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Recently started using an MSR Dragonfly stove after having used Coleman Peak 1 and a Bluet. The Dragonfly is a multi-fuel capable unit that will use regular gasoline. Now I carry 26 litres of camp fuel with me all the time! An optional 300 ml fuel canister is all I take along now and I just use a quick disconnect to drain a little gasoline from the motorcycle tank into the canister. Then, after dinner, I just pour the remaining fuel back into the tank. Handy!
The stove runs best on white gas (Coleman fuel) so that is how it is used when backpacking. Gasoline burns a little sootier but it still boils water quickly and simmers without difficulty. The stove is quite stable and comes with a windscreen.
The only downside so far is the noise. It almost sounds like a jet engine!
Overall I give this item a thumbs up.
Redwood Meadows, AB
One question - when you say regular gasoline do you mean "Regular" as in "Leaded" gasoline? Every MSR I've ever used clogs up in about one tank of leaded gas - necessary for the 3rd world 'cause that's all there is - and needs a lengthy cleaning process.
If you do mean leaded regular, how long does it go before needing cleaning?
I can't say for sure, since I live in an unleaded gas country (Japan), but according to MSR's home page it will burn Diesel, Naphtha, Aviation (AV), gas, Stoddard Solvent & auto gas. The "shaker needle" cleaning device built in should prevent clogging.
I use my Dragonfly almost always with gasoline and have never cleaned it in the year I have been using it. I would assume with the mix of fules it is rated for, leaded fuel would be OK.
I give it a 'thumbs up' for performance. It is a bit expensive, though!
What many people forget is, if you are going on a long voyage (many months) and you use a
cooker very often, gasoline is quite unhealthy. I know that you always have gasoline in your tank. I will travel Latin America and will use my Trangia. I hope I will get Alcohol in most of the shops, drug stores, painting shops, hardware stores, pharmacies ...
PS: What about the swiss army cooker "borde".
This one shoul work with leaded fuel.
I don't know about the health aspects and prefer not to think about it - although when used leaded fuel I just think about all the times I've sat in traffic jams breathing nothing but lead in years past. Also I use a lid on the pot as much as possible.
Unfortunately in places like Africa it's leaded - or leaded. White gas is unheard of, they think you're making a joke when you ask and they just don't understand. Kerosene is possible but I hate carrying it when I have 40 litres in the gas tank.
I decided to ask someone who knows (or should know): the manufacturer.
This is what MSR has to say about leaded fuel in the Dragonfly stove:
"Maintenance will be frequent when burning leaded autofuel about every 5-8 hours of use. The best stove for burning this fuel is the XGK."
I also asked about the shaker needle. I was concerned that it wouldn't last being bounced around on the back of a bike for months at a time.
"The shaker needle will not wear out from bouncing around the needle has to be physically bent to break or wear out."
Yes, of course this all may differ depending on how you use your equipment. Now, all I have to do is quit my job and go out and see if what they say is true! Currently accepting donations to the Chris Lockwood Tests a Dragonfly While Touring the World Fund. Most likely not tax deductable...
I have to take MSR's comments on the XGK and leaded fuel with suspicion. My experience - granted it was on African leaded - was not good, clogging up with soot deposits on the wire in 30-45 minutes of burning. Very dirty job cleaning it, to have it clog up again in 10 minutes if you don't take the time to do a thorough job. In Africa I just stayed dirty while Susan cooked as fast as possible.
I may do some testing on UK leaded and see what it's like.
I'm in the early stages of planning a trip around Africa, and will soon have an opportunity to buy some camping gear in Canada, which apparently is cheaper than here in England. On the subject of stoves, I'm not clear from reading this thread whether anyone knows of one that works OK with leaded (African) fuel. If there isn't one, what would be the preferred choice of you guys for a stove in Africa?
In Africa I used a Sigg and that was a disastrous stove. After I bought an MSR (Whisper??) and that's a wonderful stove. I use it now for 2.5 years without cleaning!!!Burns everything (but I am not shure I ever used leaded..) I know guys who use the oldfashioned Optimus-stove with great joy in Africa. Its the one 'folded' in a metal square box....
I used a Whisperlite 2000 while in Europe for the summer (1991) for 3 months and never had a problem with it clogging. I only cleaned it once that summer, after using lighter fluid in desperation. I found it to work very well.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory, Malaysia
Hmm. Never has an item of equipment elicited more words, or shall we put it the other way round, never has so many words been expended, from/by more riders than /on arguably the most crucial of travel items, the humble stove!
Yes the stove is both crucial and humble. There in is found one more of life's many paradoxes.
Be that as it may, American savvy and hard sell has again succeeded in transforming an ordinary object, in this case the humble stove, into a glamorous and glossy object much sought after and debated by roaders not unlike an egroup of fashion designers discussing the merits of their latest creations with names just as inventive and evocative - dragonfly, whisperlite, whatelse, whathaveyou.
So, if I may add my penny's worth: using the gasoline in your tank which is intended to fire your engine to light a stove meant to heat up your cold beef is an overkill (no pun intended). You may prefer not to think of the hazard to health blown your way for the duration of a few minutes after spending years behind a soot-spewing third world logging "saiwong" (bare-knuckled truck)in a traffic jam, but methinks the practice runs counter to what should be in every roader's handlepack - the minimalist treader's pocket reference.
The practice may impress onlookers among whom may be fellow roaders who may be sorely pressed not to feel technologically challenged in the same the other group of onlookers, the locals, with their stick-and-strands method of starting a fire, are likely to feel technologically deprived.
This brings us to the next sensitive roader's maxim of not doing anything to drive yet another wedge between him or herself, BMW'ed, and the locals, BMWless, thru whose tribal lands we are roaring through.
The advice then? As far as possible, use what the natives use. An acquired skill? Okay, you may use your MGS WHISPERLITE, but go kerosene. Smelly, but no worse than roader's grease and sundry else. The locals use them too.
So, your stove plugged up. At least it didnt set you on fire, right. I have been using an old XGK MSR for years. This stove came with a jet cleaning device that had a wire mounted on the end of a little lever . Every time you use it you clean the jet and no problems. Leaded or unleaded plugs fuel will plug any XGK jet. My stove doesnt have a shaker jet so you can throw yours out if you do it my way. In my experience they too are not perfect. My stove howels. Sometimes it clogs, but it never fails completely(like my R 80ST). Nothing's perfect so we live with it because its the best, safest and most reliable stove so far that burns motorcycle fuel. MSR should be able to supply the jet unclogging device. The jet on the XGK is easy to reach. When I shut down the XGK I blow out the flame when it is low and then run some unlit vapor thru it. Be careful or it will relight with explosive results. When possible cook on the campfire.
One more thing I do is pack everything in an Outdoor Research "Padded Cell". This soft carrying case is made specifically for the XGK and holds the stove and a full liter sized fuel bottle. There is also a compartment for spare parts, matches, the unclogger, a stove wrench and a lighter. The wind screen fits as well along with a rag for cleanup. This case really tames the beast and various sizes are available for the Wisperlite stove and your water filter also. Way cool. Available from Campmoor but hard to find in the catalogue. Look near the backpacks. Msr has an 800 number and wants to help you. Use them for questions and repairs. Stay loose, smile and wear your earplugs when you run the XGK . Bill
[This message has been edited by moonbmwr (edited 17 November 2000).]
[This message has been edited by moonbmwr (edited 17 December 2000).]
For my input,I used an Optimus "fold up in a box" type for many years in Africa on leaded fuel and never had any trouble. My MSR is good but I get fed up assembling and disassembling it and being covered in soot when putting it away, even when using white gas. Smelly hands! As for fuels, just remember, gasolene has double the amount of energy than kerosene which in turn has double the amount of energy of alcohol.
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