Author Topic: Trangia Stove / Meths  (Read 10401 times)

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Offline LucyM

Trangia Stove / Meths
« on: November 04, 2016, 01:17:35 pm »
Hi all and apologies in advance - I coming from Scotland next year to America,  to cycle from Oregon to Maine and I'm going to bug you all with lots of question -mainly about routes but here are my first 3.
1.  I'm  planning on bringing my Trangia Stove with me - is it quite easy to buy Meths in America and do you call Meths something else??   Sorry if this is a ridiculous question.
2.   Before I start asking questions about routes I wanted to make sure I am using the right terminology so that we are both speaking the same language - eg what I would call the road I think you call the pavement - and what I would call the pavement I think you call the sidewalk.   Can you confirm this please and are then any other helpful words that I should know.
3.  I'm really keen to learn more about Native Americans and get to meet them and learn about their history and culture,  etc - can anyone point me in the direction of some good websites to get me started.
Hope to here from you and happy cycling
Lucy

Offline DanE

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2016, 02:22:20 pm »
1; The fuel for Trangia stove which you call "Meths" is called methanol or wood alcohol here. It is easily available in hardware stores. However, the way most bicycle tourists buy it is a package labeled HEET in a yellow plastic bottle 12 fl oz (350 ml ) in size. This is sold as a gasoline antifreeze additive but it is pure methanol. You will find this sold at any place selling auto parts or gasoline filling stations.

There is also a product called Iso-Heet in a red plastic container which contains iso-propanol. You don't want that one as it burns dirtier than the yellow can.

https://www.goldeagle.com/brands/heet

Methanol sold in hardware stores will be usually sold in a 1 quart ( 950 ml ) metal container. Camping supply stores will sell it in the 1 quart or 1 gallon size as well.

https://www.rei.com/product/837419/crown-fuel-alcohol-stove-fuel

Bicycle tourists tend to buy one or two cans of yellow HEET, keep it in the original package as their storage containers and buy them as you go.

2; Road would probably be the name we use for the path one takes to get somewhere, such as "Is this the road to Yorktown?" Pavement is the the word one would use to describe what substance the road was made of. Such as "The pavement on the road to Yorktown was asphalt." Sidewalk is the path adjacent to the road where pedestrians would walk found in cities and towns.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2016, 05:27:11 pm »
I use yellow bottle Heet and have generally had an easy time finding it, but if you have trouble ask for "denatured alcohol" at a hardware or paint store.

Some also use "grain alcohol"  or "Everclear" which is sold for drinking.

Offline DaveB

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2016, 06:41:49 pm »
I use yellow bottle Heet and have generally had an easy time finding it, but if you have trouble ask for "denatured alcohol" at a hardware or paint store.

Some also use "grain alcohol"  or "Everclear" which is sold for drinking.
If HEET is denatured alcohol (Ethanol) it is not methanol.  Methanol is "wood alcohol" and is a different chemical.  It is also rather toxic.

"Everclear" is 190 proof Ethanol and is potable if diluted sufficiently.  It is also extremely expensive since it is taxed as an alcoholic beverage.  There are a lot better things to burn in your stove.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2016, 07:23:07 pm »
I use yellow bottle Heet and have generally had an easy time finding it, but if you have trouble ask for "denatured alcohol" at a hardware or paint store.

Some also use "grain alcohol"  or "Everclear" which is sold for drinking.
If HEET is denatured alcohol (Ethanol) it is not methanol.  Methanol is "wood alcohol" and is a different chemical.  It is also rather toxic.

"Everclear" is 190 proof Ethanol and is potable if diluted sufficiently.  It is also extremely expensive since it is taxed as an alcoholic beverage.  There are a lot better things to burn in your stove.
Yellow Heet, my first choice, is 99% Methanol.

SLX Denatured Alcohol by Klean Strip is 45-50% ethanol, 50-55% methanol, 1-4% Methyl isobutyl ketone.

Other denature alcohol that I have seen typically contains similar amounts of ethanol and methanol.

In my experience, yellow heet and the denatured alcohol I have tried all burn fine in my stove.  The get to a rolling boil in a reasonable time and burn cleanly.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2016, 11:07:21 pm »
An alcohol stove will burn any kind of alcohol: ethanol, ethanol/methanol mixture, methanol or isopropanol, in that preference order. Pure ethanol is sold in liquor stores and is expensive (and thus not really practical). Denatured alcohol is a ethanol/methanol mixture, and is available in the paint department of hardware stores. It adds some methanol to the ethanol to make it undrinkable, but it is typically sold in larger containers than I would want. Methanol is readily available in modest quantities from gas stations and WalMart in the form of yellow HEET gas-line antifreeze. Methanol, however, is toxic to breathe or absorb, so caution is advised. Isopropanol is available in auto parts stores as red HEET, and in drug stores as rubbing alcohol. It is sooty when it burns. Rubbing alcohol has just marginally enough concentration of alcohol (70%) to even burn.

Offline polskionabike

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2016, 08:47:02 pm »
Alcohol stoves are very appealing as a light and simple piece of gear and I know they have many fans.  But with BTU output at around half that of a butane or white gas stove I just never could justify taking one on a trip of any length.  Butane canisters are readily available as is white gas, and many gas stoves (my favorite is the MSR Whisperlite Internationale) also burn unleaded auto fuel which is super available.  Gas stoves lose out on the weight and simplicity factor, and cartridge stoves leave you with canisters to dispose of that never seem to get entirely empty, but they are good options for half the cooking time and half the fuel weight that you'll pack along.
And with all that, I do appreciate that sticking with what you know and are used to is of value as well.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2016, 06:17:43 am »
Alcohol stoves are very appealing as a light and simple piece of gear and I know they have many fans.  But with BTU output at around half that of a butane or white gas stove I just never could justify taking one on a trip of any length.  Butane canisters are readily available as is white gas, and many gas stoves (my favorite is the MSR Whisperlite Internationale) also burn unleaded auto fuel which is super available.  Gas stoves lose out on the weight and simplicity factor, and cartridge stoves leave you with canisters to dispose of that never seem to get entirely empty, but they are good options for half the cooking time and half the fuel weight that you'll pack along.
And with all that, I do appreciate that sticking with what you know and are used to is of value as well.
I find the btu output, while less to be just fine.  When cooking for a group I prefer the extra output of butane.  Also if backpacking and melting snow for water extra output is nice.

I have found butane canisters less available than alcohol and have sometimes gone considerable distances without seeing any for sale.  White gas is almost never available in small quantities.  Often there are only gallons and if you are lucky quarts.  On a bike tour I'd rather not carry that much since you can restock more frequently to keep the load light.  The 12 ounce Yellow Heet bottles are just about right for me.

Butane and white gas both have higher btu per weight than alcohol, but that doesn't offset the extra weight of the stove unless you are carrying fuel for longer distances between restocking points.

BTW, Probably the most widely available fuel is gasoline.  It is very energy dense and can be either cheap or free if you just get the little bits of gas that comes out of the hose when the pumps are not turned on.  It does stink if you spill any on your gear or clothing and require a similar stove to a white gas stove.

For me the alcohol stove wins out on most tour where I am cooking for one and butane for group tours (for two people I consider it a tossup) or long backpacking trips.

BTW, my go to alcohol stove is a sub half ounce pop can burner.  With pot stand and wind screen it is still under an ounce.


Offline polskionabike

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2016, 12:20:51 pm »
It is very good to make the distinction between solo and group trips. 
Agreed on the container size availability of white gas....I might start a trip with it but refill with auto fuel along the way.  And yes it is smelly stuff..
I absolutely love the function and simplicity of the beer can stove! It matches our mode of travel nicely.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2016, 06:39:34 am »
Well Lucy you've had answers to 1 & 2 I'll give 3 a go. I don't know any websites but that doesn't mean there aren't any, try googling Indian tribe names (or google  'Indian tribe names' if you don't know any) I know, you've done that already BUT while you're on tour you will almost certainly go through Indian reservations as they tend to be off major highways and many of them have museums - the one at the Nez Perce* reservation in Idaho is superb. If there is no museum there will probably be a casino. Go to the casino (they sometimes have a small museum) and ask how you can learn more about their tribe. My experience has been that Native Americans really like someone taking an interest in their culture.
Casinos often have cheap food that's better than burger chains. You don't have to gamble to avail yourself of it in all the casinos I've visited.
Yes, they do refer to themselves as 'Indians', the Indians you get in the UK are East Indian if you need to distinguish.

* Nez Perce as you probably know is French. The name is not pronounced Nay Persay but Nezz Purse, including by the Nez Perce themselves. Your next challenge: pronounce Puyallup - a tribe in Washington state.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2016, 06:49:57 am by PeteJack »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2016, 06:47:45 am »
the one at the Nez Perce* reservation in Idaho is superb.
I second that.  It was a very interesting stop.

Offline canalligators

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2016, 12:49:50 pm »
You can find both museums and other historic sites, in many parts of the US.  (These peoples lived everywhere before the westerners came.)  Find the tourism site for the state you're interested in, and search on "Indian".  You'll get other things, like motels in towns having "Indian" in their name, but you'll also find lots of museums, historic sites and interpretive centers.

One good location is near the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier: Ganondogan, near Rochester NY.  They have an active schedule of events, usually on the weekends.

A lot of historic sites concerning our colonial wars have Native American information.  The Indians often fought on one side or the other.  In our French and Indian War, where your wars with the French spilled over to North America, the Iroquois and Algonquin fought on the side of the French.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2016, 02:14:19 pm »
And if you get a chance try Indian fry bread. It's nothing like fried bread in the UK and is delicious.

Offline BrianW

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2016, 04:59:59 pm »
I've found standard butane canisters are now available in the sporting goods section of most WalMarts. This is great for the bike tourist!

Also, I'd be careful of walking into a store and asking for "meths"! The methamphetamine (aka "meth") drug problem is unfortunately quite pervasive in many communities at the moment.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Trangia Stove / Meths
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2016, 04:12:31 pm »

Hi all and apologies in advance - I coming from Scotland next year to America,  to cycle from Oregon to Maine ...
2.   Before I start asking questions about routes I wanted to make sure I am using the right terminology so that we are both speaking the same language - eg what I would call the road I think you call the pavement - and what I would call the pavement I think you call the sidewalk.   Can you confirm this please and are then any other helpful words that I should know.

2; Road would probably be the name we use for the path one takes to get somewhere, such as "Is this the road to Yorktown?" Pavement is the the word one would use to describe what substance the road was made of. Such as "The pavement on the road to Yorktown was asphalt." Sidewalk is the path adjacent to the road where pedestrians would walk found in cities and towns.

Some other terms:

Depending on where you go different things have different terminology, and many can be learned on YouTube. Youtuber EvanEvingerBritish VS American & More!: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4ih7gaviWT4xkfj3gajEdd-7LwhTcwMs is good for this. (Linked is a "British Vs American" playlist, but I don't think he's put everything in it) He's a young American that has moved to the UK, and does many collaborative videos with UK YouTubers discussing the differences between life in the UK and life in America... Primarily regarding growing up, but also terminology. Just as there are differences between the US and the UK, there are regional differences of terminology across the US

Road, street, avenue, lane, ... All basically the same and replaceable with the generic term "road" unless you're receiving specific directions

Highway, freeway, parkway, turnpike: turnpike isn't used as much, but these are generally more reserved for the main arterials... generically "highway"

Roundabout, traffic circle, (there's another type that is a sort of "traffic triangle", but I forget what the name for it is...I encountered them in the Boston area, not sure if they're used further north as well): all methods of attempts to reduce traffic snarls. On a bike they're all pretty risky. Be very vigilant, and make definite eye contact. Even then, assume entering vehicles haven't seen you. I've had many close calls... People look, but they don't SEE (I'm sure this isn't too different anywhere else either).

Bike lanes: depending on where you go, they could be paved and in good condition, paved and in poor condition, separated from traffic, and separate from pedestrians, directly in traffic, on the shoulder beside traffic, beside the sidewalk.

Bike paths: usually paved when near cities, and usually shared with pedestrians, but in varying states of repair.

My area happens to have all of the above, some communities have "cyclists allowed full use of the lane" signs, but most don't designate a bike lane at all. Some bike paths are paved, others are dirt tracks, some are fine gravel, others are coarse gravel. Some places, the street is actually worse to ride on than the sidewalk is.

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