cookin', ie, stoves for tramping

You gotta take a stove of some type.

Huts usually have a wood burner, but they are intended for heating only, being generally unsuitable for cooking and in any case, sometimes there’s just no dry firewood around, or wet for that matter, or the axe has a smashed handle, etc.

Your stove is essential equipment.

The choice of stove really comes down to what types of fuel are commonly available.

Cookin’ with gas is convenient, particularly on shorter trips. When you are gone for more than a week, you start to go through the canisters regularly.

Issue 1: canisters are expensive.

Number 2, you have to dispose of the empties.

With a Trangia, meths is available everywhere, and they are a fairly low-tech device, ie, not much can go wrong with them. The major issues are that as the fuel is less efficient than petrol/Fuellite you need to carry slightly more liquid, and, the speed you can boil water. Not for the impatient at the end of a long day.

Kero (kerosine) is usually available, but it smells and smokes when it burns, so it is definitely not the first choice. Basically, it’s super greasy.

Shellite/Fuellite is available in towns for MSR Whisperlite and similar burners. It’s fast and furious, the best alternative to gas. With judicious use, a litre lasts a week or so. Some of the stoves that use Shellite can also use the cheap and ubiquitous unleaded petrol when the number one choice isn’t available, but petrol is more toxic. If you do a lot of long-distance tramping, this may prove to be the most economical and convenient solution.

It’s possible to save on fuel use by bringing whatever to the boil, eg, rice, then turning the heat off and leaving the lid on the pot for 10 minutes. Seems to work okay.

Beware: in the tiny airtight bivvies is the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you cook with the door or window open.

← tramping boots and gaiters medical equipment →