Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Trangia Tundra Lid

Trqngia introduced this product as a canister stove setup, but I was only interested in the lid to fit my 25 Series pots. Unfortunately, USA dealers do not sell just the lid, but the Canadian dealers do so I bought from them instead. The shipping was more than the cost of lid but still cheaper than buying the entire kit from an American Trangia dealer.

Underside of lid.

The lid fits the 1.5 and 1.75 liter pots that come in the 25 series kit. It will not fit the smaller pots that come with the 27 Series kit or the Mini.

I purchased the lid to pair with a 1.75 titanium liter Trangia pot and use as a 2 man kit for an upcoming trip to visit Mount Langley in the High Sierra. Trangia no longer makes titanium pots.

I will use the Vargo  windscreen, Decagon alcohol stove, Trangia pot grip, fuel bottle and smaller primer fuel bottle that holds the perfect amount of fuel to load the burner with. When done correctly this stove really puts out the heat, then you simply blow it out and pour the unused fuel back into the bottle.

If I am not a total gram weeny, i would bring the Trangia Windscreen, but it's too big and heavy. Without fuel, this set up comes in around 12 ounces.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

San Nicholas Island with Channel Islands Restoration

In late April I spent 4 days on San Nicholas Island, one of two Channel Islands that are Military bases, the other being San Clemente Island. I was able to do this trip as a volunteer with Channel Islands Restoration (CIR) whom the Navy has contracted with to assist with the restoration of the island. Above, is an old Naval image of what the island was like- a windblown mess as a result of overgrazing before it became a base, and constant disruption from Military needs. Today, it is much improved, especially on the northeastern end where we spent most of our time combing surveyed terrain in search of the very invasive Sahara Mustard. The techique was simple- find it then carefully pull it without the seed pods erupting their contents back onto the earth. It wasn't all work, Our CIR leaders made sure we saw the entire island, visiting such places as "Rock Crusher", on the western most point on the island and a pristine canyon on the southeast side, containing many native species.

A word about the Island for what it is today- a Naval Military base with many missions, one being the  maintenance of the "Outlying" airstrip located on the eastern end. The runway is huge, capable of landing a B-52 or a C-180 cargo plane. After we landed, we had a brief orientation with the Military Police, and the message was loud and clear- do not take pictures or wander away from the group or explore on your own. Even in "Nick Town" we were told not to walk anywhere but to and from the dining area and commissary. The only people allowed to take pictures were CIR staff.

Everyone stays in Nick Town. We were in the "Motel" that was actually very nice with single occupancy rooms that were modern and clean. As with all Military bases, we saluted the flag raising at 8AM and flag lowering at sunset.

 The CIR crew at work bagging mustard.

 The Enemy!

 One of two predominate animals on the island- Island fox.

 and the California Sea Lion.

 It was windy!

Every beach was a rookery.

Every door welcomed the resident fox.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Santa Cruz Station and Creek 2016

After a long pause from camping and hiking, I finally got a trip together to Santa Cruz creek. The Los Padres NF website said the 1st crossing was closed and  I was prepared to hike the extra 2 miles via Alisos canyon, but as it was, the gate was open to Little Oso, glad I checked. Always nice to hike only what is needed to get to a destination.

Water from the spring below Happy Hollow on the front side of the mountain. I propped the pipe up with my one of my sticks to get a clean catch.

Year or the Poppy! Distant hills were dabbed in gold.

Little Pine Spring Camp was in good shape and getting some use.

Bush Poppy on the 40 Mile Wall.

Many of the sites at Santa Cruz have suffered from the fire and drought. There is only one good one now, nearest to the cabin.

The oaks and hanging in there with fire and drought.

The flies and gnats were at there worst from mid morning to dusk. I had to cover up for that and the sun.

All and all, a very nice trip, but the fishing was tough. I did see fish, but they are not plentiful and very easily spooked.

Post trip update... poison oak on my arms!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Strange Pairings- Vargo and Trangia

I have always found it difficult to out perform the original design of backpacking equipment. The conceptual ideas and engineering of a product seems to always vet out inefficiency before it is introduced to the market. Still I tinker on, pairing pots and stoves that are not designed to be together, but it is always worth a try anyway, especially on some rainy afternoon.

This time the pairing experiment is the Vargo Decagon, the Vargo windscreen and the Trangia 28 Mini. This idea was first put forth in a Backpacking Light thread and was quickly put to rest as a bad idea. The weakness of the Mini is a stove holder that Trangia calls the windscreen. It's worthless for stopping wind, and wind is the enemy of alcohol stoves. As for the Vargo Decagon, a great concept to use the stove as a pot support, but the terrible reviews and stories of poor performance put this stove at the bottom of most lists. 

Is this stove a misunderstood creature? As it turns out, yes it is. If one follows the instructions that include filling fuel to the weld line or beyond then prime the stove generously, this stove will burn like a rocket! With a good generous prime, the stove blooms at full blast and will boil 2 cups in about 6 minutes. As fuel is consumed and the level drops in the stove, the flame output is reduced then becomes more of a simmer until all the fuel is finally consumed in about 20 minutes. Perfect for those meals that may require long simmers after a boil, such as brown rice. Another nice feature is the stove can be blown out like a candle then the unused fuel is then easily poured back into the fuel bottle. The Vargo windscreen consists of 5 small flat panels that fold out to surround the pot and stove and easily stows inside the Mini along with the stove and pot holder.

The shape of the pot is a huge factor and the Trangia pot design is designed to be use with an alcohol stove, much better than the SnowPeak mug design.

I use the lid as a double cooker for tortillas.

A generous prime is the secret to a quick and full bloom. I use a small squeeze bottle that holds the perfect amount of fuel for the stove. Before I am ready to use the kit, I put the bottle and the stove in my pocket to warm up it all up and don't have to worry about crushing it because of the titanium construction.

Pairing this stove with a Sierra Cup worked really good also.

Using the Vargo equipment with the Sierra Cup was the lightest setup with the best boiling and fuel consumption times, but I prefer the Trangia Mini setup for added versatility and the lid snaps to the pot without the need of a strap or bag. This setup weighs in at 9.45 ounces and can also get a small squeeze cup in there that adds another 3 ounces.

Do I dare compare the Decagon burner with the Trangia burner? If one can master the Decagon, then some real comparisons can be made and only then can the Decagon can be in the same league and even be considered a UL substitute to replace the Trangia burner in it's kits.