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Recomended stove for long touring

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Recomended stove for long touring

Old 03-09-11, 08:48 AM
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Danielsa
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Recomended stove for long touring

Hi everybody, first of all I want to thank you all for the multitool answers, it's great to have an opportunity to prepare myself and my gear according to the unbelievably wide experience people have in this forum!

Second, I wish to buy a good stove for my tours, I read a lot of reviews about the optimus Omnifuel stove, the msr whisperlite and the trangia brand. What do you suggest and prefer? The most important abilities are: the stove needs to be able to work with many types of fuel, shouldn't be cleaned regulary and I prefer a light stove. What do you suggest? (other choices are welcome too of course)
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Old 03-09-11, 08:51 AM
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Sounds like you want an MSR Whisperlite Internationale. It has two sizes of jets to burn everything from white gas to diesel and I've heard of rendered pig fat being used. Just make sure you read the instructions before you toss them away so you don't make a big fireball out of it. Runs you about $100 for the stove and fuel bottle.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Danielsa View Post
Hi everybody, first of all I want to thank you all for the multitool answers, it's great to have an opportunity to prepare myself and my gear according to the unbelievably wide experience people have in this forum!

Second, I wish to buy a good stove for my tours, I read a lot of reviews about the optimus Omnifuel stove, the msr whisperlite and the trangia brand. What do you suggest and prefer? The most important abilities are: the stove needs to be able to work with many types of fuel, shouldn't be cleaned regulary and I prefer a light stove. What do you suggest? (other choices are welcome too of course)
The Whisperlite is an okay stove. It does get rather sooty during the priming process and it works well enough. It's slightly lighter than the Omnifuel (410g vs 441g). It's also a bit cheaper ($80 vs $105).

The Omnifuel, however, is a much more versatile stove. It will burn everything the Whisperlite does plus it will use butane canisters if you can find them (Walmart carries them in many stores). Butane is much easier to use than white gas or other liquid fuels because there's no priming and no pumping. Hook up the canister and light it up. No leaky fuel either. For short tours, butane is nearly ideal. A canister lasts me about a week of cooking an evening meal and coffee in the morning. For longer tours, I carry one liquid fuel canister and the pump for the stove. Helmart, again, carries quart size white gas at many stores so that you don't have to buy a gallon of Coleman fuel and have to figure out how to carry it.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:17 AM
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I am partial to the MSR Dragonfly because of great flame adjustability, but it may be too heavy and/or bulky for your liking.
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Old 03-09-11, 09:18 AM
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Whenever I see a stove thread i get the urge to preach about my preferred (and beloved) wood burning stove. However you mentioned cleaning, which can be an issue. I have the whisperlite myself also, good solid stove and the international will burn anything. Just make sure you take the jet cleaning tool with you. The stove doesn't need it often, but when it does it does and assorted contents of your pack will not work for that. I know I tired.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:01 AM
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I'd ask what sort of meals you plan to cook with it. I own canister fueled single burners, a Coleman multi fuel single burner, the MSR Whisperlite mentioned above and a 2 burner multi fuel coleman stove. I use them all in different ways for differing trips but on my bicycle when bike packing or touring I use a Whitebox alcohol stove that burns HEET in the yellow bottle. Granted, its a one flame size fits all stove but all I'm doing is boiling water for use in making coffee, oatmeal and when pouch cooking. It weighs an ounce I think. Fuel can be gotten anywhere. I carry it with an MSR Ti Titan Kettle and Snowpeak 450ml Ti double walled cup plus a spoon. For my style of cooking and eating, which is heavily augmented with stops along the way at local cafes, it does the trick.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
The Omnifuel, however, is a much more versatile stove. It will burn everything the Whisperlite does plus it will use butane canisters if you can find them (Walmart carries them in many stores). Butane is much easier to use than white gas or other liquid fuels because there's no priming and no pumping. Hook up the canister and light it up. No leaky fuel either. For short tours, butane is nearly ideal.
Does the Omni come with the adapter for a canister? I have a Pocket Rocket, but would prefer the lower profile of the Omni. You got a site link to one for $105? Amazon shows it to be $150.
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Old 03-09-11, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Does the Omni come with the adapter for a canister? I have a Pocket Rocket, but would prefer the lower profile of the Omni. You got a site link to one for $105? Amazon shows it to be $150.
The hose on the Omnifuel attaches to a canister and to the pump head as shown below.



It's not like the MSR fuel hose which is more integral to the stove



A google search lists a few Omnifuels for less than $120 but those all seem to be out of stock right now. The only one for that price that I've found that is in stock is this one.
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Old 03-09-11, 12:42 PM
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The type of stove you want depends on the type of cooking you're going to do.

The whisperlite, omni-fuel, and all those other style of stoves come as close as you can get to a real stove when touring, although sadly, that still isn't pretty close. They do have the most flexibility in terms of fuel supply, but I personally think this feature is less useful than it's made out to be for the vast majority of users. While they 'can' burn just about anything, they burn white gas much better. For most fuels, it's not hard to locate a local source, and you know you're going to run out long in advance.

I'm more of a fan of canister stoves myself, at least the modern versions like the MSR Pocket Rocket. They are about half the weight of a multi-fuel stove and are much easier to use. There is no priming, no pumping, no heavy fuel bottles, awkward funnelling, you just light them and go. By my math, they are more efficient as well, they use less fuel per boil than my Whisperlite. Yes, they only burn iso-butane, and only in convenient canister form, but it's surprisingly easy to find. If you carry two 8 ounce canisters, you should be fine for at least two weeks of heavy cooking, it's just a matter of starting to look for a new canister when you start on your second. Any store with a camping section has a good chance of having them, any Big-5, any Dicks, or any nice locally owned outdoor outfitter.

You mentioned the Trangia, which is kind of the odd man out. It only burns alcohol, although I suppose it's easy to come by. They are incredibly lightweight, nearly foolproof, and kind of fun to us. However, they aren't great imitations of a real stove, I wouldn't use mind for anything other than boiling water. While I like alcohol stoves for shorter tours and camping trips, fuel adds up quickly. True, you can buy denatured alcohol in any hardware store, any pharmacy, most auto supply stores, and a lot of grocery stores.

Although if you're considering using an alcohol stove, I'd urge you to consider building your own rather than using the Trangia burner. My homemade versions all weigh less than a tenth of the Trangia burner, and actually boil faster, and use fuel more efficiently to boot. There are plenty of directions online if you want to try the DIY approach.

Actually, you could probably bring a canister stove, a backup canister, and an alcohol stove as emergency backup all for the weight of a multi-fuel.
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Old 03-09-11, 12:45 PM
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I would suggest a Trangia mini. The price is right ($32) and you can't beat the simplicity.
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Old 03-09-11, 12:45 PM
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well actually

Actually, I don't have a clue about what i'll be cooking. When I'll have a chance of eating in a village (I'll travel in Asia) I'll use that chance, but i guess i won't always arrive to a village, so I intend to carry some rice, noodles, Nuts etc. I guess I will use it mostly for morning cofee (maybe some eggs ) and rice/noodles dishes with whatever I'll find around.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:02 PM
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Trangia is quite OK to use if the fuel is available. I used mine for boiling water and cooking meals, some quite complex ones. Its not so fast for boiling but rice cooks the same on any stove. You can also get a gas canister burner.
If I had to chose a stove for Just Add Water meals on a short trip it would be a small gas stove like Jetboil BUT you need something for much longer duration.
For long distance Asian tour you probably need multi-fuel so a something like the MSR.

Cooking stuff can take up a lot of space do figure out how gourmet you want to travel.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:11 PM
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There is one alcohol stove by Packafeather,http://www.packafeather.com/stove.html, that does have a simmer function as well as full tilt. I've found for the pouch cooking I do and heating water for coffee the simple $20 Whitebox works best. Easy to pack and easy to light.

This post caused me to go check my equipment locker and I forgot that I also have a Dragonfly which I have used when camping off my motorcycle. This stove has worked well, I can actually "cook" with it meaning there are actual flame adjustments. Can't believe I forgot about it.

What ever you choose, research cooking with it. I've found sites devoted to using alcohol stoves that offer tips and recipes. Some of the stuff cooked defies the imagination. Good luck.
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Old 03-09-11, 01:58 PM
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I love the Asaklitt/Ledmark alcohol stove set. I find it quicker to boil water than a trangia 25 or 27. It's smaller and lighter. Here's a video of it (not by me). I got mine for 10, which compares with 50 for the Trangia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFaqt...eature=related

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Old 03-09-11, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
The type of stove you want depends on the type of cooking you're going to do.

The whisperlite, omni-fuel, and all those other style of stoves come as close as you can get to a real stove when touring, although sadly, that still isn't pretty close. They do have the most flexibility in terms of fuel supply, but I personally think this feature is less useful than it's made out to be for the vast majority of users. While they 'can' burn just about anything, they burn white gas much better. For most fuels, it's not hard to locate a local source, and you know you're going to run out long in advance.

I'm more of a fan of canister stoves myself, at least the modern versions like the MSR Pocket Rocket. They are about half the weight of a multi-fuel stove and are much easier to use. There is no priming, no pumping, no heavy fuel bottles, awkward funnelling, you just light them and go. By my math, they are more efficient as well, they use less fuel per boil than my Whisperlite. Yes, they only burn iso-butane, and only in convenient canister form, but it's surprisingly easy to find. If you carry two 8 ounce canisters, you should be fine for at least two weeks of heavy cooking, it's just a matter of starting to look for a new canister when you start on your second. Any store with a camping section has a good chance of having them, any Big-5, any Dicks, or any nice locally owned outdoor outfitter.
I have canister stoves, an MSR Whisperlite and a Primus Omnifuel. The Omnifuel burns butane every bit as well as a dedicated canister stove. It also burns liquid fuels as well (or better) as the Whisperlite. Control of burn is easier with butane but that is the nice part about burning butane. I've found that the control using white gas is better with the Omnifuel than with the whisperlite, which tends to be a little digital in control.

I've also dabbled with alcohol burning pop can stoves but I wouldn't use it for many reasons that I've gone into extensively in the past.

The Omnifuel is heavier but it is also the most versatile of all the stoves. Finding canisters can be tricky although on a tour last year I was able to find them in Hope AR, Mena AR (a town of 5600 people), Salina KS, and a few other places that I wouldn't have expected to find them. Having the ability to burn butane and hydrocarbons is worth the peace of mind, however.
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Old 03-09-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I am partial to the MSR Dragonfly because of great flame adjustability, but it may be too heavy and/or bulky for your liking.
Plus the stability makes it worth it for me... Cooking is a big part of my touring and I've used every single bloody stove made(or just about)... The path always leads me back to my trusted Dragonfly. Short tours I will use just about anything but for longer ones.... I want a real stove that I can simmer with, that will burn just about any fuel and the Dragonfly does all those things.

Is it heavy? Sure, it's almost as heavy as my MSR XGK. XGK works great for boiling snow but not so great for cooking when compared to the Dragonfly.
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Old 03-09-11, 06:47 PM
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If I recall correctly, you plan to go to Asia? I am not sure what fuels are most prevalent there. You should ask around.

You asked about Optimus Omnifuel. I am not sure if you mean Optimus Nova or the Primus OmniFuel. I own both. There is no Optimus OmniFuel.

Primus OmniFuel can be used with the thread on butane canisters as noted above with a photo. The Optimus Nova is liquid fuel only. Optimus recently recalled the recent Novas that were made in China, I do not know if they have restocked the stores with good parts yet or not. (I like the Nova so I would not hold the recall against them.)

Primus claims that the Omnifuel can be used with Diesel fuel. Maybe it works with Diesel Number One, but I had extremely bad luck with Diesel Number Two. Kerosene works ok but I prefer Coleman fuel. Nova is supposed to work with Kerosene but I have never tried that, I only have used Coleman fuel in my Novas.

But, I would also consider bringing along a second stove, specifically the Optimus Crux because it is tiny and lightweight. For some meals, it is nice to have two stoves (spaghetti AND sauce). The Crux does not have a large diameter pot support, so cooking requires care. I would not use the Crux as my only stove because it is too unstable and that locks me into only fuel canisters, but it is a nice second one.

If it was me, I would probably bring the Primus OmniFuel on a long trip with uncertain fuel types plus I would bring the Crux for the few times that I want a second stove. I think the Pocket Rocket (recommended above) is similar to the Crux in size and pot stability.
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Old 03-09-11, 07:21 PM
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Gas canister stoves are convenient, but finding a cartridge that's compatible with your stove can be difficult at times. Different brands of stoves and canisters are popular in different parts of the world, and the different brands don't always interchange.

A multi-fuel stove like the various MSRs would be a good choice. Most of them burn kerosene, diesel, Coleman fuel (white gas) and unleaded gas. It wouldn't hurt to bring a filter of some kind to strain the fuel through, just to keep the stove from clogging. MSR says that auto fuel (unleaded gas/petrol) will shorten the life of their stoves, so you might want to consider sticking to kerosene or white gas.

I really like the ability of the MSR Dragonfly to simmer, but it is noisier, and more expensive than the Whisperlite, as well as being a tiny bit heavier and bulkier. I think the simmering ability saves fuel, you can get your food up to temperature and then turn the flame down to where it is just keeping the food hot enough to cook.

Alcohol stoves are very simple to use, but alcohol does not contain as much energy or burn as hot as white gas/diesel/kerosene/auto fuel, so you will need more fuel and more time to cook.

If I'm cooking with my Dragonfly, I like to use the Heat Exchanger: http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/cookwa...hanger/product . It channels heat from the stove up the sides of the pot, so the food cooks faster, and it adds extra wind protection even if you're already using a wind screen. It works really well with the Alpine 2 pot set : http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/cookwa...ot-set/product
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Old 03-10-11, 01:00 AM
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I got a used MSR Dragonfly a few years ago, and never really felt comfortable using it. It was noisy, fiddly, a pain to prime, and it was forever flaring up. Using it in the wind was harrowing, causing more flareups and all kinds of noise. I started eating cold oatmeal for breakfast because I didn't want to wait for the stove to cool in the mornings. It wasn't worth the effort for the comfort of a mid-day tea stop. It packs awkwardly, and I always worried about breaking some key part. The pump fell apart while in use, and I was without a stove for the rest of the trip. Of course, a lot of people say good things about the very same stove, so I guess I'm just unlucky.

I'm planning on using a trangia burner with a Vargo hexagonal woodstove. The hope is that, in addition to its intended use, the enclosed shape will funnel more heat into action. The same applies to a can of sterno, which can be snugly wedged into the woodstove for increased efficiency. The benefit will be that I still have some choices to picking the most cost-effective fuel for whatever area I'm in, with the capability of burning twigs and pinecones and such.
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Old 03-10-11, 01:49 AM
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Alcohol stoves have their fans. couldn't be simpler really.. but given Cars are everywhere
a stove that burns gasoline , you will always be able to find fuel
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Old 03-10-11, 02:09 AM
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I didn't catch the Asia bit, I rescind my comment, canisters may be hard to find under those circumstances. I have still found my advice holds stateside.

In defence of pop stoves, while the fuel is heavier, the stove itself is so dramatically lighter that on a short trip you save weight. I had a bit of a spreadsheet binge, and I did the maths for my stoves (Although my Whisperlite is in disrepair and wasn't counted). If I were to take an alcohol stove, and all the fuel I needed for a week long trip, cooking breakfast and dinner, the total weight would still be less than a canister stove and a single canister. Much longer than a week and the greater fuel efficiency (on a per gram of fuel basis) of the canister stove means that the weight/boil is less.

Using the Trangia burner changes the dynamics a bit, since it is about 10 times heavier, and less efficient as well
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Old 03-10-11, 08:18 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Tansy View Post
I got a used MSR Dragonfly a few years ago, and never really felt comfortable using it. It was noisy, fiddly, a pain to prime, and it was forever flaring up. Using it in the wind was harrowing, causing more flareups and all kinds of noise.
I think "used" is the operative word. Sounds like it was not well-maintained by its former owner.

And I don't understand the "pain to prime" thing many people talk about with these types of stoves. To prime the Dragonfly, you simply release a little fuel for maybe 2 seconds, close the line and light it. When the flame is almost burned off, open the line and you have flame." Not as quick and simple as lighting a butane stove, but not exactly what I would call work.
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Old 03-10-11, 09:20 AM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. I prefer a stove that can burn unleaded gas. It's just so easy to get fuel. There are more gas stations than any other kind of store (and they're usually right along the side of the road.) To me having to make extra stops to look for fuel is an inconvenience. I don't mind one stop a day for groceries, plus restaurant breaks, but having to find a store that might have white gas or butane and searching the aisles is an inconvenience. I buy white gas for my stove when I see it in quart bottles, but otherwise I just fill up at gas stations.
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Old 03-10-11, 09:35 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
In defence of pop stoves, while the fuel is heavier, the stove itself is so dramatically lighter that on a short trip you save weight. I had a bit of a spreadsheet binge, and I did the maths for my stoves (Although my Whisperlite is in disrepair and wasn't counted). If I were to take an alcohol stove, and all the fuel I needed for a week long trip, cooking breakfast and dinner, the total weight would still be less than a canister stove and a single canister. Much longer than a week and the greater fuel efficiency (on a per gram of fuel basis) of the canister stove means that the weight/boil is less.
Not necessarily relevant to the OPs needs. Sorry to go off topic a bit more, but...
I would add that the fact that alcohol is heavier per btu is not a big deal on a bike tour since in general there is no need to carry much fuel. I never need to carry enough fuel that the pop can stove would not make for a lighter load. I buy 12 ounces at a time and usually don't restock until I am down to 4 ounces or so. The "much longer than a week" scenario just isn't generally going to happen on a bike tour.
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Old 03-10-11, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
And I don't understand the "pain to prime" thing many people talk about with these types of stoves. To prime the Dragonfly, you simply release a little fuel for maybe 2 seconds, close the line and light it. When the flame is almost burned off, open the line and you have flame." Not as quick and simple as lighting a butane stove, but not exactly what I would call work.
The Whisperlite and, to a lesser extent, the Omnifuel I've used get very sooty during the priming stage. The Whisperlite doesn't burn off the soot because of the stove configuration so it's messier. The way that the Whisperlite folds makes getting soot all over almost an eventuality. The Omnifuel's flame does a better job of burning off the soot and, because of it's configuration, you have less chance to get the remaining soot on you, your hands, your sleeping bag, the tent and about 40% of any forest that is around you
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