Best stove for tour.

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Goinridin
Posts: 46
Joined: 1 Mar 2009, 12:45pm

Best stove for tour.

Postby Goinridin » 11 May 2010, 10:33am

I'm in the midst of planning a tour for this summer/autumn either through France, Spain, Portugal or the Southern tier of the USA........yes I know but life is never straight forward. Anyway, after treating myself to some lovely yellow Ortlieb panniers front and rear I am now looking to buy the most suitable stove for either eventuality, though it's looking like Europe.
When I say most suitable I mean the best value for money, something that won't sully my lovely new panniers, something that I can readily obtain fuel for when abroad, something sturdy and reliable, you all know the score-best bang for your buck.
Last year for my first tour in France I bought a little£15 Gelert gas stove, it fell apart and I couldn't obtain the right sized gas containers.

Barrenfluffit
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Joined: 20 Oct 2009, 5:31pm

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby Barrenfluffit » 11 May 2010, 11:51am

Taking stoves on aircraft is a bit awkward but i don't know the details. For Spain and portugal I'd suggest gas again. There is a £15 stove with removeable cartridges which has a hidden secret. Its cheap but screwed together. So the burner unscrews, the arms slip out of the clips and the whole thing becomes very small.

http://www.sportsdirect.com/camp-micro- ... 270-798037?

You can add an extra wind shield from the bottom bit of a tuna tin if you wish!

foxy12
Posts: 52
Joined: 3 May 2010, 10:35pm

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby foxy12 » 16 May 2010, 7:13pm

I can recommend a Trangia stove. Light and easy to use in all conditions and uses methylated spirits or bottled gas. The small stove below is self contained and takes up hardly any room.

http://www.simplyhike.co.uk/products/Tr ... a28-T.aspx

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mill4six
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Joined: 10 Feb 2009, 7:42pm

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby mill4six » 16 May 2010, 8:25pm

I love my trangia, 10 yrs old and still works a treat. If aircraft are a problem you can ccarry it without fuel and buy when you arrive. Boiled a litre of water in 7 mins the other day.

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cavasta
Posts: 186
Joined: 26 Aug 2007, 8:28pm
Location: Malvern, Worcestershire

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby cavasta » 16 May 2010, 8:35pm

MSR Dragonfly is my stove of choice. Tried the Whisperlite International but didn't like the lack of flame control. The Dragonfly has good flame control, a separate fuel cannister (which you purchase separately but there are several different sizes to choose from), it burns all manner of different liquid fuels and it comes with its own wind shield. It's ultra light and packs away very small into its own stuff sac. It's not cheap but it is really excellent quality and has some nice features (e.g. simply shake it a couple of times after use to keep the nozzle clean, can be completely stripped down for maintenance, virtually all parts are replaceable). It does make a fair bit of noise but it burns extremely hot and boils a pan of water in next to no time. There's a pretty good review here:
http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?11445-MSR-Dragonfly-stove-A-review

DougieB
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Joined: 23 Nov 2008, 6:59pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby DougieB » 16 May 2010, 8:53pm

I think it depends on what you intend to use it for. for cups of tea/coffee and one-pot meals the trangia is hard to beat for its simplicity. but it is either on or off, there is no viable flame/heat control. so 'cooking', as in making a meal, is limited.

if you start to get into heat control (boil and simmer) then you are looking at £££.

I went off carrying a stove years ago. part of getting out and about (to me) is eating local food. it doesn't need to be expensive to eat locally, you don't have to eat in a restaurant. but the cost/hassle of carrying raw food to cook, and the limits to what can be cooked (day after day) on a camping stove, mean I avoid it. it's quite fun if there's more than one doing the cooking/prep/carrying, but otherwise I prefer seeking out some low cost eatery that normally ends up in food plus a conversation.

the people I know that carry a stove tend to have the same meals over and over. pasta, pasta, pasta. this is dictated by short cooking times (to keep fuel use down) and what you can realistically carry. this is further limited in hot climates where things like cheese are not really viable.

it might be worth having a look at some possible meals you might want to eat, and see what sort of stove you'd need to make them ?

you can eat pretty cheaply in France/Spain/Portugal, and probably eat stuff that you wouldn't cook in a million years, let alone on a camping stove.

goatwarden
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Joined: 20 Nov 2009, 12:03pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby goatwarden » 16 May 2010, 9:23pm

DougieB wrote:I think it depends on what you intend to use it for. for cups of tea/coffee and one-pot meals the trangia is hard to beat for its simplicity. but it is either on or off, there is no viable flame/heat control.


If that is your experience then I would suggest you have never tried using the "simmer ring" which comes with the burner (looks like a loose fitting cap with a top that swings to the side on a rivet). This makes a Trangia emminently controllable, albeit you have to remove the pot and put the ring in place to turn down the power. I would say a Trangia is as controlable as anym gas stove I have used, although messier (UK meths tends to blacken pots unless diluted with 10% water which reduces heat output) and not as powerful when you want to boil quickly.

I have several Trangias. The mini uses a simple stand to support the burner and gives a 0.5l pot with lid; this is perfect for lightweight solo backpacking, provided you are only heating boil-in-the-bag food and making tea. The big one withkettle can be used to cook large and quite involved meals for several people.

I also have a Snow Peak GigaPower Stove which runs on threaded gas cylinders and pack up tiny. This is probably my favorite these days due to its huge heat capacity combined with light weight and small pack size.

vernon
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Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 6:03pm
Location: Meanwood, Leeds

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby vernon » 16 May 2010, 9:26pm

DougieB wrote:I think it depends on what you intend to use it for. for cups of tea/coffee and one-pot meals the trangia is hard to beat for its simplicity. but it is either on or off, there is no viable flame/heat control. so 'cooking', as in making a meal, is limited. if you start to get into heat control (boil and simmer) then you are looking at £££.


Not true , there is a slidable shutter on the burner that controls the flame size and the rate of heat supplied allowing simmering to take place. I've not yet baked using my trangia but have otherwise failed to find it's use limiting. :wink:

DougieB wrote:I went off carrying a stove years ago. part of getting out and about (to me) is eating local food. it doesn't need to be expensive to eat locally, you don't have to eat in a restaurant. but the cost/hassle of carrying raw food to cook, and the limits to what can be cooked (day after day) on a camping stove, mean I avoid it. it's quite fun if there's more than one doing the cooking/prep/carrying, but otherwise I prefer seeking out some low cost eatery that normally ends up in food plus a conversation.


Ratatouille, cassoulet and bouillabaisse have been successfully prepared while in France - none of them taking too long to cook and are relatively fuss free.

DougieB wrote:the people I know that carry a stove tend to have the same meals over and over. pasta, pasta, pasta. this is dictated by short cooking times (to keep fuel use down) and what you can realistically carry. this is further limited in hot climates where things like cheese are not really viable.


A lack of imagination is, I reckon the primary cause of monotonous touring diets. Unless one is touring far from the reaches of civilization, I can't see any reason to conserve fuel when it's readily available. Cous cous is the ultimate hot carbohydrate if fuel conservation is at the top of the cooking agenda. Pour hot water on it and let it 'cook' while creating a sauce in another pan - easy and quick!

There's plenty of fresh produce to hand in France, Spain and Portugal and a bit of an adventurous spirit and imagination will lead to gastronomic adventures at the camp sites :-)

I'm not a purist or a die hard self sufficiency nazi - I do indulge in the offerings of patisseries and the occasional restaurant but I'm happy with my culinary skills as are folk that I've shared my meals with - there's never a shortage of conversation on the camp sites where I've stayed.

DougieB
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Location: Barcelona

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby DougieB » 16 May 2010, 9:40pm

all true, you can make stuff with a trangia. but unless you've used a 'real' variable flame stove, the little simmer ring doesn't cut it. and, well, you have to have asbestos fingers to adjust the simmering. not a patch on an adjustable MSR stove.

I should have said that I'm taking about the mini-trangia, single pot version. I made the assumption that, as the OP is asking about stoves, they are a relative novice. a good idea (which I stand by) is to try and make a meal the OP would be expecting with a single pot at home, in under 10 minutes. Over 10 minutes normally (for me) equates to carrying lots of fuel, or searching out re-supplies every other day.

If the OP is considering getting one of the large multi-pot trangias then I'd seriously consider taking two mini's. So you have have your rice/pasta or whatever cooking while you prep the sauce.

PS. I notice the suggestions 'Ratatouille, cassoulet and bouillabaisse' are all of the 'lob in pan and stew' variety. :D

TheBrick
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Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby TheBrick » 16 May 2010, 9:43pm

I've used DIY meths stoves and camping gaz stove which uses screw on camping cartridges too, both with good results, depending on the requirements.

Gas give more control.

This looks like a good gas burning stove and cheap.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/WEB-TEX-COMPACT-W ... 4aa05825cf

add this cartridge converter and you can use ISO and camping gas cartridges

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Markill-Camping-S ... 77ff95e078

or this adapter with another stove for all three canister types.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/GELERT-MULTI-FIT- ... 27b100e416

blue camping gaz cartridges are easy to find in France can't comment on the other countries.

vernon
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Joined: 8 Jan 2007, 6:03pm
Location: Meanwood, Leeds

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby vernon » 17 May 2010, 9:12am

DougieB wrote:all true, you can make stuff with a trangia. but unless you've used a 'real' variable flame stove, the little simmer ring doesn't cut it. and, well, you have to have asbestos fingers to adjust the simmering. not a patch on an adjustable MSR stove.


You haven't got to grips with the multitool that Trangia thoughtfully provide: Pan handle, simmer ring adjuster and tea bag squeezer in one easy to use device :wink:

DougieB wrote:I should have said that I'm taking about the mini-trangia, single pot version. I made the assumption that, as the OP is asking about stoves, they are a relative novice.


it's not a stove that I'd recommend to a novices. I have one and find it barely functional for anything other than tea making - the burner gets hot enough to boil the meths and I like big portions :)

DougieB wrote: a good idea (which I stand by) is to try and make a meal the OP would be expecting with a single pot at home, in under 10 minutes. Over 10 minutes normally (for me) equates to carrying lots of fuel, or searching out re-supplies every other day.


I think that applies to most one pot meals on any camping stove....

DougieB wrote:If the OP is considering getting one of the large multi-pot trangias then I'd seriously consider taking two mini's. So you have have your rice/pasta or whatever cooking while you prep the sauce.


I wouldn't countenance that. They are not as efficient as a mutipot trangia and if fuel consumption is a concern you'll have defeated the object of minimising it.

DougieB wrote:PS. I notice the suggestions 'Ratatouille, cassoulet and bouillabaisse' are all of the 'lob in pan and stew' variety. :D


Yep. Easy to prepare and no less tasty for it. :mrgreen:

goatwarden
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Location: Bristol

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby goatwarden » 17 May 2010, 10:18am

DougieB wrote: but unless you've used a 'real' variable flame stove, the little simmer ring doesn't cut it.


As stated above, I disagree; my Trangias are as adjustable as my gas stove, just not as powerful when used full bore.

DougieB wrote:If the OP is considering getting one of the large multi-pot trangias then I'd seriously consider taking two mini's. So you have have your rice/pasta or whatever cooking while you prep the sauce.

PS. I notice the suggestions 'Ratatouille, cassoulet and bouillabaisse' are all of the 'lob in pan and stew' variety.


No! The mini Trangia is fine for tea, but not for real cooking; for one thing the pans just aren't big enough for reasonable amounts of pasta in one go. Also the mini Trangia is pretty inefficient as it lacks the wind shield of the "real" ones so a lot of the burner energy simply blows away.

One reason I like Trangias is that you carry at least two pans as standard, so you aren't restricted to one pot meals. I quite enjoy using two pans in the manner of a steamer such that one pan keeps warm on top whilst the lower one cooks.

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stephenjubb
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby stephenjubb » 17 May 2010, 10:55am

>>you can eat pretty cheaply in France/Spain/Portugal, and probably eat stuff that you wouldn't cook in a million years, let alone on a camping stove.[/quote]

you can still easily end up spending 10 or more euros a day on food, depending where you are it could be a lot more. This maybe cheap to some but soon mounts up over the course of a week/month.

What if you are at a campsite and the shops are not open, some may scoff at this but simple precautions eliminate this. Solutions are a small cooker like the MSR Pocket Rocket (or lightweight trangia) weighs IIRC under 100 grames and a small gas canister with some food. Alternatively if without a cooker you can take some food that does not need cooking.

Me personally I always like a lightweight cooker as a stand by, particularly if restaurants are expensive. What someone says is cheap is to another person expensive.

All depends on your income. At least with a lightweight cooker you get the best of both worlds.

psmiffy
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Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby psmiffy » 17 May 2010, 11:31am

Cooking for me is part of camping – I am not that fond of the standard fare that cafes purvey and I am too mean to pay out restaurant prices for what are often not very substantial meals – I like to eat my main meal after I have camped and do not like to risk “get something where I stop” - too often would be a bad decision -plus I never find sitting solitary like in a cafe much fun - more often people will come across to talk to me when I am at the campsite preparing stuff, washing up or when I am cooking outside

My choice is gas because there is no messing – I can cook inside the tent in bad weather and do not have to worry about the stove cooling down before relighting it – I can cook a very varied range of substantial meals from fresh produce that I buy during the day – fillet steak, swordfish or whatever plus the trimmings in the quantities that I buy costs less than an inferior café meal - the gas is not that expensive over the course of a week and while I sometimes have to hoard a bit in countries where it is more difficult to find - carrying it is no hardship

Stove - I use a low triangular freestanding thing that is very stable – allows me to get on with other thing while the things that take longer to cook are doing - heavier than the pocket rocket things but worth it

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=144148&v=22

Tako
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Re: Best stove for tour.

Postby Tako » 17 May 2010, 4:24pm

Goinridin wrote:When I say most suitable I mean the best value for money, something that won't sully my lovely new panniers, something that I can readily obtain fuel for when abroad, something sturdy and reliable, you all know the score-best bang for your buck.


I suggest either a cheap Trangia burner (just the burner unit, use with pans of your choice) or cheaper still, a DIY meths burner. See here

A meths stove fulfills ALL your listed criteria and yes, with care you can cook and simmer cheap, satisfying, hearty meals on it!
IMO, Dragonfly and other stoves of its type are really meant for high altitude or multi-month expeditions. Now't stopping you using one, but their numerous negatives far outweigh their benefits.

If the OP can provide more info, cooking preferences, etc, we might be able to offer a better answer?