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Old 01-08-05, 02:16 PM   #1
jharte
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Pop Can Stove for Touring

I like to be self supported when touring. I already have an MSR Whisperlite International stove I carry. I stumbled across this the other day. I made one and it works great! Anyone else tried this?
http://www.pcthiker.com/pages/gear/p...instruct.shtml

I'll take some pics.
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Old 01-08-05, 02:22 PM   #2
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This is what mine looks like. The sun glasses are just to show how small it is.
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Old 01-08-05, 02:36 PM   #3
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Making soup.
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Old 01-08-05, 02:36 PM   #4
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Is there any way to control the heat on those stoves? I thought about making one to use, but the lack of a heat control pretty much renders it useless except for boiling water.
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Old 01-08-05, 02:45 PM   #5
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I punched holes in the bottom (paper hole punch) for air flow. I also cut a piece of aluminum that I put around the outside to control the amount of oxygen. This will simmer for quite a while.
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Old 01-08-05, 05:09 PM   #6
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The pop can stove is wonderful. I love using mine. Witha little creativity you can pack the stove, windscreen, pot stand, fuel bottle, pot lifter, and matches all inside a 1 liter walmart grease pot. For short trips, get a small soda pop from walmart in a 250 ml plastic bottle. These are sold as a child sized drink but the container is perfect for holding alcohol fuel.

Another very useful thing is to take a cheap foam camping pad (also available from walmart) and cut out sections and glue together with contact cement to make a pot cozy. Instead of wasting fuel simmering things like pasta, simply boil the water, add the pasta, then remove from the fire and insert the covered pot into the cozy and cover with more camping pad foam. The temperature will only drop about 5 degrees or so in the 10-15 minutes needed to cook the pasta.

Here's some pictures:
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Old 01-08-05, 05:48 PM   #7
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This is brilliant. I will make one to use as an emergency backup for my much beloved Svea stove. If one were world touring, it would give the option of switching fuels, and it would be light as hell.
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Old 01-08-05, 05:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tourbike
This is brilliant. I will make one to use as an emergency backup for my much beloved Svea stove. If one were world touring, it would give the option of switching fuels, and it would be light as hell.
Oh, here's a link for Svea, if you're interested:
http://www.optimus.se/products/svea/

cheers.
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Old 01-08-05, 06:08 PM   #9
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A touring buddy and I did a fun, not very scientific comparison test between my MSR DragonFly International and his soda can stove. We called it the Campstove Olympics.

You can read about it in detail on Bicycle Touring 101 in the Campgear section. In summary I was quite impressed with the soda pop stove. It was a great deal less expensive then my stove, you could fit three of them in the space needed by the MSR and it was very quiet when cooking.

The MSR handled multiple fuel types, was able to boil water faster and could be turned off easily.

One big advantage of the soda can stoves could happen on a long bicycle tour with an airplane flight in the middle. I've heard that airplane security doesn't seem to like people having stoves that have been in use before. Of course you can't carry fuel at all. Discarding a fuel bottle sucks but isn't too expensive. Discarding a whole stove on the other hand could be. With a soda can stove you could easily carry many stoves with you and when it comes time to board that plane in the middle of your tour then you simply throw away the used stoves knowing that you still have an unused stove or two available.

Of course you can easily make another set of stoves out of inexpensive parts provided you don't mind the waiting time while glue drys.

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
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Old 01-08-05, 10:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supcom
The pop can stove is wonderful. I love using mine. Witha little creativity you can pack the stove, windscreen, pot stand, fuel bottle, pot lifter, and matches all inside a 1 liter walmart grease pot. For short trips, get a small soda pop from walmart in a 250 ml plastic bottle. These are sold as a child sized drink but the container is perfect for holding alcohol fuel.

Another very useful thing is to take a cheap foam camping pad (also available from walmart) and cut out sections and glue together with contact cement to make a pot cozy. Instead of wasting fuel simmering things like pasta, simply boil the water, add the pasta, then remove from the fire and insert the covered pot into the cozy and cover with more camping pad foam. The temperature will only drop about 5 degrees or so in the 10-15 minutes needed to cook the pasta.

Here's some pictures:
Courious......... How much does your whole rig weigh, pot, full bottle of fuel & all the stuff?
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Old 01-08-05, 10:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rogerinchrist
Courious......... How much does your whole rig weigh, pot, full bottle of fuel & all the stuff?
I just weighed it. the whole thing, including the pot cozy (not pictured) and hald a bottle of fuel (125 ml) came 1 lb even.
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Old 01-08-05, 11:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by supcom
I just weighed it. the whole thing, including the pot cozy (not pictured) and hald a bottle of fuel (125 ml) came 1 lb even.
Cool, looks like my kinda price range too!
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Old 01-09-05, 09:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnoble123
One big advantage of the soda can stoves could happen on a long bicycle tour with an airplane flight in the middle. I've heard that airplane security doesn't seem to like people having stoves that have been in use before. Of course you can't carry fuel at all. Discarding a fuel bottle sucks but isn't too expensive. Discarding a whole stove on the other hand could be. With a soda can stove you could easily carry many stoves with you and when it comes time to board that plane in the middle of your tour then you simply throw away the used stoves knowing that you still have an unused stove or two available.

Of course you can easily make another set of stoves out of inexpensive parts provided you don't mind the waiting time while glue drys.

~Jamie N
www.bicycletouring101.com
I built on the the can stoves to test as a Girl Scouting project and I found that you don't need to glue them at all.
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Old 01-14-05, 12:47 AM   #14
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I think the soda can stoves are neat and used one for a few days on the AT. A buddy gave me his old one. Unfortunately, one cold, rainy, windy (thus miserable) night on Mt. Rogers. (5,700') it took 40 minutes to make mac'n'cheese!. I was using a windscreen AND cooking inside a shelter! That was unacceptable performance. I went back to my Superfly -- not one problem. I'm willing try an alcohol stove again, though. Wanna make my own this time. A 1-oz stove is always appealing!
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Old 01-14-05, 03:57 PM   #15
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you got the plans from a pct web site. all the hikers are using them its the most popular stove on the trails. i used mine on my tour. you can use denatured alcohol, regular rubbing alcohol in a pinch (doesnt burn as well, sooty) and this gas line anti freeze called HEET works great too.

i dont know of a way to adjust heat. i just eat mac and cheese type stuff, so thats not a problem.
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Old 01-14-05, 06:18 PM   #16
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You can sort of adjust the output level of a pop can stove by using a can top to cover the stove. Remove the flip top and the tab first. The top covers most of the burner and allows only a fraction of the flame and sort of works to lower the heat level.

However, the best way to use the stove, in my experience is to make a pot cozy and eliminate any simmering altogether. Just get a cheap foam sleeping pad from xmart and cut a top and bottom circle the diameter of your pot. Then cut a rectangle the height of the pot (with lid) plus twice the thickness of the pad. Make the rectangle long enough to wrap around the pot. Then use rubber cement to glue aluminum foil on one side of one of the circles. This is what you will set the pot on. Glue the ends of the rectangle together.

To use, heat the water in the pot to boiling, add your pasta, rice, or whatever needs simmering. Cover and set the pot on the bottom pad (the foil helps keep protect the pad from the hot bottom. Slide the tube over the pot and set the lid on top of it all. If you cut the pieces correctly, they should fit tightly together. Let the pasta, rice, etc. sit undisturbed for the normal cooking time. The insulated pad keeps the temperature very near to boiling for a long time. When the time is up, your stuff should be cooked.

It works great, saves fuel, and you don't have to fiddle with simmer controls. As an added bonus, the cozy can protect your pot from dents when you pack it away.
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Old 01-14-05, 09:12 PM   #17
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I've used a Trangia stove for all cooking applications, on the bike and in the mountains, for over 20 years. Having previously been used to (and happy with) Optimus petrol and Kerosene stoves, I found the Trangia lighter, more compact, simple to use and maintain, great in bad weather(when complex designs often start to malfunction). Great when around kids, as a result. Multi fuel gizmos are overkill for most people. Boiling times are a false comparison. Fuel costs are slightly higher than some.

For those of you not inclined to build a cooker yourselves, this is the Bernard Hinault of Pop Can stoves.
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Old 01-14-05, 09:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Flaneur
I've used a Trangia stove for all cooking applications, on the bike and in the mountains, for over 20 years.

For those of you not inclined to build a cooker yourselves, this is the Bernard Hinault of Pop Can stoves.
Which model Trangia do you have?
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Old 01-15-05, 09:32 PM   #19
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I have the smaller version of the set with a tea pot and a couple of nesting pans, although I often leave the extra bits at home and just take one pan for everything.

I recently acquired a tiny set which has just one pan. It weighs next to nothing, and is the size of my fist.

Oh, and I always use a Sigg bottle for the fuel. The weight penalty isn't as bad as the aftermath of a leak in a pannier;-)
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Old 01-15-05, 11:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur
I have the smaller version of the set with a tea pot and a couple of nesting pans, although I often leave the extra bits at home and just take one pan for everything.

I recently acquired a tiny set which has just one pan. It weighs next to nothing, and is the size of my fist.

Oh, and I always use a Sigg bottle for the fuel. The weight penalty isn't as bad as the aftermath of a leak in a pannier;-)
Thanks!

Might the smaller picture be the "tiny set"? Does it heat well enough? Or is it just too small?

The other pics are from the Brasslite web-site Talk about tiny! They even have instuctions on how to build your own alcohol stove.
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Old 01-16-05, 03:25 PM   #21
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Hey, I used a Brasslight stove on my last tour. I have to say that they are where it is at. They are much more durable than a pop can stove and you can adjust the flame. I used a titanium cookset that the stove (plus firestarting material) fit into. The whole setup was so light that I can't image not taking it along - I got to have my morning coffee. To combine a bit with the available fuel thread, I used HEET in the US, which you can find at virtually every gas station. In canada I was able to buy actual denatured alcohol which was also pretty easily available. Not to mention in a pinch you can use rubbing alcohol (sooty) or Everclear (expensive).

A windscreen is absolutely essential. As you can see I made one out of tinfoil that Folded flat. Light, cheap and disposable. You can now buy one from Brasslight that looks pretty nice. The aforementioned cozy is also a really good idea. I was able to turn down the flame and simmer pretty well, but using the cozy seems smarter.
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Old 01-17-05, 04:43 PM   #22
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Roger.........

yes, that's the set I've started using. A little less durable, long-term, I would imagine- but the burner is identical to those used in the bigger sets and the whole set folds into a very compact package. You can substitute stainless or non-stick pans for the aluminium ones if you prefer..........
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Old 02-19-05, 06:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharte
Making soup.
jharte, I like that wind screen/pot stand combination. Looks like it would nest around the pot for storage. Where did you get it?
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Old 02-19-05, 07:39 PM   #24
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I made one about a month ago, from an article in "Wilderness Way" magazine. I would use it for backpacking or hitch-hiking, where I consider being "ultralight" a real issue for me. My philosophy for bicycle touring is that it's like a luxury cruise with camping, since I use the panniers and trailers as a rational for carrying the gear I'd like to take backpacking! I'm a "kitchen sink" tourist, so I'll stick with my white gas/gasoline stove for that.
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Old 02-20-05, 08:12 AM   #25
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One benefit of the Trangia is its built-in windshield.The stronger the wind the better it works. It has a simmer device also which is useful. Storing as it does inside the pots is another bonus. When using methylated spirits (which I think is the equivalent of denatured alcohol) try adding a small quantity of water to the fuel bottle. This will stop any soot from covering the pan bottom. I've forsaken all of my petrol and gas stoves for the trangia as it's so much safer when used in or near a tent. George.
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