Stoves: cheap comparison

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thidwick
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Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby thidwick » 31 Jan 2015, 3:53pm

So.... There's a topic in this sub-forum called "starting out" or something similar, about buying a camping stove for touring. I read with interest, and ordered a Karrimor alpine gas stove, and a Trangia copy made by Karrimor. Both from SportsDirect, and each costing £17. I only really bought the Trangia copy for the small kettle and the pans.
I'd never used, or even handled, a Trangia previously so I read on websites, and watched YouTube on how to use them. It seems that the Karrimor version is a pretty accurate copy. I also wondered why I'd bought the gas stove too.

I decided to test both stoves, and then decided to be a bit scientific about it and actually consider time and cost for boiling the same amount of water and starting with a cold kettle and cold water (outside tap!) each time.

For the Karrimor-Trangia, by the time I'd lit it, boiled 300ml of water, and put it out, it used 17g of meths. (I diluted the as-bought meths by ~7.5% with water first). I worked out the cost as 8.8p.

For the Karrimor Alpine, by the time I had connected the gas canister, boiled 300ml of water, and disconnected the gas cannister (some gas loss at connection and disconnection which I decided made the comparison fair) the gas used was 9g. I worked out the cost as 13.9p.

The big difference was in time taken.
The Karrimor-Trangia took 13 mins and 35 seconds to boil the water.
The Karrimor alpine took just 2 mins and 35 seconds.

Fwiw, weights and volumes worked out from the boss's digital baking scales (she was out), and density of meths is assumed to be 0.79. Tests done out of the wind, in the (cold) garage.

The Trangia copy is so slow! Maybe I'm not using it correctly: but I used it in the supplied stand and windshield, just as the (real) Trangia was used on YouTube videos. Stopping it burning is a bit fiddly. I needs a handy tool or two to move the metal shutter across, and some risk of burned fingers. I can see value in the Trangia for use where availability of gas canisters might be a problem.
I do note that the gas stove roars, whilst the spirit stove is silent.

My verdict is that the gas stove will be going touring with me, plus the small kettle and small pot from the other kit. I do have a lightweight folding windshield.
Any comment from the Trangia fans? Is there something I'm missing here?

cnb
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby cnb » 31 Jan 2015, 6:54pm

I have a few different types of stoves using different types of fuel, Gas,Petrol Solid fuel.Meths..The ones i use most when touring are the meths burning stoves either Trangia or Clickstand..I prefer them for the safety aspect and i'm never in that much of a hurry to worry about cooking/boiling times..If your that worried about fuel availability take the meths and gas adapter with you..Weight isn't so crucial on a bike...Backpackings a different matter..Caldera cone system and titanium pan... :)

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 31 Jan 2015, 7:49pm

Hi,
I used a Camping Gaz GT Globetrotter as I remember it was 400 - 500 ml in 5 mins in 1980.
I think the Trangia was what the scouts used........
I now use a solid fuel bent piece of tin and pellets, about the same time as the Gaz, Very light and cheap.

I always thought the Trangia looked a bit evil.........................
NA Thinks Just End 2 End Return + Bivvy
You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
Please forgive the poor Grammar I blame it on my mobile and phat thinkers.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby BeeKeeper » 31 Jan 2015, 8:47pm

The problem with meths is the smell if the bottle leaks. However, meths or a substitute is available in more outlandish places than bottled gas, which may be a factor worth considering. But for trips of a few days or weeks in Europe etc gas all the way for me.

I have used a petrol stove which was fiercely powerful but completely uncontrollable in practice, it boiled like crazy but the next lowest setting was "off". No practical simmer setting, which even gas stoves struggle with in a breeze but they are generally better in this respect.

Interesting you "cut" your meths with a little water. When things are desperate I prefer ginger ale!

1684riley
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby 1684riley » 31 Jan 2015, 10:20pm

I've tried the trangia type and hated the soot at the bottom of the pans, I have a pocket rocket which is could for the odd brew but my favourite yet is the Coleman feather petrol stove, 2nd hand from army surplus £25, burns clean, petrol is available everywhere and its multi fuel, I ditched my big camping 2 burner in favour of 2 of these. You can pick em up cheap, they are serviceable and may need the pipes cleaning if you find that they are buning black, it's caused by old fuel.

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andrew_s
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby andrew_s » 31 Jan 2015, 11:10pm

It seems about right to me.

It would have been closer if you had been out in the garden, in the wind. The gas stove would have been slower/more expensive, and the trangia copy would have been the same or possibly a little quicker.

The other thing that can make a difference is the state of the gas canister, and how you use it. It's OK to use a canister upright if it's warm or the canister is fairly new, but a cold or half used canister should be used upside down, or boiling may be slow or very slow.

Gas canisters are generally a mix of butane and propane. Propane boils at -40, but butane boils at about freezing, and the boiling point of the mixture is somewhere between. As you use an upright canister, you use propane faster than butane so the mix changes, and also the evaporation cools down the gas in the canister. By the time a canister is half used, there's hardly any propane left, and it can be difficult to get the water to boil at all, with evaporative cooling bringing the gas temperature down to the zero boiling point of butane even if the air temperature is a bit above. Canister-top stoves are a bit better in this respect as heat from the flame gets to the canister more easily.
Used upside down, which you can with the Karrimor Alpine as it has a preheat loop, you are feeding liquid gas to the burner, so the gas mix doesn't change with use, and there's no evaporative cooling. This means you get full performance right to the end of the canister. It's generally best to turn the canister over a few seconds after lighting the stove, and, at this time of year at least, to routinely invert the canister even when fresh.

rualexander
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby rualexander » 31 Jan 2015, 11:35pm

My Trangia would boil 300ml a lot quicker than 13 minutes, i'd guess around 7 minutes. You mention extinguishing the Trangia being fiddly having to slide the metal cover over with a tool. if you are using the Trangia at full power you shouldn't have to do this because you won't have the simmer cap on the stove, you will just pop it on top of the burner to put it out with the cover already in the closed position.
Also, I never dilute my meths with any water.

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BeeKeeper
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby BeeKeeper » 1 Feb 2015, 9:13am

This is an interesting read about the behaviour of gas mixes in stoves, which andrew_s mentioned above. http://bushwalkingnsw.org.au/clubsites/ ... xtures.htm

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simonineaston
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby simonineaston » 1 Feb 2015, 9:37am

rualexander wrote:You mention extinguishing the Trangia being fiddly having to slide the metal cover over with a tool.
Well spotted! I'm a fairly happy 'Trange' user - I would definitely not pop the simmer ring on until the burner had warmed up enough to give good jets out of the holes.
tfj.jpg
Jets like this means it's warm enough to simmer
tfj.jpg (4.38 KiB) Viewed 2172 times
Probably the main pluses for me when I first started using the Trange over a gas stove were i) it's physical stability and ii) the way it behaves in wind. Firstly and most obvious, it's got a built-in wind-shield and second, within reason, the stronger the breeze, the better it burns...
I think its main weakness is the performance drop-off in really cold weather... when I will probably not be touring, so not an issue for me. However the optional gas burner gives you access to propane/butane gas cartridges, which burns hot enough to deal with cold/altitude, if you're the hardy sort!
PS don't confuse the simmer ring with the burner screw-cap - one has a rubber O-ring, and the other doesn't, so only one is suitable for extinguishing the flame!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Slowroad
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby Slowroad » 8 Feb 2015, 8:39pm

I use a £9 Wilko 'pocket rocket' copy with their gas - it's cheaper than any other now. No idea how long it takes - must give it a go - but it seems quick enough especially when the gas canister is full. Certainly not 13 mins, and my old Trangia (now doing allotment tea duty) I think would be even quicker!
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

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Heltor Chasca
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Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby Heltor Chasca » 8 Feb 2015, 9:14pm

Good thread. I don't mix water with meths. I don't get a soot problem so don't see the point myself. If I'm boiling water for hot beverages I don't use the simmer cap at all. 13 minutes seems an age. I use the simmer cap for food and extinguishing purposes only.

I would think my duel fuel stove is quicker (only a guess) but it's noisier. That's about the only downside. I like both but only one goes out in my rucksack or panniers. Trouble is choosing which one

Thanks for sharing.

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andrew_s
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby andrew_s » 8 Feb 2015, 11:47pm

Heltor Chasca wrote:If I'm boiling water for hot beverages I don't use the simmer cap at all. 13 minutes seems an age.

The simmer cap is doubtless the difference between 13 minutes and the 7 or 8 minutes that is normal for a Trangia.

bretonbikes
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby bretonbikes » 12 Feb 2015, 4:50pm

I'm a big Trangia fan and wouldn't use anything lese for the business - they really are indestructible... A bit of a love-letter to them here - http://www.bretonbikes.com/generalartic ... ooker.html
35 years of cycletouring, 30 years of running cycling holidays, 5 years of running a campsite for cyclists - there's a pattern here...

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leftpoole
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Re: Stoves: updated?

Postby leftpoole » 16 Feb 2015, 4:22pm

I seem to have amassed a number of stoves! Indeed when I looked out the box containing them I surprised myself! Some are new because I updated older ones the past year or two. Some are new because they are new 'as in new', and I have not used them yet. The real problem I have, is that I keep taking my Trangia or Trangia mini camping as favourites. Must get out more and start using the unused ones soon.
Enjoy my collection here- http://www.pbase.com/leftpoole/stoves
Regards,
John

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Stoves: cheap comparison

Postby Heltor Chasca » 16 Feb 2015, 4:27pm

leftpoole wrote:I seem to have amassed a number of stoves! Indeed when I looked out the box containing them I surprised myself! Some are new because I updated older ones the past year or two. Some are new because they are new 'as in new', and I have not used them yet. The real problem I have, is that I keep taking my Trangia or Trangia mini camping as favourites. Must get out more and start using the unused ones soon.
Enjoy my collection here- http://www.pbase.com/leftpoole/stoves
Regards,
John


I don't think you are alone in the 'stove dependant' gang. I have a couple too many. Wonder if we can find a help-group.

'Hi, I'm Heltor Chasca and I have a stove amassing problem.'