Monthly Archive June 2018

2018 An Alcoholic’s Lunch

I decided I needed to field test a few pieces of gear before hauling them along with me on my upcoming motorcycle camping trips this season, and one item that I’ve enjoyed playing with is the Trangia spirit stove, or in my case, a Chinese clone of the Trangia.

I’m an Alcoholic

 I put together a wee kit and tossed onto my motorcycle and took it in to work with me with the idea of testing this out at lunch time.

It’s a minimalist set up for sure

 The pot stand is available on AliExress.com as “Argos Titanium Folding Pot Stand with Tray Alcohol Stove Solid Fuel Stove Ultralight Titanium Pocket Stove Multi-Fuel Stove”, quite the mouthful, isn’t it? The draw is that it collapses and all fits into that small grey bag. It works as a combination windscreen and pot stand, and can be used with solid fuel tablets (Esbit) or with an alcohol burner.

This thing is brilliant!

The first time I tried it in a strong wind, I had placed the burner on top of the solid fuel plate, and as the burner was too high and exposed to the strong wind, it roared through the two ounces of fuel and not much of the heat ever hit the bottom of the pan.

Lesson Learned:

  • In very strong winds you will need a windscreen or a protected area. 
  • Bring three times as much fuel for windy conditions

Today the breeze was strong enough to fly a flag straight out from it’s flagstaff, and variable, but not terribly strong. Still, it meant that I was expecting a boil time of two cups of water at 8 minutes in good conditions, and I had to wait a whole 2 extra minutes before I got a rolling boil.

At about four minutes, things are starting to happen. 

 Round about the magic 8 minute mark, there was steam coming off the water, and larger bubbles forming, but not quite a boil. You could see the heat shadows on the surface of the picnic table blowing with the wind, and the heat signature on the bottom of the stainless steel MSR Alpine (Seagull) Stowaway 775ml pot appearing and disappearing in the gusting breeze.

10 minutes saw a full boil achieved, at which time I tossed my Mr. Noodles into the pot, put the lid back and continued cooking for another four minutes. I probably should have tossed the simmer ring on once it was at a full boil to conserve some fuel, but I didn’t think of it at the time.

Trangia Clone “Go Hike” off of FleaBay

 You can get a decent Trangia clone on FleaBay such as the “Alocs”, “Esbit” or “GoHike” branded models, as well as some more expensive titanium models.

After cooking the noodles for four minutes, I snuffed the flames of the burner, let it cool off and had a peek to see that of the 2 ounces of fuel that I started with, I was now down to about a 1/4 of an ounce left. I was not expecting it to burn this much fuel, but the strong breeze would account for that. I’m sure that if I’d used a full windscreen I’d have burned much less fuel. If that bothers you, you might want to take a look at the Caldera Cone system.

The burner, and the pot stand along with a mod

 The windscreen pot stand comes in four parts

  • three identical side shields forming the triangle
  • one solid fuel tablet base that fits into the triangle
The mod I added to this is the square section of stainless steel grate. It gets placed on top of the pot stand for smaller boiling vessels like tin mugs that would plummet straight down into the burner otherwise. 
Clean up

I’ve a wee bit of soap impregnated towel, and with some cold water and a bit of elbow grease is perfect for a wash-up.

I store the pot stand, and all the bits I need inside the MSR Alpine Stowaway Pot 775ml that I recently purchased from MEC.ca  It reviews very well, and truly is bulletproof. The feature I like most is that the folding handle flips up and locks the lid into place, so all the bits and pieces of kit get stowed away inside the pot, with the drying rag there to keep it from rattling. A brilliant little piece of kit that is used by enthusiasts that want durability and functionality. It goes from the stove straight into the fire and back again with aplomb.

I bought the 775ml version. Perfect size for Ramen and solo camping

Conclusion:

I have to make sure that I pack along extra fuel and a windscreen, but I was very happy with my Alcoholic Lunch break and I hope you enjoy the review. 
 
As a bonus, I’ll toss in a YouTube Video of a world travelling solo cyclist who extols the virtues of her cooking system. Push Bike Girl – How I cook on the Road
 

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2018 The Pownal PE Shore

I’d spent much of Saturday cooking some home cured corned beef, so when Sunday rolled around, and seemed to pass quickly, I was determined to get out on the bike for a ride, in spite of the cool 11 degree Celsius, cloudy Sunday afternoon. As I was going out the door of my apartment, I opted to change out of my jeans and into some heavier riding pants, as well as to take my heated jacket in favour of the heated vest, and am I ever glad I did! It was cool just walking or sitting around, but my legs and feet said “This is fall riding weather!”.

End of the road for the Versys
Charlottetown PE to Stratford to Pownal and return

I decided that I’d scope out the Tim Horton’s parking lot just down the street, and sure enough there were a couple of older riders there, Derrick a Ducati pilot, and ???? I forgot already, although he was mounted on a nice well maintained 2016 Honda CRF250L. We chatted for a while and they headed home, while I headed East across the bridge, then turned south past my office to follow the shoreline. I thought about heading out to Point Prim, as the lighthouse out there is pretty nice, but much of the ride would have been on the boring Trans Canada Route 1, so opted instead to stop at all the little access roads that I could find that took me out to the south shore of Stratford as I made my way East.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Versys doesn’t like wet clay, and to be truthful, neither do I. It’s slicker than snot and harder to get off your clothes. Luckily the roads were dry enough for me to have a wee bit of adventure without calling a friend for recovery.

The Ministry of Defence Rifle Range… Red Flag is up!
 
 
There is a mud hole just up ahead.

Yeah, I’m a wuss, and the thought of trying to pick up 500lbs of street bike just didn’t appeal, so I turned around rather than test out the Shinko 705s in that mud hole just up and around the corner. Beat a hasty retreat back out the road to look for another likely candidate to take me out to the shore.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The apple blossoms are beginning to litter the shoulder with their petals
 
 

Back in Charlottetown I found that I wasn’t quite ready to put the bike away yet, so headed around Victoria Park and back over to the Timmies where I ran into some of the Red Isle Riders that were out with the same idea as I, although when Mikala asked me if I wanted to join them for a ride out to Montague, I suddenly remembered I had an appointment with my couch and a nice hot cuppa. 😀

Brighton Lighthouse, Charlottetown PE

And that was pretty much it for today, just a short Sunday fling that made me remember why I bought those tires for this bike, and why I enjoy riding the Versys instead of a sport touring bike. 😀

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Cheers!