|A Hank Roberts Mini Stove|
Now, if we were to separate the two halves of the "clamshell" that forms the stove, what might we find inside?
|Inside the "clamshell" is the burner head and the valve assembly.|
When assembled, the stove looks something like this:
|An assembled Hank Roberts Stove|
Today, I thought I'd go fully retro and show you how to use one of the original type canisters.
|A canister of the type used by a Hank Roberts stove. This particular canister is an Optimus 702 canister.|
|The "rosebud" on a canister of the type used by a Hank Roberts stove.|
These canisters all contained 100% butane. Butane is a fairly easy gas to work with in that it has a fairly moderate vapor pressure. Gasses like propane require much heavier canisters and fittings because propane has a much higher vapor pressure. Of course, the one problem with butane is that butane doesn't work very well in cold weather. Butane vaporizes at 31F/-0.5C (at sea level), which isn't all that cold, particularly for "shoulder season" (early spring, late fall) or winter hikes. Add to that the fact that canisters typically get colder as you use them, and you soon realize that 100% butane typically needs weather above 50F/10C to really work well. 50F/10C? That's pretty limiting.
But not the Hank Roberts. You see the canister had a very special feature. The canister when used with a Hank Roberts stove lay on its side. Inside the canister was a wick, a wick that would conduct liquefied butane to the burner. Then the heat of the burner would turn the liquid butane into a vapor which can be burned by the stove. Gas stoves do not work properly when the fuel is still liquid.
|A gas canister attached to a Hank Roberts stove. Note how the canister lies on its side.|
Of course, there's just one itsy bitsy little problem. The burner assembly isn't hot when you first fire up the stove. Since the burner assembly isn't hot, the fuel doesn't get fully vaporized, and your stove will flare until it warms up.
|A cold Hank Roberts stove flaring on start up.|
But warm up it did, and the yellow flames as seen above quickly settled down to nice well-behaved blue flames.
|Blue flames from a fully warmed up Hank Roberts stove|
Well, if you'll recall from the photo where I showed the interior of the clamshell, our burner assembly has a "needle" on it.
|Note the needle on the right hand side of this photo of the Hank Roberts stove's valve assembly|
|A Hank Roberts stove with the needle fully inserted into a canister|
When fully inserted, the needle depresses a valve, allowing liquid butane to flow into the stove. Nowdays, canisters typically have valves, but the Hank Roberts type canisters with valves were a real innovation for their day.
Well, now that we're all hooked up and warmed up, we'd better put the kettle on to boil now hadn't we? A cup of hot tea on a gray day is just what the doctor ordered!
|A kettle fresh dunked in the stream, set to boil on a Hank Roberts stove|
The Hank Roberts Stove: Highly Recommended.
Thanks for joining me on another Adventure in Stoving,
Hank Roberts Mini Stove, Mark III
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