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Old 06-22-10, 03:10 PM   #1
ScruffyChimp
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A couple of cook set questions

Hi. I haven't carried a stove before, and I'm trying to put together a cook set.

I saw someone here mention they carry a plumber's mat. This seems to be a flame-retardant pad, that I assume stops the stove from scorching picnic tables, etc. It seems like a good idea, but is it necessary to carry a base like this?

I was looking at a cheap enamel mug at the weekend (one of those white ones with the blue flecks). Can you just heat those directly over a flame without destroying them? I don't much care if it gets a bit sooty underneath.

Thanks,
James
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Old 06-22-10, 03:48 PM   #2
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I use an MSR that comes with a set of heat reflectors, including a base plate. I've never had a problem with overheating whatever surface the stove is on. As for the enamel cup, most have a metal handle that will get pretty hot and hard to hold, as well as the rim getting too hot to drink from directly. I like using a small pot (titanium) and a separate cup..while I'm eating or drinking the first part of my meal I'm heating water for the next phase.
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Old 06-22-10, 04:25 PM   #3
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The enamel cups will not be damaged by the flame but, as noted, the handle will get too hot to use without a pad. Cools off quickly once off the burner. The enamel is easily chipped if the cup is dropped on a hard surface. They are inexpensive, and convenient for coffee. They're also ok for cooking oatmeal and heating up canned food, etc., if you have something to hold onto the handle with to stabilize the cup on the burner when you stir.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:10 AM   #4
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I try not to carry any handy items that I can get along without, because I'm already carrying too much crap that I "can't get along without" (always debatable.) The mat you describe sounds unnecessary. I've never scorched a picnic table, and wouldn't be too upset if I did. At least I wouldn't be carving my initials into it, like so many do.

However, I consider the ability to cook to be mandatory. I carry a stove, an MSR basic cookset, a Lexan plate, Lexan cutlery, a plastic insulated mug, and a coffee brewing funnel. The plastic mug is much lighter than ceramic or steel. It's nice to have piping hot coffee when I want it (which is often.) I like to cook because trying to find a restaurant by a campground is inconvenient at best and often impossible. Relying on cold food is problematic and unenjoyable.
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Old 06-23-10, 08:45 AM   #5
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I use a Trangia alcohol stove and the bottom of the stove gets very hot.

I carry a pot cozy that includes a top made from heating duct insulation. I use the top as a "mat" under the stove when I am cooking on a surface I don't want to blister, such as, a table in a motel room.

Ray
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Old 06-23-10, 08:59 AM   #6
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I use a Snow Peak stove that screws on fuel canisters, so obviously no heat protecting pad needed, and also an MSR Dragonfly. The bottom of the Dragonfly is not that high, and if you put it on a plastic surface such as a rubbermaid container, it can cause some melting (I'm not very bright), but otherwise it's not bad. I use it on picnic tables and other more durable surfaces all the time without incident.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:05 AM   #7
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Yup, what kind of stove are you planning on using. Most (all?) canister stoves don't really need a heat mat as the canister is not really going to get hot from the burner.

A stove that requires to be primed and has a fuel cup, such as a MSR Whisperlite can get hot enough to burn surroundings but then again, if you use the whisperlite, you'll get used to not putting a ton of fuel to prime, you don't need a lot.. But it can happen.. I don't think it's freq enough for me to carry something specifically for it... At least this ultralight tourer anyway.

I've only really seen fires when the whisperlite is on soft ground, like say sand and the pot forces the stove to sit lower than normal. Mentioned in this thread, MSR sells an aluminum pot base that folds into a triangle that you can use/buy.

You probably could also perhaps find a flat rock to set the stove on, rather than the table... But then that might just be me... :-)

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Old 06-23-10, 09:06 AM   #8
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I carry a small MSR stove and MEC cook set without plates. (lids are sometimes used as plates) but as stated by BigBlueToe, I've never scorched a table top with the stove. Also use an insulated plastic cup as even a heavy metal cup cools fairly quickly. On the other hand, I never have an open flame inside a motel room just in case I burn the place down.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:11 AM   #9
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http://www.amazon.com/MSR-Trillium-S.../dp/B002LBG1FE

I would imagine it would not be hard to DIY the above...

Jay
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Old 06-23-10, 11:58 AM   #10
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I use an old Svea 123.The only time I use an insulator underneath is when I'm in the snow.You need it to keep the fuel warm.

My "kitchen" includes a Svea 123(heavy but NEVER fails,EVER, and burns anything you put in it),1 pot,fork, and a sierra cup(stainless cup with wire handle that run around the lip to keep from burning the cr*p out of your lips.).

So I actually have a 1 1/2 qt pot and 2-8oz cups(the sierra cup and the top of the stove is a cup.

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Old 06-23-10, 03:11 PM   #11
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http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=6365&v=2I

the items listed are what i cary to cook with, minus the "swiss army spoon."
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Old 06-25-10, 01:08 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone. I have a little Trangia stove (that I haven't used yet). On reflection, I think the wind shield may raise the stove slightly above ground level, which might be enough that I don't need to worry. It sounds like some sort of base might be useful, though.

I'll think about the mug issue. I may be able to use the top of my stove as a mug too, which would save both space and weight.
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Old 06-25-10, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post

However, I consider the ability to cook to be mandatory. I carry a stove, an MSR basic cookset, a Lexan plate, Lexan cutlery, a plastic insulated mug, and a coffee brewing funnel. The plastic mug is much lighter than ceramic or steel. It's nice to have piping hot coffee when I want it (which is often.)
Have you looked into an "all-in-one" plastic French press mug? REI sells one. It's light, insulated and elminates the need for a funnel. And you drink straight from it.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:12 AM   #14
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I agree with the others, probably no need for the base. I own and have used a whisperlite on tour and never had an issue with it burning anything under the stove. I also use a sierra zipstove (wood burner) most often and again the base gets it too high up to burn anything.

My cookset varies a bit since I am a bit of a foodie, basics are.

small pot
nylon spoon
in mug coffee filter
coffee mug
wooden bowl

Extras that may or may not make the trip

small wok (pot gets left home if I take this)
small fry pan with folding handle (usually only comes if I am fishing)
old hibachi grate for grilling (handle removed)
small spatula
take apart chopsticks
small cutting board (cut from a cutting mat.)
French press
7 inch chefs knife
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Old 06-25-10, 09:05 AM   #15
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You proably don't need one. I use a peice of heavy aluminum foil when using my MSR Whisperlite on the snow. However, for a canister stove that is not necessary. I use my MSR pocket Rocket directly on the snow with no problems. I don't use anyting under the stoves on bike tours.

Metal cups are hard to drink from. They burn the lips. A compact set up that works well is: lexon cup, light plastic bowl, small aluminum pot. If using a canister stove the small canisters can be carried in the pot. Other things like dishrag, soap, and lighter can also be stuffed in the pot.

The canister bottom does not get hot enough to melt the snow it is sitting on! This is the stove I use on most bike tour, and also for short backpacking and mountaineering trips.

Last edited by Doug64; 06-25-10 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 06-25-10, 10:22 AM   #16
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Actually as most of you have mentioned coffee, I use Folgers one cup coffee bags. Like tea bags, only made by Folgers with coffee in them.. BUT if you haven't tried it; I'll be switching that to the Starbucks VIA. If you haven't tried this coffee, you must do so. Instead of being instant coffee (blech) it's micro-ground coffee that makes a great 8 oz cup and each is sealed in a mylar pack. (pencil sized)
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Old 06-25-10, 10:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScruffyChimp View Post
I was looking at a cheap enamel mug at the weekend (one of those white ones with the blue flecks). Thanks,
They do get hot enough to burn pretty quick! You might consider the blue ones with the white flecks, they'll hide the pieces of charred lips clinging to the rim.
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Old 06-25-10, 11:48 AM   #18
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Have you looked into an "all-in-one" plastic French press mug? REI sells one. It's light, insulated and elminates the need for a funnel. And you drink straight from it.
By "funnel" I presume BigBlue means one of those Melitta 1 cup coffee makers. They are plastic, and can be used with a wide range of mugs or pots, and you can make rather a lot of coffee with 'em if need be. It is definitely cheaper than a "camping" french press, and is probably a lighter solution if you're making coffee for more than one person.
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Old 06-25-10, 02:13 PM   #19
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Actually as most of you have mentioned coffee, I use Folgers one cup coffee bags. Like tea bags, only made by Folgers with coffee in them.. BUT if you haven't tried it; I'll be switching that to the Starbucks VIA. If you haven't tried this coffee, you must do so. Instead of being instant coffee (blech) it's micro-ground coffee that makes a great 8 oz cup and each is sealed in a mylar pack. (pencil sized)
FYI, VIA is instant coffee and IMO tastes much better than other instants, but not nearly as good as good fresh brewed coffee. It's OK for camping, but next time I'll go back to using 2 coffee singles per cup.

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Old 06-25-10, 11:02 PM   #20
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Ruffinit: +1 on the VIA fron Starbucks. Like rogerstg says, it is not brew quality, but of ALL the instants I've used over the years--including Folgers bags, the VIA is the best.
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Old 06-26-10, 02:56 PM   #21
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Okay, I've given up on the idea of the enamel mug. I tried my stove today, and heated the water in the little pan before pouring it into a mug. That worked fine, so I figure I don't need a mug that can go directly over the flame. I'm now thinking about getting an Orikaso folding mug. They seem like a cool gimick.

I looked at some stove forums, and it turns out that I had the wind shield upside-down . That's a bit disappointing, because it seemed to work pretty well with the stove raised in the air.
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Old 06-26-10, 07:49 PM   #22
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Ruffinit: +1 on the VIA fron Starbucks. Like rogerstg says, it is not brew quality, but of ALL the instants I've used over the years--including Folgers bags, the VIA is the best.
Plus you can put half a VIA in your water or unflavored sports drink bottle. Great fun, tastes fine cold.
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Old 06-26-10, 08:44 PM   #23
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instant is a pain if your not used to making it. cold coffee... blasphemy!
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