I'm planning an E-W trip this summer. I'd love to take my Trangia 27 alcohol stove and leave the cartridge gas conversion burner at home, but I worry about bans on alcohol stoves in the West. Anybody know where along the TA alcohol stoves have really been problematic?
As an alternative I could leave the spirit burner home and use gas cartridges for the whole trip, but I don't much like worrying about where I'll be able to find 'em en route.
Some of this depends on where you camp. I know that on the TA we stayed in places where a ban was likely seldom enough that we could just have just eaten cold food on those relatively rare occasions. You could also cook somewhere earlier before you get to camp where that is an option. Most of the time we stayed in places like small town parks, church yards, and the occasional private campground. If you do that and want to go alcohol it might be doable.
We did have trouble finding canisters from Pueblo to Virginia. I know others claim Walmart has them everywhere but we did not find that to be the case. Things may have gotten better since then though (our TA was in 2007), but on more recent trips I have still not found cartridges to be readily available everywhere while I have typically found alcohol to be.
I think you probably can manage with alcohol, but it might be a hassle if you camp in National and state forests a lot. If you do take a canister stove, maybe carrying a pop can burner as a back up might be a good way to go. My pop can burner is 0.4 ounces, the stand is 0.7 ounces, and the windscreen is 0.3 ounces. You may be able to use the same windscreen as your canister stove. So the backup would only add either 1.1 ounces or 1.4 ounces depending on whether the windscreen fit both or not. Fuel would add weight only when you couldn't find cartridges and I don't carry a fuel bottle because I just use the containers it (yellow bottle Heet) comes in.