American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What's Old is New Again

Why do I keep trying to improve on what already works? I have more mess kits than any small armies should have and yet I keep looking for the newest solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

Yesterday I pulled the burner and windscreen from my Trangia Mini Cooker and dropped it into my GSI Soloist cookset in place of my canister stove and it fit in the bowl perfectly. Plus now there's room for additional snacks/condiments inside the cooker.

I've been playing around with my Swedish Army Trangia quite a bit lately but the stainless kit is just so darned heavy compared to some of the alternatives. It used to be that you couldn't beat the price of them for the value but now they're getting hard to find and the prices have gone up accordingly. I saw one on eBay yesterday for $25 plus about $10 shipping which isn't a terrible price but I remember just a few months ago when they were going for something like 2 for $15 or 4 for $20 at some surplus stores online.

The JetBoil I picked up last year just didn't work for me and the MSR Reactor is another seemingly one-trick pony in the same vein so I'll avoid it as well.

The Soloist's lexan lid won't work so well next to an open fire but running over a burner should do just fine.

This is where the Trangia is still king in my mind. You can run it over the burner, you can run it over a small stick fire, you can even hang it over a larger fire with the attached bail. The two pans can be nested to create a double-boiler or put together normally to create a type of dutch oven. The stainless kit is so tough you could even use it as a step to increase your reach.

There are no moving parts to break. It can run on a wide variety of fuels. It's been proven to handle rough use and downright abuse and keep on ticking. When they're available they're cheap as chips and even now they're cheaper than every other complete cookset on the market (I think.)

Every time I switch to a new cooker, pot set, or burner I seem to use it for a while and then ultimately come back to my Trangia. Why fight it?

Thanks for reading,



At 9:51 AM, Blogger Decado said...

I know how you feel! I am always looking for something better. Ultimately, I go back to working on the fire or my popcan-stove when I get frustrated with something new. I try to make something that works better, but the double boiler I bought 8 or 10 years ago still works the best for me. Thanks for the post AB!

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous James in Indy said...

I'm with you too. I have three setups: 1) is a steel malt extract can (as in beermaking) nests PERFECTLY on a Nalgene bottle and the 10cm Zebra Billy lid fits it perfectly. It works with hex tabs, wood, gas and even alcohol stoves. 2) is like 1 only using a flour can from Target (woodsmonkey did the how-to); 3) is an ultralight heineken pot/alcohol stove combo that all nests to very miniature size. Holds 23oz, boils 2 cups in 4.5mins, and can be suspended over a fire if need be. Weighs about 6oz including a 2 oz fuel bottle, potholder, striker, and a carrying pouch.

Even with all of that, I still have a pocket-rocket setup from MSR and I'm now looking into hobo stoves.

We're all just sick.


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