All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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I have done a few 2 to 3 day tours where I have been able to carry all the stove fuel I need with me. Now I am contemplating some very slow but multi-week touring on roads and trails with sometimes several days between towns but not returning to any place that has bushwalking or camping shops for several weeks. Do country towns sell gas canisters for bushwalking type stoves? If not, is it possible to buy shellite? Not keen on using a meths stove but would if I have to. I have not checked but I am thinking that meths could be bought in local shops. The other option I thought of is a multi-fuel stove that will burn kerosene. Not sure but my thinking is that kero might be easier to get in country towns. I would be grateful for any information about stove fuel availability in country towns.
shellite is near impossible to obtain in the country towns but once in big cities hardware stores and camping joints have it. Metho is obtainable from most back water hick towns and fuel stations along with many food stores. Kero is hit and miss in the smaller stores and even some fuel stations but as a general rule kero is easy to get. Your not going to find canister fuel in the remote or small towns depending on stove type but if your in high adventure areas with high traffic that have good camping supplies in there towns then your ok in most cases. Multi fuel stoves are fine but changing the jets over becomes a PITA when having to switch between fuels and if doing at night there is a chance of loosing small parts.
I have a multi fuel stove but I stick to using shellite and carry 2ltrs on me which gives me more than three weeks per litre of cooking 3 meals a day. I also carry a little metho stove as backup which serves as a stove I use for the road side teas rather than pulling out the big sucker. I carry 300ml of metho and that lasts for 3 months and serves me if I run out of shellite until replacement. One thing about multi fuel stoves is there great to have options but diesel,unleaded and kero are messy due to the oil content and that's why I refuse to use the product unless I really have too. If you go multi fuel unleaded is easy to get everywhere so happy camping and selection.
I've often wondered about the safety and health implications of using unleaded petrol in lieu of Shellite. It can be used as a substitute but is it sensible even if adequate ventilation can be provided and inhalation of fumes avoided. Does the burnt fuel smoke and fume taint food? I know that using my Svea123 I try not to inhale any fumes but often inadvertently smell either raw Shellite or smoke, especially when I first light it. A bit like sitting around a camp fire, no matter what, the smoke always drifts to where you are sitting.
The throwaway gas canisters for stoves these days in the regions are usually the flyspray style cans rather than the squat purpose made jobbies. Personally I'd just get thee a Trangia that uses plain old metho which is available everywhere. Or take the full tech solution of an MSR which can burn virtually any fuel...but a Trangia is more reliable and far simpler.
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I have a MSR multi fuel stove and while the initial preheat period produces soot not matter what fuel used once heated running on the pressured fuel from the bottle it's a clean burn. That clean burn I have found does not taint the food nor does the vapours affect me and even the preheat the vapours still seem to have no effect. I tend to sit myself in a position when cooking that the fumes are blowing away from me but even in dead still conditions it doesn't appear to be an issue even if it blows my way. Even metho leaves soot and while adding a dash of water to the metho stove reduces the soot I don't worry about doing that it's not a big issue. One of the main reasons I stick with Shellite is the speed it can boil water and heat at which it gives plus the fact that the fuel leaves no residue if spilt and can be used as a cleaning agent on the bike for doing repairs etc.
+1 that has been my experience on gas canisters if there available.
Thank you all for that useful info. Looks like I can forget about my gas canister stove for any serious touring. Trangia sounds simple and certain though watching other people use them they have always looked very fiddly (if that is a real word lol) to use. Multifuel stove also seems like a good option. Thanks again for your input.
In my experience one can should last almost a week. If you're headed inland send some ahead. Carrying two or three isn't too much hassle and worth having a backup anyway. I doubt you'll go more than two weeks without having the chance to restock.
My experience with the Kovea/MSR 220g iso-butane canisters is that they last me about 4 days for one person, but I guess it depends on how complex your cooking is. I'm generally doing a bit more than just boiling a freeze-dried pouch. I generally use the Trangia for longer tours into more remote areas, and the Pocket Rocket is used for shorter tours (where I can carry enough canisters for the tour). Very remote tours where fuel bulk might be an issue (but you don't need to resupply your fuel) then the MSR and other shellite stoves have their advantages. Don't forget that in the outback there is often also the supplementary heat source of the humble campfire
Both gas canisters and shellite are pretty rare in bush general stores. Meths is much more readily found. And with gas canisters, even in reasonably large country towns you will in all likelihood not be able to get the more efficient iso-butane, only the standard Coleman/Gasmate butane. With these once the canister is half full the heat output from them is almost useless.
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This doesn't make sense to me. I've dumped the Trangia because it is so inefficient. I'm exclusively a Kovea burner style user now. One 460g canister should last nearly 2 weeks, with boiling found water every day and cooking meals at night and making coffee or cups of soup during the day. The roadside water tanks that are on the highways and major secondary roads in NSW, all have signs about boiling the drinking water. Collected water in regions with Hydatids and Liver Fluke, the water needs to be boiled. Try boiling 6 litres a day with a Trangia burner. On my last trip on the BNT in Southern NSW, I was boiling up to 6 litres of water every day, and letting it cool down overnight, and in 44 days I went through 1x270g and less than 2X460g canisters of High-Performance ISO Butane/Propane Fuel 460g. My last trip to Wee Jasper I went through less than half a 460g canister in two weeks, because the water in the creeks wasn't cold. It is important to use the ISO/Propane Butane mix suitable to the altitude that you'll be at, for the best and most efficient use of the fuel. I've been through a 470g non high-performance mix in less than 4-5 days up in the mountains. If I'd been on the coast it would have lasted much longer.
You haven't mentioned where you are going. If you are coming into SE NSW, you will have no trouble finding the canisters. Like wise in the larger regional towns in southern Qld that have camping stores. In NE Victoria I've had no joy finding the Kovea style canisters in places like Corryong(back of the Suprmarket) or Omeo (in the hardware store). Both places had the flyspray style of cans.
If you are going near a larger regional town, ring ahead and ask. If you ring the tourist information, they will give you the names of the camping stores in their region or the supermarkets, rural supplies or hardware stores with camping supplies. The Kovea style of canisters are available in many camping stores in NSW in regional towns. Also the supermarkets in the country in the smaller towns that have camping stores in the back of the store, I've found the Kovea style canisters. In Adaminaby in the Spot Supermarket, they have both ISO Propane/Butane and High Performance ISO Propane/Butane. I was in Wagga recently and went into the camping store in Bayless Street and they were having a half price sale and had sold out. Some one beat me to it.
Bunnings no longer stock the Kovea style canisters, so I've been told. They only stock the fly spray style cans now. I'm guessing that adapters (with feet) are available.
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