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How to cook when camping and flying

I’m planning my first “camp under wings” type of trip (to Scandinavia, see other thread). I’m wondering what’s the best way to organize food. Items such as a gas cooker (rather, the associated gas) or grills (rather, the associated charcoal lighter) don’t seem to be very well-suited to be transported aboard an aicraft…

Hungriger Wolf (EDHF), Germany

I used to have an engine preheater that was based on an MSR stove that happily burned avgas. It comes with two “jets” one of which “the GK Jet” is used for white gas, kerosene, unleaded auto gas, and aviation gas.

The stove will burn avgas that you can syphon from the fuel drain, then discard the remainder from the reservoir before flying again.

https://www.msrgear.com/stoves/xgk-ex

Whether or not one feels that concerns about lead/organic nasties are overblown in general, I would be wary of cooking with it.

Patrick wrote:

I’m wondering what’s the best way to organize food. Items such as a gas cooker (rather, the associated gas) or grills (rather, the associated charcoal lighter) don’t seem to be very well-suited to be transported aboard an aicraft…

This is what everyone hiking in Sweden is using. They’re really great. The standard model burns methanol, but I understand they have variants that can burn both petrol (or UL AVGAS) and kerosene (or JET A-1).

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I wouldn’t cook with 100LL either. For the “Trangia” I think you only need a small bottle of alcohol fluid which would be easy to keep in the cargo compartment when flying.

Sweden, Sweden

I use MSR WhisperLite for last fifteen years, it works on “anything flammable” and I would not be scared to use aviation fuel even though it contains lead. The only disadvantage of this kind of stove is that it needs preheating, i.e. it is not instant and the flame regulation is somewhat limited. Otherwise it is super powerful, super light and packs very small.

LKHK, Czech Republic

The problem with Trangias is that in my experience they drink fuel – partly ‘cos ethanol isn’t very energy dense and also ‘cos they’re quite slow so waste more heat coming to the boil. When I did more camping I used to covet my friends’ kerosene burners.

I just use my MSR. I have had a few variants including the Whisperlite and Dragon fly. For recreational use and cooking I would only burn white gas (mineral spirits) because it doesn’t smell bad and it evaporates cleanly. Especially if you are leaving from home and can leave the big four litre tin behind (having poured what you need into the smaller MSR fuel bottles for transport). Or you can keep the big tin in your aircraft.

However, when cycle touring I have burned auto fuel for months on end. This is convenient, because petrol stations are everywhere and you don’t have to find a camping store for the white gas (and you don’t have to worry about carrying a big tin of fuel), but I don’t like doing it because auto fuel smells really bad (one drop will contaminate the carry bags) and it does not evaporate cleanly. So you need to double bag your stove and the associated fuel connections when you are not using it. When burning autofuel I always cook away from where I am eating and I try not to store the stove and food items in close proximity. Avgas seems to evaporate with less residue than petrol but I might be hesitatant to use it for the same reasons (plus the lead).

If you are flying airliners with an MSR type stove in your checked luggage, I would give the stove and empty fuel bottles a couple of really good washes with boiling water and lots of soap so that they are super clean (I think most airliners don’t really want any fuel containers on board, even if empty). I then double bag them. No problems with this method yet and I have probably done 30 plus flights with a stove.

Have fun!

Last Edited by Canuck at 13 Jun 07:22
Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom

IMO nothing beats a Primus multifuel system, for instance here.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Primus uses a very similar system as MSR does with one improvement and that is much better regulation. I still keep my MSR as it is lighter, simple and keeps working so there is no real need to throw it away and buy Primus. If I would be considering a new stove, I would definitely look both at MSR and Primus though.

LKHK, Czech Republic
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