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