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      Riddle me this... camp stove vs home stove     
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Portage99
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01/14/2021 06:53AM  
So, I have these random thoughts…

I thought some of you that like to mess with numbers might want to answer this puzzle.

Let’s say a single person uses a camp stove one/ two times a day low to moderate usage. For example, boiling water or making soup. Otherwise, uses a microwave.

Over the course of a year, how much would this cost compared to a home utility bill just for this activity of cooking. Which one would be cheaper?

 
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01/14/2021 08:32AM  
About the only possible direct comparison would be a propane home range vs a propane camp stove. Natural gas and LNG may contain propane and butane, but also other gasses.

Another huge difference is transport distribution and the fact LNG/natural gas is sold and delivered in bulk vs small packaged fuel.

Cannot say about what the difference is as my home range/oven is electric, but I'm sure the small packaged purified fuels used in camping are much more expensive. Look at what a 20 pound propane bottle costs vs twenty 1 pound propane cans and you can commercially refill the 20 pounder.

An easier comparison might be auto gas at $3 a gallon vs Coleman fuel at $14.

butthead
 
01/14/2021 03:35PM  
My electric company charges $0.10 for a kW/h of electricity. Average microwave is 600-1200 Watts. Assuming 3 minutes to boil a liter of water in my 1000 Watt (or 1 kW) microwave.... so, $0.10 (3 min/60 min) = $0.005 or 0.5 cents of electricity is required to boil a liter of water at my house. So, if I boil a liter of water twice a day I guess it costs about $3.50-$4.00 to boil 730 liters of water over the course of a year. Even if it takes 6 minutes to boil a liter of water in the microwave it will cost less than $10/year to boil 2 L water/day.

Based on the MSR website, the WhisperLite stove will boil 1.5 liters of water with 1 oz. of white gas. So a gallon (128 oz. ) of white gas will boil 195 liters of water. If white gas camp fuel is $8/gallon (current price at Walmart) then it costs about $0.04 or 4 cents to boil a liter of water.

I must be bored.

 
Portage99
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01/14/2021 04:46PM  
I am really glad you were bored. That’s what I was looking for!

If you didn’t have appliances besides a microwave, could you use a camp stove economically. Thank you for the details!
 
01/14/2021 05:22PM  
Portage99: "I am really glad you were bored. That’s what I was looking for!


If you didn’t have appliances besides a microwave, could you use a camp stove economically. Thank you for the details!"




Well I ran the experiment at home. 1 pint, or about half a liter, took 2 minutes 35 seconds to boil in my microwave (1000 watt, I checked). And I’m on a well and the water coming into the house is quite cold.
 
01/14/2021 07:05PM  
Portage99: "I am really glad you were bored. That’s what I was looking for!


If you didn’t have appliances besides a microwave, could you use a camp stove economically. Thank you for the details!"


And after I ran my microwave experiment I decided to test out my two camp stoves. An MSR XGK-EX and a Coleman 533 dual fuel to run those experiments.

I’m glad I did! Both need to be serviced. Both were inoperable despite being over 10 years old, used a couple times a year with no maintenance so far, go figure. So I will fix them now. Thank goodness I found that out before a BWCA trip. Usually I just grab these things and head out on a trip. In the past I’ve never check them to make sure they are operational. Next trip is in mid May. Disaster averted.
 
01/14/2021 08:11PM  
plander: "My electric company charges $0.10 for a kW/h of electricity. Average microwave is 600-1200 Watts. Assuming 3 minutes to boil a liter of water in my 1000 Watt (or 1 kW) microwave.... so, $0.10 (3 min/60 min) = $0.005 or 0.5 cents of electricity is required to boil a liter of water at my house. So, if I boil a liter of water twice a day I guess it costs about $3.50-$4.00 to boil 730 liters of water over the course of a year. Even if it takes 6 minutes to boil a liter of water in the microwave it will cost less than $10/year to boil 2 L water/day.


Based on the MSR website, the WhisperLite stove will boil 1.5 liters of water with 1 oz. of white gas. So a gallon (128 oz. ) of white gas will boil 195 liters of water. If white gas camp fuel is $8/gallon (current price at Walmart) then it costs about $0.04 or 4 cents to boil a liter of water.


I must be bored.


"


Oh my!!!
 
bwcajohn
member (9)member
 
01/14/2021 08:47PM  
plander: "Portage99: "I am really glad you were bored. That’s what I was looking for!



If you didn’t have appliances besides a microwave, could you use a camp stove economically. Thank you for the details!"



And after I ran my microwave experiment I decided to test out my two camp stoves. An MSR XGK-EX and a Coleman 533 dual fuel to run those experiments.


I’m glad I did! Both need to be serviced. Both were inoperable despite being over 10 years old, used a couple times a year with no maintenance so far, go figure. So I will fix them now. Thank goodness I found that out before a BWCA trip. Usually I just grab these things and head out on a trip. In the past I’ve never check them to make sure they are operational. Next trip is in mid May. Disaster averted. "


I’ve made the mistake of not testing a stove before a trip. Never again. Similarly I have made the mistake of not testing the fuel container I was going to use. It’s equally important. Always test every piece of critical gear at least once before every trip.
 
jhb8426
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01/15/2021 12:22AM  
Riddle me this...
My coleman stove, liquid or propane says not to use in enclosed spaces due to carbon monoxide. Yet If I have a gas range stove in my house using propane or LPG, it's ok. Yet they both burn gas in an enclosed environment.

Why is that?
 
Inmyelement
member (40)member
 
01/15/2021 06:13AM  
The difference is the size of the container. Usually the portable devices would be used in tents, campers, ice shacks, etc. Doesn't take long to accumulate high levels of CO in those areas.

With that, you can absolutely create higher levels of CO in your house with a stove. I have been on CO calls as a result of people running all 4 burners and stove for an extended period of time. The levels weren't an immediate life threat, but enough to set off a CO detector. We also set our own CO detector off at home during a marathon canning session.
 
Inmyelement
member (40)member
 
01/15/2021 06:35AM  
A 1 pound cylinder cost ~$3.50
I paid $1.20/gallon to fill my propane tank at the house.

Propane weighs ~4 pounds/gallon
It would cost me ~ $14.00/gallon to run a camp stove.
I think I will stay connected to the big tank.
 
jcavenagh
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01/15/2021 12:03PM  
Uh...It was my understanding that there would be no math... ;-)
 
Inmyelement
member (40)member
 
01/15/2021 12:34PM  
Makes me think of all those times I had to show all my work on math problems because I wasn't always going to have a calculator in my pocket. Biggest lie I was ever told.
 
01/16/2021 09:03AM  
jhb8426: "Riddle me this...
My coleman stove, liquid or propane says not to use in enclosed spaces due to carbon monoxide. Yet If I have a gas range stove in my house using propane or LPG, it's ok. Yet they both burn gas in an enclosed environment.


Why is that?"


It has to do with available oxygen levels. If you have limited oxygen relative to the amount of fuel you are burning then you can generate carbon monoxide (CO) due to incomplete combustion. So in small enclosed spaces you can deplete the oxygen pretty quickly when burning fuel, any fuel, including propane (C3H8), butane, or other hydrocarbon fuel (eg C3H8 + 5 O2 —> 3 CO2 + 4 H2O; every mole of propane requires 5 moles of oxygen...using the ideal gas law as an approximation you need 112 L of O2 to burn 44 grams (1.5 oz.) of propane. Air is 21% oxygen so you need about 530 L of air to burn 1.5 oz propane. If you don’t have enough O2 then CO will start to form, and it doesn’t take much CO to do you in). CO is toxic even at low levels; it binds to iron in heme essentially irreversibly (at least on a time scale that your body uses the function of heme to keep you alive). So in a house where you have plenty of space the oxygen supply is sufficient (and the house is leaky enough to allow for equilibration of O2 with the outside) to burn things that burn efficiently. If your house is a truly “closed system” your burning of anything would deplete the O2 in your house...as would your breathing. So two things are a risk, formation of CO and depletion of O2. Obviously burning wood in house without a working fireplace or stove that vents to the outside would be a problem. And note smoke sectors are now made with CO detection built in now.

 
Portage99
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01/16/2021 08:01PM  
That settles it. Plander, you are now in charge of helping my daughter with her homework.
 
01/16/2021 09:10PM  
Portage99: "That settles it. Plander, you are now in charge of helping my daughter with her homework. "

Haha. That’s pretty funny.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(1251)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/17/2021 12:35AM  
plander: "It has to do with available oxygen levels..."

Thanks. Very in depth explanation.
 
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