Bikepacking Cooking…

28 05 2013
The cooking gear...

The cooking gear…

Here is the latest iteration of my bikepacking cooking setup:

  • 700 ml MSR pot w/ lid
  • Trangia stove
  • stove stand
  • MSR windscreen
  • spork
  • small lighter
  • 30 ml alcohol fuel x 2
  • 125 ml alcohol fuel
Carried inside pot...

Carried inside pot…

The stove, lighter and 60 ml of fuel fits inside the pot. The stove is typically wrapped in a small cloth that doubles as protection from the pot’s handles that get hot. For longer trips where I might cook regularly vs. boil water for a camp meal I would add in a small bottle of dish soap and a cut up scrub pad.

Weight with 60 ml of fuel...

Weight with 60 ml of fuel…

I’m not trying to go ultralight here. I just want the weight to be low enough it’s not a major burden and I also want the packed shape to work with my bike bags.

125 ml of feul...

125 ml of fuel…

Each 30 ml bottle will boil 500 ml of cold water. I carry two 30 ml bottles inside my pot and the Trangia can hold a lot of fuel in the stove body itself if you want to pre-load it before you pack it. If I need more than that I have a bunch of 125 ml bottles like the one shown above that I can carry.

Trangia and stand...

Trangia and stand…

I love my little Trangia stove. It heats water well. Is easy to use and very reliable. It can be used to simmer food unlike a lot of lightweight alcohol stoves. The stand is very strong and stable.

Stove ready to rock...

Stove ready to rock…

I use a MSR windscreen to keep drafts at bay. It’s a bit large and I’m going to downsize it a bit so it fits better and packs smaller.

Stove in action...

Stove in action…

With no moving parts and constructed of brass the Trangia is a bombproof piece of gear.

Ready to light...

Ready to light…

You can see in the picture above that 30 ml of fuel is just a dribble at the bottom of the Trangia. I purposely spill some fuel on the top of the stove to make lighting easier.

Let's boil some water...

Let’s boil some water…

I timed boiling 500 ml of cold tap water using the Trangia in 8 mins. The 30 ml of fuel burned for 10 mins before running out.

Pot inside my framebag...

Pot inside my framebag…

The shape of this pot fits nicely into my Porcelain Rocket framebag. It also works great in my bar bag or seatbag – just depending where I want to carry it.

Methyl Hydrate...

Methyl Hydrate…

I use methyl hydrate to power my Trangia because it’s easy to find locally. I’ve spilled this fuel in my bike bags and unlike gasoline or naptha there is no horror show. It just evaporates and no damage or smell occurs. I like that!



18 responses

28 05 2013

I agree the Trangia seems indestructible, but it does not seem particularly efficient. Have you considered something like the MSR Whisperlite International?

28 05 2013
Doug (@ecoDoug)

The whisperlite intl. is in a whole other class; heavy, many parts/failure points, involved setup. Alcohol stoves don’t get points for efficiency, but they make up for it in light weight, low cost, reliability, and ease of use (IMHO).

28 05 2013

@Vic – I own 4 MSR stoves. 2 of which are multi-fuel. I used to own the Whisperlite International or a preceding model 15-20yrs ago.

I stopped using the MSR stoves for my biking trips as it’s far simpler and more pleasant to use alcohol stoves. Alcohol doesn’t explode and when you spill it inside a bag soaking your gear it doesn’t ruin it.

I used to carry a repair kit with all my MSR stoves to keep them running. With the Trangia all I have to do is not lose it!

My typical bike camping trips are in the 1-4 night range where the amount of fuel carried is not an issue.

The Trangia + stand weighs 187g vs. 309g for the Whisperlite. The difference is the weight of a couple day’s worth of fuel.

If I was a keen UL camper I’d build a pop can stove + stand at less than 30g for an even bigger weight savings.

If I had to carry fuel for a month I would go back to a MSR pressurized fuel stove. As there is more heat per unit in gasoline/naphtha than alcohol.

28 05 2013

l love my little Trangia. Have had it a few years now but I haven’t used it much (need to get out camping more). First campstove I’ve had, really like that its nice and simple. I picked up a Clikstand stand and windscreen, works great. ( Add in a flint steel for fire starting. And definitely agreed with ya on how nice it is to use alcohol and not worry (too much) about spilling it on stuff.

28 05 2013
Bagus Gowes

Thank you for sharing! 😀

28 05 2013

Hi Vic. I haven’t seen that stove stand before. Is it Trangia or aftermarket?

28 05 2013

My setup is pretty similar, except that alcohol works almost not at all in the winter and so in winter and on long trips I use an MSR stove. My pot is bigger (I have a family to feed) and I recently got a fancy primus pot with the heat exchanger on the bottom. Initially I expected it would be a gimmick, but it really works.

29 05 2013
Jesse Hattabaugh (@arkanciscan)

I love my JetBoil. Sure the fuel canisters aren’t refillable, and you might think they are bulky but they are actually very efficient at boiling water. They require very little setup, and don’t give a shit about wind. One small canister which fits inside the pot is good for 20 or more pots of water. Plus I found a nice filament lamp which uses the same cannisters and can really light up a campsite. As long as all you’re trying to do is boil water they’re totally worth their weight.

29 05 2013

@Aaron – I don’t recall who makes that stand. It was sold in a local store for a while, but when I went online to get another I couldn’t find the company that made it any longer.

@Jesse – I’m sure the Jetboil works well. It just hasn’t caught my interest to date. I see there is a small version of the Jet Boil. I’ll take a look at it next time I am at MEC. The weight is comparable to what I carry for my Trangia. I’ll need to see what the packed size/shape is.

I have a MSR Pocket Rocket canister stove and one issue I had with it is I always had to carry 2 canisters since it’s hard to judge how much fuel you had left. So I’d end up with several partially filled canisters and if I wanted to be sure not to run out I would take 2 or more of them on a trip. Or I would just start with a fresh canister and add it to the partially filled pile when I got home.

The JB beats the Trangia on boil time for sure and fuel efficiency. The Trangia is easy to fly with and grab fuel at your destination.

29 05 2013

@Coldbike – I moved to the coast so my Trangia would work better. 😉

If you want to bring your Primus heat exchanger pot this summer on the group tour feel free and I’ll carry it with my stove.

29 05 2013

Thanks for sharing your setup, Vic. I recently picked up a trangia but haven’t had a chance to use it. Like Aaron, wondering which stand you’re using. While googling for “wire trangia stand,” I came across this youtube video of a really simple DIY stand. Looks like it might get a bit top-heavy but the price is right –

29 05 2013

@Dan – I would assume the stand I have is no longer available.

That DIY stand looks unstable to me as the base of the Trangia is small. However, given the cost it’s worth trying.

If I had to buy a new Trangia stand I’d probably try this one:

29 05 2013

A timely post. Here’s an ultralight hiker describing his setup. He’s found an alcohol stove with a lid — seems like a worthy improvement.

And here’s the stove

29 05 2013

@Foraker – thanks for the links. I ordered a Trail Designs caldera cone for my MSR pot. I’ll see how it works and report back.

18 06 2013
Rivers Mitchell (@pedalhound)

Hey Vik, Just saw this and thought I would post it up here…looks like a pretty cool idea, light, cheap and efficiant too!

18 06 2013

@Rivers – I like how easy that one would be to make on a trip. Good find!

9 09 2013
vikapproved | Trail Designs F-Keg Stove System Review

[…] Having learned a few things from the F-Keg I’m going to revisit my Trangia cooking setup and see if I can improve it. […]

18 09 2013
vikapproved | Bikepacking Cooking MK2…

[…] I posted about my bikepacking cooking setup back in April and recently posted a review of the Trail Designs F-Keg Stove System I tried out this summer. The F-Keg really impressed me with its lightweight and how it all worked together so well as a system, but it proved a bit delicate. So I went back to my old cooking setup [Trangia stove + titanium pot] to see if I could improve it so that it was comparable to the F-Keg with the benefit of being robust enough for longterm use. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: