Friday, August 22, 2008

High Tea with a Trangia

I usually take a Trangia stove with me on my bike adventures. Works for me, might work for you too. It has its advantages and some cons. Mostly, I like it because it's so darn small and there's no moving parts to break. You basically fill it with fuel (denatured alcohol) and throw a match in the middle or light it with a lighter and that's it!

Sure, it could burn longer and hotter and faster, but for me it works. It's a quiet little stove and I sometimes carry two of them. Did I mention they're pretty cheap too. You can get them for as low as $25 depending on what it comes with. There are more expensive models that come with the "storm cooker" set up that go up to $100+. There's no proprietary stove canisters. As long as there's a hardware store (denatured alcohol...usually in the paint thinner section) or automotive store (I've used some stuff called HEET with good luck) you'll be able to fuel her up.

Rivendell sells a few versions of it, so check it out there (it's under the bike camping section).


Stephen Starling said...

That's so cool! I'm a big Tea drinkers myself. Love this new blog! You just may inspire me to try this bike camping thing... :)

RussRoca said...

You should definitely give it a go...even just an overnighter.


2whls3spds said...

Love the new is high on my favourites list.

I haven't seen a Trangia in years, might have to find one again. I quite often drag a Kelly Kettle (also known as a Storm Kettle) along on my rambles on my trusty Raleigh Superbe. Not as compact but quite serviceable.

And here's to a fresh, hot cup of tea.


RussRoca said...

Thanks. Hey, would like to do a guest review of the Kelly Kettle? Always been fascinated by it since I saw it on Kent's Bike Blog.


Mark said...

I love your new site. This post made me think that you'd be interested in the 3 Speed Tour.

2whls3spds said...

I have ridden with quite of few of those people. It was during the All British Cycling Event The ABCE is a 2 day event on a weekend in September. My kind of touring BTW.


Marla...O.A.F. with altitude said...

Interesting stove. I've had experience with the Esbit solid fuel stove and the Etowah Outfitters alcohol stove. We have a ton of people on the AT using the EO stove, which is the closest to the Trangia, I think.

Like the videos you're doing!

Aidan said...

If you take a bit of thick aluminum foil with you and wrap that around the burner at the width of the pan you can seal in a bit more of the heat decreasing the boiling time by some minutes, or buy an MSR heat reflector for example!.shtml?sourceid=309

don't seal it to well, you need some O2 to get to the flame :D

Michael Meiser said...

Thanks RussRoca! I have an MSR Dragonfly I picked up for next to nothing at a garage sale and because it was a no-brainer I'd never done any research on alternatives. I'd forgotten all about the Trangia from my youth and this brought it all rushing back.

I've read A LOT of stuff in the past hour or so on the Trangia in refreshing my memory, but even after that it all comes back to this post and this video. You brought it all home with a simple blog post and video. Price, time to boil water, ease of use, smplicity durability, availability of fuel. I've as good as ordered mine and subscribed to your blog already.

BTW, I was just going to order it w/out the windscreen, because I primarily just want to experiment with it and compare with my MSR right now. I figure I can make a windscreen / pot holder out of a tin can, experiment with ideal size and shape. Probably end up with the exact same thing as in your video, but I'm experimenting with the windscreen for my MSR anyway.

BTW, is there any reason why your windscreen / holder even has a bottom?

There's another little trick I've seen to maximize heat exchange to the pot and block wind... that is an additional little scrap of metal / aluminum foil around the bottom edge of the pot which does several things... 1) traps super heated air... 2) blocks the wind a little better 3) acts as a heat exchange 4) directs hot air up alongside the pot.

I think the key is finding either a) some extremely heavy aluminum foil or discovering some other source of aluminum or tin flashing.

RussRoca said...

Michael...thanks for subscribing...

When I'm out on tour I usually use a windscreen from my gf's MSR stove...I've heard aluminum flashing works well too...

This particular model of the Trangia I bought has that pot holder/windscreen. It works well. Not so much as a windscreen though....really needs a larger outer one if there's even a bit of a breeze...

Hope that helps..

Michael Meiser said...

Thank's russ. Regarding the potholder/windscreen... sure beats the MSR with no windscreen at all. I've found even a slight breeze decreases it's ability to bring water to a boil tremendously.

It occurs to me I have a bunch of leftover aluminum flashing in the front garage from doing house trim... and though it may be to heavy I can walk into any hardware store and find a variety of likely lighter weight aluminum flashing and there are dozens of hardware store items like paint roller pans that are ready sources of aluminum or tin of the appropriate gauge.

I'm sure I can find something on my next visit to the hardware store and it sure beats special ordering it.