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2/03/2017 2:38 pm  #18


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

I don't camp often on the more heavily used lakes, but the easiest way to get firewood on them isn't to bushwack behind your site. Just hop back in your boat and pull up anywhere not too close to a campsite. You'll find as much firewood as you want within spitting distance.

 

2/03/2017 6:24 pm  #19


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

tentsterforever wrote:

@trippythings. I thought your question regarding how do you manage collecting firewood a good one. It is my experience (over many years ) that you can face a problem finding firewood ( deadwood) in the easier to access lakes. Many sites are chopped clean and picked clean of anything usable, and even going far back into the bush does not guarantee a good supply. Carrying a stove at least gives you a chance to cook your food, even in rainy weather.
I have learned the hard way to rely on what I bring with me, instead of what nature doles out. Nothing more frustrating then finding nothing available on a campsite after a real tiring day. We've learned to see a campfire as an enhancement to the trip, not a necessity, although we always seem to manage smelling like a smokehouse when we come home as we never had a trip in which we had no fires at all.

I agree that well-travelled routes will be lacking in firewood, but I've never been in a situation that I couldn't scrap together enough to get a fire going. And I've camped on some pretty heavily used sites with no wood (the island on Linda is probably the most extreme example of this)... on multiple occasions I've had to make dinner with twigs no thicker than 1/2 inch diameter. It's not ideal since you burn through the wood like crazy (just adding to the puns in this thread), but it's always doable.

Agree that you won't always find a good supply, but I think no matter where you're camping, you'll be able to find good enough supply... even if it's twigs.

Nowadays, my trick is to load up the canoe at the end of my last portage of the day, so I don't need to rely on the campsites supply. This is especially useful when I know I'll be camping on a small island, or if it's late in the day and I don't know how deep into the forest I'll need to go for wood (especially when travelling solo and each trip back and forth takes a long time).

I'm also the opposite in terms of enhancement vs. necessity... It's pretty cliche, but to me, camping = staying up to watch the stars, waking up to watch the sunrise, and sitting by the campfire. 




Uppa wrote:

I don't camp often on the more heavily used lakes, but the easiest way to get firewood on them isn't to bushwack behind your site. Just hop back in your boat and pull up anywhere not too close to a campsite. You'll find as much firewood as you want within spitting distance.

That's exactly my point above... but I like collecting at the end of my last portage. Portage landings are usually much more inviting than random shoreline.

 

Last edited by trippythings (2/03/2017 6:26 pm)

 

2/03/2017 7:44 pm  #20


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

@trippythings makes perfect sense to me, but until I unload my kayak I've got no room to collect anything ;)

 

2/04/2017 8:07 am  #21


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

I didn't use a stove once last year - I used an open fire or twig "stove" every time. During that brief fire ban in the park, I was only there for one night and I just ate cold food.
It's such a struggle trying to balance LNT ethics with self reliance and the hidden impact (kinda "not in my backyard philosophy") of using manufactured stoves and fuel, but in busy places like AP I understand the reasoning.
Anyway, for me, fire is such a critical element to my outdoor adventures that I will plan my trips around them rather than travel where I can't ignite.

 

2/04/2017 7:24 pm  #22


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

For me, the nature of the trip dictates what the meals will consist of and that, in turn, will determine what method I use to cook.

When backpacking, weight is a major consideration and meals are simple; usually just oatmeal and coffee for breakfast and something like Knorr Sidekicks for dinner. My go-to stove for backpacking is a Snow Peak GigaPower - small, light and with great simmering ability. Perfect for the task.

When canoeing, meals are more elaborate and I like to go with white gas.  I have a Coleman Apex II and a Peak 1 400A701. Both are very reliable and simmer great. I don't bother with a second stove as a backup. Those old Colemans are pretty bombproof*. I do use a fire but not generally for the whole meal (the soot thing) but do use one for grilling meat, baked potatoes, foil-wrapped fish, and for toasting bagels (Montreal style, please) or english muffins, etc.

As far as fire building is concerned, I'm of the "gather "school and if it's too big to break, then I just feed it into the fire, That being said, I do have a Sawvivor that I found a few years back. It's a great saw and I do often bring it along when I canoe but it isn't a necessity. An axe is just an accident waiting to happen.

*Sidenote:  Tensterforever, I don't know what model your Peak 1 is but I bet it is an easy fix. Post your problem on colemancollectorsforum.com or classiccampstoves.com. They'll likely tell you what you need to know. You may even get an offer to buy it from you.


Dave
 

2/05/2017 8:08 pm  #23


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

@algonquintripper. Now that's a helpful response! It never even come up in me to research the problem the peak 1 (apex 2 model) was having. Went inmediately to classic stove link, and low and behold, someone else had the same problem a few years back. Responses showed with pics and all on how to go about repairing it. I still have the full repair kit, as nothing ever went wrong with it before.so my OH had his job cut out for him this afternoon, thankfully he's mechanically inclined and voila, it's up and running great at this moment!
THank you!!

 

2/05/2017 11:07 pm  #24


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

I tend to cook over the fire pretty much every meal. If it rains I have a Trangia as back up. Firewood is always easy to find, at least I have found so far, by using the method mentioned before. I paddle away from sites and collect as I go. It also helps if you harvest standing dead. 

 

2/06/2017 12:19 am  #25


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

Good thread, cool to see what everyone else is doing...

I've always used a combo of a stove for a quick breakfast and a campfire for everything else.  Nowadays the stove is a Vital Grill, never did much research on it but after looking at some of the twig stoves mentioned here (which seem to be just small, enclosed campfires), mine's a bit different in that it has a battery-operated fan that forces air up from the base.  With a little experience and the right wood, it turns into a blast furnace and gets the job done quicker than a basic campfire or a fuel stove.  It also fits in my pocket.....actually now that I'm talking about it.....I'm going to buy two more in case they stop selling them.

Like everything else, individual experiences tend to determine campfire preferences.  Growing up, making the fire, selecting the right wood and harvesting it, was the first thing I learned.  There was always a decent-sized axe (3-5lbs head) and a bow saw on every trip, I could do without the saw but I'd be naked without the axe.  Given that experience, this whole going into the park without a cutting tool is foreign to me, but I can appreciate under the right conditions, it works just fine....
I have to say though, that during the colder months, it'd be a heck of a lot easier to keep yourself warm if you had a tool that could break up pieces of wood bigger than branches!

Also, my love of axes does not extend to hatchets.....I'm sure there's lots of people that use them for their intended purpose, but I've seen lots more that didn't!  Usually looks like a log got attacked by a drunken beaver.....wood chips everywhere but the logs still there....

 

2/06/2017 10:35 am  #26


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

tentsterforever wrote:

@algonquintripper. Now that's a helpful response! It never even come up in me to research the problem the peak 1 (apex 2 model) was having. Went inmediately to classic stove link, and low and behold, someone else had the same problem a few years back. Responses showed with pics and all on how to go about repairing it. I still have the full repair kit, as nothing ever went wrong with it before.so my OH had his job cut out for him this afternoon, thankfully he's mechanically inclined and voila, it's up and running great at this moment!
THank you!!

Good to hear.
What was the problem?  I've had my Apex II since '92 and an the only issue I ever had with it was the o-ring at the bottle cap. With time it becomes brittle and cracks allowing pressure to leak out but an easy fix.


Dave
 

2/06/2017 2:23 pm  #27


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

@algonquintripper.  Hubby decided that the o rings and seals at the most likely places should be checked first. So bottle o ring was replaced, then at the stove where the flame regulator is located on the east side of a square little block, there's a nut on the south side of the block with an o ring behind it.  Replaced that. Started it, pressure much better, but still fading too quickly. There was a whole new pump ball/pump spring unit, so he replaced the old one and voila were good to go. Hubby says new unit has a bit larger ball and spring.
That's it. Although due to its age it's gonna get relocated as 2nd stove, likely for breakfast use as I don't want to wake up the neighbours half way down the lake if I decide to buy either the dragonfly or primus omni.

 

2/06/2017 3:31 pm  #28


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

Ok all this chatter has me wondering if I can go a little more environmentally friendly and not consume so many fuel canisters.

BushBuddy has a few units on the scratch and dent sale pile for $35 off.

 Always been reluctant to go the twig stove route but gonna give it a shot..  

Last edited by ShawnD (2/06/2017 10:21 pm)

 

2/06/2017 3:49 pm  #29


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

We use both on our trips - fire for longer cooking items such as bannock and Shepard pie and a stove for frying stuff up like eggs fish etc

 

2/06/2017 4:30 pm  #30


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

ShawnD wrote:

Ok all this chatter has me wondering if I can go a little more environmental friendly and not consume so many fuel canisters.

Bushbuddy has a few units on the scratch and dent sale pile for $35 off.

 Always been reluctant to go the twig stove route but gonna give it a shot..  

Just remember twig stoves aren't allowed during fire bans. Depending on the time of year you will still want your gas stove as backup. 
 

 

2/06/2017 4:50 pm  #31


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

Ya Rob.  Any chance of a ban I would likely throw in my MSR pocket rocket and a small can of fuel just in case.

Twig stove is at best only an option on solo trips. Can't see my wife fiddling with one.

The main attraction for me in trying one has always been that the wood prep and working of the stove on a solo trip seems to be very meditative/relaxing.

 

2/07/2017 7:30 am  #32


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

We generally carry a Trangia that fits in a larger pot. The larger pot is for campfire cooking. Sometimes we lug a Dutch oven too. So we are in the 60 stove, 40 fire lot. Using a campfire sometimes  opens up more possibilities, but we don't rely on it knowing that sometimes wood gathering is a hassle.

We rarely ever cook breakfast on a fire.

 

2/07/2017 7:42 am  #33


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

It seems like nobody else cooks breakfast over a fire. Out of curiosity, what time does everyone usually wake up and eat breakfast?

I wake up to watch the sunrise every day (assuming I get a site with east exposure), so it's nice to make a small fire and add some light and warmth to the cold dark mornings.

 

2/07/2017 8:25 am  #34


Re: Stove vs Campfire Cooking

I wake up when the birds wake me up.. usually miniutes before sunrise. I may lay there for 10.. 20 minutes or so - then I remember coffee. Oh the sweet thought of a cold morning with a hot coffee - it's seriously what gets me out of the warm sleeping bag each morning.

If its really really cold, I'll get a fire going to warm me up from the outside, while the coffee does it's job from the inside. The fire won't be used to cook breakfast - except if there is toasting of something (bagels, english muffins, whatever) to be done. 

I'd say the real reason I don't cook breakfast over a fire is time. I'm usually packing my gear and tearing down camp during my morning coffee (ahem, 2nd morning coffee, that is) and when it's all packed (except the kitchen gear) I sit down, make & eat breakfast then go - off to the next destination. It's not that I'm in a rush, I just don't like to dilly-dally at what's now my 'old camp' - I like to get to the new spot with plenty of time left over for relaxing, swimming, bathing, collecting wood - whatever. I like to leave camp early to arrive at new camp early. I don't like getting to camp with only an hour or two of light left, I feel like I lost out on that campsite (but probably gained on the adventure getting there - why else would it take so long?).

Man all this talk about camping, fire, food - it needs to be April 7th instead of Feb 7th. Do we not have a sorcerer here that can switch time.. cmon.. just for a quick day trip down the Oxtongue??? I swear you can switch it right back tomorrow.

 

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