Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

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ERIC
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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by ERIC » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:54 pm

gary c. wrote:
Wed Jun 26, 2019 10:54 am
Since this thread has gone sideways anyhow I'll add my own question.
It's about time the spammers finally posted something useful. Only took, what, 20 years?


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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by wildhiker » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:07 pm

From 1970 to 1986 I used a little white gas "Svea" stove with integrated fuel tank. That thing could roar and boil water fast, but was terrible at simmering. In the field, I would set large rocks beside it to make a windscreen. One time I got carried away and had large rocks on three sides, but no real wind. The stove overheated and blew the pressure relief valve. A fierce jet of flame shot out about 2 feet. There was nothing I could do but get away and let the stove burn out. When it had cooled, I saw that the original concave bottom of the stove was now quite convex! We cooked on a wood fire the rest of that trip. The Svea went to recycling.

Then I bought an MSR Whisperlite and liked it a lot. It could simmer. You could run it for a long time since it plugged directly into your fuel bottle. The flimsy looking aluminum windscreen was actually quite effective. But after 6 or 7 years, it failed on a trip. Something in the stove gummed up and I couldn't clean it in the field. Once again, we resorted to cooking on a fire when the stove failed. I hate how your pots get full of soot! One problem with gas stoves like this is that you have to buy the fuel in gallon cans, but we didn't do enough camping to use that up in a year. So the gas gets old and gummy. I did get the Whisperlite cleaned and working again later back at home. I thought the Whisperlite was quite efficient for our big family trips of 5 people.

Then the kids grew up and my wife and I were doing backpacking trips by ourselves. The Whisperlite seemed like overkill. It was the early 2000s and the small stoves that ran on isobutane canisters were getting very popular. I bought one - a Primus with built-in piezo electric ignitor, weighs about 6 oz, and can simmer super-low if protected from the wind. After a couple of trips, I was hooked and haven't used the Whisperlite since. I kept track of how much white gas I used on trips in the Whisperlite days and did the same for how much isobutane I used with the Primus (just weigh the canister before and after the trip). I realized that, for the way we cook, on trips of 2 to 6 nights, the primus/gas canister combination weighed less than the Whisperlite/white gas+fuel bottle combo. That seems true even when one of our adult children + boyfriend/husband accompanies us.

I don't like that you have to dispose of the empty isobutane canisters, but in every other way, our little primus - now about 15 years old and going strong - seems better than a white gas stove, at least for summer camping. Isobutane lights instantly, our stove simmers super well, nothing to gum-up or need cleaning, and the whole setup is lighter weight for us. The fuel is more expensive, but I can afford it. Plus, you can take this stove on an airplane and buy the gas canisters at your destination. White gas stoves are strictly forbidden on airplanes - they are worried about residual fuel vapors that could explode.

My main pot set for almost 50 years! has been a "Sigg Tourist" aluminum cookset that I bought in 1970. Two pots (2 and 1.5 liters?) with one lid; I bought a light aluminum plate to be a second lid. I bought an MSR heat exchanger accessory that fits around the bottom of the larger pot. Tests at home show that it saves about 25% of the fuel, which offsets its weight on longer trips or when we have a bigger group. When I started doing solo backpack trips a few years ago, I saw a "JetBoil" stove and 1.5 liter wide pot set on sale and got it. I hated the stove - all it can do is boil, fiercely! I cook lots of quick-cooking grains + lentils that need to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. But the pot has become my go-to pot on solo or 2 person trips. It has the flux-ring bottom that increases effciency and the non-stick coating that makes cleanup very easy.

-Phil

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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by Carne_DelMuerto » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:12 pm

I love this subject because it allows me to speak of my most prized piece of gear — my cheap aluminum pot. It’s a 2 liter(?) pot purchased from REI years ago. They don’t even carry it anymore. I almost always travel with a group of 4-5 and this one pot does all the boiling & cooking for the entire trip. Every member carries their own cup and we usually eat FD meals. In the mornings we boil enough for coffee and oatmeal. The pot holds my cup, stove (pocket rocket), utensils, cleaning supplies, and towels. We simply call it “the kitchen.” I think it’s great because if I carry it, then no one else needs to bring a thing. (But we usually have a backup pocket rocket in case.)

I guess my point is you don’t need the most expensive top notch gear to have the right thing for you.
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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by gary c. » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:00 pm

Carne, that is a big pot for sure but I really like the concept. I don't think that I could ever get my hiking partners on board though. It seems like everyone enjoys their own little dinner rituals and home made concoctions in the evening. Just the same I may try to check their interest.
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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by bobby49 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:43 pm

wildhiker wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:07 pm
Then I bought an MSR Whisperlite and liked it a lot. It could simmer. You could run it for a long time since it plugged directly into your fuel bottle. The flimsy looking aluminum windscreen was actually quite effective. But after 6 or 7 years, it failed on a trip. Something in the stove gummed up and I couldn't clean it in the field.
That is a classic MSR problem. I used to maintain 4 or 5 MSR stoves at any point in time, but two of them seemed to get gummed up. I took them to my local REI store and they said that they would fix them and for me to return in one week. When I returned, REI was embarrassed because they had not touched my two stoves, so they gave me two other stoves (WTF?). It turned out that those two actually belonged to some other customer, but they had the same problem as mine. [Thank you REI!] I got the two stoves home and stripped them down myself and found the problem. It used to be that we would buy Coleman fuel in a red can with a red plastic cap. When they made that in the factory, they left the red plastic millings, and that ended up in the Coleman fuel. Then later as the fuel was in my fuel bottle getting pressurized and fed into the bottom of my MSR burner, the red plastic residue traveled far enough that it melted just below the burner. That plugged off the fuel flow, and it was not easily fixable in the field unless you knew what to look for. Obviously after that I quit taking my gear to REI for repair.

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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:56 pm

Another little interesting discovery! Primus has gone sneaky!

I bought new Primus medium gas canisters. I got them at Sportsman's Warehouse. At first I thought they did not sell them anymore, but Primus has redesigned the can- now bright red, not silver-gray. But the real bugger is that they now contain 8.1 oz of gas instead of 8.9 oz. But they still weigh the same. The can itself is slightly heavier. Basically I will get nearly a day's less fuel from the new ones.

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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by Satchel Buddah » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:47 pm

I still love my caldera cone/900ml pot/esbit stove after all these years. light, convenient, flexible (can use wood at legal firepits), no consumable waste.

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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by SirBC » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:35 am

rlown wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:50 pm
Wish my friends knew how to clean a stove. Their's broke down. We separated but my stove was fine as I test all equipment before I leave.
Cold Mountain house and no cooking trout above fire level. Sigh. I'm not too proud of my friend who dumped fuel because their stove didn't work. :(
Yes, I gave him grief over that. Had a spare stove head that I asked him to carry; denied. Sad.
Thanks for this post as it saved a trip my wife and I were on in Denali. I read it as I was in the process of packing and when I was going through my gear I came across a stove that I forgot I even had and thought, "Hmmm... might as well take this as a backup" as it only weighs 0.8 Oz. I had never taken a 2nd stove before and it turned out that without it we would have had to end our trip on Day 1 as our main stove would not light.

I gave the original stove a cleaning when I got home and got it working again. I took both stoves again on a trip I just finished and that main stove again crapped out as it would not thread on the fuel canister. The threads are clean but I'll take a look with some magnification to see if there is any damage to the threads. The backup stove saved the day again :thumbsup:
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Re: Camping Cookware Opinions / Experiences / Cautions Needed

Post by rlown » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:51 am

Cool..

Kind of a side note. Same friend who dumped fuel stepped on and broke my water filter on a different trip. :mad:
Luckily, I made him carry a spare. Things happen.. Always good to know what you truly need to work and have a plan.
As I generally always go with someone else, I can spread the load/risk.

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