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Old 30 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
I know this is a little off topic but what the hell...

I find it difficult to comprehend why any bike travellers don't use stoves which run on the fuel they will ALWAYS have on tap (literally).


Petrol stinks , will block up the stove after a while and has a highly toxic mixture of additives . Ok in a pinch I suppose , but I prefer the relatively clean burning and odourless methyl hydrate . Carrying a litre bottle of this in a pannier is not really a hardship .
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"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
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Old 30 Nov 2012
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Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
Petrol stinks , will block up the stove after a while and has a highly toxic mixture of additives . Ok in a pinch I suppose , but I prefer the relatively clean burning and odourless methyl hydrate . Carrying a litre bottle of this in a pannier is not really a hardship .
My coleman has been in CONSTANT use for about 7 years all over the world and still works perfectly. With some REALLY nasty fuel. You just burn a couple of caps of FI cleaner after your trip and it clears out the soot.

Admittedly, you ain't going cook toast on a petrol stove but I wouldn't on any oil based fuel. Meths is full of nasty stuff too.

Preferences aside, fuel for Trangia's IS hard to come by. I travelled all the way through Africa with Trangia owners. They found it VERY difficult to get anything which burnt well and just gave up used mine. The same in South America outside too, out of the large towns/cities.

And who want's to carry fuel bottles when it's potentially in your tank ???

Petrol is EVERYWHERE...
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

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Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
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India 2012
Yukon 2012
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Old 30 Nov 2012
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Ted is right, it makes alot of sense to use the same fuel as is in your bike. It could also provide you with a few miles of extra reserve in an emergency ( read miscalculation) any way it might save so heavy walking.
Having said that I have yet to find a petrol stove that will really simmer and be simple to set up. The I did see a coleman in use at one campsite and It would like to try one (before I buy) as I was bitterly disappointed with my Omnifuel and have reverted to using my little £10 gaz burner which is better (for cooking).
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Old 1 Dec 2012
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Talking Fuel...

Whew, some strong views (as usual) on this thread.

I've tried both having crossed the world with a trangia and also with a petrol stove. Crossing Asia and Africa as well as the easier places such as Europe, the Americas and Australia. I've always done a lot of backpacking and been a big fan of trangias, they're silent, simple and they work well.

However, the first RTW with the trangia did bring its own problems with trying to get fuel for it, we did manage to track some down in every country, but it often took a lot of time and effort.

As you've mentioned the biggest problem is knowing what to ask for and the local name. Thanks to Plainshorse for the helpful link to the info on different countries, yep that's a pretty good list but it's definitely not comprehensive... what about India, Iran, Sudan, Ethiopia in fact most of Africa and the 'Stans.
A couple of examples
In Iran it was pretty comical, as after much discussion and debate with locals it was decided that what we needed was alcohol - and yes, that's right, it's a dry country. However we eventually managed to track down something called alcohol after a prolonged search.
In a small town in India, the local shopkeeper upon noting our disbelief at the sight and smell of the product he was selling us gave a vivid demonstration of its burning qualities by pouring a small quantity onto the floor of the shop and throwing a match on it! It (the fuel not the shop!) went up in flames and we just had to buy it for his showmanship if nothing else

For various reasons I prefer to use my trangia to my petrol stove, but off the beaten track it's just too hard at times to find the fuel. And this is coming from someone who has plenty of time meandering along when travelling and enjoys all these interactiosn with locals. We all make our own choices with bike travel, but it is good to hear eveyone's differing views and experiences.

Good luck with your decision making and your journey.
On the road from...I'm not sure any more
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Old 2 Dec 2012
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Get the trangia x2 multifuel insert. And your problem is solved, works great...
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Old 3 Dec 2012
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This is off topic , but I think that it's important to differentiate between meths [methylated spirit] and methanol [ methyl hydrate ].

Meths is ethanol [ good old drinking alcohol ] with about 10% methanol added and a touch of pyridine and a splodge of dye . This makes it undrinkable [to most people ] and identifiable .
It usually burns a bit sooty if you don't add a bit of water.
But the products of combustion are carbon dioxide and water .

Methanol is a simpler form of alcohol and is widely available in N America and certainly in Canada .
This burns cleanly to form carbon dioxide and water .

Both kinds of alcohol fuels are toxic if you drink them .

But they are a relatively pure kinds of fuel ,unlike gasoline ,the formulation of which varies enormously, contains many toxins and burns to produce many more toxic substances .

Some good info on fuels ;
Zen Backpacking Stoves - Backpacking Stove Fuels

Ted has found a very reliable gasoline stove in the Coleman , more power to him , but there are many that do not perform as well and cost a lot of money .

My advice [ if it's worth anything at all ] is to write down the chemical formula for methanol and take it to a likely looking place [ in whatever country you find yourself] and give it to a likely looking person in a white coat . Then ,when they hand you a bottle , you'll know what to ask for the next time you run out of the stuff .
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."

Last edited by Dodger; 4 Dec 2012 at 06:03.
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Old 12 Jan 2013
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We have a petrol burner for our Trangia and carry a small amount of meths as a back up or to use if tent bound.

A trangia with a petrol burner is fantastic - the jet needs cleaning every week but it's easy. As soon as you master the pressure ie how many pumps of the plunger the thing works a treat.
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