Friday, June 8, 2012

Before I purchase

anything I usually put a lot of thought into it, look at reviews and form opinions as to its use. Of course price is a big consideration as to whether you should buy the best, or whether something of lesser quality will do the job equally as well if it is not used constantly or in a rough manner. A couple of years ago my Electric Air compressor broke and I threw it away. It was always my intention to replace it with another unit of at least 8 gal capacity. At our household we have 4 cars between 3 people, plus one motorcycle. In the meantime we have been using a portable 12V unit which is frustratingly slow. I have 3 of these portable units and keep one with my bike, and one in the trunk of my commuter car. Finally one came on sale at nearly half price, so I bought it


It is sold by a big company and has a 2 or 3 year warrantee. I wanted one with wheels so I could move it around. It also came with air hoses and some accessories.

For the past few months I had also been looking at hiking stoves. We don't have any Capellas or REI's here in Canada but we do have Mountain Equipment Co-op as well as others which are all located on Broadway, just East of Cambie Street. In the past you had to decided upon Canister Gas or Liquid Fuel and I was humming and hawwing about which one to consider when RichardM chimed in an recommended a multi-fuel unit when I was on the verge of getting the Jet-Boil system that Troubador & Trobairitz use.

I am becoming more frugal as I age and before I spend significant funds I mull it over for a while before I actually buy anything. You don't realize how many times I have gone to websites and read reviews before I settled on the Primus Gravity II MF , MF = Multi-Fuel


This is one of those new hybrid models which can use; white gas, coleman fuel, gasoline or kerosene with the added benefit of also being able to use Canister Gas. I imagine Canister gas is similar to my single propane burner but I have never used liquid fuel, so I came home and carefully read the instructions


as compared to MSR, the Primus has the better metal pump and I also understand that the Primus fuel bottle with Primus pump will also work on an MSR stove. The Primus has a lower profile and can accept a larger pot . I think I understand how to prime and set up the flame, but I didn't have any liquid fuel so the stove was still new and unused, so I packed it back into the original box with the intention of trying it out on the weekend


I thought I made a good choice until I read Richard's blog
and noticed the brand of his stove on his packing list, which he posted on Tuesday. I was in a panic, so after work on Tuesday I rushed home, grabbed my receipt and my Primus, fuel bottle and Canister and went to to exchange it for . . .


an MSR Whisperlite Universal Internationale multi-fuel stove. This is the new hybrid model which can also use Canister fuel, but this time I also purchased a tin of MSR Superfuel as well as a fuel bottle . I hope to find some time on the weekend to light it up and see how it works


but first I need to buy a solo pot and cup. In the meantime I am looking into food options whilst on the road.

When Chris (Everyday Riding) was in Vancouver recently he had a broken licence plate and it was repaired by Roger. This morning while on the way to work I noticed his vehicle parked on the road so I stopped in and gave him a breakfast sandwich. We chatted briefly then I had to continue on my way to work. I noticed that they had an Ape truck in front of their shop. I didn't notice it the last time I was there with Chris


I wouldn't mind having one as my urban vehicle


  1. I can't wait to read about this big adventure you appear to be preparing for. :-)

    1. Kathy:

      Unfortunately, I cannot be selfish and take all my vacation time to be by myself, as Mrs Skoot cannot ride so I take one week every year for my big adventure, then the other times we do other non-riding vacations together. I do not have a built in riding partner as others. Also I do not ride on Sundays, as a general rule.

      I am preparing for a bigger adventure in 2014, and perhaps a lessor one during 2013, so all of this prep work is for practice

  2. I think having a multi-fuel stove is a great option especially if you are traveling in places where you don't know what kind of fuel is available.

    With the Jetboil, we just know to pack extra canisters if we won't be near a store and we can buy them at any Fred Meyer or probably Wal-Mart too.

    1. Trobairitz:

      It just made more sense for me to purchase the multi-fuel model, plus I am still able to utilize canister gas. My cooking adventures will be just for emergencies and to heat up food or prepare a hot beverage. I still need a cup and pot

  3. Looks like you are preparing for an expedition rather than a road trip. I am curious how you will like the frugal travel style.
    I have parted with this long ago, and I am not sure I would want to go back to this. I appreciate a decent (4 stars or more) hotel with king size beds, jacuzzis and pools, especially after a long day's sweaty ride.

    1. Sonja:

      All of this stuff is for the future. Imagine that you stop working and your income STOPS, and all you get is your Government Pension. I am not sure I would be content to look out the window with no funds to do anything. It is just a way to extend your travel time in your golden years. It may not be a choice between one or the other.

  4. It may be a personal preference but I prefer the multi-fuel stoves. When I used to go backpacking for a week at a time, i've run into several individuals in the backcountry who've run out of fuel for their stoves. If they ran on liquid fuel, you can just share. But some had compressed gas stoves and there isn't a lot you can do unless you are camped with them. With my bike, it is trivial to pull a gas line, then open the petcock to refill the fuel bottle. On hiking trips, I usually burn white gas as it burns really clean. On bicycle trips, unleaded gas as it is readily available though a bit challenging to get into the small mouth of the Sigg fuel bottles. On my Baja California bicycle trip, the gas stations usually didn't even charge me as it was about 1¢ back those subsidized days.

    1. Richard:

      It is always nice to have fuel options. My use will be limited, but you never know. I like gadgets and to be prepared

  5. I too have the MSR multifuel...but find that I take my little alcohol stove. Not that it is weight saving and compact, but darn fun to play with!

    1. Lori:

      I know you have a few stoves, and you are a good offroad cook too. I am not sure I could use alcohol in my new multifuel MSR

  6. I have the MSR Whisperlite that uses white gas but always wished I had bought the multifuel version. Both are nice and lite though I have to admit towards the end of my backpacking days I was traveling light using fuel tablets instead of the considerably heavier stove and fuel.

    I need to get an air compressor to assist in the tire changing operations for the Vespa. Any suggestions??

    1. Steve:

      I was going to just get the MSR Whisperlite white gas model too, but for a bit more I got the new hybrid model which also uses canister gas.

      I only needed a small compressor for pumping up our tires so I settled on an 8 Gal model. For a tire changer you proably need a more powerful upright model with a larger tank. You may need a lot of air pressure to "seal the bead" on initial pump up. My friend got a large one at an machine shop action for $3/400. which originally cost $2,000. as no one else was bidding and he installed air lines around his garage.

  7. E rye des ne! I know you're getting ready to come to Maine! Maybe Montreal?
    I must admit to going partially along with Sonja, in that, I'll use the tent for base camp and sleeping snuggly, but eat out. I spent 15 years in mountaineering, and have pretty much exhausted my desire to cook at campsite.
    But! I'm so excited as to your progress. Maybe we can meet in the middle, like, say New Hampshire?

    1. Mike:

      when we travel we make lunch our main meal, and dinner is just to carry us over until breakfast. Most hotels have a mini-breakfast to get you 100 miles "down the road", so you can stop for brunch. My tent and sleeping bag is just for emergencies. The stove is just for heating up food or for hot beverages, either dried, or RTE canned stuff to be bought daily as travelling through small towns.

      go ahead and get your 250, then we can make the plan to meet in the middle somewhere in Oregon