FireFelt videoed, available (HWP)

by Devin on August 16, 2011

The FireFelt Alcohol Wick for the Backcountry Boiler is now available to order here and ships immediately. From stock – what a great idea – I could get used to that.

The above video shows the wick in use, and this post gives some of the background. It’s pretty slick if I do say so myself.

One note on the amount of fuel used: In the video, I list fuel by weight – it’s the analytic chemist in me – but it occurred to me that few zero people will be using precise scales to measure their fuel on the trail. So everywhere else, I list it by volume. Fluid ounces rather than regular(?) ounces. Kind of confusing. You’d think we would have come up with different names for mass and volume units. Like, say, “grams” and “milliliters.” :)

* and so for the metrics among us: .5 oz (mass) = 18ml (volume), .75 oz (mass) = 28 ml (volume) (good call, Rob)

[ 23 comments… read them below or add one ]

Rob August 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Can you also list in millilitres for those of us not in USAia and so metrically-challenged?

Rob August 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Great – looking good – off to check out the order page :)

Hendrik August 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I wonder who inspired that “Hmmm… Aha!” sound ;)

Metric system ftw!

Devin August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Thanks, Rob. Updated accordingly. :)

Hendrik – What can I say, it probably was. Maybe I just watch too many of your videos.

Kim August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

What is the best way to extinguish the wick and cool it down after you reach boil. Do you just need to wait for it to burn off? How many times can you use the wick?

Devin August 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Kim – I recommend letting it self-extinguish and cool while you eat or drink your meal. With practice, you shouldn’t have too much left to burn off.

How many times can you use it? A bunch. I have almost 100 burns on mine and it’s still going strong. During the first few it will turn grey and shrink a bit, but is then pretty stable. Much like lantern mantles, rough handling is more of a threat over time than the heat itself.

Kim August 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thanks, going to the order page now. :)

Mike fae Dundee August 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Just ordered 2 Devin. Good space saving carrying it in the chimney.

Devin August 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Thanks Kim! Thanks Mike!

Mike August 16, 2011 at 11:02 pm

What nerves of steel, boiling water jumps out of the boiler, and does he quickly grab his beloved iPhone? No! He calmly takes the boiler off of the flame and leaves the iPhone to soak. That will toughen up that phone! ;)

Devin August 17, 2011 at 12:00 am

Every tool has to earn its keep. :) The boil-over shouldn’t normally happen, I just really had this thing roaring, and the thermometer rig made a bit of a nozzle out of the spout.

Vinosaur August 17, 2011 at 12:29 am

Glad these are available. Will save weight over carrying my Trangia in the stove for alcohol use. Just ordered 2. BTW, what app are u using for timing? Very cool.

Devin August 17, 2011 at 12:37 am

Thanks Vino! It’s called BigStopWatch by Yuki Yasoshima. I particularly love the digitalized analog portion. :)

ab August 19, 2011 at 9:26 am

How about publishing photos of your (abandoned) prototype can burners.

ab August 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm

For HKawasaki (I dont have a twitter account):
Wouldn’t a simple aluminium foil tube do as a chimney extender: if extender is needed, then presumably exhaust fumes wont be that hot. Disposable cooking trays could be a source of foil,

Devin August 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

ab – the prototype burners were pretty simple – the small Red Bull or V8 cans cut down with the top put back on, and 6 paper-hole-punch holes around the circumference acting as jets – Here’s the problem – they would melt after only a few burns, so I don’t have any left. I also tried them out of steel (pineapple juice cans), but they wouldn’t get up to the right temperature. I get the best performance, and – perhaps surprisingly – longevity from the felt.

On the chimney extender – too many pieces for my taste, but I would love to see some testing on this, I love mods!

ab August 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

For the steel ones you could have tried an aluminium foil strip inside the can:

Melting the alu cans is impressive.

ab August 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

(see the “CAT stoves and the virtual wick” section in donsmaps sites)

Dave September 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I frequently use alcohol to light charcoal fires. If one isn’t using ethanol, an issue to consider is the set of combustion byproducts. For other alcohols they typically include carbon monoxide. Not a problem if one is outside and can walk away, but worth thinking about…

Steve December 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Devin, Christmas came early–I just received the new stoppers, FireFelts and pot support triangles–they look great! Excellent work once again–Boiler #001 will be happy!

Devon December 23, 2011 at 1:50 am

Hey Devin, Devon here! Got my boiler and fire felt today! Stoked to take it out asap. Quick question though: being in the Pac NW it’s sometimes tough to find dry wood to burn. Would using the firefelt in conjunction with damp wood be advisable? Maybe use your first boil of the trip to dry out future fuel? Any other ideas on lack of dry fuel? Thanks for the groovy new piece of kit!

bob February 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

Have you considered adding some heat exchanger blades/fins in the tower? THey could absorb heat and transfer it to the water. You could either permanently weld them to the chimney walls or just have them slide in and out.You might also add a few fins to the inside during the manufacturing to speed the transfer of heat to the water. You might make them of some kind of aluminum mesh to save weight and increase the surface area.

Dave June 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

how does it do burning solid fuel like esbit or the like?

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