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Campstove fuel--where to carry?

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Just got my first non-canister-fueled campstove, an MSR Dragonfly. (Gasoline or diesel may be my only source of fuel overseas, so I wanted a stove that didn't rely on a gas mix/disposable canister.) It runs fine on unleaded...however, since you can smell the gas and the fuel bottle isn't some sealed factory unit, I really don't feel comfortable carrying it in my pack (not to mention stench contamination...)

So how do you backpackers carry your fuel? I guess I'm gonna use one of my outer side pouches, but I hate losing on that storage space for stuff I want quick access to...

MD
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
24,876
3,601
In my pants
Right underneath your silkies in the bottom of your pack.



Of course you carry it on the outside. That **** stinks.
 

DirtMcGirk

<b>WAY</b> Dumber than N8 (to the power of ten alm
Feb 21, 2008
6,417
1
Oz
I hang mine off the bag from a 'beaner. I unclip it when I need it, and away I go.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
I was gonna do that, but that means I have to take the pump off the bottle to put the screw-top on with the ring in it. (Unless I'm missing some way to clip into the pump.) What do you do with the pump when it's off the bottle?

The msr pump also looks a little fragile, so I'm actually happier with it sitting mostly in the metal bottle...
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,967
35
I was gonna do that, but that means I have to take the pump off the bottle to put the screw-top on with the ring in it. (Unless I'm missing some way to clip into the pump.)
Buy one extra wide mouth container for the pump, spares, etc for storage and transport. (assuming you can get the stove parts in there). It will keep the smell off your gear and protect the pump. Minimal weight penalty and you get to camp with a working stove. Carry the fuel bottle outside the pack. Bottle holsters are your friend.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Bottle holsters are your friend.
Ah, I had a feeling there was such a thing, but didn't know what to call it.

MikeD=neanderthal ex-military goon. If it's not an issued canteen or a camelbak, I'm lost...
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
51,679
4,626
In a van.... down by the river
Ah, I had a feeling there was such a thing, but didn't know what to call it.

MikeD=neanderthal ex-military goon. If it's not an issued canteen or a camelbak, I'm lost...
Even cheaper option - make a noose out of spectra cord and strangle the bottle neck with it. Loop on the other end for a carabiner/whatever.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,967
35
Even cheaper option - make a noose out of spectra cord and strangle the bottle neck with it. Loop on the other end for a carabiner/whatever.
Bottle holsters are your friend.

A bunch o swingin crap hanging off the pack gets old fast.






(wtf do I know, I only work for a backpack manufacturer...)
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
What do you all do for coffee on the trail?

I've done instant, cowboy, and used a small plastic French press. (Taken out of context, that could sound bad...or good...)

My wife loves coffee and I think we're in for a bad second day of hiking if she doesn't get good stuff. Instant's probably not going to cut it, my press is in storage, and she probably won't deal well with grounds floating in her mug.
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
maybe a bandana? i've used one as a way of keeping bugs and crap out when filling my water bottles.
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
You can brew it loose and pour through a filter/cloth to remove grounds.

There is also a device that will turn a nalgene bottle into a french press.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Yeah, I was wondering where I could get a metal screen--I used to have a fine mesh wire square which someone gave me and worked really well as a filter. The bottle press attachments look good, too, but she has stated that she doesn't want her water bottle to taste like coffee afterward and it will get too hot to hold. Her perceptions matter a lot more than reality (and I sort of agree on the too hot part, although we have squishy mugs to pour into...maybe we'll just use my water bottle and be done with it...)

I think I'll check to see what REI has. Independence day at its best--shopping in an air-conditioned store to buy outdoor products and support democracy!!
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
OK, I have returned...bottle caddy for $6.50 which clips/straps nicely to the pack and a $10 metal filter basket which screws into my water bottle. (Not a press--you just steep the coffee from within the basket, then remove it, or mix the grounds and the water and pour out through the filter...)

Plus, squishy bowls!



 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi

Never mind the Marmot.

(Actually, I've got a bunch of Marmot stuff and love it, along with a lot of Mountain Hardware gear...)


So we're back...it was an adventure. And she forgot the camera battery, so there are zero photos, which is tragic.

The St. Mary's Falls and St. Mary's River trails were someplace I'd hiked once in college, and had an amazing time. Trail follows a beautiful clear, very rocky, river through some fairly remote and unspoiled terrain; we'd camped near a small waterfall/swimming hole and had a blast. Took the wife back there to try and re-live it...the trail apparently was blown out by Katrina in many places, what's left is no longer blazed, and you have to cross the stream to find the trail and its bypasses ("Igon, I thought you said crossing the streams was BAD," she tells me...)

She's wobbly normally; built like a lollipop--put an overnight load on her (well, on me, but her pack was still reasonably full of all the bulky light stuff I could find to make her feel better... :) ) and she's really unsteady. Combine a general lack of coordination with this and what should have been 10-second walks across the river could take agonizing minutes...she's not totally sold on trekking poles, since she "doesn't trust them to stay put," but they did help.

This was also a first overnight backpacking trip for her, and a chance to knock the dust off and learn all my new gear for me. The trail, again, was astoundingly beautiful, and she gained a lot of confidence (I think) over the course of the walk, which did have some awkward bits to traverse. Hurricane But we eventually made our way to the big falls, had lunch, watched an army of illegally-camped 12-14 year old boys be entertaining jackasses in the water, and hiked out to the more remote St. Mary's Trail to find a place to camp. Lo and behold, I found my campsite from 10 years ago, and it was no longer inhabitable without clearing it (verboten by the US forest service), so we found an easier place to camp on the opposite side...splashed in the water, cooked dinner and had a nice relaxing evening. Rained all night, stopped by the time we got up, and now we're back home.

So here are some conclusions and questions: (Pre-warning: what commentary follows is as idiotic and self-evident as anything ever written...but hey, it's always fun watching people come to obvious conclusions as if they're experts worthy of dispensing opinions, right?)

1) Trekking poles...ghey factor way up high, but utility factor seems to compensate most of the time. I found myself getting into a light grip, using the wrist straps more than actually gripping them, and just lightly tapping them as I walked when the ground was open. When it got rockier, I was more deliberate, and they really helped once I got used to having 2 extra feet. When it got really deliberate (blown-out traverses and talus fields with a drop on the inside), I was using them to keep 3 points of contact and really liked it. But in the end, I know I could have done the same trail without them without complaint. Since I paid for them, though, I'll theorize that they really will help over the course of longer multi-day outings. Glad I got the Black Diamond brand, too...I can't stand those twist-lock kinds. These have an easy, positive flip-lock, plus BD will sell you new sections if you bend one.

2) Campstove--thanks for the advice earlier. Need to secure the bottle with a bungee, as well, so it doesn't slip out should I take a real tumble. Two more questions-- a) does a small spurt/trickle of fuel when detaching the fuel canister mean you've overpressurized it, or is it normal/unavoidable? b) Is it OK to carry the canister pressurized? I've been releasing it after use/cooldown as the directions say, but if you're planning on using it again soon, is it all right to leave it pumped?

3) I love my tent--it's not the top-of-the-line ultra-light, but it's a solid, versatile 2-person. And I can pack the fly/poles alone as a lightweight rain shelter or the tent alone as a bug shelter; it's almost totally mesh from just a bit above the floor. However, it SUCKS putting up or down in rain, as the floor is totally exposed to the wet as you pitch it until you can get the fly over top. Just something to deal with design-wise.

4) Cooking--I thought, "Why pack dish soap? I'll just rinse and scrape the pans...it's only one day and I won't be cooking anything else." Not a terrible idea when cooking pasta. HORRENDOUS idea when frying potatoes, sausage, and shallots, then simmering the remainder of the sausage with black beans. My pack and most of my gear is hideously stench-y. It was a GOOD dinner, though, and the stove cooks well.
How large of a cookset do you guys carry? I have the MSR combo which nests my campstove in a 2L pot with a frying pan underneath/lid on top. Seems bulky, but given the size of the stove, I think it's about as good as I can do.

5) Guyot Designs squishy bowls/mugs--These things are awesome. Pretty light. Jam them anywhere in your pack and they spring into shape. Turn them inside out and perch on your hand, and lick them clean.

6) GSI Designs H2JO coffee maker --Total fail as a brewing basket--pretty successful as a cowboy coffee filter for your water bottle. Carried it in the bottle, so it took up no room. But using a water bottle as a coffee pot requires a lot of cleaning to restore the bottle to general use. Not too bad if you're hiking along a river or something, but as a guy who started hiking in the desert, it doesn't seem good for all-around use. From now on, I think we'll make cowboy coffee by the bowl, and I'll find some kind of small, flat filter screen or cloth to pour into the mugs. Or we'll just take (ugh) instant for longer trips. Simple beats gadgets.

7) Water purification--MSR sweetwater. First use, liked it a lot. Seems fairly cheaply constructed--wish it was a little more robust, but it did the job nicely. Does everyone use chemicals in conjunction with the mechanical filters, or do you save the chemicals for times when the water is more questionable?

8) Packs--Only my second hike with the pack and my first with any significant load. Coming from being issued crappy gear, I too easily suffer through stuff. The hike, though fun, really seemed more painful my shoulders and back than it should have been. Couldn't get the weight to rest on my hips just right, but I just kept walking. I became convinced my pack wasn't the right size, but 500m from the end of the hike, I got the light bulb, took a 5-min break, and found the combination of adjustments which needed to be done. Now I LOVE the pack. New school stuff is complicated, but rewards proper usage. (If they'd only shipped an instruction manual with it...apparently they don't have one since it's a brand-new model, and it's constructed differently than the older models.)

9) Zip-off hiking pant/shorts: More ghey than trekking poles. I hate the way they look and the way people wear them around town. But after buying some, I am SOLD on them for trail wear. Extremely, extremely practical. SOO much nicer and lighter than packing separate shorts/pants. Maybe now I'll move into wearing man-capris...but, you know, just on the trail. (And with gaiters when it gets nasty...seriously...)

10) Little plastic containers in various shapes/sizes are the most useful use of $.40-$1.00 ever. Pain relievers for medical kit, tiny dab of toothpaste, small flask of wine/scotch for after dinner...whatever...

11) I'm really enjoying backpacking in a way I never did before...it's something I can generally do with the wife, unlike mountain biking. (Tried, with disastrous effect...just not her kind of sport.) Hiking Kilimanjaro in the next few years (while we're in Africa) was her idea, so I'm glad we're getting some time to break her into the miserable aspects of hiking/climbing before it hits her on what could become a very expensive disaster.

That is all. I just keep writing because I don't want to face cleaning the now-dry tent in this microscopic apartment without a yard, hose, or space to deal with this.

-MD

(Ed: Link to someone who didn't forget his camera on the trail... http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~weimer/2006 - Saint Mary/1.html)

Ed II: Also-- Asolo boots. The best I've ever used, and I've worn a lot of boots. (Mostly military style, though, so maybe I'm just too easily impressed.) Water/multisport shoes--most versatile choice for secondary footwear...great when crossing water, great in the campsite. REI brand wool socks are just as nice as Smartwool.
 
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skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
i thought you were in cali for some reason...

what kind of pack and tent do you have?

i just recently got a gsi ultralight dualist cookset. very light and i like the way everything nests together. it comes with 2 bowls, 2 insulated mugs with sippy tops, which fit in the 2 liter pot that has a lexan lid with a built in pasta strainer. the stuff sack for it can be filled with water to be used as a sink. i may end up getting a fry pan to bring with me as well.

as for purifying water, you don't really need to use chemicals if you have a mechanical filter unless you are getting your water from a stream that may contain viruses. most backcountry streams in the us are safe enough that only a filter is required. although i would use caution when downstream from a populated area. i believe that as long as it filters down to 0.2 microns you will be safe with just a filter here in the us. if it does not filter down to that point, i recommend chemicals unless giardia sounds like a good time to you.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
i thought you were in cali for some reason...

what kind of pack and tent do you have?

i just recently got a gsi ultralight dualist cookset. very light and i like the way everything nests together. it comes with 2 bowls, 2 insulated mugs with sippy tops, which fit in the 2 liter pot that has a lexan lid with a built in pasta strainer. the stuff sack for it can be filled with water to be used as a sink. i may end up getting a fry pan to bring with me as well.

as for purifying water, you don't really need to use chemicals if you have a mechanical filter unless you are getting your water from a stream that may contain viruses. most backcountry streams in the us are safe enough that only a filter is required. although i would use caution when downstream from a populated area. i believe that as long as it filters down to 0.2 microns you will be safe with just a filter here in the us. if it does not filter down to that point, i recommend chemicals unless giardia sounds like a good time to you.
I was in Cali for 7-8 years; am moving to Africa and transiting through NoVA right now. Went to school in VA, too.

Tent is a Mountain Hardware Meridian 2 (with "footprint" ground cover) and the pack is the MH Supernatural 55.

Your thoughts on filtration mirror mine--the cookset sounds nice.

I want to get a bunch of stuff for ultralight backpacking on my own, but that's probably a pipe dream right now. Not doing any of that in Africa, but I have dreams of the Pacific Crest or Appalachian trails using a hammock and bivvy sack/fly and little else...

Edit: Do you guys pack a stool/seat of any kind? I found some 1-lb tripod stools which I bought--unlike the thermarest seat deals, they keep you up out of the mud, which can be nice if you're stuck with a civilized mindset (ie, camping with the wife, in contrast to how I'd hike if I was alone...) They're pretty easy to haul, so I figure they were worth the pound.

Edit II: Westy, take 64 to 81 and a little bit south and you're there. Really recommend it, especially with a lady friend who likes to rise seductively out of cold mountain pools/waterfalls. But don't forget the camera batteries.
 
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BurlyShirley

Rex Grossman Will Rise Again
Jul 4, 2002
19,185
17
TN
re: coffee

It occurs to me that someone should just make coffe in little enclosed filter packets... you know like a teabag full of coffee..... that you could just boil and then you'd have coffee.

Surely this exists?
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Yeah, they do (or did back in the 80/90s, but I don't think they took off)...probably a much better idea than instant. Thx...
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,967
35

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,967
35
BTW - the Meridian is an awesome tent. My friend designed it.

:D
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
51,679
4,626
In a van.... down by the river
<snip>


2) Campstove--thanks for the advice earlier. Need to secure the bottle with a bungee, as well, so it doesn't slip out should I take a real tumble. Two more questions-- a) does a small spurt/trickle of fuel when detaching the fuel canister mean you've overpressurized it, or is it normal/unavoidable?[ b) Is it OK to carry the canister pressurized? I've been releasing it after use/cooldown as the directions say, but if you're planning on using it again soon, is it all right to leave it pumped?
Small spray of fuel is normal. And it's fine to carry the canister pressurized.

4) Cooking--I thought, "Why pack dish soap? I'll just rinse and scrape the pans...it's only one day and I won't be cooking anything else." Not a terrible idea when cooking pasta. HORRENDOUS idea when frying potatoes, sausage, and shallots, then simmering the remainder of the sausage with black beans. My pack and most of my gear is hideously stench-y.
:rofl: :rofl: Sorry... couldn't help it. :D


7) Water purification--MSR sweetwater. First use, liked it a lot. Seems fairly cheaply constructed--wish it was a little more robust, but it did the job nicely. Does everyone use chemicals in conjunction with the mechanical filters, or do you save the chemicals for times when the water is more questionable?
My old filter had iodine in the filter, IIRC. I don't even know if I can get replacement filters any more. :think:

8) Packs--Only my second hike with the pack and my first with any significant load. Coming from being issued crappy gear, I too easily suffer through stuff. The hike, though fun, really seemed more painful my shoulders and back than it should have been. Couldn't get the weight to rest on my hips just right, but I just kept walking. I became convinced my pack wasn't the right size, but 500m from the end of the hike, I got the light bulb, took a 5-min break, and found the combination of adjustments which needed to be done. Now I LOVE the pack. New school stuff is complicated, but rewards proper usage. (If they'd only shipped an instruction manual with it...apparently they don't have one since it's a brand-new model, and it's constructed differently than the older models.)
Did it involve f**king with the load lifters on the shoulder straps? I find that on long trips I end up transferring weight from the shoulders to the hips (with the load lifters) depending on what hurts at the time. :D

9) Zip-off hiking pant/shorts: More ghey than trekking poles. I hate the way they look and the way people wear them around town. But after buying some, I am SOLD on them for trail wear. Extremely, extremely practical. SOO much nicer and lighter than packing separate shorts/pants.
They're ghey? I had no idea.... :confused:
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Did it involve f**king with the load lifters on the shoulder straps? I find that on long trips I end up transferring weight from the shoulders to the hips (with the load lifters) depending on what hurts at the time. :D
Actually, this pack has a rather unique suspension, and the belt isn't held in place except by two straps which thread from the pack to the belt (the belt otherwise just floats in relation to the pack, not pinned down to the suspension anywhere else), one of which was really loose (must have snagged the buckle on something and loosened it. That, and I had to re-position the large pad which rides against your back and incorporates the shoulder strap padding...I had it down too low; I think there was some break-in involved in that.

The system is so weird I can't really describe it, but it's kind of a cool belt/suspension setup; as it's not fixed to the pack in the back-center (in your hip/lumbar region), you have a lot of upper-body mobility (twisting/leaning) as compared to any other system I've ever used.

Oddly, the load adjustment straps on this one are small and don't seem to have as dramatic an effect as on any of my older packs. (I spent some time teaching the wife to use hers to shift the pain around over the weekend... :) )

See if this link works for a 360 of the pack (doesn't for me)--not that it'll tell you much, since you sort of have to see it in person, but...

http://www.mountainhardwear.com/images/360/supernatural55.html



If you see the small (and typical-looking) black strap from the pack body to the waist belt on the right side, that's the only point of attachment between the pack and the belt. The rear of the belt is held loosely against the pack body, but without being attached, so it can move with your upper body and doesn't stay in rigid perpendicular position to the belt.

And if you look at the shoulder strap, you'll see the grey padding underneath...this is molded in one big piece with a pad that runs up the middle of the back of the pack along a velcro strip, then branches out to velcro underneath the straps. This pad is what, when velcro'd in place, holds the waist belt loosely against the pack body.

(Yeah, I know, that makes sense...)

It also has that rather elaborate, very adjustable y-shaped sternum strap. It sort of allows you to conform it to your chest, rather than just pulling the pack straps together. It's a pain until you learn to not release the sternum tension when you're looking to adjust the main pack straps further down. This thing has a LOT of buckles and straps to mess with.

They're ghey? I had no idea.... :confused:
Mostly, it's the buttsecks flap.
 
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MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
Like I said, perfectly appropriate at the gay bar. No worries.

(Seriously, being able to go from shorts to long pants and vice versa without having to take off all your **** or even your boots is a major, major plus for these things...)
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
shorts ftw!

if you need something to protect your widdle ankles, then get some gaiters. in the late spring/summer/early fall(in new england at least) pants are really only necessary in camp imo... rain pants are the exception.
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,408
456
chez moi
I have gaiters...but unless there's some real deep dust/rocks or whatever which threatens to get in my boots, I don't bother. The pants are a lot lighter and breathe easier.

I'm considering, seriously, 3/4 man-capris. (See you at the bar, shirl.) These would be fine for 80% of the time for me, and then I could toss on the gaiters when I needed.

I wear long sleeves and pants a lot of the time outdoors...I got most of my outdoor experience in the desert and am a real believer in protecting yourself from sun, elements, and angry plants. Even when it's hot out. (That said, I'm finding my return East to be pretty humid...even in 115 heat, the long clothes didn't seem as stifling out West...) Plus, I'm really, really pasty.
 
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skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
I'm considering, seriously, 3/4 man-capris. (See you at the bar, shirl.) These would be fine for 80% of the time for me, and then I could toss on the gaiters when I needed.
no shame in those. i have a pair that are awesome for climbing. ridiculously comfortable with a harness and just long enough to keep my knees from getting scratched up by the rock.