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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coleman stoves

I figured I’d follow up my other entry on Coleman lanterns with one on Coleman whitegas stoves. Coleman makes rugged equipment. It’s not unusual to have one of the old greencolemanstoves last for generations, really generations. You can keep your European fancy equipment. I’ll stick with Coleman. Doesn’t just seeing it bring back memories of crackling campfires, ghost stories, smores and swimming in freezing lakes?

Anyways, these big green two burner stoves are great. You can cook anything you need to on them. One burner can boil water while the other burner is cooking up your meat sauce or bacon on one and eggs on the other.

As I’ve said before I like whitegas. It seems stable to me and stores a long time.

For this entry though I’m going to focus on My Leetle Friend, my Peak 1. The Peak 1 is great. It’s small enough to throw in a backpack and hike miles and miles with, but it boils water pretty efficiently too. A little fuel seems to go a long ways. I’d say a full tank in the stove and an extra pint of fuel in a fancy metal container is enough to last for an entire weekend of winter camping for two - melting snow and heating meals.

BTW if you want to save on fuel, once you have some water in a bottle just keep adding snow to it. The water already in the bottle will melt the newly added snow so you don’t have to use the stove to melt more snow.

Anyways, the Peak 1 has little legs in the bottom that fold out. First things first, flip out the three little legs.stvYou just flip those puppies down.

Next stand it rightside up.

stv1Say hello to my leetle friend!“ You unscrew that cap to fill it with fuel. Unfortunately, this stove only takes whitegas. Coleman also makes dual-fuel stoves that will burn unleaded gas too. All you do is unscrew the cap and fill her up. Be careful not to overflow. Funnels are a big help here. Once you have it filled, retighten the cap. Keep an extra cap in your house or gear.

Just like with a lantern you need to pressurize the fuel.

stv3This is the pump handle (just like the lantern). Turn it counterclockwise and pull it up. See the little black flame control lever? It’s all the way to the left in the off position.

stv5Then making sure that your thumb covers up the little hole in the top of the pump handle you pump it up. It may take 5, 10 or 30 pumps. It depends on how much fuel is in the tank. Once you feel some good resistance slide the handle in and twist it clockwise to lock it into place.

Next up, turn the fuel lever to counterclockwise to open up the fuel line.

stv2This is the off position, but just like the little drawing shows turn it the other way to open it up.

Next I light a match and get ready to turn the stove on…

stv6Then you turn the black flame adjustment handle to the right to the Light Hi position. Now you should start to hear the hissing of the gas being forced out. If it doesn’t sound a little scary you may have to pump it up some more before lighting it. Now touch the flame to the burner and she should light. It will sputter. Until the generator (that little brass tube over the burner) gets heated up the stove will sputter and burn funny.

stv7Now you need to repressurize the tank so unscrew the pump handle and give it another 10 or 15 pumps till you feel resistance again. I also slide the flame control (the black handle) back n’ forth a few times. It seems like if you turn the stove down low and then up high a few times it helps to really get it going correctly. So go high - low - high - low - high - low. I don’t know why, but it seems like it makes it catch good. You may have to pump it a few more times. You’ll know when it’s going good. It kinds of makes a whooshing or shooshing noise, like a little jet plane.

If you notice where the burner is there is a metal windscreen. It’s that thing divided into four quadrants. This keeps the flame from being blown out by the wind. That’s good. Especially because it’s integral with the stove. Good feature. Look for a integral windscreen on any stove you buy.

Once you are done using the stove you shut off the red fuel lever and let it die down. It will take a minute or two for the flame to totally die out. The stove will remain hot for awhile too so you can’t pack it up right away either.

  • Another reason I like this stove is that it is small enough to pack up inside of my pots and pans. That way my cooking gear acts as a metal container for the stove. It nests nicely right inside of them, then the whole thing goes in a ditty bag.
  • Another good thing with the stove is that it gets going fast and doesn’t make smoke so if you want to lay low you can cook at night or during the day without fear of being detected. Doesn’t leave a trace. Safer to use then campfires when the woods are dry.
  • The fuel is widely available. The cost has literally doubled though in the past ten years.
  • If you decide to buy one I’d get a dual or multi fuel stove.
  • My stove clogged up from a lot of use so I was able to buy a replacement generator off of the Internet. I like this. The parts are widely and easily available. And if I can take it apart and put it back together so that it still works fine anyone can.
  • As I wrote above this stove is rugged. I’ve dropped it and its gone rolling and comes out ready to drink fuel and piss fire.
  • BTW the big two burner classic green stove up above basically works the same way - fill it, pump it, turn it on & light it. Once you get one burner lit you turn on the other burner.
  • Even the fancy European gas stoves work the same way basically.
  • Remember when you take the fuel cap off it will hiss in your face because it will depressurize. Try not to wet yourself. Kidding.
  • You really shouldn’t use these in unventilated areas because you can die.
  • If you don’t have an alternative way to prepare meals than your kitchen stove adding one of these to your preps would be a good thing.
  • During the summer when the house is way hot, I’ll use the big green two burner out back to prepare dinner so I don’t heat up the house any more.

Follow up to my seething rage from yesterday about the financial system, “…the New York comptroller reported $18.4 billion in 2008 bonus payouts at a time when taxpayers’ money was shoring up a financial system in crisisWTF! WTF!! WTF!!! They take money from people that got laid off, people that get paid by the hour, people that earn weekly wages or are collecting unemployment and redistribute it up for millionaire and billionaire BONUSES!! This is BS of the highest magnitude. We barely make ends meet and our freaking government is taking money out of my pocket and sending it up the food chain. WTF kind of trickle up economics is this!?!?! Something is gonna break between the bailouts going to bonuses and Citigroup’s fancy jet plane.

Gittin out pics-

sweet-birchThis is sweet birch also known as black birch. Notice the striped bark. As it gets older it becomes rugged and crevassy. And another picture.

sweet-birch-1Notice the way the smaller branches look and kind of reach away from the tree.

Anyways, you’d recognize black birch by the way the stems and twigs smell. They smell like wintergreen. You can make a nice wintergreen tea from the little branches. Because it tastes so nice you can use the twigs as a sort of toothbrush to get rid of bad taste in your mouth. The active substance in the twigs is the same compound as in aspirin. A little tea will help to dull minor aches and pains that you may have too. If you’re hiking and kind of sore and you see a black birch you could take a few little twigs and chew on them to dull you aches and pains. You could make a tea to help reduce a fever. I bet you could even make a tincture from the bark and alcohol and apply it to sore muscles or stiff joints. Just like medicine though, too much of a good thing can make you sick or worse. Native Americans had zillions of uses for birch bark. I think I read that you could even make a flour from the seeds.


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