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Old 02-08-06, 11:09 PM   #1
GeorgerinNH
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Stove for Touring?

Hello...

For those of you who have done extended self supported touring, what recommendations do you have as to what to bring for a stove?

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 02-08-06, 11:14 PM   #2
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there's only one good anwser to that question.
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Old 02-08-06, 11:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
there's only one good anwser to that question.

Ah yes! the pepsi ,cat food or tuna can alcohol stove, for less than $3. Many variations! I like the The Linguini Tuna Can Stove except I brazed mine together and used ss spokes for a pot stand

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Old 02-09-06, 02:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgerinNH
Hello...

For those of you who have done extended self supported touring, what recommendations do you have as to what to bring for a stove?

Thanks,
Charlie

MSR Whisperlite or MSR Whisperlite International.

FKS
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Old 02-09-06, 07:20 AM   #5
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If you're going for a long time or to somewhere where fuel choice is limited then an MSR type stove beats anything else hands down. Drawbacks are that they are expensive to buy (but dirt cheap to run) and not the easiest thing to use.

Otherwise.. Camping Gaz, Trangia and Pepsi cans seem to be as popular as each other.
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Old 02-09-06, 08:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgerinNH
Hello...

For those of you who have done extended self supported touring, what recommendations do you have as to what to bring for a stove?

Thanks,
Charlie
Where are you touring and how much of your tour will be spent camping vs staying in hotels, etc.?

White gas is so cheap in the US (<$5/gallon at Wal-Mart) that it's hard for me to imagine using anything else. The MSR Whisperlite is an excellent white gas stove IME, and it will run on unleaded auto fuel if necessary. Gas cartridge stoves are convenient, cheap and more user friendly than any liquid fuel stove, but finding the right cartridge for your stove might not always be the easiest thing in the world.

White gas is horrendously expensive in Europe (I paid 6.50 pounds for a 1/2 liter can in Scotland, which works out to about US$90 per US gallon) and hard to find. Lots of people use the various gas cartridge stoves over there, and Gaz cartridges are pretty widely available.

If you're travelling in third world countries, a multi-fuel stove that can be easily cleaned after clogging up with dirty kerosene or whatever is a good thing to have. MSR X-GK is a good choice, there are other good multi-fuel stoves available from Primus and other companies.

Alcohol stoves are quiet and clean, but I don't think they produce as much heat as other stoves.
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Old 02-09-06, 08:57 AM   #7
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I'm in Canada and I have an MSR pocket Rocket that I like. I mostly stock up on fuel at MEC locations throughout the country. I would say it's moderatly difficult to aquire the canisters. I'm thinking about picking up the MSR XGK for it's fuel diversity
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Old 02-09-06, 09:01 AM   #8
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Thanks! You gave me a ton of great info there! I think I will be spending 90% or more of my time camping on my tour across the USA.

Thanks again,
Charlie
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Old 02-09-06, 09:09 AM   #9
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A light and small as possible!

I use a Snow Peak Gigapower butane stove and titanium pot, total weight is about 420 grams including fuel for 3-4 days. There are lots of butane canisters available almost everywhere now, eg. most places that sell Coleman products also sell Coleman butane canisters too. Most brands are interchangable (they use the same valve), just try it out before you need to use it.

Alcohol (pepsi can type) stoves are really light but have lots of performance issues. Too many to list, see the backpacking websites for more discussion than you'll ever want to read. Tranga's are good but bulky.

Esbit fuel tablets are probably the lighest, and no stove is necessary if you prop up your pot on a few rocks.

Lots of people don't bother with a stove, carry dried or food that doesn't need cooking and just use the occasional fire.
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Old 02-09-06, 09:12 AM   #10
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I could say a little about the LP gas stoves (i.e. Camping Gaz, etc.). These are getting to be very popular lately even in the US. I have been using a Camping Gaz stove since 1995 and find it to be a very nice stove. It heats well and also simmers well, which is something that is often a problem with the white gas stoves. They are fairly light and clean, as the fuel can not spill. If you get a Camping Gaz stove make sure you get one of the newer units that allow you to remove the fuel cylinder between uses. I also sometimes use a white gas stove (Whisperlite) and a kerosene stove (Optimus 00) and find them useful on rare occasions, so I am not negative to them as well.

The Camping Gaz stove has two big problems that you should be aware of before you go this route. First, it is illegal to ship LP gas cartridges through the mail except through ground transportation. This means that you cannot have someone send you a mail-drop to a post office unless they send it by USPS ground transportation (think slow). For a long tour, having someone mail you the cartridges is about the only way to assure that you can get a fresh cartridge when needed. This is because the cartridges are not commonly available throughout the US. The second problem with the Camping Gaz stoves is also associated with the cartridges. When your current cartridge gets low it is difficult to predict exactly when it will go empty. This means that during a long tour you will find yourself doing one of two things; either tossing out a bunch of partially full cans, or periodically carrying two cans of fuel as you wait for the partially full can to go empty. There are a lot of people that think throwing away a partially full can is hazardous.

As you can tell from other posts there are a lot of people that like alcohol stoves. A lot of the people I know that go this route like them because of simplicity and because they can buy alcohol almost anywhere in small quantity, often in the form of automotive Gas-line Antifreeze from the local auto parts store or even convenience stores. These come in small bottles which somewhat solve the problem the white gas folk have in buying small quantities of Coleman fuel which is most often sold only in gallon cans.

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Old 02-09-06, 09:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamoke
I'm in Canada and I have an MSR pocket Rocket that I like. I mostly stock up on fuel at MEC locations throughout the country. I would say it's moderatly difficult to aquire the canisters. I'm thinking about picking up the MSR XGK for it's fuel diversity
I've found that it's easy to find canisters for the MSR Pocket Rocket at Canadian Tire.
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Old 02-09-06, 11:02 AM   #12
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I'm looking hard at an alcohol stove, but rather than building my own, I'm thinking about going uptown a bit and getting a brasslite alcohol stove I've heard some good things about them, light, good flame control. Nice thing about alcohol stoves, pretty much every gas station / auto parts place has fuel, it's the gas dryer additive. You have to make sure that you get the Methanol version, not the Iso version, but it always says on the label. That way you can get a small quantity of fuel, not have to buy a gallon at at time. Down side to alcohol stoves, they aren't the best bet if you are doing real cold weather camping, just don't have the performance needed. Check out brasslite and read some of the links to reviews on other sites.

Down side to the soda can stoves, and yes, I've used them, most of them don't allow much, if any, flame control. Great if all you are doing is boiling, but not so great for other things. Plus side is that they don't weigh anything to speak of. Stoves always seem to be a tradeoff, weight vs. convience vs. features. If I had somebody to carry it for me, I'd have a double burner propane stove with a grill and rotissary (sp) attachment, but since that's not likely to happen, I'm sticking with light and easy.

Steve W.
Who sometimes gets into hot water without a stove
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Old 02-09-06, 11:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul2
I've found that it's easy to find canisters for the MSR Pocket Rocket at Canadian Tire.
You know what, I've had a friend tell me this as well, but I have yet to come across any. I've done fine on picking up canisters though. MEC stores throughout canada carry them, and I got some at Fresh Air Experience in Regina, SK, And now apparently Canadian Tire stores as well. So maybe this type of canister isn't so hard to find afterall.
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Old 02-09-06, 12:05 PM   #14
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I have been using Camping Gaz stoves since 1960. I also have a pop can alcohol stove in case I cant find Gaz cartridges. If I want a fancy meal I go to a restaurant.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:07 PM   #15
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I use a soda can alcohol stove and couldn't be more pleased. Although it takes longer to boil water with alcohol than white gas, it's really no big deal. I choose foods that can be cooked simply by boiling water, ading ingredients, and letting steep until ready. I use an insulated cozy for my pot made from a cheap blue foam sleeping pad so there is no need to simmer foods like pasta. Simply add the ingredients, place pot in the cozy, and wait the normal cooking time. The cozy keeps the water near the boiling point during the cooking time so you save fuel. Works like a champ.

A soda can stove never clogs, has no moving parts, and if necessary can be easily built along the trail. It certainly wins in the weight category, unless you are trying to travel for a long period of time with no resupply. Since alcohol is less efficient than white gas, you need more ounces of alcohol than gasoline for the same cooking time. This is a consideration for backpacking, but not generally for bike touring as denatured alcohol is readily available everywhere.
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Old 02-09-06, 02:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fks
MSR Whisperlite or MSR Whisperlite International.

FKS

Seconded, I've got 15 good years out of mine and still going strong.
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Old 02-09-06, 02:35 PM   #17
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whisperlite is pretty much indestructable, and awesome for long trips (I go backpacking with one, if I went touring I would bring it)

If I had a little extra $$$, I might spring for a Jetboil. those are awesome.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:13 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by kamoke
You know what, I've had a friend tell me this as well, but I have yet to come across any. I've done fine on picking up canisters though. MEC stores throughout canada carry them, and I got some at Fresh Air Experience in Regina, SK, And now apparently Canadian Tire stores as well. So maybe this type of canister isn't so hard to find afterall.
That's funny, because when I went to Fresh Air Experience in Regina, they were sold out of the cannisters. I then went to an army surplus store, but they only had tiny cannisters. So we went to Canadian Tire, where my girlfriend had sugested we go in the first place, and they had plenty. As did the Canadian Tire in Swift Current.
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Old 02-09-06, 08:12 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markf
White gas is so cheap in the US (<$5/gallon at Wal-Mart) that it's hard for me to imagine using anything else. The MSR Whisperlite is an excellent white gas stove IME, and it will run on unleaded auto fuel if necessary.
I found this to be true. I didn't want to lug around a gallon container of white gas and found out that my regular Whisperlite (not the International) will run fine on unleaded.This is even stated on MSR's website. Fill up your Sigg bottles at any gas station for 50 cents! It does, however, burn a little sooty.

I'm on my second Whisperlite (after 20 years or so). It's great if you tour high elevations or cold climates. Some negatives: the the rubber O-rings crack after a few years, the pump leather gasket needs to be lubed once in a while. You need to carry a maintenance kit with you.
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Old 02-09-06, 09:34 PM   #20
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I also have a Whisperlite International. I like it a lot. However, last year for fun I made one of the pop-can stoves (denatured alcohol). What a blast! It worked flawlessly! I'll admit, it didn't heat things up as fast, but it sure did work.

This year I'll probably take the Whisperlite to the Grand Canyon with me. A two week ride. I can't wait!!
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Old 02-09-06, 09:58 PM   #21
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I've made and used the Pepsi-can stove but like the durability of the Trangia and have since switched. A Trangia-mini packs in it's own cook-pot with a skillet as lid. Good for 1-2 people - go with a bigger Trangia-kit if you cook big.

FWIW, I like alcohol stoves because spilled fuel doesn't contaminate everything - it evaporates - the fuel's cheap and in a pinch you can use any alcohol (gas-line antifreeze is Methyl-alcohol if there's no outfitter or hardware store handy)

I might consider a stove that ran on any kind of fuel (jet fuel, avgas, alcohol etc) if I were in more remote areas but you pay more for that privilage - a Trangia is what?... $20?
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Old 02-09-06, 10:55 PM   #22
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yeah, to each his own. there's really more than one anwser.
my rules of thumb would be Trangia for the USA, but using white gas for winter or extended backwoods bikepacking. Gaz for Europe. Multifuel for developing world. (every country is different so check first though)

I think it all boils down to the Trangia for american on the road bike touring. Here's a trangia sitting on the delta windscreen/pot support, and then in operation on my computer desk. Burns denatured alcohol(shellac thinner), rubbing alcohol, fuel additives found at every gas station, and drinkable, everclear alcohol.Might burn 141 rum, haven't tried that, hmm.... About 20 bucks complete. standard bic lighter not included.
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Old 02-10-06, 06:04 PM   #23
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Mentor58,

Thanks for the link. I just ordered a turbo 1, only $15.00 and $5.00 shipping.
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Old 02-10-06, 06:43 PM   #24
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coleman peak 1. you can (i've seen it done) use gasoline in a pinch and white gas any time. also there is coleman dual fuel and multi-fuel mini-stoves but i have not tried either on tour. enjoy you tours!
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Old 02-10-06, 06:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentor58
I'm looking hard at an alcohol stove, but rather than building my own, I'm thinking about going uptown a bit and getting a brasslite alcohol stove I've heard some good things about them...
Vargo outdoors makes a titanium alcohol stove that's super tiny with foldable pot holders. I was gifted one, but have not used it in real world conditions yet. I have tested it at home-not bad. There is no flame control, however it shouldn't be that hard to make a simmer ring, like the Triangias have.

-regarding white gas/multi fuel stoves, take care when flying to destinations with them. Airline security is getting ever antsy. Make sure there is no odor whatsoever from them, and it might be helpfull to make the stove look new (ie clean the outside with steel wool or somesuch).
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