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Messages - NothingClever

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Gear Talk / Re: Aevon Trailer now available in US
« on: January 19, 2014, 10:29:53 pm »
These trailers look to be exceptionally well-designed and fabricated.  Although expensive, it seems they would be a lot more efficient for the way they attach to the seat post.

Gear Talk / Re: Camping Gas/stove
« on: December 29, 2013, 10:50:09 pm »
I've used an alcohol / methylated spirit stove up to 13,000 ft and it performed well.  The extra minute or so required to boil water is offset by the ease of finding denatured alcohol / methylated spirits in even the most basic of towns in the U.S.  That facility is valuable to me now.  Finding cool camping stores along the way while in search of white gas or canisters isn't near the enjoyable diversion it used to be.  I also like that denatured alcohol / methylated spirits doesn't have toxic fumes, isn't volatile, burns cleanly and can be used as a mild cleaner.

Strongly recommend the Esbit CS2350HA cook set if you can get one.

If camping in really cold weather, one can use a whiskey flask to pre-heat your fuel.

My other stove is an MSR Dragonfly but it's a museum piece in the garage now.

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 24, 2011, 04:13:08 pm »
Perhaps you're right that the heat exchanger feature is heavy and unnecessary.  However, I'm willing to give it a try for my needs and tolerances.  I WANT to cook while on tour to avoid the abominable offerings out there in America and the heat exchanger will allow me to cook more efficiently.  Also, I come from a background of carrying heavy loads on my back.  Although the Esbit is a bit heavier, it's nothing compared to other things I've been required to carry long distances.  If the Esbit makes it over Loveland Pass with me, then it'll make it anywhere.  If I blow up on a mountain pass and go stark mad tossing bits of kit hither and yon halfway up, I'll come back and tell you I should've listened to you :D .

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 24, 2011, 01:27:10 am »
I received another alcohol cookset from Esbit.  Although it's a bit heavier than the Trangia ultralight cooksets, it will enable faster cooking due to the built-in heat exchangers on the bottom of the pots.  I don't have any nerdy data for boiling times but 24 oz of tap water came to a rolling boil MUCH faster than I expected last night at ~6,000 feet ASL.  For reference, 24 oz would be useful for boiling half a bag of Barilla tortellini or something similar.  However, good luck finding this set in the USA....I called AGS Labs which claimed to be the US importer for Esbit and they told me Esbit no longer had a US distributor.  European sales are no issue and going strong apparently.  I had to use a fine tooth comb to find this set ( - last one).  I like the plastic plates with one turned over as a cutting board for slicing vegetables or fruit and the other for serving and they fit under each pot to protect the non-stick finish.  Everything nests into one small package which fits neatly into a mesh bag.  There is room left over after packing the alcohol burner and pot lifter.

I also picked up some Trangia bottles with the safety valve.  I can't recommend these bottles highly enough because of how easy the valve makes it to precisely "dose" your alcohol burner without a single drop spilled.  I bought a 1 liter bottle to fit underneath my down tube and a 300ml bottle for daily use in and out of the panniers.  We'll see if my technique survives the miles but my line of thought is I can use the small bottle on a daily basis and on my last resupply from the 1 liter bottle, that's the cue to start looking for a 1 liter tin of alcohol (which is the typical size sold) from a hardware store.  Anyways, good theory....we'll see how it goes in practical application, eh?

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 18, 2011, 04:01:11 pm »
How do you cook your pasta without boiling water?

Molto al dente  ;D .

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 18, 2011, 02:58:10 pm »
Yep, agreed.  My perspective was from the "doesn't work as advertised" angle.  I read this morning reviews that the Trangia is also suffering from a leaky crimp these days.

Gear Talk / Re: Alcohol Stoves
« on: July 18, 2011, 10:31:59 am »
BACKGROUND:  Pressurized stove fan for my whole camping life.  Have owned several MSR products.  Recent discussion of their pump failures got me interested in seeking out an alternative stove.  I've used a few types of solid fuel stoves over the years (military and Esbit) but knew they would present a resupply problem once the nearest camping store was out of sight.  I stumbled on alcohol stoves from another website I frequent and after a link or two, like Paddleboy, discovered a whole cottage industry and nation of rabid alky stove fans.  Wow!!  Anyways, I have too many projects to become the next Tinny or Shugemary so I simply bought an Esbit stove.

What got me interested in the Esbit was the trick little handle they put on the simmer ring.

OBSERVATION: This weekend I camped at 12,875 feet.  Temps were in the low 40s with highs in the 70s.  I used the Esbit alcohol stove with regular denatured alcohol (shellac thinner) and a windscreen (it was quite windy).  Although it took longer than normal for the flame to "bloom", once the stove was fully operational, the flame quality was no different than at 5,895 feet where I live.  It took 7 minutes to prime, heat and come to boil a full size can of soup.  Water in an Optimus kettle took less time.   One feature I like especially about the stove is the ability to cool down so quickly which makes packing up much faster, a very important aspect for me.  From extinguishing the flame to packing everything up was 1 minute.  However, on a negative note, the Esbit stove is NOT leakproof.  The point of failure is the crimped flange (the edge widest in circumference) and not the o-ring top.  Not to worry, I think I'll simply purchase a Trangia stove which is only about U$D15-17.  

Just thought I'd throw the data points out there for those researching alcohol.  I think I'm sold.  For cold weather, I think a hip flask would be perfect to keep the fuel warm.  As far as fuel availability, my only interests in international touring are Central and South America and I'm confident I'll be able to find fuel to last me from one resupply to the next.  (Famous last words :D) .

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