Skip to main content

RUCAS alcohol stove

I've been interested in all things Appalachian Trail and one of the interesting challenges seems to be a cooking fire. Hikers have written, blogged and vlogged that it's a challenge because [a] restrictions on where you can burn and frankly not all shelters are friendly. [b] dead fall may be picked clean [c] some areas do not permit specific tools like a saw [d] white gas stoves appear to have risks.

  • ring or fireplace usually found close to the shelters
  • white gas; think about the old coleman where the tank has to be slightly preasurized
  • butane+propane; ie jetboil or pocketrocket
  • gassified wood stove like a bush buddy or solo stove
  • non-gassification wood stove
  • alcohol stove
  • tablets
side note: when I was researching campfires in US national parks they are all but restricted to specific locations typically a proper fireplace or fire ring. And any other fire must have an instant off which I think means something like a jetboil although an alcohol stove might be ok if you have a snuffer.

I have a SoloStove and a Campfire SoloStove. I like them both very much except they use wood and leave a lot of soot on my cook pots. With some AT videos and demos I started to develop some interest in alcohol and tablet stoves. I like the tablets because they are easy carry. Half an esbit will warm a can of soup. The only aggravation is soot.

There are a number of alcohol stove designs out there. Many use soda cans and fiberglass. Here is a howto. Rather than build one I decided to buy a RUCAS on eBay. The construction was a lot better than I could do or would be willing to do. The easiest alcohol stove is just an open bean dip can and soda can. But the RUCAS looks great.

My RUCAS arrived a few days ago and I finally managed to get to the hardware store to get some fuel. Here are my notes on the first burn:
  • I needed the funnel to transfer the fuel from the can to the bottle.  The bottle came with my kit. The demonstration convinced me it was not going to give me any trouble although the bottle will have to be inside my kit to prevent accidental spillage inside my pack.
  • I did a test fit to make sure the stove was level and secure and that the cup I was planning to cook with was also stable.
  • squeezing fuel into the stove was simple enough. I relied on my internal measuring cup to make sure I was only dispensing one fluid ounce. The information sheet suggested how much to squirt in and that there may be a line inside the stove. But not that I could see.
  • I decided to ignite the stove with my firesteel. I'm not sure that was a good idea as I could have knocked over the stove and ignited it all at once.
  • It took about 2 to 3 minutes for the mechanism to ignite the jets but once they started the heat was intense. I quickly determined that my fuel reserves and tools were just too close.
  • I had opened a can of chili into my cup and placed it on the stove. In about 1 to 2 minutes the food started bubbling along the wall of the cup.
  • I stirred constantly to prevent the food from [a] splattering all over the place [b] heating unevenly or burning [c] or sticking to the side of the pot
The BAD news.

While I like the RUCAS and the pocketrocket they have their challenges. My pot got hot very quickly. My spoon got hot. My insulated square oven mitt was useless and almost caused the stove to spill.

  • buy a proper fire glove
  • use a wooden spoon (something to do at night when resting)
  • I probably want to limit my cooking to boiling water instead of cans of soup and the like. Boiling water requires very little monitoring


Popular posts from this blog

Entry level cost for CoreOS+Tectonic

CoreOS and Tectonic start their pricing at 10 servers. Managed CoreOS starts at $1000 per month for those first 10 servers and Tectonic is $5000 for the same 10 servers. Annualized that is $85K or at least one employee depending on your market. As a single employee company I'd rather hire the employee. Specially since I only have 3 servers.

The pricing is biased toward the largest servers with the largest capacities; my dual core 32GB i5 IntelNuc can never be mistaken for a 96-CPU dual or quad core DELL

If CoreOS does not figure out a different barrier of entry they are going to follow the Borland path to obscurity.

UPDATE 2017-10-30: With gratitude the CoreOS team has provided updated information on their pricing, however, I stand by my conclusion that the effective cost is lower when you deploy monster machines. The cost per node of my 1 CPU Intel NUC is the same as a 96 CPU server when you get beyond 10 nodes. I'll also reiterate that while my pricing notes are not currently…

Agile is still dead and has been since 1991

[updated 2011.09.30] yet another response to Agile is good.
When you have so much of you career invested in something like Agile, XP etc... it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. I had a consulting job in The Haag many years ago. IBM was the incumbent contractor at the customer site (a bank) but after 5 years on the job they had not written a single line of functioning code. In the office there were two teams of software people... both behind closed doors. The first team was the Data team and the second team was Functional. They rarely spoke and they never shared information. I was there for a week, introduced the client to OO and we had a functioning prototype. Smart people do smart things, You cannot make an underachiever exceptional by using Agile. Either they get "it" or they don't.
I just commented on a blog. I'm sure there is some validity to his post beyond observing that Agile Scrum is broken. It certainly is not what it was originally intended but for…

eGalax touch on default Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS

I have not had success with the touch drivers as yet.  The touch works and evtest also seems to report events, however, I have noticed that the button click is not working and no matter what I do xinput refuses to configure the buttons correctly.  When I downgraded to ubuntu 10.04 LTS everything sort of worked... there must have been something in the kermel as 10.04 was in the 2.6 kernel and 4.04 is in the 3.x branch.

One thing ... all of the documentation pointed to the wrong website or one in Taiwanese. I was finally able to locate the drivers again: (it would have been nice if they provided the install instructions in text rather than PDF)
Please open the document "EETI_eGTouch_Programming_Guide" under the Guide directory, and follow the Guidline to install driver.
download the appropriate versionunzip the fileread the programming manual And from that I'm distilling to the following: execute the answer all of the questio…