Author Topic: what little stove?  (Read 7184 times)

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2018, 11:47:28 am »
A bit rushed on my last post as I was about head off to work.

Yes, the alcohol stoves are best if you simply want to boil water and rehydrate stuff. There are some commercial and homemade versions that allow simmering but I've not used those. The time taken to boil a given amount of water isn't really a problem as you can usually do something else whilst the stove is doing its thing. They also take a bit of getting used to, they aren't just screw burner on to canister, turn on and light. With experience you get to know how much fuel to put in the stove to boil a given amount of water taking in to account ambient temperature and the like, if I get it wrong then usually the water's close enough to boiling to make no difference or I've a few seconds of extra burn at the end.

The Trangia was one of the few stoves I never used when young and when climbing but that was mainly because of the bulk of the associated cookset.

I'm usually short of space when touring/bikepacking so use either a homemade beer-can stove or one of the pocket rocket clones. I'm also not doing any fancy cooking, just a brew and rehydrating something in a bag which cuts down on washing up  ;D  One of this year's "tasks" is to try a few basic one pot meals.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2018, 02:13:22 pm »
there are a number of "cat food can", beer can, etc. DIY stoves out there ...
https://www.thesodacanstove.com/alcohol-stove/cat-food-can-stove/index.php is just one of many sources.

Along with this, you would want a fuel container with the measured dispenser tube on the side.

Seems like a false economy compared to a proper Trangia-style burner, which you can snuff out and seal with the unburnt fuel inside it, so no need for titrating precise amounts of fuel, or burning off the excess.  It also has simmer control.

At which point you should consider the Trangia Triangle or Trangia Mini.  (Proper Trangias are brilliant for all sorts of reasons, but well outside the scope of 'little stove'.)


Quote
These are really best just for boiling water.  Very little heat output regulation, etc., but fun to make and play with.

Agreed.  Fine for fun or as a one-off.

Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2018, 02:54:31 pm »
there are a number of "cat food can", beer can, etc. DIY stoves out there ........
Along with this, you would want a fuel container with the measured dispenser tube on the side.
Seems like a false economy compared to a proper Trangia-style burner, which you can snuff out and seal with the unburnt fuel inside it, so no need for titrating precise amounts of fuel, or burning off the excess.  ....
At which point you should consider the Trangia Triangle or Trangia Mini..  ...
But home made water boiler stoves like a caldera c(l)one* are quite predictable in the amount of meths needed to boil a given amount of water in given conditions. Or you can make a single wall 'chimney style' stove that is empty-able (Trail Designs 12-10 is double wall but someone claimed that is unnecessary...after they broke it leaving only the inner... :)  ).
I drew lines on a small Nalgene bottle for measurement but an alternative is to collect medicine  measuring tubs.

I thought Trangia only recommended meths storage in burner when camping, but to empty it when packing for travelling (but I suppose their worries about leaks could be avoided by  packing separately outside pans).

A Triangle and windshield and pan/mug is a lot heavier than a metal mug and cone stove (eg 200g for mine) but does allow simmering (easier than on real trangia 27 IMO).  The triangle at least has some built in wind resistance: the mini kit  just seemed missing a windshield to me.

*Home made version of Trail Designs Caldera cone who are fine about DIY for own use**
https://www.traildesigns.com/
**Note added to calm USA(BPL) readers who sometimes get upset at DIY of patented things due to US patents forbidding private use unless permitted by holder.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2018, 03:00:46 pm »
I thought Trangia only recommended meths storage in burner when camping, but to empty it when packing for travelling (but I suppose their worries about leaks could be avoided by  packing separately outside pans).

They do, but in practice I've never found it to be a problem.  Particularly if you seal the burner while it's still warm (but not hot enough to damage the O-ring) so any leak would tend to be of air *into* the burner.  Ziplock bag for belt-and-braces.


Quote
A Triangle and windshield and pan/mug is a lot heavier than a metal mug and cone stove (eg 200g for mine) but does allow simmering (easier than on real trangia 27 IMO).  The triangle at least has some built in wind resistance: the mini kit  just seemed missing a windshield to me.

Yes, I think the Triangle is a much better design than the Mini.

Although personally I'm with the OP, and prefer a little gas stove if I'm trying to keep the weight/volume down.  Trangia 27 for real cooking when I'm not.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2018, 03:26:02 pm »
In the US and canada, what is gas canister availability like? 

Types I'm aware of are:
Threaded valves - as far as I can tell these should all be compatible
Unthreaded resealable Campingaz valves
The old pierce-type campingaz cylinders

How likely am I to come across each in North America?



Threaded valve (MSR, Snow Peak, Primus, JetBoil, et.al.) are very common, but I've heard of people being unable to find them in really small towns in the middle of nowhere. Any specialist hiking/climbing/camping store will have them. Wal-Mart sells a Coleman canister with this thread, but the fuel quality is apparently inferior.

Campingaz stopped importing to the US several years ago, so forget the unthreaded/pierce-type cartridges.

Where do you plan on going?

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2018, 03:47:51 pm »
Coleman and Camping Gaz are part of the same company, have been for many years. Maybe that is why Camping Gaz products stopped being imported into the USA.
Most people tip-toe through life hoping the make it safely to death.
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Re: what little stove?
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2018, 03:56:50 pm »
Coleman and Camping Gaz are part of the same company, have been for many years. Maybe that is why Camping Gaz products stopped being imported into the USA.

Are Coleman products still sold in Europe? I remember seeing them here and there, but that was a few years back.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2018, 04:31:00 pm »
In the US and canada, what is gas canister availability like? 

Types I'm aware of are:
Threaded valves - as far as I can tell these should all be compatible
Unthreaded resealable Campingaz valves
The old pierce-type campingaz cylinders

How likely am I to come across each in North America?



Threaded valve (MSR, Snow Peak, Primus, JetBoil, et.al.) are very common, but I've heard of people being unable to find them in really small towns in the middle of nowhere. Any specialist hiking/climbing/camping store will have them. Wal-Mart sells a Coleman canister with this thread, but the fuel quality is apparently inferior.

Campingaz stopped importing to the US several years ago, so forget the unthreaded/pierce-type cartridges.

Thanks, that's useful.  I spent years using one of these stoves and was a bit perturbed when I started looking for something more lightweight and finding they all had a different thread.  Clearly I was behind the times!

Quote
Where do you plan on going?

Here, more or less.



Re: what little stove?
« Reply #33 on: April 11, 2018, 04:42:11 pm »
Looks very cool. https://www.rei.com has a store in Winter Park, FL. Order stuff online, pick it up in the store when you arrive, no shipping charges. They've got ~150 stores in the US, some of them are bound to be on your route. Lots of camping/backpacking stuff, more and more cycle touring stuff. The flagship stores are huge, the others not nearly as big.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #34 on: April 11, 2018, 06:13:42 pm »
Good call on the Miami REI, thanks  :thumbsup:

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2018, 06:29:54 pm »
Coleman and Camping Gaz are part of the same company, have been for many years. Maybe that is why Camping Gaz products stopped being imported into the USA.

Are Coleman products still sold in Europe? I remember seeing them here and there, but that was a few years back.

Yes Coleman gas, stoves and tents are still available.
Most people tip-toe through life hoping the make it safely to death.
Home

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2018, 10:44:53 pm »

Here, more or less.



Given that route can I very strongly suggest that you *DO NOT* go for a canister top screw on stove (pocket rocket et al). You will find issues with finding fuel.

Go for a multifuel stove that allows you to screw on a canister too. MSR make a whisperlite stove that will work on liquid fuel (petrol mainly), and also canister gas. This is the most affordable of the multifuel stoves. Then you get into the MSR Dragonfly, lovely, burns everything, sounds like a jet engine, or the Primus stoves. The Primus Omnilite Ti is what I went for, it's the lightest multifuel stove, it burns petrol, diesel, av gas, kerosene, everything short of meths and vodka. If you can't justify the price of the titanium version, the omnifuel is much the same, but heavier. Note both primus stoves are loud, but they sell a silent adapter that screws on the top and improves things greatly.

I hear a lot "I've always used stove x, with fuel y, and I've never had any problem finding fuel for it." And I'm sure for many that is the case. For many that is not the case.

My housemate was going hiking in Northern Italy with his mum. I offered to lend my MSR Whisperlite stove. His mum said "it's fine, I have a gas stove, I can get gas everywhere".  10 days later they get back. Turns out they couldn't find the right gas anywhere on their trip, and ended up doing all their cooking on the tiny hex cooker my housemate had forgotten to remove from his bag before packing.

"You can get meths in every supermarket" I was told, when cycling in the Benelux. Yes, you probably can. The problem was I couldn't find a supermarket anywhere on my 130km 3 day bike tour... I ate cold food...

"Petrol is available everywhere" I was told. I got to slovakia to meet some friends, they had bought cars, diesel cars. I couldn't burn anything they had in the jerry cans of fuel. Nnnngh.

Yes, these are all just anecdotes. But the plural of anecdote is data, and if you are going to travel off the beaten track to middle of nowhere. You want to keep your options open. Get a multi fuel stove, and then you don't have to be picky or worry about gas canister threads. If you want to be really paranoid, in addition, take a long something like the zelph starlite stove, it's tiny, fits in a pocket, and can be forgotten about right upto the moment the only thing you can find by way of fuel in a tiny village in the mountains, is isoproponal alcohol from the chemist...

Thanks

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2018, 10:58:42 pm »
[...] Yes, these are all just anecdotes. But the plural of anecdote is data, and if you are going to travel off the beaten track to middle of nowhere. You want to keep your options open.

This seems like a good time to mention http://fuel.papo-art.com/ which is the sort of thing that's worth downloading to your phone or other portable computing device and saving for times of need, if not exporting to Dead Tree Format (which is non-volatile and can - in extremis - also be used to assist with fuel ignition).
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2018, 11:15:21 pm »

Here, more or less.



Given that route can I very strongly suggest that you *DO NOT* go for a canister top screw on stove (pocket rocket et al). You will find issues with finding fuel.

Go for a multifuel stove that allows you to screw on a canister too. MSR make a whisperlite stove that will work on liquid fuel (petrol mainly), and also canister gas. This is the most affordable of the multifuel stoves. Then you get into the MSR Dragonfly, lovely, burns everything, sounds like a jet engine, or the Primus stoves. The Primus Omnilite Ti is what I went for, it's the lightest multifuel stove, it burns petrol, diesel, av gas, kerosene, everything short of meths and vodka. If you can't justify the price of the titanium version, the omnifuel is much the same, but heavier. Note both primus stoves are loud, but they sell a silent adapter that screws on the top and improves things greatly.

I hear a lot "I've always used stove x, with fuel y, and I've never had any problem finding fuel for it." And I'm sure for many that is the case. For many that is not the case.

My housemate was going hiking in Northern Italy with his mum. I offered to lend my MSR Whisperlite stove. His mum said "it's fine, I have a gas stove, I can get gas everywhere".  10 days later they get back. Turns out they couldn't find the right gas anywhere on their trip, and ended up doing all their cooking on the tiny hex cooker my housemate had forgotten to remove from his bag before packing.

"You can get meths in every supermarket" I was told, when cycling in the Benelux. Yes, you probably can. The problem was I couldn't find a supermarket anywhere on my 130km 3 day bike tour... I ate cold food...

"Petrol is available everywhere" I was told. I got to slovakia to meet some friends, they had bought cars, diesel cars. I couldn't burn anything they had in the jerry cans of fuel. Nnnngh.

Yes, these are all just anecdotes. But the plural of anecdote is data, and if you are going to travel off the beaten track to middle of nowhere. You want to keep your options open. Get a multi fuel stove, and then you don't have to be picky or worry about gas canister threads. If you want to be really paranoid, in addition, take a long something like the zelph starlite stove, it's tiny, fits in a pocket, and can be forgotten about right upto the moment the only thing you can find by way of fuel in a tiny village in the mountains, is isoproponal alcohol from the chemist...

Thanks

J

I had a whisperlite but sold it  ;D

Just what I needed while I was in the middle of nowhere in Central Asia*, but heavy, bulky, dirty, complicated and expensive whenever I'm not.  I might have to reevaluate when I get to China, but I've got 9,000 miles of Europe, US and Canada to do first, and I'm sure my nice little gas stove will do me just fine.  If I run out at some point, you know what?  That's okay.  It isn't the arctic and it isn't the Himalayas, I don't need a stove for drinking water so I don't need an uninterruptible supply of cooking heat.

*Well actually, not really.  I used it sometimes when I was there last year, but not enough to justify carrying it for the two weeks I was there.  If I'd had a longer trip than that, sure, but eating cold food for two nights wouldn't have been an unbearable hardship for the sake of carrying 500g of extra stove up many, many, many mountains.  I probably wouldn't have taken it if I was *just* going for the trip, but several items in my kit were there on a test run for the forthcoming trip.  The Whisperlite got exchanged for a smaller, lighter, cleaner gas stove.

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2018, 11:42:28 pm »
Ed Pratt, he who is unicycling round the world, has a kit breakdown video. Can't remember what stove he uses but it is worthwhile checking out his kit. He fits it into very little space. Go look him up on youtube. It is a multifuel type stove.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2018, 12:40:00 am »
Given that route can I very strongly suggest that you *DO NOT* go for a canister top screw on stove (pocket rocket et al). You will find issues with finding fuel.

Go for a multifuel stove that allows you to screw on a canister too.

Rumour would have it that there's a pretty high chance of failing to get a multifuel stove or its fuel container through airport security these days.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2018, 12:49:50 am »
Rumour would have it that there's a pretty high chance of failing to get a multifuel stove or its fuel container through airport security these days.

Last advice I heard on that matter was that you can improve your chances by making it smell as Not Like Fuel as possible.  Wash traces of paraffin away from the burner with alcohol, clean the fuel bottle out and give it a deliberate taint of extra-smelly shampoo or lemony fresh Household Cleaning Productâ„¢, and pack it without a lid attached, that sort of thing.

No personal experience, and I wouldn't like to rely on it.  But that goes for most aspects of air travel, tbh.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2018, 08:38:39 am »
I wouldn't like to set the plane on fire though! Worth noting (or maybe not) that it's also illegal (in the UK at least) to take fuel, both liquid and gas, on trains. Probably no one's going to know about it though, unless the train is Eurostar.
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2018, 08:45:24 am »

Here, more or less.



Given that route can I very strongly suggest that you *DO NOT* go for a canister top screw on stove (pocket rocket et al). You will find issues with finding fuel.

Go for a multifuel stove that allows you to screw on a canister too. MSR make a whisperlite stove that will work on liquid fuel (petrol mainly), and also canister gas. This is the most affordable of the multifuel stoves. Then you get into the MSR Dragonfly, lovely, burns everything, sounds like a jet engine, or the Primus stoves. The Primus Omnilite Ti is what I went for, it's the lightest multifuel stove, it burns petrol, diesel, av gas, kerosene, everything short of meths and vodka. If you can't justify the price of the titanium version, the omnifuel is much the same, but heavier. Note both primus stoves are loud, but they sell a silent adapter that screws on the top and improves things greatly.

I hear a lot "I've always used stove x, with fuel y, and I've never had any problem finding fuel for it." And I'm sure for many that is the case. For many that is not the case.

My housemate was going hiking in Northern Italy with his mum. I offered to lend my MSR Whisperlite stove. His mum said "it's fine, I have a gas stove, I can get gas everywhere".  10 days later they get back. Turns out they couldn't find the right gas anywhere on their trip, and ended up doing all their cooking on the tiny hex cooker my housemate had forgotten to remove from his bag before packing.

"You can get meths in every supermarket" I was told, when cycling in the Benelux. Yes, you probably can. The problem was I couldn't find a supermarket anywhere on my 130km 3 day bike tour... I ate cold food...

"Petrol is available everywhere" I was told. I got to slovakia to meet some friends, they had bought cars, diesel cars. I couldn't burn anything they had in the jerry cans of fuel. Nnnngh.

Yes, these are all just anecdotes. But the plural of anecdote is data, and if you are going to travel off the beaten track to middle of nowhere. You want to keep your options open. Get a multi fuel stove, and then you don't have to be picky or worry about gas canister threads. If you want to be really paranoid, in addition, take a long something like the zelph starlite stove, it's tiny, fits in a pocket, and can be forgotten about right upto the moment the only thing you can find by way of fuel in a tiny village in the mountains, is isoproponal alcohol from the chemist...

Thanks

J
Strikes me that a lot of this depends on your definition of "available". 130km through Benelux without seeing a supermarket? Sure, but you could easily have found one if you'd been prepared to deviate a little.

On a slightly different note, Italy is apparently a country where LPG is widely available at petrol stations. It's a shame camping cannisters are not refillable like vehicle tanks; the thing I don't like about using gas is putting all those empties in the bin!
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2018, 01:35:55 pm »
Strikes me that a lot of this depends on your definition of "available". 130km through Benelux without seeing a supermarket? Sure, but you could easily have found one if you'd been prepared to deviate a little.

Similarly, I've observed that you can't get water in the East Midlands on a Sunday...

 
Quote
On a slightly different note, Italy is apparently a country where LPG is widely available at petrol stations. It's a shame camping cannisters are not refillable like vehicle tanks; the thing I don't like about using gas is putting all those empties in the bin!

They probably are, given sufficiently naughty plumbing...  Not the sort of thing that's practical to carry on a long tour, but might be viable for re-using the same cartridge on multiple weekends or S24Os.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: what little stove?
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2018, 01:49:39 pm »
Refilling canisters has certainly been done, and there are discussions & advice on the web if you google.
I gather that the awkwardnesses are getting hold of anything other than pure butane at a price that makes it worth while, and that the valves aren't made for long term use, limiting the number of refills.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2018, 01:52:43 pm »
Yes.  It seems to me that if you're going to use pure butane, you can just use those catering stove cartridges (I recently bought a pack of 4 for £3.99) with anna daptor and suitable care and attention vis cartridge orientation.  They work fine as long as it's not properly cold, especially when combined with a liquid-feed stove so you don't have to boil the liquid butane in the cartridge.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2018, 03:38:04 pm »
<snip>
Strikes me that a lot of this depends on your definition of "available". 130km through Benelux without seeing a supermarket? Sure, but you could easily have found one if you'd been prepared to deviate a little.

Also, 130 km in three days?  That's 27 miles a day.  I guess if that's your grand total daily distance, you don't have so much flexibility to deviate a few miles either side of your route to go to the shops.  If you pack lighter and cover larger daily distances, you might find your availability problems disappear.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2018, 03:43:32 pm »

Doing a fry up on a canister top stove when half asleep is a recipe for spilling bacon on the grass...

Remote canister stoves lower the centre of gravity, reducing this risk. But at the cost of extra weight and bulk.

This. 

Cannister-top stoves are simply crap on the sort of ground where 99.9999% of people need to use a camping stove.

I swear by the remote canister tripod style (similar to Wowbagger's Alpkit, though mine is steel - Campingaz). Rock solid for kettles and even large pans.  They are also easy to shelter from cross-winds.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Re: what little stove?
« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2018, 04:01:34 pm »
For shorter trips, easy enough just to carry enough fuel with you. You can take a gas cylinder big enough for a weeks cooking, then no worries about finding somewhere to buy it along the way.
Unless you want to make dozens of cups of tea per day...