Cook kit conundrums

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Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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Suffolk
My go to stove kit consists of
-900 ml stainless steel mug with lid
-super cat stove (cat food tin with holes punched in) for when I can't have a fire (I.e. most occasions)
-90 ml bottle of methanol (enough for 6 cups of tea
-jam jar lid stand for the stove to increase stability
-ferro rod
-small cloth
-home made wind shield made from duct tape and tin foil (yes duct tape is an exceptionally poor choice of wind shield material...)

It all packs up into the mug, so very compact. It works well for the most part, the hardest thing being judging the amount of methanol.
Someone suggested I switch to an msr pocket rocket, which would equally nest in the pot, and of course boil water far quicker. I switched to a cat stove in the first place because I got bored of gas stoves. I actually quite fancy switching to the pocket rocket, but I feel I would be somehow betraying my inner bushcraft, which is obviously completely ridiculous.
Anyone else out there routinely using a cat stove?
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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I actually quite fancy switching to the pocket rocket, but I feel I would be somehow betraying my inner bushcraft, which is obviously completely ridiculous.

Yep, completely ridiculous; use what fuel you like and just enjoy being in the great outdoors without guilt :)
Gas is no less 'bushcraft' (whatever that is) than any other refined fossil fuel. Unless, of course, you're producing your methanol by distilling a yeast created alcohol :)
 

Broch

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The first 25ml of a distilling process (for personal consumption only of course) normally gets thrown away but it really does burn very effectively :)
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
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Lancashire
Isn't home distillation actually illegal in the UK? Don't publish it if you do!!:)

You're not out and about to cook in a certain way if you wanted to keep it real you'd surely be cooking on a fire not methanol. It's no better or worse than a gas stove. Put it simply a gas stove is potentially easier to use. That means you can spend less time cooking and more time doing other things.

When I'm backpacking for example walking goes on till late. When I stop I cook then go to bed. I'm there to be active in the outdoors not cook slowly over a meths stove. A fast boil for a brew and to cook the dehydrated food. I set out the tarp then light the stove. While it's boiling my bivvy and showing sleeping bag gets set up. Then back to the brew and water in the food pack inside an insulated sleeve. While that's cooking I'm doing other jobs like getting water or setting up kit according to my system. Then eat and a second brew. I then get ready for sleep. Finish the brew and into my bivvy. Last thing is to chill inside the bag eating plain unsalted peanuts. A great high protein and fat food, high calorie for weight carried. It's also a great mix for slow burn when sleeping for warmth. I then sleep to get up and out early on.

That's just my way when backpacking. If you're doing something else you'll have other priorities indeed we're all different anyway. But IMHO being out isn't about the stove type. If it is then you might as well be playing with stoves in your back garden.
 

Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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There's something slightly ritualistic and deeply satisfying about camp cooking though. Cooking on a simple open fire delivers that - but it is very frustrating just how hard it is to find places to do it, although I suppose many people do. I think in my case tinkering with meth stoves is a way to fulfill that when I can't light a fire. Doesn't quite do it though.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Isn't home distillation actually illegal in the UK? Don't publish it if you do!!:)

Actually (if the OP will forgive a short deviation) no (as far as I have understood the law) as long as a) the volume is below a defined limit and b) it's for personal use (i.e. must not be given away or sold).

There's something slightly ritualistic and deeply satisfying about camp cooking though. Cooking on a simple open fire delivers that - but it is very frustrating just how hard it is to find places to do it, although I suppose many people do. I think in my case tinkering with meth stoves is a way to fulfill that when I can't light a fire. Doesn't quite do it though.

Agreed and, when I can get away with it but not feel it's sensible to light a full fire, I use a small woodgas stove, otherwise in the lowlands it's a gas stove; in the cold and up the mountains it's a MRS Whisperlight.
 

Bishop

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Jan 25, 2014
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Between a rock & hard place
Must admit the distilling ones own alcohol does have a traditional appeal. :biggrin:


Alternatively if there is space for a tinfoil stove snuffer then you could change out the fuel bottle for a twist cap dropper type. These can easily suck up most of any excess fuel at the end of the cooking and are way less messy than trying to pour from the stove back into a bottle.. Available from ebay and all good vape shops
IMAG3859.jpg
 
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SaraR

Full Member
Mar 25, 2017
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478
Ceredigion
My go to stove kit consists of
-900 ml stainless steel mug with lid
-super cat stove (cat food tin with holes punched in) for when I can't have a fire (I.e. most occasions)
-90 ml bottle of methanol (enough for 6 cups of tea
-jam jar lid stand for the stove to increase stability
-ferro rod
-small cloth
-home made wind shield made from duct tape and tin foil (yes duct tape is an exceptionally poor choice of wind shield material...)

It all packs up into the mug, so very compact. It works well for the most part, the hardest thing being judging the amount of methanol.
Someone suggested I switch to an msr pocket rocket, which would equally nest in the pot, and of course boil water far quicker. I switched to a cat stove in the first place because I got bored of gas stoves. I actually quite fancy switching to the pocket rocket, but I feel I would be somehow betraying my inner bushcraft, which is obviously completely ridiculous.
Anyone else out there routinely using a cat stove?
I don't have a cat stove but I am a long-term Trangia user and I've got a woodgas stove for twigs and the like. I really enjoy using them, but for backpacking or to make tea during dayhikes it's the Jetboil or pocket rocket type stove every time (and I don't even like gas stoves).

I'd say, bring your current set up for when you think it would be best or you fancy watching the flames/have a bit of peace and quiet and get a gas stove for when you want fuss-free speed and efficiency.

Alternatively, you can pour fuel back IF it has cooled down COMPLETELY.
I used to be quite good at estimating precisely how much fuel I needed in the Trangia for whatever I needed cooking, but now I'm too out of practice.
 
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lostplanet

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Aug 18, 2005
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I have had a pocket rocket since 2001??, the first version with the slanted pot stands. Cant really compare it to other gas stoves but what I do find is:
It always works. after sitting around for a few months I can connect it up and it simply works. never done any maintenance.
With a the largest gas canister(500?), the system, with a Nato crusader on top, is quite high and a little unstable. this is the same with flat bottomed pans.
Because of this my Vango alloy wind shield XL isnt an ideal height for total protection, although when wound right up it does boil pretty quickly.
you could easily dig a hole to improve this, if the ground accomodates or use a smaller can.
The MSR gas canister stand (spring loaded) seems to be superior quality compared to cheaper options, I will be getting one.
I think the latest version with flatter pot stands is a better option although I havent had much of a problem with mine.
But... after watching a few videos on stoves I am now leaning towards a Primus express spider.
Although the spider isnt as compact as the MSR I dont really see it being a problem. in the big scheme of things i will make it work but the gain in stability and low profile is more important to me.

For me my ruck is big enough and has enough extra room for a larger stove and the extra weight i dont even think about.
The Pocket rocket is a fantastic option if you really need to be ultra compact. I would recommend having one and would happily buy another.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
With can top stoves you can use the heel of your boot to create a circular ring into which a gas canister fits snugly. It improves n stability and lowers the stove slightly which helps with wind resistance in some ways. The heel impression doesn't really damage the ground because you're not digging into it just squashing it down a bit.

The other point is to not fully enclose cans it's possible to get the can a bit too warm I believe. I always surround it with a windshield on three sides only. That's just enough heat reflection to warm a cold can up but not go overboard with it?
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
PS my my ancient primus micron which is the original model with the gauze centre has pz ignition that has never failed. It's proven more reliable than some of the rubbish for starter rod such as the Vango version of light my fire ones.
 

Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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Suffolk
Cheers for the tips and suggestions everyone. I think I will pick up a pocket rocket. Tis nearly Christmas after all.
I did try a snuffer a few weeks back made of more duct tape and tinfoil. I get away with those materials for a wind break but it ended very badly for the snuffer. I'll give it another go and come up with a better design.
I also have one of the cheap gas stoves off amazon (10 quid) that attach to canister via a hose that I use for family camping trips. It set fire to a blade of grass beneath it and then melted the piezo ignition thing into oblivion, on the first trip out.
Another project will be to find a suitable sized tin that my 900 ml pot can nest into. I will then cut suitable holes to turn it into a pot support/twig burner for when I don't have wood gasifier with me.
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
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Between a rock & hard place
We chop, we change there is no shame. Sometimes out of necessity more often curiosity. For many years I was Meths addict who fell in love with gasification till after a brief flirtation with bottled gas I was tempted away back to the wild by a folding twig burner. Unfortunately since lockdown I've been naughty running an old petrol stove on some nasty grade II kerosene :depressed:
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
4,455
Mid Wales
We chop, we change there is no shame. Sometimes out of necessity more often curiosity. For many years I was Meths addict who fell in love with gasification till after a brief flirtation with bottled gas I was tempted away back to the wild by a folding twig burner. Unfortunately since lockdown I've been naughty running an old petrol stove on some nasty grade II kerosene :depressed:

For a moment there I thought you were drifting off the topic of stoves :)
 

lostplanet

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Aug 18, 2005
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I like my honey stove and Hive add-on, but try to switch between hexi, gas and twigs as i dont want to take too much natural fuel from the surrounding areas where I frequent. I should try my meths burner actually, so im glad you reminded me to think about that.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
Years ago I got obsessed with trying more styles of stove. I now have even more stoves in the house than tents and shelters (another a little collecting I've got into).

Then family came and we got a trangia with gas kit and a secondary vango remote can gas stove. That's for van camping. We're not into wild camping yet for one reason or another. It's now less about the process with the stove but about the outcome in the food or drink.

I do have a preponderance of meths stoves and have probably lost a few too. Even made the odd one which is not my style considering I had to buy pop in cans then pour the contents away to get them, not into bin diving to get used cans. My can stoves had interesting jet patterns that were totally accidental.
 
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Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
178
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Suffolk
It's now less about the process with the stove but about the outcome in the food or drink.
I hear you. I have had one or two failed or sub standard outcomes. Consequences can be severe. As for wild camping, I've got one or two family friendly wild camp spots lined up for the lake District. Something to look forward to.
 

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