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Camping Stoves

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by janus, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Roger - are the performance reductions for gas in snow / cold likely to be overcome somewhat by a 'prewarming' like sticking the unit in your parka for ten mins while you get ready ?

    Or will the overall temp beging to affect the cannister even after it is up and running and the 'parka effect' has worn off ?
     
  2. telemark fred

    telemark fred One of Us

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    Now Roger - dont forget the rest of the post:
    :no:

    My field experience has been the converse of yours - I seem to get better mileage out of shellite than I do out of gas. [​IMG]
    .
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    And it seem I am not the only one:

    From here

    and

    from here

    and


    from here.


    and


    from here

    from here


    The only site I found that supports gas as more efficient was http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/FAQ_Efficiency.htm - by Roger Caffin! Mind you it is a very thorough and well thought out dissertation on the topic. At least we agree that Metho is a distant third in terms of litres boiled per gram (and volume) of fuel carried.

    I concede that the gas option is lighter, but the point i made in my original post was that the extra cannisters negate some (or all) of the benefit on extended trips, compared with a single large bottle of shellite. Being non-pressurised, additional bottles of shellite add less than additional cannisters as well, should you need that much fuel.
     
    #102 telemark fred, Jun 28, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  3. otw

    otw First Runs

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  4. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Youre right climberman, i got a dehydrator this yr, had the best risottos, con carnes and moroccan dishes on bogong the other weekend with no cooking, just heating. I am a convert.
     
  5. NeoSamurai

    NeoSamurai One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If I retrace my steps I can probably find it.
    So janus, did you buy the MSR on eBay or is the new stove on the 'backburner' now?
     
  6. Romfrantic

    Romfrantic Hard Yards

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    Yes, the pre-heating makes a difference. The gas fitting in the Trangia has the same set-up. The canister actually attaches to a hose which then feeds into a ring-like feature that passes by close to the flame where the gas gets pre-heated (I don't know the technical terminology to these parts [​IMG] !). I doubt very much it would work as effectively without that pre-heating. I actually used one of my half-used gas canisters while camping out at Diggins last w'end (-10 C at night and -13 C Sat morning) and my stove was def. much faster at bringing water to boil than my neighbour's who was using just the normal gas canister directly attached to the stove.

    Insulating the canister off the ground/snow (placed on a piece of closed-cell foam bit for exaple) also helped.

    For short-term (1-2 days max), for water boiling situations such as last w'end, the gas/Trangia set-up is just easy and clean. But I agree with TeleFred for longer (3+ days) snow trips, where you need to melt water from snow for example, liquid fuel is more efficient.
     
    #106 Romfrantic, Jun 29, 2005
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  7. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    Its great to see from some Trangia lovers for a change :p .

    Pre-heating has to make gas burners more efficient - after all - its what MSRs use!!

    I am pretty rapt with the "gas/Trangia set up", but was hoping to hear from someone who has "mulitfuel/Trangia set up as far as effieincy etc goes.. any takers..??

    Good to hear suggestions for making the gas option more efficient (like insulating the tank from the snow) - we will do some time tests and a fuel use comparison with our MSR-using friends on the High Plains later in the year.

    Will be very interesting if we get to boiling snow - I wonder if the relative efficiency of the gas/Trangia set up will be any differnt (to MSRs) than for normal cooking....(why should it??)

    Based on normal practice, I would double the fuel to cover snow boiling for water. That would take us to 80g/person/day - over 5 nights means 800g of gas or 2x440g containers. (about 1300g incl containers).
     
  8. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    It's awesome, innit ? Light is right.
     
    #108 climberman, Jun 29, 2005
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  9. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Rom - ta. Intuitively makes sense, but intuition is a funny master.
     
  10. Roger Caffin

    Roger Caffin Hard Yards

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    First off, I don't use an upright screw-thread gas stove in the snow. It can be done, but there are problems of keeping the cartridge warm enough but not too warm ... The tank in an upright stove does chill down while the stove is running, and this can nobble it.

    I use a Coleman PowerMax Extreme (I think that's the right name) instead. This runs a liquid feed to the burner, just like the liquid feed on a petrol or kero stove. The liquid goes through a 'generator' tube which is heated in the flame, where the liquid turns into gas. You pressurise a petrol or kero tank by pumping; the propane pressurises the gas tank for you. Since the propane in the gas mix boils at -40 C, this stove works very well down to about -30 C, and that is a shade colder than we normally get here. You can run it below that if you take some care. In this case, the tank does NOT cool down while the stove is running.

    You can also run other remote tank gas stoves like this too, if they have hoses and generator tubes. Been there, done that. They work fine, just more fiddly.

    Yes, these stoves are expensive, but so are petrol and kero stoves. Yes, the gas tanks are expensive compared with the price of Shellite. So how much do you spend on skis and boots and car fuel just getting there? Where is your priority? I know where mine is - comfort and reliability. Yes, I've run petrol and kero stoves in the snow for many years.

    No, the weight of the empty tanks is not all that significant. Have a look at the calculations in the FAQ to see why I say that. Don't forget: a petrol stove has a heavier tank and a pump, and is usually a lot heavier than a gas stove even without those.

    A key point to remember in all this: gas is just the same sort of hydrocarbon fuel as petrol and kero except that the number of carbon atoms in the molecules is lower in gas. Tech details in the FAQ.

    But I am sure many will prefer the roar of an XGK in the snow. Fine. I've even seen some Army guys on a practice near Whites cooking their dinners over Esbit tablets, in the snow. Not for me though!

    (I'll be off the air for a bit after tomorrow - bushwalking.)
     
    #110 Roger Caffin, Jun 29, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  11. Roger Caffin

    Roger Caffin Hard Yards

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    Yes, I have seen most of those web sites, and read their comments. My reply is that most of the writers do not seem to know how to use a propane/butane gas stove properly. But misuse seems to be a common problem in many areas of technical gear.

    There is a persistent myth that petrol has more energy than gas. It does, by volume, but not if you go by weight. The actual figures are in the FAQ (of course!). Me, I am concerned with the WEIGHT of my pack.

    Thanks!

    Well, we spent 8 weeks walking the length of the Pyrenees in Europe. Gas served us VERY well for that length of time. We use three 450 g tanks of gas oover that period: 30 g/day for two people.

    We saw a few people (not locals!) with petrol stoves - empty. Fuel not readily available.

    Cheers
     
    #111 Roger Caffin, Jun 29, 2005
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  12. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    Interesting that the people who come out strongly in favour of gas (eg Roger Caffin, me), or trangias (me... others here) are those who use them a lot... others who like Whisperlights or other variants of MSR are (again) those who use them. Its all about horses for courses, and that's a good thing. Strength in diversity etc etc.

    But what is interesting is that there are a few misconceptions about "the other side" that continue to run.

    Eg - that MSRs have to go through a "Kuwait" stage before they start (that's the stage that puts the dark marks on the hut ceiling .. or removes the tent). Not so... just prime them with metho or paste (or less shellite!!)

    Or that MSRs have to be jet engine loud (not so - you actually *can* turn them down a bit and use more of the heat they generate to cook!! :p

    Or that shellite is the only efficient fuel (not so - look at my or Roger's fuel use figures, and then calculate your own and report them here).

    Or that Trangias are by definition inefficient (not so, just use the gas or multi-fuel variants).

    Its a fun debate - at the end of the day I just want to get the best information from all the mob out there to make the best decisions. Carry less, cook safer, faster, better.

    I am still keen to hear from users of gas - esp the gas/Trangia option - who have used their stove in the cold or at altitude. Roger uses his Coleman xtreme, but then they are clearly aimed at that market. But maybe almost no-one does 'cause you can't". Is that just another myth I wonder... ?

    (I am now looking for a commercial cold room to test my stove in... :nerd: )
     
  13. otw

    otw First Runs

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    The Trangia gas conversion has the "preheat" tube.

    With Isobutane it shouldn't be a prob in the snow.

    What do you gas lovers think?
     
  14. snowshoe_fiend

    snowshoe_fiend Hard Yards

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    I used my MSR Rapidfire (a Whisperlite with a gas burner instead of shellite) with a cylinder of isobutane in the snow at Baw Baw. It did work but not as well as at sea level (obviously) and I did have to wait a while for my dinner. After that I went out and got a Whisperlite. Many of the fittings (eg: the triangular base) are interchangeable, so I use gas on long-range summer walks and shellite in the snow.
     
  15. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    For summer walking with 4 or more people in group i reckon you cant beat the reliability and speed of a trangia + whisperlite combination approach.

    I have accidently drunk shellite from a bottle (very nasty)that i thought was water (now clearly differentiated for tactile difference in the dark) that i wished was metho. :doh:
     
  16. imj

    imj First Runs

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    mr
    tried mixing with orange juice? :puke:
     
  17. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    What was the gas cylinder sitting on..?? (ie snow or insulation or ..)
    Does the Rapidfire have a pre-heat coil which carries the gas through the flame?
     
    #117 Simonn, Jul 5, 2005
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  18. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    I drank grappa at a going away party and came home 3 months later to find that my housemates were still using it to light the fire with (but I can't find the right jet to use it in my Dragonfly).

    Do you think any women are reading this thread about stoves and fuel and stuff? [​IMG]
     
    #118 gusc, Jul 5, 2005
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  19. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Stoves = installed and maintained by men.
    Now cooking, thats different.
     
  20. telemark fred

    telemark fred One of Us

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    Women come here to Backcountry?? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #120 telemark fred, Jul 6, 2005
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  21. Romfrantic

    Romfrantic Hard Yards

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    Of course...they (self included) even know what "stoves and fuel and stuff" are! :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
    #121 Romfrantic, Jul 6, 2005
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  22. Romfrantic

    Romfrantic Hard Yards

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    You men are such great comedians :p
     
    #122 Romfrantic, Jul 6, 2005
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  23. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    A bit of :fishing: will always get the answer gusc!!
     
  24. gusc

    gusc Hard Yards

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    Don't you mean "Stoves = installed & maintained then upgraded, then the new stove brochure pored over all evening instead of doing his turn of cooking dinner, then dismantled on the dining room table for 3 days, then talked about with his mates half way through a more interesting conversation everyone was having about actually skiing, then a new one bought but then sold on eBay because it didn't burn enough BTUs during breakfast, then dismantled again on the top of the washing machine (next to the dirty skins) by men"??? :p
     
    #124 gusc, Jul 6, 2005
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  25. snowshoe_fiend

    snowshoe_fiend Hard Yards

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    Simonn:

    No, the Rapidfire does not have the pre-heat coil. I don't think it would help much anyway because the problem is getting the gas out of the cylinder, not vapourising it at the burner.

    I think the cylinder was sitting on something but I can't really recall- only used it once, then thought "bugger this!" and got myself a Whisperlite.

    What you could do to improve the cold-weather efficiency of gas is to place a Primus gas bottle (the tall, thin ones) in a stubby holder. This both insulates from cold and protects the bottle from bumps (I know it's paranoid, but I don't want 250g of highly flammable pressurised gas getting knocked by anything metal)
     
  26. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    Idshield - thanks for that.

    With my Trangia, the cylinder is connected by a hose, so I guess you could always put the cylinder in the pot on the stove to warm up.. [​IMG]

    but seriously..I shre your concern about "highly flammible pressurised gas" - I just dropped a 440g cylinder out of the cupboard onto wooden floor...clunk!! When I picked it up and looked at the dent in the top I paused for thought.....

    hmm... I wonder what happens when these things get holed..?
     
    #126 Simonn, Jul 7, 2005
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  27. snowshoe_fiend

    snowshoe_fiend Hard Yards

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    What happens is that the flammable, pressurised gas comes out really fast... and everyone runs for their life. It's yet another good reason not to smoke.

    Seriously, though, I once had to unhook a little blue Camping Gaz bottle (the kind you puncture when attaching to the stove) that wasn't quite completely empty. I think I carried it a long way away from the campsite, unhooked the cylinder, put it on the ground, and fled. I'm not sure why I ran away- there was no ignition source within about three kilometres, but I wasn't going to risk it. Mind you, I haven't used a non-self-sealing cylinder since.
     
  28. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    There are people who have been known to test for gas leaks with a flame.....
     
  29. Philanderer

    Philanderer First Runs

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    I've used a whisper light for years, metho before that.

    I've had no problem with flare ups or anything like that, i maintain it regularly, and always let it warm up. I've never used it in a vestible, wouldn't consider it, use a hut, fly or igloo for cooking. i run it almost exclusively on unleaded, although i have noticed in the last few years the jet blocks more than it used to - fuel additives? Maybe i need to upgrade to a shaker jet model!

    One of my friends used to 'pre-heat' his trangia with a tea-light candle. He would sit the lit candle under the burner to warm the metho. Was great for melting snow! Not so good for fuel consumption, and nobody would cook anywhere near him!
     
  30. SWANK-E

    SWANK-E First Runs

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    I just went to have a look at the trangia multi-fuel stove and it seems that the fitting looks the same as a msr dragonfly.

    just wondering if anyone had any experience with it and if it is as loud as a dragonfly?
     
  31. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    I have only seen one in drawings/brochure - looks to me like my MSR XGK - ie bloody loud. I would also like to know if anyone has test flown one.
     
    #131 Simonn, Jul 10, 2005
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  32. Shrek

    Shrek Old n' Crusty

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    trangia website
    click on burner to see the winter attachment accessory.
     
    #132 Shrek, Jul 10, 2005
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  33. kaiser

    kaiser First Runs

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    The yearly stove debate again.

    I use a whisperlite. I spend plenty of time in the snow (including just over a week ago at Bogong) and the only problems with Whisperlites come from people that buy their stove and do not learn how to use it before going on their trip. If you know how to use the stove, it is quick, efficent and as it is fully servicable in the field, by far the most reliable thing for long trips. I know I will be able to get it started, no matter what the weather, and as we always check it befire a trip, and if it is getting clogged, clean it after cooking so it is right for the next time, we are always fine.
    As for the people on trannies, better you then me. Would not use one again, especially not in the snow. They just ain't up to it.
    Don't like the gas stoves, hate the idea of ending up with all these half full canisters, and carrying pressurized canisters in sub zero temps, no thanks.

    People will always disagree on what is the best, but i will have my food ect while the others are still trying to boil water.

    my two cents
     
  34. Philanderer

    Philanderer First Runs

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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Philanderer:

    One of my friends used to 'pre-heat' his trangia with a tea-light candle. He would sit the lit candle under the burner to warm the metho. Was great for melting snow! Not so good for fuel consumption, and nobody would cook anywhere near him!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    trangia website
    click on burner to see the winter attachment accessory.


    turns out he was ahead of his time, the tea light would cost and weigh alot less!! i still think its a dodgy concept though
     
  35. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Well all thanks for the input, I've settled on the MSR simmerlite.
     
  36. telemark fred

    telemark fred One of Us

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  37. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    USA 1 - Sweden 0
     
  38. janus

    janus One of Us

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    There are a few reviews around saying that the "simmer" name is a little misleading as they're not easy to simmer, but at the same time if the dragon fly's as loud as everyone says, I think this is the right stove for me, hell if I don't like it I can always sell it..
     
  39. janus

    janus One of Us

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    A GOOD REVIEW OF THE SIMMERLITE
    ----------------------------------------------

    When I recently bought an MSR SimmerLite stove, I felt a vague feeling of disloyalty.

    Sure, it was lighter than my other stoves. But, mainly, it simmered. And I wanted a stove that simmered effectively. No, I didn't need another stove, not even one that simmered. Besides, all of my MSR WhisperLite stoves had functioned perfectly, except that they didn't simmer. I counted the times that I needed a stove to simmer when I boiled water to make hot chocolate, to hydrate hashbrowns O'Brien, to fry turkey or ham slices, to toast English muffins or to heat Bush's beans.

    None.

    That's right, none, as in not one.

    So, reasonably, I didn't need a stove that simmered. Yet, as shoppers say when defying reason, ``What the heck.' So, I bought the SimmerLite and took it to the Washington coast. Alas, when cooking in the back of the truck during a tumultuous downpour, I primed the stove and lit it. The fireball burned the hair off my right-hand knuckles and melted a hole in the green carpet on the ramp that Sadie the Dalmatian uses to get in and out of the truck.

    And, worst of all, when I turned it down to simmer, it went out. Nine times. Sure, just like the WhisperLite, the SimmerLite heated like a blowtorch. But I wanted it to simmer, and I never got it to do that. I'd left the directions at home, of course, but I'd used a WhisperLite for years. So, I knew all about MSR stoves. Right.

    I pondered returning the stove. Well, for four days on the coast trip, I conjured up ways to get my wife Darlene to take the stove back. Back home, however, I ignored my disappointment with the stove awhile. Then I googled ``msr simmerlite stove review' on the Internet. So, I got 2,660 responses in a blink. The second one had two reviews that made my jaws tight. One by ``radpin' bore the title ``My Wonderful Little Stove.' The other, by ``jamghg' proclaimed ``Buyer Beware.'

    Radpin loved the stove. Jamghg hated it. Great! Opposing views with no real meaning, just like on TV. Well, I read the reviews and gritted my teeth. Radpin, among other things, said the stove simmers and heats well. His bottom line: ``If you need something that will work forever, can learn how to use it, and have the money, this is your stove.'

    Jamghg said the stove is difficult to light on uneven surfaces or in the wind and that it doesn't simmer. His insisted: ``...the claim that this stove can simmer is a joke.' He concluded, ``If you're looking for something reliable, pick another stove. This one's a dud.'

    Huh? No help at all. Yet, Radpin's phrase about learning ``how to use it,' struck a note.

    And Radpin wrote, ``One thing with MSR stoves ... is that you have to remember that if you over (or under) pressure the fuel, you will lose a great deal of control on your flow knob. If you do as I did the first few times ... and pump too much air in, the minute you open the flow control, fuel comes rocketing out, turning your stove into the old familiar blow torch that MSR's are known for to some degree. ``Simply remembering that you don't need to pump more than 15 times (if that) on average to pressurize the cannister, you should easily be able to simmer things.'

    Oooops! I'd always pumped my WhisperLite stoves 30-40 times. Too much for the SimmerLite? Apparently.

    So, yes, I read the directions. Yes, they said to pump only 15-20 times with a full fuel bottle. Well, all right!

    To try again, I packed the stove in a day pack and loaded Sadie the Dalmatian into the truck. We'd turn the trial into a picnic to the mountains. I stopped at Super 1 and bought a package of Bear Creek Cheddar Potato Soup Mix for $4.68. I read the directions. It served eight people, and it had to be simmered for 10 minutes. Perfect. We drove to Summit Road and the High Ridge Lookout Tower. It was cold. I shivered despite the sunshine and put on a windbreaker. We spent an hour there photographing scenery and flowers. I climbed the tower. Sadie climbed one flight of stairs and quit. I took a bunch of photos and drove back down the hill to find a warmer place for our picnic.

    I connected the stove and the fuel bottle and worked the pump 10 times. I touched a flame to the stove's head. It flared a bit, but it didn't burn off any knuckle hair. As the flame subsided, I turned the fuel knob, and the flame turned blue as it did with a WhisperLite. I turned it up high to boil the water for hot chocolate and soup. I whisked in the soup mix, as directed, stirred it and turned the stove down to simmer. It simmered with the fuel valve barely open.

    I watched small bubbles plop on the soup's surface. When 10 minutes passed, I turned off the stove and forked soup into the frying pan. Yummm!

    I ate three helpings, gave Sadie her share and had soup left to take home. Well, I could've avoided a bunch of frustration, if not that sense of disloyalty, by reading the stove's directions. Yet, I learned a lesson about smug spin masters: Some follow directions and some don't.
     
  40. Ian

    Ian One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Trangia + metho = quiet.
     
  41. Simonn

    Simonn First Runs

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    Yes - Trangia + metho = quiet

    and Trangia = safe

    but:
    Trangia + metho = slow
    and
    Trangia + metho = inefficient fuel use

    But there is another way:

    Trangia + GAS = fast
    Trangia + gas = quieter (than MSR)
    Trangia + gas = efficient
    Trangia + gas = simmers!
    Trangia + gas = beautiful

    and even...
    Trangia + gas = works in the cold (maybe)

    Finally
    Trangia + gas = simple:

    "Yes folks - the mighty Trangia gas system is suitable for technophobes and idiots"

    ie people like me who don't want to learn yet another skill just to get the stove to simmer.

    Disclaimer - I do not now nor have I ever had any financial interest in the products mentioned... although I would not be averse to getting a free multi-fuel burner for my Trangia if anyone thought I deserved one...
     
  42. janus

    janus One of Us

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    You don't [​IMG]
     
    #142 janus, Jul 20, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  43. Unknown

    Unknown First Runs

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    I may take a trangia + gas combo to mt stirling in two weeks. All depends on how much cash is in my wallet when I stroll by a shop
     
  44. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Well, my stove just arrived, will have to head up the road and pick up some shellite and give it a demo this arvo.. [​IMG] stoked!
     
    #144 janus, Jul 26, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  45. SWANK-E

    SWANK-E First Runs

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    i have tried the trangia+multifuel combo (optimus nova stove) on stirling in the weekend, simmers great, works a treat!
     
  46. telemarx

    telemarx A Local

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    Yes, it will need to be.
     
    #146 telemarx, Jul 26, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  47. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    whoooooomph!
     
  48. janus

    janus One of Us

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    Hopefully not, I will be sure to prime it well, and once ready only turn the valve SLOWLY...

    That said there's still a 50/50 chance I'll be missing my eyebrows tomorrow [​IMG]
     
    #148 janus, Jul 26, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  49. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    First timer? I'd say 70/30. Good luck.
     
  50. janus

    janus One of Us

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    We'll see..