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Camping: Aluminum or Stainless Steel mess kit?

Old 05-04-10, 08:48 AM
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Zero_Enigma
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Camping: Aluminum or Stainless Steel mess kit?

I posted in Foo but cross posting here as it's relevent to me as I plan on either humping the kit or riding with it so input here is valued as well.

Now I know if on foot every pound is more critical then on the bike. However lighter or more pros then cons the better.

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...8#post10762778
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Old 05-04-10, 09:22 AM
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One cheap plastic bowl from supermarket. The ones I mean have sort of a slick or even slimy feel to them. They wash out very easily, are cheap, tough and very light. You'll also need a Lexan spork and a Lexan spatula if you cook. P38 for a can opener.

Depending on your cooking system, you can just eat from the pot that comes with it and then you don't even need a separate bowl. I like aluminum camp cookware. Cheap, light, and good heat transfer. Stainless is terrible. Titanium is OK, but unnecessarily expensive.
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Old 05-04-10, 10:04 AM
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my mess kit consists of

1-1 1/2 liter aluminum pot
one large plastic bowl
one spoon
one P38 can opener
One REI insulated mug/coffee press

That's it. Plus the stove of my choice for the tour intended. Might be white gas or cannister.
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Old 05-04-10, 10:13 AM
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Hard anodized alu is my favorite. I currently use a GSI Pinnacle Soloist that I really like. The mug/bowl is great. Mine didn't come with a spoon so I can't comment on it. I don't like sporks and use a spoon. I use the can opener of a small swiss army knife.

The advantage of SS is durability. If food sticks, you can scrub hard. Hard anodized alu is quite durable and doesn't stick in the first place. Bare alu is no good.

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Old 05-04-10, 10:18 AM
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Food is plenty important on an extended tour. That said as a qualifier, I think a good steel cookset is a must. I have a nesting trio that I use when with a larger group of riders and only take two when there are two people. The extra pot is the biggest one and takes up a bit more space, but isn't all that much additional weight. All told, the extra weight that steel adds might be a pound more.
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Old 05-04-10, 10:48 AM
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If I were buying new it would probably be anodized aluminum. That said my venerable stainless MSR pot and fry pan lid are adequate. It also has another pot it nests in but I never carry that. The single pot and lid were all we used even when there were three of us out for 73 days. Not sure of the size, but I think it is 1.5 liters.
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Old 05-04-10, 12:27 PM
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Titanium is the way to go. If you're a true gourmet, steel is going to give much better heat dispersion, but at the cost of weight and durability. I would stay away from Al for health reasons.
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Old 05-04-10, 01:32 PM
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Pop Can stove, or the like. Very light. Read about the fuels you can and can't use. You can get fuels anywhere but don't use petroleum products, such as gas, bad things happen.

Pot - Heineken 24oz beer keg can, cut the top off with a safety can opener. Use the top as a lid and the bottom as the pot. They are coated with something inside to keep the beer fresh so general speculation is it's safe if you don't overheat the pot and burn the stuff off the bottom/sides. People have been doing that for years. I think I've seen people wrap the pot with with fiberglass drywall tape if they don't have the fiberglass wick that you'll see in some links I'll post later. The wick/tape is used basically as a permanent pot glove so you can pick it up with boiled water in it without burning yourself.

If you want titanium get something like the Snow Peak 700. More expensive but a nice buy.

For containers, get a 4 cup zip lock twist n lock container (has a screw on lid) and a 1 or 2 cup ziplock twist n lock container. (I think it's the 1 cup)

Take one of the lids and cut the center out of it with a sharp knife, or lathe if you have one kicking around. This turns the lid into a ring. Put the 1 cup container through the ring and screw the ring to the 4 cup container. Your pot, stove, fork, windscreen, lighter, fuel and misc parts will all fit inside your newly made container. When you're cooking / eating you can use the 4 cup and 1 cup containers to mix your food in and eat out of. Here is a video of Tinny from MiniBull Designs making one so you can see what I mean. Take a look around his product page, might give you some ideas on things to make yourself.

His stoves are so cheap, light and quaility workmanship that if you can't make your own it's not a big deal to buy one for 12 bucks. I've never bought one of his products because I enjoy making things myself, but I am tempted to order his bios #4 out of curiosity, as well as the Atomic / mini Atomic.

Some stoves are better suited to small diameter pots, such as the beer can pot. The wick type stoves tend to work better, or ones that jet inwards.

Where as a regular pop can stove may work better with a wider pot bottom since they are jetted out the side, usually. But it will still work, though it might be slower.

If you don't want anything like that then I'd suggest looking around for a grease pot. Here is a link to what it is. Again, people have used these for years and love them! From 6-10 dollars. Good price.

Regardless of what you choose you may not want to eat out of a pot or a thin dish. If this is the case then look for the rectangular zip-lock dishes with lids. They are soft, light and easy to pack with gear you want to keep dry when you're not eating. Cheap too.
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Old 05-04-10, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kyakdiver View Post
my mess kit consists of

1-1 1/2 liter aluminum pot
one large plastic bowl
one spoon
one P38 can opener
One REI insulated mug/coffee press

That's it. Plus the stove of my choice for the tour intended. Might be white gas or cannister.
Mine is pretty similar, except that I also bring the small pot and lid (which works as a frying pan) that come with the Mini Trangia alcohol stove.

I've never used it on a bike, but it served me well for most of the Appalachian Trail. Denatured alcohol is WAY easier to deal with than petroleum-based fuels like white gas, and the stove weighs close to nothing (but allows you more control of the temperature than a homemade beer-can alcohol stove).
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Old 05-04-10, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by a1rabbit View Post
Pot - Heineken 24oz beer keg can, cut the top off with a safety can opener. Use the top as a lid and the bottom as the pot. They are coated with something inside to keep the beer fresh so general speculation is it's safe if you don't overheat the pot and burn the stuff off the bottom/sides. People have been doing that for years.
Most cans have a layer of epoxy on the inside to prevent the food from reacting with the metal of the can. It's not a big deal, remember, these cans did go through a pasteuriser before they got to you. They do however all contain BPA, if that scares you.

I like Aluminium for the pots and pans, but for the kit itself, just a plastic bowl is enough. Titanium for the spork though, no good reason, but titanium sporks are just cool
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Old 05-04-10, 11:01 PM
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I'm afraid of aluminum cookware, so I use a stainless steel set of four of various sizes that are quite light and fit within each other. I use this set for biking and backpacking.
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Old 05-04-10, 11:29 PM
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I like stainless, I just trust it more than aluminum. Health-wise and durability-wise. It feels more like real cooking, and I don't mind the extra pound.
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Old 05-05-10, 12:04 AM
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I carry the kit that came with my basic Trangia stove, a plastic cup for tea, and a spoon/knife/fork/opener combo. I eat the food straight from the cooking pot.

--J
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Old 05-05-10, 02:03 AM
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Trangia make the dual metal pots -- aluminium on the outside, stainless on the inside. I like them very much.I recently acquired an aluminium-only Trangia but have yet to use it. The weight difference between steel and even titanium is, in my mind, negligible for touring purposes.

Having said that, for the rest of our kit, we use Orikaso folding plates, bowls and mugs, and stainless eating utensils. The Orikaso set is brillliant, although the mugs are a bit iffy, but it's not so much the light weight, but the really compact volume that I find attractive about the concept.
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Old 05-05-10, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
I carry the kit that came with my basic Trangia stove, a plastic cup for tea, and a spoon/knife/fork/opener combo. I eat the food straight from the cooking pot.

--J
I like my trangia. I have now lightened it for tramping (hiking to everyone else) by buying a titanium pot and an Evernew titanium burner to replace one pot and the brass burner. If I'm going alone I will eat out of the pot. If not then I'll take a light Orikaso plate.

Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Trangia make the dual metal pots -- aluminium on the outside, stainless on the inside. I like them very much.I recently acquired an aluminium-only Trangia but have yet to use it. The weight difference between steel and even titanium is, in my mind, negligible for touring purposes.

Having said that, for the rest of our kit, we use Orikaso folding plates, bowls and mugs, and stainless eating utensils. The Orikaso set is brillliant, although the mugs are a bit iffy, but it's not so much the light weight, but the really compact volume that I find attractive about the concept.
I thought that Trangia have stopped making the dual metal pots. I thought they had a problem with them delaminating.

I my Orikaso set as well. I tend to take only the bowl and mug though. I will admit that I got them more as a curiosity to see how long they last.
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Old 05-13-10, 05:07 PM
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I obtained a Trangia 27-1 HA last spring. It's the smallest of the kits, and it was perfect for me; used it last summer 12 weeks on the road. As a lone traveler I could have left one of the bowls at home, but it came in handy. Denatured alcohol is easy to come by. My entire kit consisted of:
Trangia set (2 pots, 1 lid/skillet/plate)
swiss army knife with tools
water bottles
REI insulated SS cup for hot drinks
REI lexan spork
1 fuel bottle

Here's an image with my set (and parts of another cyclist's set)


https://www.trangia.se/english/5615.27_series_ul_ha.html

I started with (and shipped home) a bunch of other needless weight.
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Old 05-14-10, 03:13 PM
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MSR Alpine set & +1 for Orikasa
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