I’d been wondering all winter about getting a new gas stove for cold conditions and before I knew it, it was April and my excuse evaporated along with everything else in the stunningly good weather (the above picture was taken in the Lake District during five days of amazing weather at Easter – trust me – that never happens).
But a comment on an Iceland posting got me thinking, and I remembered a BPL article from the Winter ISPO show (sorry members only link) mentioning a very impressive sounding petrol stove: The Muka OD-1NP.
Well there’s no need for “priming”, with all the fun of occasional, spectacular fireballs that we know and love or the worry about liquid fuel sloshing about the place.
You can simmer, rather than boil things down to a crisp (I know, you can simmer an MSR Whisperlite if you try very hard. I’ve done it, but it really does take some patience!)
It burns really cleanly even running standard unleaded petrol (gasoline), as seen in this video.
It’s not quite arrived in the UK as of the time of writing but apparently Ultralight Outdoor Gear will be stocking it. Sadly the importers price means that the UKP price is about the same as the USD price. Meaning, with the current exchange rate at least, that since REI stock it and ship internationally (for a not too unreasonable price) that might be a cheaper option, even with the import duty. I’ll be thinking about that some more…
Edit 31st July 2011: I managed to get a look at one of these in the excellent Get Out a couple of weeks ago; Great little stove. Very well made by the feel of it. I am very seriously considering buying one now. I resisted at the time since the cost in Krona was far worse than the cost in UKP (something to do with there being quite a few more UKPs available now, and yet the same amount of stuff… I’m sure that’ll work out just fine though).
As I partly said in reply to the comment above; fuel and stove choice is hard.
The easiest thing to cook with, and generally the lightest for the power overall, is gas. However gas can be the hardest to find on long trips (depending where you are – some places it’s easy! The International Fuel FAQ can help with a decision there).
Meths looks light because of the stove weight (the Whitebox is an excellent example) but it gets heavy for anything more than a couple of days of hiking because of the low calorific density of alcohol compared with other fuels. And again it can be tricky to find in some places.
Petrol (or ideally, white gas) is very efficient weight-wise if doing a multi day trip, even with the weight of the stove, and has the distinct advantage that it’s pretty widely available. It also runs fine in the cold, meaning it could take the place of the gas stove I was considering getting for winter trips.
A final point for me, is that for trips involving a flight, I’ve always found the MSR to be the most practical stove since I can fill up from any garage. And if I’m not driving I just offer a random motorist a quid or two for a quarter litre of fuel and everyone’s happy! No hunting around for kit shops when you want to be making the most of your short time away somewhere. It’s something that’s been on my mind recently.
As a caveat; it’s fine on flights assuming that you thoroughly wash, with detergent, and then dry your stove and bottle! So it’s worth taking into consideration what access you will have to washing facilities as you return from a trip. I washed and dried one without using detergent once – and it was sniffed out and confiscated despite presenting no actual danger to anything. I’d also try using a Loksak OP Sack on the off-chance that would help keep it out of sniff detection range…