Sunday, February 10, 2019

Bunsen Burners? You want Bunsen Burners?

I'll give you Bunsen Burners . . .
Old Glenn Filthie up in the People's Republik of Canuckistan was getting all gear queer on us with the newfangled  Jet-Boil camp stove he bought at the local patchouli perfume emporium in Saskatchewan . He even bought a french coffee press for the thing! Can you believe he actually openly admitted to such a travesty while passing himself off as some sort of conservative? Sheesh!!! What is the world coming to these days when you can't even trust a fellow conservative to tow the line and not patronize establishments that cater to depraved politically correct ANTIFA social warriors? He even mentioned he was considering throwing out his old Coleman 502. That is pure sacrilege . . .WTF?  Yea, his corn bread ain't quite done in the middle . Must be that confounded polar vortex that getting to his head . . . .Yea  . . . that must be it .
He'll be alright once the spring thaw sets in . . . . .  I hope . . . .
Where is Al Gore and his confounded globular warming when you need him?
Here Glenn , this is what real camp stoves look like , go on embiggen the photo so you can really absorb the full splendor of this majesty .
These are acceptable man gear , all American built real gasoline burners . From left to right , the multi fuel 10,500btu Coleman 533 , the brown Coleman 400 I paid five dollars for at a yard sale , and the old Coleman 502 I found by the side of the road in a trash pile .The 533 is designed to run on both Coleman Fuel and Car gas . The other two , though designed to run on white gas will run car gas , preferably unleaded , in a pinch .
 If you can't handle the manly smell of gasoline and liquid fuel is not your thing , another acceptable propane burner from Coleman is an option .
An early 1980s  Coleman 5417B700 I refurbished last year will cook our steak just fine too .
Personally I like gasoline burners .  On the left a cheap Korean Stansport copy of an Optimus 99 with the roarer burner . While on the right we have a the bigger army surplus Optimus 111-T with the silent burner . They will both burn Coleman fuel and car gas . The 111-T is absolutely the most versatile and bulletproof of all I own , as it will burn kerosene, diesel and alcohol as well . I paid about forty dollars for the each of those , but it took a lot of persistence till I found the ones I wanted with a buy-now option for the right price .
 Today a used 111-T will sell for near 300$ on eBay . A bit steep but you get a 100% bombproof rig  that will run at any temperature . If I could keep only one of mine this one would be it .
The Swedish SVEA 123 makes for a nice compact rig .
It is a hundred and fifty year old design and about as simple as they get .
 Also from the Swedes , the Primus Vari-fuel Himalaya will burn all sorts of fuel including kerosene, diesel and probably Yak piss too . Note the pump is all aluminum much better than the plastic one on the MSR Whisperlite that gets brittle in sub zero temps. The one disadvantage of the Himalaya is that it is louder than a PT6 turbine running at full-tilt-boogie .

For a much quieter experience a surplus Swedish army alcohol burning Trangia with a DIY copy of an Olicamp Westwind type stand . 

Flirting with the more questionable butane canister burner here a rig of my own making.
 It started out with one of these french Bleuet rigs popular in the seventies that the greenies rendered inoperative by prohibiting the pierced canisters they used .
So with a cheap korean made valve glued on with JB Weld , I adapted it to use the more modern Lindal Valve screw top canisters . It all fits in a nice tiny four inch diameter candy tin. And burns real hot too . The only trouble with these butane mix canisters is in real cold temps they don't work so well . I have had them fail on me at right around zero F in the middle of a seventy mile Baxter State Park winter traverse . Gasoline will burn at any temperature every time .
A couple of the old Gerry/ Hank Roberts Mini Mark stoves that also required some McIvering to function on the modern Lindal valve canisters .
This is the type of rubber nipple canister they ran on , but the tree huggers hosed us over and banned them too .
So after finding a Lindal valve regulator I made this rig with a rubber plug that the brass needle from the stove can pierce into , and make a good seal . The other end of the aluminum tube is filled with JB Weld to hold the eighth inch copper tube that the hose connects onto . The blue gadget under it . . .
. . .  is an adapter that allows us to connect the Lindal valve regulator . . .
 . . .  to the bigger green Coleman propane bottles .
With the MSR Pocket Rocket we definitely get into hairy-armpit-patchouli-perfume territory here .
But my excuse was that I got it at that most positively of poo-white-trash places Mardens discount and Salvage for about eight dollars . Yea , they had no idea what it was .
Even a cheap seventeen dollar Korean type Coleman from Wallyworld works slick and is real stable . But hold off on buying the canisters there . They are about half the price when you buy them at your local Asian grocer .
And a no name suitcase type propane two burner . I think I paid about fifteen dollars for also at the local Mardens discount .
And cause you must have light too . . .  from right to left the red 1970 Coleman 200 A rescued from a job site dumpster , the green top 1954 Coleman 242B and an Optimus 930 of similar vintage .
Oh yea about that pooffy french press thingy , chuck it right out  , give it to the dogs to chew on and get yourself one of there rigs . Fill it with fine ground french roast arabica and you'll never look back.


  1. That was a good post. I have a Coleman camp stove that burns off of propane cylinders. Haven't even had it out of the box in decades, I probably should break it out and see if it still works. To tell the truth I had kind of forgotten these things even existed until I read your post.

    1. For some reason I have always had a fascination with camp stoves. I remember I started as a kid making my own little burners out of tin cans. I don't use mine as often as I once dis just cause I don't hike any more. But they are handy for when you loose power or for car camping. The real tiny ones are of course light and good for backpacking where weight is an issue. But they are generally quite unstable. The single burner Colemans I really like as they are stable, easy to repair and even the older white gas ones can run on car gas in a pinch. I have a couple more of the old green two burner suitcase type Colemans that run on white gas out in the barn, but at the current ungodly temperature I am not running out there just to photograph them.

    2. You don't know the half of it! Do you have MEC down in the States too? I swear to gawd - they are everything you say and worse. But - even MEC has some good points. Apparently King Peter was on a walkabout late last summer and three days in they came across some greasy hippies a couple hundred feet above the treeline where it had been snowing - and they had sandals on their feet. Kids these don't have the benefit of fathers like you guys anymore and the only place they can learn about the outdoors - is in a department store.

      I've always been nutty about camp stoves too. Back before my family disintegrated and we were all still talking to each other - my father in law became King Chit Of Turd Island when he scored a THREE burner Coleman stove that ran off white gas.

      Gawd, when we went camping it was steaks an inch and a half thick, with onions and beer and scotch and cigars. You two fellas would have been right at home with us, I'm sure. We ate like kings, hunted like pikers... but lord, we had fun.

      If you're feeling generous, I will take the little primus. If I could lay my grubbers on one I might dispense with the jet boils. :)

    3. No we don't have MEC down here but from what I see on line they are no different than REI or EMS. We do have an EMS locally. The big outdoorsy stores here in Maine are LLBeans and Cabelas. At least Cabelas has a decent used gun library so that attracts a more normal clientele. But they all got the same sad gimmicky junk for camp stoves these days. They have one or two MSR products and the Jet Boil junk that only works with their proprietary cups and pots. I typically peruse ebay for used ones. That's where I got the little SVEA and two Optimus but it does take some persistence to get them for a reasonable price. If you really want to drool over some check out

  2. Glad to see you are getting back to your old irascible self.

    1. Hi Richard, glad you are still along for the ride despite my glacial activity on the blog. I'm just razzing old Glen and trying to make humor of life in general. They do say laughter is the best medicine. And though we found nothing on the biopsy last fall, we are still on schedule for the MRI in April. After my experience, a close friend got checked and he has it bad. Gleason 8. Full blown saturation. He gets to chew on the real crap sandwich. I am still whistling through the graveyard hoping I don't have to eat one too.

  3. keep praying in spite of hundreds praying for him husband died in september even though he has been miraculously healed of other things in times past
    but pray as though your lives depend on it
    pray for your friend
    Jesus bless you both!

    1. Deborah.... I am so sorry to hear about your husband. Anything I say will seem shallow. Hope you are able to cope with it all. Stay strong.

  4. I stumbled over here from following a comment of yours somewhere else...
    Glad I did, loved your post, and the information. Will not tell you that I have given up on my large Paul Revere bail handle coffee pot and gone to a small french press. My excuse is that there is just me and if I make the big pot I drink it all...
    Thanks again for all the info, will be hunting the primus at estate auctions for sure.

    1. Thanks for the visit Brig. I was just razzing Glenn about his choice of the newfangled Jetboil. As for stoves the Primus Himalaya can be found on ebay used quite reasonably. Under 50$ US. It will run on gas or kero by swapping out the jet. Has a good regulator and can be dialed down to simmer nicely. It is a loud beast. If you are not lugging it around on your back and size and weight are not an issue the Optimus 111 is absolutely the best there is. They come in several variants. The plain 111 is a kero burner, The 111B (Benzin) is a gasoline burner. The C and T are multifuel allowing you to burn kero, gasoline, and alcohol provided you swap the jets and the mixing tube. The ones with the silent burners are the quiet ones and command a premium used. The ones with the burner plate make a bit more noise.