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Old 09-02-10, 02:08 PM   #1
Geo Cruise
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touring stove

I am looking to buy a small camping stove for touring, however I am not sure what to buy, I have been looking at a propane stove, but most the stoves seem to use isobutane, and I would not know where to get canisters for that while I am on a long tour. I know up here Propane canasters can be found at any Wal-Mart, isobutane though I am not to sure about.
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Old 09-02-10, 02:44 PM   #2
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I highly recommend the MSR line of stoves. If you are going to go canister, I would recommend jetboil.

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Old 09-02-10, 02:52 PM   #3
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+1 on Jacobl's suggestion. The Jetboil would be hard to beat for compactness, speed, and ease of use. Another you might look at is the Snow Peak. http://www.rei.com/product/787957
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Old 09-02-10, 03:03 PM   #4
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I highly recommend an Esbit tablet stove- I have an MSR whisperlight but don't use it b/c it and the fuel is too heavy/bulky compared to the Esbit and some tablets or fire sticks. Granted, most of the 'cooking' I do is making coffee for myself, since i mostly eat stuff you don't have to cook on tour. But my Esbit has been with me on a 5000+ mile trip and served me well.

Anyway the Esbit stove is cheap, durable, and you can find fuel tablets at almost any outdoor store, and if you can't find those you can usually find fire sticks, and if you can't find those you can improvise. It's a highly versatile little contraption that you can buy for about 15 bucks.
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Old 09-02-10, 03:34 PM   #5
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Pop can stoves dirt cheap...as in free. And stove fuel is available just about anywhere.

FWIW I use a white gas MSR mainly in the winter months for the fast heat and boil times. Summer I use a Clikstand with a trangia burner (alcohol). Sometimes I take my storm kettle with me, and use natural fuel.

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Old 09-02-10, 04:11 PM   #6
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A lot depends on whether you want to boil water or whether you want to do some real cooking (simmering, reheating, and so on), and whether you are cooking just for yourself or for a group. When touring, you don't need to have the lightest or most compact gear (since the bike carries the weight), so you tend to want something that's more stable, less likely to tip over. Coleman single-burner dual-fuel stoves actually work pretty well. I haven't used alcohol stoves, but they would work, though you might want something like a Clikstand for stability. Jetboil would be OK, but the fuel won't be as widely available as denatured alcohol, Coleman fuel, gasoline, or propane.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:36 PM   #7
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I use a Supercat stove, a tuna can with holes in it. Cheap, light, reliable, silent, fuel is easily found, no need for a fuel bottle so no worries about packing it for air travel. I put a salsa jar lid under the stove for priming, to prevent spills and it makes more stable platform.

Meanwhile, my heavy, expensive and akward to pack MSR Dragonfly (white gas) and its second broken pump stays home.

Propane tanks are pretty big and heavy and it's hard to tell how much fuel is left.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:37 PM   #8
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Dragonfly from MSR is one that you Can cook with, needle valve on the burner,
and shut off valve on the tank/ fuel bottle pump..
Unleaded Petrol is fine, it seems.
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Old 09-02-10, 04:44 PM   #9
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Well I'll say that I love my MSR Dragonfly for touring. Will burn just about anything, it will simmer and get as hot as the face of the sun. For short tours I prefer a cannister though.

I'm touring down the coast at the moment and I love to cook real food and the Dragonfly allows me to do that while I never worry about finding fuel. Very large and stable platform for large pots and a skillet if you want.

Tried a cat can stove and while it works.... It limited what and how I could cook. That was not worth the weight savings to me. Ymmv.
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Old 09-02-10, 05:16 PM   #10
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Propane and other gas cartridge stoves are convenient and easy to use, but you can't always count on finding the right cartridge. The cost of the cartridges adds up, I hate wondering how much gas is left in the cartridge, and throwing away all those empty cartridges feels wasteful to me.

White gas (Coleman fuel) stoves put out a lot of heat, you can buy gallon cans of the stuff pretty cheap, and you can use unleaded auto fuel in a pinch. MSR warns that their stoves won't last as long if you run them on auto fuel, but lots of people do it anyway. The MSR Dragonfly simmers well and puts out a lot of heat when you crank it up. It can also run on unleaded, kerosene and diesel. The drawbacks to the Dragonfly are weight, cost, bulk and noise. The Whisperlite Internationale is smaller, lighter, cheaper and quieter, but forget simmering. MSR has been making stoves for 40 years or so, they know what they're doing.

Alcohol stoves are easiest of all to use, you can make one from a pop can or buy one of the Trangia models. Trangia makes cooksets with windscreens and pot supports to fit their stoves, which speeds up cooking and saves fuel and spilled food. Trangias have a cap so you can keep fuel in them while you're traveling, unlike pop can stoves. You can get alcohol at hardware stoves or buy HEET (fuel line de-icer) in gas stations.

Lots of people end up trying different kinds of stoves and fuels through the years. I've tried gas cartridges, white gas and alcohol over the years. I've pretty well settled on alcohol (Trangia cookset) for warm weather stuff like cycle touring, white gas for high altitude backpacking and climbing, and bulk propane for car camping.
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Old 09-02-10, 08:50 PM   #11
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I'm curious. On group tours like unsupported Adventure Cycling Association tours, what stoves do they use? Who provides them - ACA or the individuals? Are the stoves different for Sagged ACA tours? (I assume they would be due to weight issues.)
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Old 09-02-10, 09:08 PM   #12
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How easy is it to get fuel for these stoves on a 3600 km trip? I only pick propane because I know the canaster are very easy to find, I am not sure where or how easy it would be to get MSR canister or Jet Boil canisters on the road would be, it wil be mostly for making coffee and simple stuff.
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Old 09-02-10, 10:20 PM   #13
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How easy is it to get fuel for these stoves on a 3600 km trip? I only pick propane because I know the canaster are very easy to find, I am not sure where or how easy it would be to get MSR canister or Jet Boil canisters on the road would be, it wil be mostly for making coffee and simple stuff.
If its mostly for coffee, boiling water, and one pot soups meals then Alcohol is the way to go. You can buy it at a pharmacy, auto shop, paint shop, super market, and gas stations (HEET). You can even use booze if you feel like it. Very cheap stoves as well. I like my trangia but there are a number of good ones out there that will never ever fail, for life!
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Old 09-02-10, 11:12 PM   #14
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A good video comparing three commercial alcool stoves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sxWvGZlorw
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Old 09-03-10, 03:49 AM   #15
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I can simmer with my WhisperLite International...just have to manage the tank pressure.

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Old 09-03-10, 07:13 AM   #16
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I used a SIG Firejet for a number of years, but it seems to have died on me. I find I now prefer a Otimus Nova. Like the Firejet, it folds up to a small package and uses white gas/coleman fuel, but unlike the Firejet, it also uses diesel fuel. The Nova also simmers much better than the Firejet did. I don’t do too much cooking while on the road, but this works for me.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:40 AM   #17
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This summer I rode solo for a month using a home-made pop-can alcohol stove. Alcohol was SUPER easy to find (look for methyl hydrate in the paint section of hardware stores, or HEET in USA gas stations) and the stove held up incredibly well. Pop-can stoves are pretty easy to build and put out enough heat to boil water, plus they weigh next to nothing and with no moving parts require no maintenance. I chose the pop-can stove over my MSR whisperlite because I was worried about finding fuel for the trip. There would have been more than a few situations where I would have been SOL with a white-gas requiring stove.

If you don't want to go the DIY route check out MEC, they have a great selection of Trangias -- the leader in alcohol stoves.

Another really cool option is the MSR Whisperlite International. This stove burns 3 different fuel types (you need to be carrying multiple jet needles, though), making it easy to switch between burning white gas, kerosene, and most easy to find -- unleaded gasoline.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:48 AM   #18
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Another vote for Trangia here. I have both the alcohol and gas burners for my kit. One thing about alcohol burner is, it's VERY quiet, something I appreciate a lot. Gas burners make a lot of noise compared to that. Most if not all Trangia alcohol burners come with a simmer ring, but using it is not as simple as turning the knob on a good gas burner.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:08 AM   #19
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Sounds like Alcohol is my best way to go, would I be able to get some links to some nice alcohol stoves to shop and compare?
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Old 09-03-10, 08:14 AM   #20
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Sounds like Alcohol is my best way to go, would I be able to get some links to some nice alcohol stoves to shop and compare?
See post #14.

The Brasslite website.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:19 AM   #21
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I love my butane stove for short trips when I know about how much fuel I'll need, but it's not good for long bike tours. Finding cannisters on the road can be VERY problematic.

For convenience sake, I like a stove that burns unleaded gas - there are gas stations everywhere. The two I have are an old (1992) Coleman 442, and a MSR Whisperlite International. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, so I haven't decided a clear winner, but I'd happily take either on a tour. I stop at a gas station, fill up the bottle with about 25 cents worth of gas, and I'm back on the road in minutes. No need to search aisles for a butane cannister that may not be there.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:55 AM   #22
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I am looking at this one

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...34374302696309

MEC.ca is REI's Canadian Stores. The set is simple light and won't take up much space and is on alcohol so I can find fuel easily while on the road.

Opinions?
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Old 09-03-10, 08:57 AM   #23
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Well I'll say that I love my MSR Dragonfly for touring. Will burn just about anything, it will simmer and get as hot as the face of the sun. For short tours I prefer a cannister though.

I'm touring down the coast at the moment and I love to cook real food and the Dragonfly allows me to do that while I never worry about finding fuel. Very large and stable platform for large pots and a skillet if you want.
+1 But then again, I am the kind of cook who also carries a small Santoku knife on tour.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:21 AM   #24
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I am looking at this one

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...34374302696309

MEC.ca is REI's Canadian Stores. The set is simple light and won't take up much space and is on alcohol so I can find fuel easily while on the road.

Opinions?
MEC and REI are not related whatsoever.

I met a guy touring with that exact setup and he loved it. Great deal.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:45 AM   #25
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MEC and REI are not related whatsoever.

I met a guy touring with that exact setup and he loved it. Great deal.

I tried to order from REI once and they told me they don't ship to Canada and to use their affiliate MEC... either way no big deal. I think I have found the right stove for me should be capable of doing everything I need, I am a horrible cook anyways.
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