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  1. #1
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    Wanting to start campfire, but don't want to pay for campground

    Hello guys.

    I'm going on a long tour-trip around Europe. I want to cook my own food over my own campfire. I know that I can stealth camp, but I'm afraid that if I start a campfire, smoke will be produced, thus alarming people thinking its a wildfire or something.
    I also don't want to attract any people. I read a nasty story that a guy got busted for stealth camping and he got beat up. Not sure where it happened.

    I can pay for a campsites, but I'm on a VERY tight budget. I can't afford the 10-20$ or 10-20€/day that it costs. And I'm only gonna be staying there over night.

    What should I do?
    Last edited by NokoYoko; 03-15-10 at 11:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Use a small stove. I find them to be much more convenient for cooking than a campfire anyway.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Use a small stove. I find them to be much more convenient for cooking than a campfire anyway.
    But they're not portable at all.

  4. #4
    Socrates Johnson AngrySaki's Avatar
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    But they're not portable at all.
    What do you mean by not portable?


    Incase it's not clear, i think he's talking about something like this

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
    What do you mean by not portable?


    Incase it's not clear, i think he's talking about something like this
    Seems lightweight, but kind of bulky, I don't think it could fit in my pannier. Could it?

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    Unless you have exceptionally small panniers there shouldn't be much trouble finding room for a backpack-type stove - many are about the same size as a coffee mug. Lots of advantages over campfires for most cooking - quick to start, clean burning, controllable heat level. Plus no worries about only finding wet wood or alarming anyone with the smoke.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    Unless you have exceptionally small panniers there shouldn't be much trouble finding room for a backpack-type stove - many are about the same size as a coffee mug. Lots of advantages over campfires for most cooking - quick to start, clean burning, controllable heat level. Plus no worries about only finding wet wood or alarming anyone with the smoke.
    This might sound silly, but I'm worried that I might get burned or the can might explode or something. Thats why I prefer a campfire. You can easily put it out.

    Can you find me any pics of the smaller ones? Google only gives me those huge ones

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    Also, what if I wanted to fry something? Fry some frosted fish from the grocery store?

  9. #9
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    Put it in a frying pan and set it on the stove.

    I think you're overestimating the size of the stoves you're finding since the ones previously shown are pretty small. Go to any store that caters to backpackers and take a look at some of the stoves. They're really very safe and most are turned off just by turning the control knob - about the same as using a kitchen stove, just much smaller. You do have a choice of various fuel types. The ones pictured before use gas canisters (usually butane and/or propane), but there are also models that use alcohol, kerosine, gasoline, or a variety of fuels. Good to know what fuels are most readily available in the area you'll be touring.

  10. #10
    Touring - loving it!!! mylesau's Avatar
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    How about a compact wood stove like the Bushbuddy or even an alcohol stove like the Trangia.

    These are the expensive versions - if you look around you'll find cheaper versions or variations that you can make very cheaply.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jurjan's Avatar
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    plus: in Europe in a lot of countries it's simply forbidden to make open fire in the countryside.
    Just like you're not supposed to (mostly it's forbidden actually) camp outside of campsites in a lot of countries.
    Some countries DO allow free / wild camping (Scandinavia mostly), but most severely restrict the possibilities.
    You sound like you're from the USA, please remember that a lot of Europe is far more populated then a lot of the USA.

    I would take a small stove.
    I guess my real question is: why would you want to cook over a campfire? I feel it's inefficient, not always possible etc.
    (unless you mean to use one of those bushbuddy type stoves, but that's not open fire).
    I would imagine any campstove is far quicker, cleaner (though not cheaper) then a campfire.
    have a nice day,
    Jurjan

  12. #12
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Noko, when you arrive for the night at each of your stops in Holland, seek out the aid of the local politie.
    They're kind of like anti-police, and offer useful advice on how to break branches off trees and shrubs, start fires, and pollute the local environment.
    Don't be shy, tell them exactly what you plan to do.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    Noko, when you arrive for the night at each of your stops in Holland, seek out the aid of the local politie.
    They're kind of like anti-police, and offer useful advice on how to break branches off trees and shrubs, start fires, and pollute the local environment.
    Don't be shy, tell them exactly what you plan to do.
    Whats your problem?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurjan View Post
    I would imagine any campstove is far quicker, cleaner (though not cheaper) then a campfire.
    Yeah I'm probably going for one of those DIY-soda can stoves. The flames are small and I wonder If I'll be able to fry

  15. #15
    Senior Member mattbicycle's Avatar
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    Just buy a Mini Trangia with stove and non stick frying pan as part of the kit.

  16. #16
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    Noko, your post comes across like an adolescent troll since creating campfires has got to be the most inefficient way to cook food and best way to attract attention.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Noko, your post comes across like an adolescent troll since creating campfires has got to be the most inefficient way to cook food and best way to attract attention.
    Yep, I should've known better than to ask questions. Shame on me.

  18. #18
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    Sorry Yoko, I assumed that someone who is familiar with campfires would know about camp stoves. So when Prathmann said "use a small stove" do you think he was suggesting something other than a camp stove that ISN"T portable?
    Your follow up response "but they're not portable" doesn't make sense given that YOUR TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE USED CAMP STOVES WHILE TOURING.
    Do you see how your argumentative responses come across as trolling?

    And why does using a camp stove prevent you from "frying a frosted fish"? If you've camped with a campfire then you know how to cook a fish. If you've cooked a fish on the stove top you know how to cook a fish. So if you have a camp stove you put the pan on the stove and cook a fish. Your questions don't make sense is all I'm saying.

    Just curious if you start open fires wherever you've camped and whether you do it in previous fire pits.

  19. #19
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NokoYoko View Post
    Whats your problem?
    This is the second thread you've started regarding your upcoming trip. Here's the other.
    You've received lots off well-intentioned advice from knowledgeable people, but seem intent on mocking it and them.
    I was just turning it around for you.

    Here's the last piece of advice I'll give you. And this time it will be forthright.
    I think you should save the money you are planning to spend on a bike and gear, and put it towards a rail pass and hostel beds. You can cheaply rent bikes in the cities you visit and make excursions into the countryside.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    DO NOT start a campfire outside of an official place for campfires.
    ALWAYS CHECK to make sure there is no fire ban in place prior to building a campfire anywhere.

    If you want to cook, use something like a Trangia. You can cook pretty much anything with a Trangia.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post

    Just curious if you start open fires wherever you've camped and whether you do it in previous fire pits.
    Ah, so because I am a newbie, know little and ask questions, you think I'm a troll?
    I guess I should've used common sense right? Why ask questions when you have your brilliant common sense.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    You've received lots off well-intentioned advice from knowledgeable people, but seem intent on mocking it and them.
    I was just turning it around for you.
    I have no idea what you're talking about. Somebody must've stepped on your toe or something.

    And I would rather bike than take interrail, thank you very much.


    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    DO NOT start a campfire outside of an official place for campfires.
    ALWAYS CHECK to make sure there is no fire ban in place prior to building a campfire anywhere.

    If you want to cook, use something like a Trangia. You can cook pretty much anything with a Trangia.
    Yeah, I'll go with a trangia. They have a nice spirit burner.

    Also thanks for your heads up. I have never gone on any tour and I wasn't aware that you couldn't stamp a campfire at all.

  22. #22
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Throughout Switzerland are designated places to make a campfire. Check out this page for locations (it's in German, but the map will work)

    http://www.schweizerfamilie.ch/feuer...uerstellen.php

    As for wild camping in Switzerland, read this:

    http://www.englishforum.ch/travel-da...g-allowed.html
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  23. #23
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NokoYoko View Post
    Yeah, I'll go with a trangia. They have a nice spirit burner.

    Also thanks for your heads up. I have never gone on any tour and I wasn't aware that you couldn't stamp a campfire at all.
    Some places are very touchy about the whole fire thing. The area where I live in Australia was devasted by a massive bushfire last year (5th largest in recorded history) and now between certain times of the year you absolutely do not start a fire of any sort. Even prior to that bushfire, campfires were not encouraged anywhere ... not even in campgrounds. The campgrounds here provide camp kitchens rather than allowing people to build fires. Europe isn't as dry as Australia, but it does go through hot, dry periods now and then. And it is more populated than Australia.


    A tip ... get a bicycle, get some basic equipment, go on a short tour in your local area. Don't just ask for opinions on a forum, get some personal experience. Most of us gained our knowledge through trial and error.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by NokoYoko View Post
    Ah, so because I am a newbie, know little and ask questions, you think I'm a troll?
    I guess I should've used common sense right? Why ask questions when you have your brilliant common sense.

    .
    No, it's your follow up questions. The insistance on starting campfires is kind of contrary to most folks experience and common sense given the warnings about campfires most folks have grown up with. Have you camped before?

  25. #25
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    I pulled this out of a dumpster by my apartment last summer:
    http://www.amazon.com/Coleman-5430E7...ef=pd_sbs_sg_2

    My roommate goes on trips that vary from overnighters/weekends to week long (and sometimes monthly tours), but I'm mainly planning on only joining on the weekenders.

    Do those of you who are more experienced think this is practical to cook for 2-4 people or way too large? I was thinking maybe if we lay it across the top of our rear panniers it wouldn't be too cumbersome?

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