What's that? It's a trick question? No, there really is such a stove, the Trangia. The Trangia alcohol stove system is, simply put, the most reliable backpacking type stove in the world.
|A Trangia 27|
One little problem for the Trangia: it's hardly ultralight. So, even though alcohol stoves are all the rage in the US backpacking community right now, you may not see more of the complete Trangia system, at least in the US. I am seeing the excellent Trangia burner used in a variety of configurations including the excellent Clikstand set up. Internationally though, the Trangia has an enduring reputation for reliability and the ability to function under any conditions. The Swedish call it a storm
The Trangia stove system came out in 1951. Rather than replicate here what is more than adequate elsewhere, I provide you with the following link on the history of the Trangia company for those who are interested.
There are three basic models of the Trangia:
The Trangia 25, which comes with 1.75 L and 1.5 L nesting pots and a 22cm diameter fry pan/lid and is intended for three or four people.
The Trangia 27, which comes with two 1.0L nesting pots and an 18cm diameter fry pan/lid and is intended for one or two people.
The Trangia 28 (aka the "mini Trangia"), which comes with one 0.8L pot and a 15cm diameter fry pan/lid and is intended for solo use.
The Trangia 25 and 27 are essentially the same stove except that the 25 is larger and the 27 is smaller. Models 25 and 27 are complete in and of themselves and need no additional components in order to function well. The Trangia 28 (the "mini Trangia") needs a windshield (not included) in order to function well.
Models 25 and 27 are available in "ultralight" aluminum or hard anodized aluminum. Several configurations of models 25 and 27 are available. The configurations include such things as non-stick coatings and an optional tea kettle. I won't try to list all of the possible combinations, instead, I encourage you to head on over to the Trangia website where all possible combinations are listed. There is only one configuration available of model 28. The alcohol burner is the same across all models and configurations of Trangia stoves. An optional gas burner is available for some configurations of the Trangia as is a multi-fuel burner.
Now, then, this week's stove is the Trangia model 27. My model 27 Trangia was built in the late 1970's or thereafter but prior to 1988 based on the information provided at the above history link. Today's Trangia 27's are nearly identical to mine but do have some differences such as a lighter weight modern alloy and openings for use with a gas burner.
So, let's have a look at this famous stove. The Trangia 27 consists of six main components: A lower windscreen/base, an upper windscreen, two pots, a lid, and a burner. The Trangia also comes with a strap to hold everything together and a pot gripper/pot lifter.
One of the wonderful things about the Trangia is that all of the components nest together in a nice package.
|All of the Trangia 27's components fit neatly together.|
|A strap secures everything together. This strap is of the period but is not original and is not a Trangia product.|
|A Trangia 27 with the lid off but still all nested together.|
|A closer look at the contents of my Trangia 27|
|The base (lower windscreen) of a Trangia 27.|
|A diagram of the air flow within a Trangia stove system.|
The burner mounts in the base.
|The Trangia burner mounted in the Trangia base.|
|Upper Trangia windscreen mounted on lower windscreen|
|A Trangia 27 in frying mode|
|A Trangia 27 with the pot supports flipped up|
|A Trangia 27 with the pot supports flipped down.|
|A Trangia 27 with a pot in place.|
|The two pots of a Trangia 27 nested together.|
|The two pots of a Trangia 27 separated.|
|The two pots of a Trangia 27 in stacked one atop another ready for simultaneous use.|
|One of the pots has 0.3 L and 0.5L markings.|
|A Trangia 27 fully set up, with one pot.|
|A Trangia 27 fully set up, with two pots in place.|
The simmer ring is a ring shaped piece of brass that fits over the burner. Attached to the ring is a "door" that can be slid back and forth opening up or restricting the burner which causes the flame to correspondingly increase or diminish. When you want to extinguish the flame completely, simply close the simmer ring door completely.
|The simmer ring of a Trangia burner.|
|A simmer ring in use on a Trangia 27. Can you spot the flame?|
|The lid of a Trangia burner. DO NOT use the lid to extinguish the flame.|
|A Trangia burner. Note alcohol inside the burner.|
|A Trangia 27 just after being lit. Note flame (a bit hard to see)|
|Passing the "tea test" on a Trangia 27.|
|Water boiling on a Trangia 27|
|Cooking oatmeal on a Trangia 27|
|My assistant is ever so helpful when it comes to the eating portion of my stove hobby. :)|
|Good thing I brought an assistant. ;)|
Related posts and articles:
- Getting Started with Alcohol
- DIY Alcohol Stoves -- Basic Design Considerations
- Cold Weather Tips for Alcohol Stoves
- Is Ethanol Worth It?
- Caldera Cone Alcohol Stove Review (on Seattle Backpackers Magazine)
- Caldera Cone Review Supplement -- Additional Photos and Technical Appendix with Weights
- The Clikstand Alcohol Stove System Review
- Caldera Cone vs. Clikstand Alcohol Stove Tests
- Trangia 27 Alcohol Stove System Review
- The Caldera Cone's 12-10 Burner
- The Trangia Alcohol Burner
- What's the Best Alcohol for Stove Fuel?
- What Is Meths? (And how is that different than Methanol?)
- Going "Green" with Stoves: Alcohol and Biodiesel