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New stove setup

Old 05-15-20, 09:18 AM
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kaos joe
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New stove setup

I hope to get to use this mixed-breed stove setup on some bike tours once the world regains its axis. Now I'm not going to retire my beloved 45 year old Svea for winter use or my MSR WhisperLite for extreme cold, but I tried this the other day in Harriman State Park (NY) on a gorgeous but WINDY night and it worked very well. This will serve well on summer trips to the West where it's usually right around freezing in the morning. This was probably the last nice cool (mid 30's) night till fall.

From the stone countertop, the orange folding base from Jetboil is a fantastic way to spend $5.95. Makes this whole tower MUCH more stable and eliminates rocking on uneven surfaces.

Stove is an MSR Pocket Rocket 2. Tiny and hot. Aptly named as it's a bit loud but I'm used to the Svea. 10 out of 10.

Pot/cup Snow Peak 500 ml titanium. Very nice except the fluid ounce measuring graduations on the cup are off by 2 oz. The metric markings are accurate. Hopefully they corrected that. No biggie for me as I'm used to thinking metric from work, or just have to remember that 8oz indicated is really 6.

Wind screen made by Optimus, I think was around $10. Clamps onto top of fuel canister. It actually shields the tank from radiant heat so no danger of overheating and the associated excitement.

And I added a home brew windscreen extension made from aluminum flashing to shield the pot itself from wind and maybe add a bit of Jetboil effect. All the above fits conformally around the pot and takes up no additional room. Stove, canister and stand all fit inside the pot, very tidy.






Breakfast time



As I said, beautiful evening.
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Old 05-15-20, 10:51 AM
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Curse you! That middle picture of breakfast ready-to-eat evoked a very strong "Why am I not camping right now?" feeling.

But, seriously, thanks for the info. I need to start looking into new stoves for touring and camping.
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Old 05-15-20, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for explaining the extension, that did not look like an off the shelf windscreen.

If you are new to canisters, they perform best when pretty full. When they are closer to empty, the composition of the gas has changed and it does not burn as hot, especially when cold. If your tank is three quarters empty, it can be slow to heat your coffee water on a cold morning.

If you are out when it is pretty chilly, you can set your stove canister in a shallow pan of luke warm (not hot) water to warm up the canister and it performs better.
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Old 05-15-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Thanks for explaining the extension, that did not look like an off the shelf windscreen.
If you are new to canisters, they perform best when pretty full. When they are closer to empty, the composition of the gas has changed and it does not burn as hot, especially when cold. If your tank is three quarters empty, it can be slow to heat your coffee water on a cold morning.
If you are out when it is pretty chilly, you can set your stove canister in a shallow pan of luke warm (not hot) water to warm up the canister and it performs better.
I've got lots of experience using my friends canister stove backpacking out west, as flying with a liquid fuel stove or tank, even an empty one, is problematic. We usually sleep with the canisters (and cameras) in the sleeping bags to keep them warm.

Said friend just bought a (one-way?) valve which allows you to suck some of the last fuel from a low-pressure tank into a fuller one. This of course defies the laws of physics except the trick is to submerge the recipient tank in a pan of ice water, which condenses the fuel and drastically lowers the pressure. The 2 tanks are linked by the valve and resemble an hourglass, with the recipient on the bottom. I suggested pouring some hot water into the concavity on the bottom (now top) of the donor tank to cause an even greater pressure differential.

I haven't seen it but he says it works.
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Old 05-15-20, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
I've got lots of experience using my friends canister stove backpacking out west, as flying with a liquid fuel stove or tank, even an empty one, is problematic. We usually sleep with the canisters (and cameras) in the sleeping bags to keep them warm.

Said friend just bought a (one-way?) valve which allows you to suck some of the last fuel from a low-pressure tank into a fuller one. This of course defies the laws of physics except the trick is to submerge the recipient tank in a pan of ice water, which condenses the fuel and drastically lowers the pressure. The 2 tanks are linked by the valve and resemble an hourglass, with the recipient on the bottom. I suggested pouring some hot water into the concavity on the bottom (now top) of the donor tank to cause an even greater pressure differential.

I haven't seen it but he says it works.
I have one of those couplers too. Works best when the canisters are both pretty low. And you don't want to put more in a tank than it originally could hold. Some are just a coupler, you thread the two tanks together, some also include a manual shutoff valve which is the better option.

When new, the gas in the canister is a mixture of gases in liquid form. The most volatile of those gasses is mostly burned first, the less volatile later and that is why a canister that has mostly been used does not burn as hot, even if you are comparing two canisters that are the same temperature. It gets complicated to explain, so i won't try, if you are curious look at Raoult's law.

I agree about the sleeping bag thing, but when a canister is 80 percent gone, the remaining fuel in the canister will get cold pretty fast, possibly before your coffee water is hot. Thus the pan of lukewarm water can work well on such chilly mornings to keep the canister warm.
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Old 05-15-20, 12:49 PM
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I used to spend a fair amount of time in Harriman park. There is fine riding and hiking there.
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Old 05-15-20, 04:24 PM
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I purchased a JetBoil last fall sale at REI, haven't had time to use it yet but I like the Optimus wind screen.

I am wary of screens though, recalling when I was young and more stupid then current, when I got the bright idea to use an MSR foldable aluminum wind screen on my Svea, fully wrapped around.

I put the fire out by immersing the Svea in the stream in front of the lean to. I re-built the Svea but it was never the same.
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Old 05-15-20, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
...
I am wary of screens though, recalling when I was young and more stupid then current, when I got the bright idea to use an MSR foldable aluminum wind screen on my Svea, fully wrapped around.

I put the fire out by immersing the Svea in the stream in front of the lean to. I re-built the Svea but it was never the same.
You might have charred the wick.

I recall once over-priming a Svea, and it was really roaring hot. It made us pretty nervous, I think we were lucky it did not blow.
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Old 05-16-20, 05:00 AM
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That looks like a pretty nice well thought out setup. There are a lot of advantages to a setup like that.

A lot depends on the logistics of the trips you do. I am not really sold on canister stoves for most of my touring but have used them for some trips. I am a little more likely to use one for backpacking. I do like using them and love them for where I need to carry all the fuel for the trip and don't have to fly to the trip or at least know for sure I have canisters available at the start..

The stand looks interesting. From the reviews, it doesn't sound like it fits all brands of canisters. If you buy your canisters up front that is a non issue since you can just buy ones that fit. If you buy what you find on the trip it could be an issue. I never used one and haven't missed it too much but I can definitely see some utility there. It would be nice if there was one that could fit all brands (apparently the MSR stand doesn't either).

For a windscreen I personally like to just carry a rolled up sheet of tooling foil from the craft store. It is cheap, long lasting, and easy to tailor to the situation.

Mention of the SVEA made me a little nostalgic for my 123R, but it has been retired for at least 20 years now. I may have dug it out and fired it up once or twice over the years just for fun, but haven't actually taken it in a trip since forever.

In recent years for bike tours and ease of flying with the stove and buying fuel in small quantities on the road i have been using a pop can alcohol stove. Not sure how hard it is to buy yellow Heet in these Covid 19 days. Are folks buying that up for disinfecting stuff?

I have been thinking of driving to tours more since retiring and having a more open ended schedule. With no need to deal with the TSA I am likely to carry my multi fuel stove and burning gasoline for its easy availability. I like having the ability to carry only a little fuel and buy as needed.
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Old 05-16-20, 06:19 AM
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I thought that MSR had also suggested the warm (not hot) water bath trick too, did a bit of digging and found it.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/faq-how...-temperatures/

Like Staehpj1 above, I usually use liquid fuel stoves if I am not flying and not backpacking.

Backpacking, I prefer the lighter weight canister stoves.

And when flying it is a major hassle to clean your liquid stove and fuel tank to the point where TSA won't confiscate it. I did that once, decided not to do it again, only am using Butane mix canisters in the future when I fly.
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/wp-cont...ing-Stoves.pdf
https://www.msrgear.com/blog/flying-...camping-stove/

Last time I used my Svea, it was in 2014, backpacking into Grand Canyon. I do not recall why I brought the Svea instead of canister stove, but I had some reason to prefer liquid fuel for that trip.
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Old 05-16-20, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That looks like a pretty nice well thought out setup. There are a lot of advantages to a setup like that.

The stand looks interesting. From the reviews, it doesn't sound like it fits all brands of canisters. If you buy your canisters up front that is a non issue since you can just buy ones that fit. If you buy what you find on the trip it could be an issue. I never used one and haven't missed it too much but I can definitely see some utility there. It would be nice if there was one that could fit all brands (apparently the MSR stand doesn't either).......

For a windscreen I personally like to just carry a rolled up sheet of tooling foil from the craft store. It is cheap, long lasting, and easy to tailor to the situation..
The stand fits both MSR and SnowPeak canisters. I've only used those 2 brands.

The crucial thing about the Optimus windscreen is that it is above the canister and does not promote heating of the fuel. I'm a cheap bast*** and tried to figure a way to bodge that kind of windscreen but the Optimus is an "elegant" solution.
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Old 05-16-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by kaos joe View Post
The stand fits both MSR and SnowPeak canisters. I've only used those 2 brands.
Hmmm, I was pretty sure I had read that it didn't fit the MSR ones. Maybe, the review was incorrect and it isn't a concern or maybe I am remembering the brand wrong.

The crucial thing about the Optimus windscreen is that it is above the canister and does not promote heating of the fuel. I'm a cheap bast*** and tried to figure a way to bodge that kind of windscreen but the Optimus is an "elegant" solution.
Yeah, probably safer that way, but I have used a full screen for years with no issues. I do punch a series of 1/2" or so holes around the bottom of the sheet of foil and take care not to set it up so as to take some care to not overheat the canister. I suppose I could cut big windows in the foil if I was that worried, but I have never found that with reasonable care the canisters got hot.
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Old 05-16-20, 11:35 AM
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Primus used to make a canister that did not have the same bottom diameter for a stand. I had a Primus stand, no other canisters fit it. I think Primus now uses the same cartridge size as others.

And I have some Gaz canisters with the French fitting (non-threaded) that do not fit the same stands as everybody else.

And of course if you find the old puncture type canisters, they were different too.

Now I think most of the canisters have the same outside diameter for a support like that, one size for the 220 gram (or thereabouts) size and another diameter for the canisters that are about half that capacity.

I picked up a stand similar to yours, but rarely use it. I find that on soft ground with a lot of grass that the stove does not sit solidly on the ground, then I might use it. But otherwise I do not bother.

And when I use the bigger canisters like in the photo (450 grams), no need for a stand as it sits solidly on the ground. (A quick note on the chili, I get three meals out of one envelope and I use about 75 percent as much water as they call for.)

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Old 05-16-20, 12:40 PM
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That chili looks better than my oatmeal!
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Old 05-17-20, 12:14 AM
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That chili is the most musical foodstuff ever invented
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Old 05-17-20, 02:46 AM
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Big fan now of gas stoves with a hose and a preheat tube. Much lower center of gravity, you can use a wrap around heat shield and you can invert the canister to feed liquid gas when it's cold. Plus if you are feeling economical you can use an adapter and those cheap horizontal butane cartridges.
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Old 05-17-20, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Big fan now of gas stoves with a hose and a preheat tube. Much lower center of gravity, you can use a wrap around heat shield and you can invert the canister to feed liquid gas when it's cold. Plus if you are feeling economical you can use an adapter and those cheap horizontal butane cartridges.
Those look interesting. I can see a number of advantages over my old Pocket Rocket and a couple small disadvantages.

How easily available are the cheap butane cartridges when on the road? I know they are used by the food service industry and often sold by the 12 pack. Are they an every Walmart and Target kind of item? Can you easily find singles? Is the tare weight much more than the usual MSR and Jet Boil type canisters of a similar size? The 8oz. size is more than I'd typically carry on tour at a time, but it would mean not needing to buy fuel too frequently. It would last quite a lot longer than a 12oz. bottle of yellow Heet which is my usual fuel on tour. That is in part because butane has more btus per weight than alcohol and in part because there is more waste with alcohol due to having to guess how full to fill the stove for a cook inevitably leaving excess to burn off.
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Old 05-17-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Those look interesting. I can see a number of advantages over my old Pocket Rocket and a couple small disadvantages.

How easily available are the cheap butane cartridges when on the road? I know they are used by the food service industry and often sold by the 12 pack. Are they an every Walmart and Target kind of item? Can you easily find singles? Is the tare weight much more than the usual MSR and Jet Boil type canisters of a similar size? The 8oz. size is more than I'd typically carry on tour at a time, but it would mean not needing to buy fuel too frequently. It would last quite a lot longer than a 12oz. bottle of yellow Heet which is my usual fuel on tour. That is in part because butane has more btus per weight than alcohol and in part because there is more waste with alcohol due to having to guess how full to fill the stove for a cook inevitably leaving excess to burn off.
The cartridges are pretty well everywhere, haven't tried anywhere really remote like Mongolia, but I bet they are there too. Weight wise empty they are about the same as a 220g canister. Cost is usually the big winner. It's sometimes way cheaper to buy a 4 pack and leave a couple behind than to buy a normal canister, example, here in Australia you can buy 4 cartridges for A$5.20 or about US$3.50 from the hardware stores compared with anything up to $10 for a 220g canister. In Japan you can get a single cartridge for 108Yen, or about US$1. I found them most places in Europe. I'd expect they'd be around in the US as well, I haven't looked there, I used a MSR Dragonfly for our trip. I just looked and found some online in the US at a kitchen supply store for $1.50 each though. Either way you can usually find either cartridges or canisters, but because you can feed liquid gas with a preheat tube you can use the cheapest canisters even when it's cold.
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Old 05-17-20, 08:12 AM
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man, you guys make me want to head out too!
and yeah, I too find my old msr thick foldable aluminum screen to be handy for all stoves, using caution of course.
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Old 05-17-20, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
Big fan now of gas stoves with a hose and a preheat tube. Much lower center of gravity, you can use a wrap around heat shield and you can invert the canister to feed liquid gas when it's cold. Plus if you are feeling economical you can use an adapter and those cheap horizontal butane cartridges.
Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Those look interesting. I can see a number of advantages over my old Pocket Rocket and a couple small disadvantages.

How easily available are the cheap butane cartridges when on the road? ....
My tour in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island last summer I stayed at a mix of private camp grounds (RV parks) and Provincial or National Parks. Many of the private parks sold the tall skinny butane cartridges but did not sell the threaded ones that most of us need. I bought a threaded canister at Canadian Tire and at MEC in Halifax, but otherwise never saw them for sale anywhere.

I was thinking last summer that perhaps I should have done the same thing Trevtassie suggested, use a stove on a hose like that with an adapter so that it would be easier to obtain canisters.

I picked up one of these several years ago, the hose leaked so did not use it, but never got around to returning it.
https://www.rei.com/product/777514/b...ster-converter

Those have been out of production now for several years. The one that leaked, I have since fixed it thinking that I might try that option on my next tour if I might camp a lot in RV parks.

I did get an adapter for the tall butane cans so that I could use that remote stand with a regular butane stove like an MSR or Primus. But the stove would not have the pre-heat tube Trevtassie cited, so you probably can't lay the canister on the side.

In other words, I was thinking about it, have the stuff to do it, but have not tried it yet. That said, if I am not flying anywhere I usually use liquid fuel stove instead.
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Old 05-17-20, 03:11 PM
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I wonder if the Whisperlite Universal would work for all of that including the preheat. I never really checked it out. My Whisperlite is the International so no butane option.
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Old 05-17-20, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I wonder if the Whisperlite Universal would work for all of that including the preheat. I never really checked it out. My Whisperlite is the International so no butane option.
I was unaware that the Whisperlight now came in a model that worked with both Butane and liquid fuels. Interesting.

This is the type of adapter you need to put one of those tall skiny canisters onto a stove that is designed for the threaded connector.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Stove-Conve...g/174032354129

Shipping from Asia can be a bit slow, especially now when a lot of passenger aircraft are grounded.

My Primus Omnifuel works with Butane and liquid fuels, but I find it is simpler to just carry a Butane stove when I am using that fuel, I tried the Omnifuel once with Butane to see if it worked, it did. But otherwise I only use my Omnituel with liquid fuels.

The Omnifuel uses a different jet for Butane, so takes a few minutes to change a cold stove from one fuel type to the other. And if I am carrying the Omnifuel, it is because I planned to use liquid fuels instead of Butane.
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Old 05-17-20, 06:12 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My tour in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island last summer I stayed at a mix of private camp grounds (RV parks) and Provincial or National Parks. Many of the private parks sold the tall skinny butane cartridges but did not sell the threaded ones that most of us need. I bought a threaded canister at Canadian Tire and at MEC in Halifax, but otherwise never saw them for sale anywhere.

I was thinking last summer that perhaps I should have done the same thing Trevtassie suggested, use a stove on a hose like that with an adapter so that it would be easier to obtain canisters.

I picked up one of these several years ago, the hose leaked so did not use it, but never got around to returning it.
https://www.rei.com/product/777514/b...ster-converter

Those have been out of production now for several years. The one that leaked, I have since fixed it thinking that I might try that option on my next tour if I might camp a lot in RV parks.

I did get an adapter for the tall butane cans so that I could use that remote stand with a regular butane stove like an MSR or Primus. But the stove would not have the pre-heat tube Trevtassie cited, so you probably can't lay the canister on the side.

In other words, I was thinking about it, have the stuff to do it, but have not tried it yet. That said, if I am not flying anywhere I usually use liquid fuel stove instead.
The tall cartridges are designed to lay on their sides, with the notch in the top upwards. The gas feed tube angles up from the outlet valve to the space above the liquid. Using them upright, until the liquid is used below the feed tube it will flare. But what I found is that when it's cold the butane is pretty rubbish as a gas because of it's lower volatility. So I flip the can so the gas feed tube is immersed in the liquid in the can and the liquid is vapourised in the preheat tube. Without the preheat tube and the ability to flip the can I reckon they'd be very average, they are designed to be used in a box stove where some of the heat from the stove helps vapourise the butane.
I use a Kovea Spider because it has the preheat tube and a hose and it's light and cheap. I'm not a fan of the pot rests, they are a little slippery, you have to watch your pot doesn't slide off. I think I'll use a file to sharpen them up. I wouldn't mind trying a Kovea Hydra, that is liquid and gas fueled, but I'm already at N+5 when it comes to stoves.
One thing to watch for is that not all butane adapters are created equal. I started out with a cheap one like this https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Camping-...MAAOSwrFBdeLtn, but eventually the plastic prongs started wearing out and it wasn't fully opening the cartridge. I thought there was a problem with the stove or the gas until I eventually pushed the adapter in and lo and behold, fully functioning! On that trip I used a rubber band to hold it on, but I now have one similar to this which seems a little more robust https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-LPG-...item441457cf17
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Old 05-18-20, 04:39 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
The tall cartridges are designed to lay on their sides, with the notch in the top upwards. The gas feed tube angles up from the outlet valve to the space above the liquid. Using them upright, until the liquid is used below the feed tube it will flare. But what I found is that when it's cold the butane is pretty rubbish as a gas because of it's lower volatility. So I flip the can so the gas feed tube is immersed in the liquid in the can and the liquid is vapourised in the preheat tube. Without the preheat tube and the ability to flip the can I reckon they'd be very average, they are designed to be used in a box stove where some of the heat from the stove helps vapourise the butane.
I use a Kovea Spider because it has the preheat tube and a hose and it's light and cheap. I'm not a fan of the pot rests, they are a little slippery, you have to watch your pot doesn't slide off. I think I'll use a file to sharpen them up. I wouldn't mind trying a Kovea Hydra, that is liquid and gas fueled, but I'm already at N+5 when it comes to stoves.
One thing to watch for is that not all butane adapters are created equal. I started out with a cheap one like this https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Camping-...MAAOSwrFBdeLtn, but eventually the plastic prongs started wearing out and it wasn't fully opening the cartridge. I thought there was a problem with the stove or the gas until I eventually pushed the adapter in and lo and behold, fully functioning! On that trip I used a rubber band to hold it on, but I now have one similar to this which seems a little more robust https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/NEW-LPG-...item441457cf17
I like the looks of the Spider and would consider one if I decide to buy a replacement for my original pocket rocket. It looks like it has a lot of advantages in that it hits a decent price point, has a remote canister, a preheat tube, and is a reasonable weight. I have way more stoves than makes any sense already, but truth be told there are only a couple that I'll actually ever use again.

The Hydra doesn't appear to be readily available in the US. At least a quick search didn't show any retail sources. I'd be hesitant to buy one with the expectation that parts might be very difficult to obtain. I'd maybe be okay with that if it were only a canister stove, but since it is dual fuel and may need pump parts...

I probably shouldn't be in the market for any stoves at all, but I am kind of easily hooked on a new stove purchase for some reason.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:03 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
The tall cartridges are designed to lay on their sides, with the notch in the top upwards. The gas feed tube angles up from the outlet valve to the space above the liquid. Using them upright, until the liquid is used below the feed tube it will flare. ...
Thanks. I was not aware of that. I need to add a note to my adapter to remember that later. If I use one of those tall canisters, since I already have a stand with hose to use on one of my existing stoves, I would be using a stove without a generator to heat the incoming fuel.

Several years ago for a non-biking trip I brought a regular kitchen type of fry pan with the handle removed to cut weight, that pan slid some on my stove supports a bit and on one occasion the pan slid off of the stove. After that I used some really course sand paper on a sanding block to rough up the bottom of the fry pan which helped a little bit on later trips.
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