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Messages - staehpj1

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Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 27, 2008, 10:02:25 am »
I have always used the bottles that bottled water came in for alcohol.  I have done this for years backpacking, on my sailboat, and bike touring.  I have never had a moments problem.  Even if the alcohol would spill (it never has) it would not be a big deal like gasoline, white gas, or kerosene.  The bottles have been used for long term storage year round on the sailboat for years and the temperature have run the gamut from < 0F to 100F.

I use a different shaped bottle than any that I drink out of and mark them well.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 22, 2008, 08:39:58 am »
I gotta ask...  Where do you tour.

You say you carry "my 10 liter MSR water bag and my 120 0unces of water bottles".  That would seem to suggest travel in arid and remote areas.  Then you say "I admit that the majority of my meals are purchased."  Which seems to suggest services are readily available.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 08:49:03 am »
Different strokes, but 24 ounces isn't pretty light in my book.  It is about the heaviest solution I would consider and then only if I already had it and nothing lighter.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 21, 2008, 08:19:25 am »
I typically carry either an iso-butane stove or an alcohol stove, but have used a gasoline stove when backpacking.

A lot depends on the gas pump.  Some are tougher than others.  I have managed to pump gas into a Sigg bottle with some difficulty.  It isn't impossible, but some spillage is likely.

I have read of others who just went from pump to pump and dribbled the gas that left was in the hoses into their fuel bottle (when the gas station was closed).

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 07, 2008, 07:09:28 am »
Robo, I find this more than a little puzzling...

"As an added bonus, the stoves weigh less than less than nothing and are fun to make."
True but the fuel doesn't weigh so little.  Carrying an extra Pepsi can stove can add less than half an ounce, but an extra liter of methanol weighs 1.75 pounds or so.  With the weight of the container it must be about 2 pounds when full.  An extra 2 pounds is a huge deal to me, especially since it only duplicates the function of the other stove.

So any perceived advantage just doesn't compute with me.  It seems like you are carrying at least an extra 2 pounds to do the same thing that the other stove can do just as well or better.

One possible advantage that I could see would be if you really wanted to have two burners at the same time.  Even then it looks to me as if another Whisperlite or XGK with a fuel bottle and a half liter of fuel would weigh the same as a pepsi can stove and a full liter of fuel.

The only other advantage I can come up with is that if you can't find one fuel you can maybe find the other, but the XGK is multi-fuel and has a lot of options for fuels.

Obviously, you can do as you please, but I can't conceive of any way this makes sense unless carrying an extra 2 pounds means nothing to you.  Am I missing some advantage?

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 06, 2008, 12:35:05 pm »
"I would like to hear what other do with their stoves."

We most often do something simple like red beans and rice with some kind of veggie thrown in, or pasta and red sauce, again with some veggies added.  Other times we get more elaborate, but when doing multiple courses we wind up having some of it cool off a bit so we lean more towards one pot type stuff.

A bag of salad tops off a simple meal nicely.

Fresh local veggies are great and we have done just about whatever we found fresh and local.  Some of it is boiled stuff like corn on the cob, cabbage, potatoes, etc.  If we can get fresh green beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, or lettuce we grab it up.

Stir fry type stuff works well too, either from scratch or from a bag.

We found chili that we liked in a box (I forget the brand) and also ate some canned stuff like baked beans.

We tend to do more elaborate multiple dish meals when we have a fire to cook some stuff on and keep things warm.

We have done things like eggs (fried, hard boiled, soft boiled), fried potatoes, or pancakes, but usually just eat a granola bar or oatmeal in camp and eat second breakfast on the road.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-6-08 @ 9:36 AM

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 04, 2008, 10:05:15 am »
Three of us were traveling together and a gallon is still way too much to carry IMO.  Even with a group of three I don't think I would want to have more than a quart.  A gallon of white gas is a lot of cooking and a lot of weight.

If I were only going to cook one meal I would do without, but on a long tour I prefer to cook a good portion of the time.  I do like to eat in a restaurant about once per day on average though and often eat cold breakfast and lunch.

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 03, 2008, 12:18:56 pm »
The reason I don't like white gas (Coleman fuel) is that it is often available only in gallons.  If you stay in campgrounds, you might be able to buy smaller quantities from other campers.  I have seen it in what I think were quart sized containers, but the gallon can still seems to be what is most often available.  I sure don't want to carry a gallon of fuel.

If you want a similar type stove, one of the multi-fuel models will burn gasoline which is always available on the road.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-3-08 @ 9:19 AM

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 02, 2008, 06:02:59 pm »
Check out:

One of the easier ones to find is sold at gas stations and general stores as gas-line antifreeze such as HEET brand (Yellow is Methanol, Red is Isopropyl. You want the Methanol).

Gear Talk / Touring Stove
« on: October 02, 2008, 03:00:18 pm »
I loved the Pocket Rocket we used on the Trans America, but it was impossible to find fuel for in the middle of the country.  I suggest two possible solutions.
  • Use a stove the burns alcohol, gasoline, or white gas.
  • Ship isobutane fuel to yourself or have someone at home do it for you via ground mail (domestic mail only). The package must have the following label attached on the address side of the package:

"Surface Mail Only
Consumer commodity
In any case getting stuff at post offices via general delivery is a great tool if you have someone at home to ship for you.

If I travel alone and don't plan any elaborate cooking, I am likely to just use a pepsi can stove.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-2-08 @ 12:03 PM

Gear Talk / Sandals
« on: October 01, 2008, 08:03:26 am »
Some riders love sandals and some don't...

Another answer for wide feet are the Sidi Mega sized shoes.  They are available in variously priced models.   I like the lower priced Bullet 2's since I am not a fan of sandals for riding and prefer a well fitting shoe with a good bit of mesh.

Gear Talk / Carbon Road Bike pulling a BOB
« on: September 29, 2008, 09:21:38 am »
I wouldn't worry except for being sure you have adequately low gearing.  I wouldn't want to carry much weight with road bike gearing and the hills you will find on the PCH.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: October 10, 2008, 10:27:13 am »
Westinghouse's comments about gear are interesting and worth considering.  I agree that there is way too much emphasis on brands and the supposed need for the ultimate this or that.

The comment, "Inexperienced cyclists get over consumed with the question of what gear to bring, and with which brand names to have" struck me as a bit off though.  My observation is that this is often even more the case with experienced ones.  When it is a shame is when potential tourists think they need to have this and that expensive item and a custom build on their bike.  Then again I think that a lot of them are more into the tinkering and gear than riding or touring.  If they enjoy that I guess it is OK, but it seems kind of sad to me.

The bottom line is that once some reasonable threshold is reached, the experience of the trip isn't changed much by the gear.  Bike touring for me isn't as much about the stuff as it is about the people and the experience.

As far as improvising panniers goes... Nothing wrong with improvising, but I don't see the need when you can buy panniers designed as such for pretty cheaply.  Nashbar and Performance seem to always have their Waterproof models on sale and usually have a coupon code.  I found their Waterproof models to be very sturdy and functional while still being a lot lighter than their much more expensive competition.  Right now Performance has their large ones on sale for $69.99 and small ones for $54.99.  There is also a 15% off coupon in effect (check the coupon forum on bikeforums).  Also if they have a store in your area, the ship to store option gives free shipping.  If you watch the sales closely you can most likely get all 4 panniers for $100.  I am sure others like MEC in Canada offer similar good deals on decent quality equipment.

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 06:44:21 pm »
We used a cheap (like $80 or 90 new) Eureka Tetragon 8 tent.  It is supposed to sleep 4 and was 9 pounds.  It worked out OK for the three of us, but lighter would have been nice.  It looks like the fly on the new version of this tent is different than ours, not sure how good or bad that is.

Weather varies from year to year, but I thought that our June 11th start was on the early side.  We were fine and the weather wasn't bad, but take some warm clothes if starting that early.  You can mail them home later.  Also there is a real chance that McKenzie Pass will still be closed.  Don't miss it if it is open, but if it is closed you can take Santiam pass.

BTW: McKenzie is sometimes open to bikes before it is for cars.  If you catch it then it is cool to ride it with no traffic.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 9-25-08 @ 3:46 PM

Gear Talk / Racks & Panniers
« on: September 25, 2008, 09:37:32 am »
FWIW: We found the Blackburn EX-1 rear rack to be a fine choice.  For front racks we liked the Nashbar (or Performance) clones of the Blackburn Lowrider.

Also if interested in a group of first timers doing the TA check out our journal and while there read lots of other folks journals.  There is a lot that can be learned that way.

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