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Old 05-16-07, 03:53 AM   #1
camino10
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Food Management

Hi everbody

I'm planning my next tour and it looks like I'll be cyling in Northern Europe as of June.

Anyway, I've made several tours before but have never taken a stove with me. This time I'm not quite sure if I should invest in the MSR Whisperlite.

I wonder how other long distance cyclists handle their food management. Do you take a stove or do you eat out? Do you prefer warm meals or just live on sandwiches and bananas?
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Old 05-16-07, 08:20 AM   #2
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How long are you going for? I personally like the ability to have a hot meal and in June you could still find the occasional cool day where a coffee or mug of soup is nice to heat you up. In that regard, we love our Whisperlite. I do think for shorter tours though it is worth considering eating cold meals, using restaurants or take aways when you crave a hot meal. The weight savings would be significant.

We put together a few thoughts on our stove and eating recently on our site if you want to have a look:

http://travellingtwo.com/eating-on-the-road/
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Old 05-16-07, 08:58 AM   #3
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I would take a stove if I were camping. If you're staying at hostels, BBs or - gasp - hotels, you won't have that much use for it.

And if by Northern Europe you mean northern parts of Norway, Sweden or Finland, camping is a good idea. At least as a backup plan. Stealth camping is legal here and there might not be any other accommodation available (within a reasonable distance). Same goes for places to eat.

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Old 05-16-07, 09:03 AM   #4
NeezyDeezy
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For my upcoming bike tour I'm leaving my stove at home.
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Old 05-16-07, 12:26 PM   #5
Niles H.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camino10
Hi everbody

I'm planning my next tour and it looks like I'll be cyling in Northern Europe as of June.

Anyway, I've made several tours before but have never taken a stove with me. This time I'm not quite sure if I should invest in the MSR Whisperlite.

I wonder how other long distance cyclists handle their food management. Do you take a stove or do you eat out? Do you prefer warm meals or just live on sandwiches and bananas?
The Whisperlite (or Whisperlite Internatl.) is a good stove; I have one and like it.

If I were doing a lot of cooking, I would bring it.

If I were only doing a little cooking, I would consider an alcohol stove. They are simple, light, clean, and cheap. You mentioned hesitating to spend the money on a Whisperlite -- an alcohol stove can be made for nothing. The easiest one I've tried so far is the supercat. You take a small-sized cat food can, and punch some holes in the side. A paper punch makes it a simple job. After doing it a couple of times, you can make one in less than ten seconds, literally. Neighbors or recycling centers might have them for free, if you don't want to buy a can(s) at the store.

http://zenstoves.net/ has plans for a wide variety of alcohol stoves. They also list the various pros and cons.

www.mark-ju.net/ has a chart listing sources for methylated spirits (alcohol) for their Trangia (alcohol) stove here,

http://www.mark-ju.net/juliette/meths.htm

They also have some comments on cooking and using an alcohol stove, including in cold conditions,

http://www.mark-ju.net/juliette/cooking.htm

http://www.mark-ju.net/juliette/recipes.htm

***
I've tried various alcohol stoves; they are very simple, light and reliable, and I like them for light or occasional cooking.

The Brasslite alcohol stoves get some good reviews. Many people like the Trangias. The supercat and many of the other homemade alcohol stoves work just fine. (Beginners should probably avoid the homemade pressurized jet stoves; other designs are simpler and more reliable.)

It also helps to have a nice little (one tablespoon) metal (aluminum) measuring spoon, and a small bottle(s) with a squirt top for storing and dispensing the alcohol (some shampoo and lotion bottles have a good, effective design for this).

Last edited by Niles H.; 05-16-07 at 12:32 PM.
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