The Vault Regulars

Monday, October 19, 2009

After the weekend - Stoves?

Well it was an unplanned weekend of everything but walking. First the microwave packed up, then the steamer and the kitchen monoblock tap was leaking. So, off to Curry's to buy replacement appliances.
Replacing the taps was quite an awkward job due to the restricted space under the sink and the fact that the retaining nuts were siezed. And of course its never a straight forward job, one of the new pipe joints leaked and had to be changed and the waste pipe had worn so that wouldn't seal properly either. Happy days.
On to more interesting things:-
Today and for the last few weeks i have been thinking about a lighter cooking set up. The internet has absolutely loads of light weight cooker designs so its just a matter of trawling through them and see which one you fancy.
For me the Caldera cone design is a good starting point, when you think about the heat that is retained within the cone it must be one of the best ideas. However getting the frustum shape needs good maths.
Then which pan to use? Going to the lightest pan would have to be titanium BUT they are very expensive and i don't want to splash out. I currently use a Hi Gear 0.6L pan which will do. Photo of pan can be seen on the 16th October post.
However my thoughts are turning towards using a 500ml beer can with the top removed as a pan. Basically all we do is boil water for rehydrating meals and brewing up so we don't need an expensive pan. The beer can is also very light.
I am going to give this idea a go.
Then onto fuel, which type? Wood, gas, meths, petrol, fuel tablets? Or a combination? My current choice is meths. It has never let me down but in some countries it can be hard to get hold of. Take Scandinavia for example. Meths can only be bought from behind the counter in chemists and how many chemists do you find in mountainous areas! The outdoor shops don't sell it.
Then there's wood, again not always available. Gas and petrol are both generally available in mountainous areas but can be heavy and bulky to carry.
That leaves fuel tablets, Esbit for example, but there are a number of alternative makes available in outdoor places. I'm not sure yet as to how many tablets would be required for a weeks backpacking or what the total weight would be but i will be considering using these.
Stay posted!

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