Bargain Trangia-style stove for UK tourers -- £8. . . and other mess kit
Hi all. Just back from a 9-day camping trip. While it was a car trip, I took all my bike touring gear so I could test it out. One of the new things I was trying was a bargain, Trangia-style stove I picked up at Argos for £8:
It worked brilliantly! I would have gotten a Trangia but wasn't so keen on getting a full set of pots etc. and I had left it a bit late to order anything in the post. I also wasn't sure if I would enjoy cooking or prefer to eat in restaurants.
In any case, I heartily recommend the stove. No problems whatsoever. I used it twice a day, to make coffee and oatmeal each morning, and for my evening meal -- soup, pasta, and even a few gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches.
I bought one bottle of methylated spirits before I left for about £2 at the petrol station. It was about a 300 ml bottle, and it lasted me about seven days of cooking twice daily for about 15-20 minutes each time. I added a bit of water to the fuel (less than 10%) and this reduced the soot on the pots.
Speaking of pots, I also got a budget set from Argos:
I also got a lightweight folding aluminum windscreen which circled the stove, but I can't find a link for it. It was also from Argos. The two end panels featured a narrow sliding "spike" which anchored it firmly in the ground.
I found four, six-inch square ceramic tiles and used these as "tables" for cooking, placing the stove, and any hot pots on them to protect the grass. Not the lightest thing to carry, but they were already in the boot of the car.
I had a great little set of kitchen goodies I got in Canada at MEC, which rounded out my kit:
It made very good coffee and left a lot less fine grind in my cup than my original coffee mechanism, from MSR:
MSR Mug Mate Coffee/tea thingie I think the Mug Mate would be fine with a coarser grind of coffee. However, I am hooked on one particular blend that comes pre-ground from marks, so the Bodum was the winner on this front.
Other than the tiles, I will definitely use all this kit on my next loaded tour. I didn't use much from the set of pots beyond the large pot and the skillet, so I would leave most of those behind.
And upon reflection, I think I would bring a tile to use as a base for the stove. It made things very stable, and that's worth a lot when you are boiling water!
That's great value. The equivalent non-stick version over here was around £50, but as I said, I left it a bit late to get it shipped in time. Mostly though, I wasn't keen on the big (and importantly, non-folding!) windsheild base that comes with the Trangia.
Hey Bek, the new tent was AWESOME! As you know I got the Big Agnes Sarvis SL2 with eVENT and it was dry and spacious. Set up in 15 minutes, really simply. Very sturdy, and amazingly light for the real estate at just over 4 lbs. What I liked best was being able to sit upright in it with loads of clearance. It got quite cool a few nights -- down to about 5 degrees celcius. The tent handled moisture well, with minimal build-up of condensation, and my down bag kept me cosy. Was glad I brought a balaclava, though!
Funny you mention the Bulldog Billies. I actually looked around the internet for them but couldn't find any. Thanks for the tip about the windscreen, didn't know that. All I saw were enormous bowl-shaped things that didn't fold flat!