, you would save 131g (4.6 oz) -- which is over a quarter of a pound. But, to do this, you must pay an additional $65.00 over the price of the standard SS and brass components. In other words, the price more than doubles if one gets all Ti components. For $125.85 I can get a very nice petroleum based liquid fuel or gas stove. $125.85 is simply too much for an alcohol stove. One would really have to be an alcohol stove aficionado in order to pay that kind of money.  Note:  One could save some money if one were to by the components as a set.  Still, even as a set, the titanium components cost significantly more than the conventional SS and brass components.

Add to that the fact that there is no lid or simmer ring on the Ti version of the burner, both of which are very nice features of the Trangia burner. Moreover, the Evernew Ti burner is generally less efficient (but faster) than the Trangia burner according to the tests that I've seen.  A less efficient burner means that you will have to carry additional fuel, thus eroding at least some of the weight savings that you just paid so dearly for.

I'd love to try a Ti set up, but for those prices?  I can't quite justify it just yet.

VIDEO COMPARISON TITANIUM vs. STAINLESS STEEL
The following video was made by Hendrik who is from Finland. The video compares a titanium Clikstand set up (including the Evernew titanium burner) with a stainless steel Clikstand set up with a conventional brass Trangia burner.  You can view Hendrik's interesting and informative hiking and lightweight backpacking blog, Hiking In Finland.  The blog is in English and includes a lot more than just information pertaining to Finland.


There you have it, a very brief introduction to the Clikstand.

HJ

Appendix

CLIKSTAND COMPATIBILITY INFORMATION (Copied from Clikstand.com)
Pot Compatibility:
Minimum pot size 4.2” (106 mm) diameter or larger. Maximum recommended pot size 8.0” (203 mm) diameter. For pots, cups or kettles smaller than 4.2” (106 mm) diameter click here (Note this link leaves my blog and goes to the Clikstand site).

Windscreen Compatibility:
Maximum pot size 5.9” (150 mm) diameter.

Burner Compatibility:
Maximum burner diameter 2.75” (70 mm), maximum burner height 2.5” (64 mm).

Pot Size Required for Storage:
Minimum pot size required to store Clikstand, windscreen, and burner inside 5.2” (132mm) diameter, 2.8” (71mm) height.
Related posts and articles:

Disclaimer:  I am in no way affiliated with Clikstand.com nor do I have any financial interest in any product displayed on this page.  I am merely a satisfied customer sharing his experience.

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