Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Backpack Alcohol Stoves: Vargo Triad XE

In order to reduce weight, I've decided to join the majority of thru-hikers and switch to an alcohol stove. A recent backpacking trip into Big Sur's Ventana Wilderness convinced me not to tote my beloved folding Korean butane stove, as small and convenient as it may be.

I made a trip to our local outfitter and found two of Vargo's titanium alcohol stoves on display. I was very amazed at their lightweight. Hardly felt that I was holding anything in my hand. I like the idea of the Triad XE using dual fuels - alcohol or tablets. It comes apart easily and has no little parts to get lost. The top supports the Snow 700ml titanium cup. I'm fond of the idea of a cooking system.

Vargo has uploaded videos on both their titanium stoves to YouTube. The Triad XE video is also located in the video slider inthe green sidebar.

Reading some hiking forums, someone recomended using a contact solution bottle for the alcohol. Vargo recommends a flip top bottle in their videos. The outfitter didn't carry Vargo's plastic fuel bottle.

Also, several hikers mentioned lighting their alcohol stoves with flints and steel.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Backpacking Gear List

As I acquire or review backpacking gear for the upcoming Appalachian Trail section hike, I'll add the items to this post as a virtual backpacking gear list.

vintage Camp Trails Catskill internal frame backpack, 5,000 cu. in., 4# 14oz ($99, CampMor, Dec 1993)

Outdoor Products Trekking Poles ($13/ea, Walmart)

Nalgene Wide Mouth Loop-Top 32 oz. Bottle ($6, CampMor)

Shelter System

Cooking System

Optional Gear