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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #31  
Old 22 Apr 2007
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Among so many responses here I'm surprised to see only one post about alcohol stoves. I used to use a Wisperlite Int'l, until I got sick of everything smelling like gas and getting filthy. It really turned me off from cooking. I'll never use a liquid\gas\pressure, pumping, stinking, cleaning etc etc stove again.

A few years back I discovered the alcohol stove from a backpacker in Costa Rica. The thing is awesome. I would never waste my time using a different stove these days. It uses medicinal (rubbing, or denatured) alcohol, which you can definately find anywhere in the world, in any town\village in the middle of nowhere. It doesn't get any cleaner than this - if you spill it, it just takes a few seconds to self-evaporate into nothing. And, added bonus, you can use it to clean your battle scars.

Really a pleasure to use. It's tiny and lighweight. Simple - just fill it up and light it (no pumping). Very clean (odorless) - never requires any type of cleaning the stove. Ecofriendly. (In the USA when where is a burn ban on any type of burning in some State Parks, these stoves are the only ones they allow in.) The most widely available "fuel." If you know you're not going to be using it for a while, there's no reason to carry any fuel for it at all - just pick some up anywhere the next time you know that you'll be cooking again.

A neat side note - you can even use most brands and makes of antifreeze.

You can make one of these stoves yourself out of a couple of cans, but they're usually a little fragile. Trangia also sells one, which is my favorite. The only question is which stand to use. I would recommend the Clikstand (which comes with a Trangia alcohol stove), or a good second Thru-Hiker.

The first one ships internationally. If you do order it, make sure to get the stove and the stand.

You can read about it on Wikipedia at Beverage-can stove - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Please give it a test run, you won't be dissapointed - "I guarantee it!" (No, I don't work for them.)
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Last edited by Paul Thoreson; 22 Apr 2007 at 02:25.
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  #32  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylover View Post
I'm currently planning a trip around Europe, which considering i'm Australian, isn't cheap


Cheers
Jake

Hey Jake, you'll find prepared food in Europe very expensive by NZ/AUS standards, but the supermarkets aren't too bad.

If you're a cheap skate like me you'll find a cooker well worth the trouble in Europe. I've had experience with Coleman, MSR, Optimus and Trangia after years in the hiking clubs. They are all very good cookers and they won't let you down...

All you need to go down to your local shop and compare physical size, fuel use and type, output power etc and figure out what suits your needs best. I like the small Coleman for motorcycle travel becasue it runs on petrol without any problems for extended periods. I like the MSR for hiking becasue the fuel bottle and cooker are separate, making it slightly easier to pack into small spaces.

Trangias are good for hiking too becasue of their simplicity when your 2 weeks away from spare parts.

The Optimus is also a bulletproof performer. I had one for a number of years and was great. Lighting them can be a bit hairy though, and it's easy to get it wrong at times setting fire to people and property. The fuel tanks are also quite small.

The camping Gaz models are popular in Europe, but I'm not a fan of them becasue they crap out in the cold.

The difference between what Aussies and Kiwis consider roughing it and what Euros consider roughing it are quite staggering. In my opinion the Gaz models are designed for soft core European campers who are operating at sea level on a family holiday in summer....
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  #33  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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Thumbs up

For me it is also surprising to see so few knowledge about alcohol/spirt stoves goes around among travellers.

As sayed before, I also agree it's the alcohol stove is more "gourmet" stove compared to gas/petrol ones - no irritating smells to back off your hunger, but it's also multiple times more robust/reliable than any gas or petrol one with valves, pipes and other systems that can brake down, clog or just blow off.

Only thing you do is open cap of the burner, put a gulp of (wooden)spirt inside, let it soak a minute and fire it on. No moving parts, valves, pipes, seals, wierd shaped burners that are hassle to pack or high pressure bottles.

We've been using Swedish army (they obviously know what they prefer in the extreme conditions) kit for over 6 years troublefree. It's about 2-3 times cheaper to do your own food travelling in Europe. In Asia things change, but you need to get through the expensive Europe first to save huge loads of money.

Mostly running on wood-spirt availble here very cheap, but when we run out in the middle of nowhere then also "regular" cleaning purpose spirt available from pharmacies does the same job. Haven't seen any more clever gas based kits that can pack down so compact as this military one does and is that functional at the same time. You can use it as a boiler or fryer and it doesn't shut down even in very severe wind conditions.



It all packs down into the size of the outer shell (the black component in the picture). On the picture it's in the fry "mode" using the smaller vessel (cap) as frying pan, you need to turn the shell other way round for boiling "mode" with the bigger vessel seen on the left in the picture, capping it with the smaller vessel for quicker results. On packing it, with the spirt bottle (white on the picture) I also fit needed amount of coffee, tea bags, sugar, 2 spoons and 2 forks inside the same packed kit.

Also the container has needed parts to use it on the camp fire, for both boiling and frying using longer stick you can brake off from a bush. Certanly a real military genius through intense practice has designed it.

And the sweetest part: the price for the entire kit... 19 EURos!!!

Makes food up to 3-4 persons.

After comparing it with other kits I think there isn't much other possibilities to have better and smarter cooker kit than this if you cook for yourself or less than 3-4 persons IMHO. If more than 4 persons, only then you need other bigger size stuff.

My 2c

Last edited by Margus; 23 Apr 2007 at 07:03.
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  #34  
Old 23 Apr 2007
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That Swedish army kit looks great. Nobody has mentioned how they light their stoves. I've been using a Swedish firesteel for a few years and it's just superb. Cold, wet, windy, it makes no difference 1 strike and your cooking. I use it to light my Coleman and my Trangia stoves.
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  #35  
Old 24 Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by bartman10 View Post
Hey Jake, you'll find prepared food in Europe very expensive by NZ/AUS standards, but the supermarkets aren't too bad.

The camping Gaz models are popular in Europe, but I'm not a fan of them becasue they crap out in the cold.

The difference between what Aussies and Kiwis consider roughing it and what Euros consider roughing it are quite staggering. In my opinion the Gaz models are designed for soft core European campers who are operating at sea level on a family holiday in summer....
I take your point, but... my little gaz stove uses the 270 or 470 cartridges, these are a mix of propane and butane so keep going in the cold... Not that i have ever braved the cold... but it can get chilly in the summer up in the pyrennees.

most supermarkets in France supply ready made meals or at least the servings for them. so you can buy portions of salads or cooked meals ready to go. just re-heat them. not as cheap as starting from scratch but much cheaper than restuarants.
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  #36  
Old 25 Apr 2007
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WALKABOUT your mate is a fool

apart from the obvious fire risk lighting a stove inside his tent has he thought about the fumes some of these stoves give off? he's not going to wake up one morning.
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  #37  
Old 26 Oct 2007
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That hot thinggy near your nuts: Use it

I used to tie a full roast to the exhaust manifold of my Landy, wrapped in Tin foil, and held on with wire. 5 hours game driving and I set up table, opened the engine bay, pulled out a perfect roast with onions, all that was needed was a salad from the fridge and a bottle of red.

I have recently tried something simiar with my BMW R1150RT. tied a sausage onto the twin (down) pipes and it cooked in a 3 hour journey. He he.

When standing I have looked at the cylinder heads and thought thats an ideal Braai (BBQ) grid, but apparently the bike doesnt like it...

Good luck G
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  #38  
Old 29 Oct 2007
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I remeber seeing a picture once of some guy with an old bmw with a metal plate on the cylinder head frying an egg, never found out how long it took him, wheather it tasted nice, or if it was just a piss take but would be cool to just stop at the side of the road and start making food literally off your bike.
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  #39  
Old 29 Oct 2007
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Smile lightwight stoves

There seems to be many lightweight stoves about. I think i may try to make the soda can stove. Has anyone got any views on the Hex Military Stoves.

I always like to carry a stove of some kind as its nice to camp in the wild and theres nothing better than waking up from a good nights sleep to a warm drink and breakfast in lovely peaceful surroundings.

I am also a fan of the military boil in the bag meals as they save getting the boil pot dirty so you can have the excess water as a warm drink.

I used to use a whisperlight international, excelent stove but messy so i really like the idea of something cleaner burning.

In the uk I found a firm called Winward outdoor who sell a fire fly stove it looks tiny. Has anyone tried one of these yet ?
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  #40  
Old 3 Nov 2007
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'Has anyone got any views on the Hex Military Stoves.'

No no no and no..well yes. I have views, but no. Far too much effort for far too little gain. There is one good reason why the soldiers of the British army use anything else after their basic training - despite getting issued the former. And the average Brit squaddie is pretty cheap!

'We've been using Swedish army'

Yes - it all looks good. I haven't used it myself, but it looks like some proper cool kit. They never have to go to war either, only 'peace operations.' Check your citizenship, see if you are eligable for a Swede visa, their army seems like a blag to me.

Personally, in actual answer to the question (234 words later) I believe a stove is an indispensible can't-leave-home-without-it-in-the-same-manner-as-a-helmet kind of product. It saves a lot of on the road prices, with a tiny initial outlay.

As I have said in other posts, Europe and the Middle East are pretty much the extent of my travel knowledge, so I can't say anything about RTW, but I like Trangiers for their innate reliabilty, and the fact that they are designed so simply that even I can operate one. It is always nice that you can burn pretty much anything in them, from grass to gaz and back.

Don't boil in the bag either, it is the worst kind of cheap. the kind of cheap that is expensive! Fresh rats anywhere I have been work out cheaper than boilinthebag, and are alway so much nicer.

Having said that, where I travel, the trusty bottle of Tobasco is never far behind - so anything can be made tasty in seconds!

Happy Riding.

Joel
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  #41  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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I use the Swedish Army Trangia. (Five quid from a surplus shop or eblag) and as suggested above, light it with a fire steel. Lights first time every time.

I use the purple coloured meths you get in a DIY shop.

I tried petrol once it burns a huge, messy, stinky flame that doesn't cook very well and is quite difficult to put out. Even dropping the lid on the burner doesn't work

It'll boil 2 pints in about 10 minutes with the frying pan bit used as a lid. Doesn't smell bad and burns quite a clean blue flame with very little soot. You can speed it's warm up time by spilling a bit of fuel on and around the burner before you light it.

I often use boil in the bag 24hr ration packs. Use the water for a brew up and no washing up. RESULT

I've looked at the multifuel pump up jobbies and although they are quicker to cook, and use the same fuel as your bike, they cost loads and seem complicated.

Of course I might change my mind if I ever have a problem getting fuel.

With regard the Hex stoves, I suppose if you wanted something to keep for an emergency standby, they would be ok but they are muck smelly things.
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  #42  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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I'm just starting to pull together a book about cooking on the road, the first chapter is about what kit you can use, both in ideal situations and where space and time are at a premium.

I use the tragnia too - but not the army version - I'm a bit too impatient to wait 10 mins for the boil - so I use the standard version with the multi-fuel conversion set...

There's a video review I've done at Trangia Review » Journey To Russia

But if you've got any stories or tips for cooking on the road... please do PM me!

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  #43  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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Hi Mat,

The speed thing isn't an issue for me. I can always find something to do while my nosh is warming up or I just chill out for 10 mins while the world wakes up.

I am afraid that I have only done short trips so normally use convenience foods.
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  #44  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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If all you want is a coffee, tea, noodles

Then I'd recommend the Camping Gaz Twister 270.



The whole lot packs down into the cooking pots, the gas cyclinder is valved, so you can detach it, it's got a built in piezo ignition, and those little blue gaz cylinders are available all over Europe, my local supermarket here in France stocks them so you don't have to seek them out at all. In an emergency you can buy a bigger cylinder and it'll fit too, you just can't pack it as small.

I've had mine for 20 years now, I bought it in Broken Hill now I think about it. It's done stirling service always provides me with a brew and I've never had a problem with cold even in the Pyrenées in winter, just give the gaz canister a good shake before you light it, and for the morning brew just pop it in your sleeping bag for five mins before you light up (outside of course).

One tip though, don't leave it exposed outside your tent at night. For some reason it attracts earwigs who climb inside the little air inlet hole at the base of the burner. Then when you light it in the morning you've got a sooty flame, and of course, burnt earwigs.

I see that Coleman and Camping Gaz are one and the same now, so I presume a Coleman branded canister will fit too?
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  #45  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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Alex - nice bit of kit that - I used to have the older camping gaz versions and they were fine until you had a bit of wind... weather old boy not the other sort.

Then I discovered the windbreak you can buy for them and that made things much easier.

Big Yellow - yes I know what you mean - I was much the same until we went to Dartmoor this time last year and arrived in the dark and cold and it took 45 mins to get some hot food inside us - at that point I decided the only way to go was speed, and that meant heat. Of course it totally ruins the rice.. .but you can't have it all ways!
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