Bikepacking Cooking MK2…

My revamped cooking setup...

My revamped cooking setup…

I posted about my bikepacking cooking setup back in April and recently posted a review of the Trail Designs F-Keg Stove System I tried out this summer. The F-Keg really impressed me with its lightweight and how it all worked together so well as a system, but it proved a bit delicate. So I went back to my old cooking setup [Trangia stove + titanium pot] to see if I could improve it so that it was comparable to the F-Keg with the benefit of being robust enough for longterm use.

The contents...

The contents…

My main issues with the existing cooking setup were:

  • relatively heavy
  • stove stand and windscreen did not fit into pot

I resolved these issues by replacing the Trangia with the homemade alcohol stove shown in the video above. It has the benefit of being light and it acts as its own pot stand. I cut down an MSR windscreen to fit the new setup and used a metal document clip to hold it closed.

Pot on stove - no stand req'd...

Pot on stove – no stand req’d…

The DIY stove boils 2 cups of cold tap water in 6.5 mins and will burn for 10 mins on 30ml of fuel. This is comparable performance to the F-Keg and the Trangia.

6.5 minutes to boil 2 cups of cold water...

6.5 minutes to boil 2 cups of cold water…

The whole MK2 cooking setup [stove + screen + pot] weighs 155g which is 50g more than the F-Keg and 225 g less than the MK1 Trangia setup

  • Trail Designs F-Keg Stove System = 105g @ $60
  • Trail Designs F-Keg Stove System w/ protective caddy = 190g @ $60
  • my cooking setup MK1 [Trangia] = 380g @ $80
  • my cooking setup MK2 [DIY stove] = 155g @ $66
Robust and a nice shape for my backpack or framebag...

Robust and a nice shape for my backpack or framebag…

The MSR 700ml Titan Kettle is a handy size for solo or 2-3 person trips.

Stove with windscreen...

Stove with windscreen…

The Good:

  • robust when packed and in use
  • pot can be used on fire or other heat source
  • pot is a useful shape for cooking a real meal not just boiling water
  • stove is most delicate component, but it can be built in the field for free from a pop or beer can
  • cost is comparable to other options
  • fuel use and boiling time about the same as other options
  • less than half the weight of my MK1 cooking setup
  • everything fits neatly into pot
Stove in action...

Stove in action…

The Bad:

  • 50g or ~30% heavier than the Trail Design F-Keg
  • not as stable as either the F-Keg or the Trangia with stand

Overall I’m pretty happy with the results of these changes. It eliminates the major problems of the other lightweight cooking systems I was using the only real downside being it’s not as stable in use so I’ll need to be a bit more careful I don’t knock it over.

Flame on...

Flame on…

13 thoughts on “Bikepacking Cooking MK2…

  1. Can’t beat the weight of a can. Even on a bike tour… if you accidentally step on it, just make another one!

    • Yes – It’s ideal to always have some beer with you so that in case of stove damage you can quickly drink the beer and make a new stove. I think it’s only prudent to practice the beer drinking part so that in an emergency it’s just instinctive. 😉

  2. Very cool. Thanks for the video, looks like I have a project this afternoon. I wish I would have seen this before I bought my Vargo stove.

  3. I just bought a stove like the Trangia at Capital Iron but Stainless steel instead of brass, it was $10 and the stand was $8 and a windscreen was $12. I basically looked at your post for your MK1 setup and went with that.

  4. I don’t see myself making much change to this cooking set. The cost/weight/size/durability is pretty much at a sweet spot.

  5. Three tentstakes make for a small, light potstand as long as you are using the stove over earth and not on rocks.

  6. I have been using a primus ETA pot, it is 350g if I recall, but it holds 2L or so of water and it takes about 4:30 to boil 2 cups vs 6 minutes with my regular aluminum pot and 20 minutes for the Varga. I have been using it without a windscreen and it works well in all but the highest winds.

  7. Pingback: DIY camp stove. | Outside Cincinnati

  8. I’ve been using a very similar setup ever since I saw the Tom Allen video earlier this year, possibly on one of your posts, but I don’t remember now. However, I use a cheap stainless steel stanley 700 ml pot that I bought for $15 and a windscreen made from an aluminum dryer vent. Together, it’s a great setup for cheap.

    Ever since seeing the video, I have a proclivity to build a stove to give away while I’m having a beer. A perfect self-perpetuating hobby.

  9. I have been using this exact style stove for 2 years now…funny i stole the idea from the same youtube video 🙂 I have facilitated my own stove shootout and this one is by far the best.

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