Wednesday, February 20, 2008


After playing around with the Vargo Triad stove a bit more I decided to take Mike B's advice and audition a Trangia stove. Since I've got loads of cookware I just bought the burner itself and a Little John Stove Stand. Not as uber light & compact as the Triad, but I have to admit the Trangia is dead easy to use and it can simmer quite well.

I'll give the Trangia a go for my early season bike tours and hiking trips. If all goes well I'll take it on my long summer bike tour. I've just got to sort out some convenient places to buy fuel on the road.


runawayscreaming said...

I have gone up to a month on a single bicycle bottle rack sized Sigg fuel bottle by cooking as little as possible. If you use a fuel with a high energy density (eg not alcohol) a bottle lasts a pretty long time.

If I can't find other campers to split a container of proper camp stove fuel (so I don't have to carry the excess) I just use whatever bulk fuel I can find (anything from plain kerosene to Jet-B helicopter fuel). Just don't use gasoline. Gasoline is too bloody dangerous.

I use multi-fuel stoves and I burn alcohol in them every once in a while just to clear out the petrol deposits.

Enjoying my final days in the formerly nice Vancouver and training for the Van Isle Hell Week

Vik said...

Are you leaving Vancouver? Where are you moving to?

runawayscreaming said...

Well, I'm either going to get on my bike and spend the rest of my life bike touring or I'm going to move to another place I pick by throwing darts at a map while blindfolded (probably the latter).

So far it has been recommended to me that I should move to Edmonton or Saint John, New Brunswick. Edmonton is closer so I may go there. Edmonton is the Jewel of Alberta, after all.

The reason for moving is the runaway crazy real-estate bubble in Vancouver. I need to move my business to a slightly larger tiny industrial space and industrial space in Vancouver has simply disappeared (replaced by leaky overpriced condos).

Vik said...

What is your business?....sorry if you told me I may have forgotten.

runawayscreaming said...

What is your business?

Tandem frames. My tiny workshop is the size of a dentists office but with machine tools and a TIG welder instead of a comfortable chair and a charming dental assistant.

Amongst other things I also have a Vancouverish day job removing fuel and waste oil from deep sea cargo vessels and cruise ships (so it doesn't end up in the sea). One of my fields of expertise is transportation law but instead of doing that I do actual work in transportation that suits my need to do environmental-related stuff (saving the oceans and whatever, public transportation etc). It also helps to keep me from being corrupted by wealth.

bmike said...

Vik -

You should be able to cook most meals on 1 oz of fuel or less. If you do some freezer bag cooking you should be able to do 1/2 to 3/4 oz per 2 cups of water boiled. A 16 oz bottle of fuel could last you 8 to 16 days depending on how much you cook, and how efficient your windscreen / stove / stand / pot set up is.

In an alcohol stove you can burn HEET - something that should be available at any truck stop. Try the yellow bottle - you can even just use the original bottle as your storage container. It has a bit fewer BTUs than denatured alcohol - but cooks just as well. It is sold as brake line / fuel line drier.

Practice a bit first - cooking with an alky stove is great - but there are tricks that make it even better. Wind will be your biggest enemy - so make or buy a proper windscreen - it reflects the heat and it keeps the wind from disrupting your flame.


bmike said...

and of course, you can also burn everclear... (and drink it, and use it to clean cuts and scrapes...)

bmike said...

Vik -

That stove stand looks cool - but as a cyclist you can make your own - and it will probably be lighter and fit your exact pot a bit better.

Some pics of a recycled spoke pot stand:

Vik said...

Thanks for all the advice regarding stoves. I don't have any trouble getting fuel for my multi-fuel stoves as I can burn white gas or gasoline. You can always find gasoline to burn anywhere on the planet.

I'll keep my eye open for HEET when I'm out and about this spring. I appreciate the suggestions regarding how to conserve fuel, but to be honest it is unlikely I'll spend the time preparing meals in advance or worrying about saving fuel when I'm on a bike tour. I'd rather just cook & eat what I want without having to think about the amount of fuel I'm using. That's why having a reliable source for resupply is important to me.

runawayscreaming said...

I'm sure you won't have trouble finding fuel. You are headed directly into a summer tourist destination and lots of tourists use Coleman stoves.

If you are worried or you are brewing a lot of tea or something you can just take a spare empty aluminum fuel bottle to fill up if you feel like it. The empty aluminum fuel bottles weigh next to nothing.

Make sure you have a nice windscreen - it makes all the difference in the world and it cuts down on fuel consumption.

I am a bad example of a self-sufficient cycletourist. I'll take my stove and pot and then dine out like there's no tomorrow. I enjoy sampling the exquisite restaurant cuisine of the north such as deep-fried McCain frozen french fries, Superstore ketchup and canned peas with a slab of minced mystery fish in slippery sauce.

When I cook I will stop around six, do some cooking and then do a couple of hours of riding to a camp spot. That way I can swat all the food-stealing bears, lions and whatnot away and not have to worry about sleeping in the same spot I lured them to with by gourmet cooking smells.

Bears have a field day with me when I go cycletouring. They have a thing about me. I have never done anything bad to them but I think they can sense that I have an attitude about them. I do not find them to be cute or cuddly at all and I did not like Winnie the Pooh.