Thanks for sharing with everyone. I just learned about these before my Sept GC trip. Made one out of a 10" dutch oven I found at Goodwill for $6. I brought 45lbs of wax with us on the Grand for a 21 days. Sounds like a lot, but much more compact than any other option. Mine burns around 2+lbs in an hour/hour and a half. As OP says, you have to play around, wax consumption will vary a lot.
A couple notes that I have that may or may not be repeats:
- Get the wax ahead of time on sale (Michaels, etc.), otherwise it's pretty pricey.
- Avoid cast iron, go with a lighter metal. The cast iron heats up too much and it almost seemed to boil the wax. The wax consumption rate really increased when it got hot.
- As others have said, a torch is really helpful, especially in wind.
- I thought it would be too small for our group of 15 people, but it really wasn't. As long as you don't need the heat, it's just something for people to gather around and focus on. Everyone on the trip seemed to love it... easy setup, compact, and no ashes to deal with.
- A good lid that can be strapped down is really helpful to put out the flame and for transport/storage.
- I came back from the GC with over 15 lbs of extra wax, but I think 45lbs was about right for my candle pot for 21 days. Some nights you don't use it, others you burn it longer than you anticipated.