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A question of stoves

I am preparing (mostly mentally) for my 3 week bikepacking trip to Tasmania starting on Christmas Day. I have a fair idea of where I’m going and have booked my flights.

My current conundrum is what to do about cooking. I have always used backpacking gas stoves in my travels. They have always served me well because I’ve traveled in places where gas was readily available. But I will be arriving in Launceston on Christmas Day, so won’t be able to just walk down to a shop to buy a gas canister (and obviously I can’t carry one on the plan with me).

While I could ask a friend to buy a canister and then ride to her place to pick it up, I think this might be the ideal time for me to start exploring alternative means of cooking so that I can expand my realm of camping expertise. Our local camping shop sells spirit stoves for the grand sum of $12. While I know I could make one out of a soft drink can, I actually don’t have the tools to do so (nope, I do not even have any nails in my garage and my scissors are mostly blunt). Nor do I have the time or inclination to spend half an hour fiddling when I could be out riding (or writing the assignments I have due).

So my questions are:

  1. Is there really a benefit to paying $50 for a Trangia when I can get a basic spirit stove for $12?
  2. To the Australians out there … Where would you recommend I try to buy fuel for the stove on Christmas Day in Tasmania? Do servos sell metho or can you use anti-freeze brake fluid like they recommend on American websites?
  3. My gas stove is tiny and weighs nothing. Won’t the fuel for a spirit stove be heavier than a gas canister?

I hope that someone can help me out. I’ve searched the web and read everything there but am keen for some tips from those who have personal experience.

Total: Rest day (20 minutes leg stretching, 8 minutes core)

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