Vargo Windscreen "Patina?"

12:36 a.m. on August 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Tested my new kitchen setup tonight: RUCAS alcohol stove, VARGO windscreen, Snow Peak Hybrid Summit Solo Cookset.


Zatarain's Jambalaya with Hormel Pepperoni.


Was looking for a quick, cheap, easy meal to make dinner with while I was shopping at Target. They didn't carry any summer sausage or salami in stick-form, so pepperoni was the best I can do. In related news, I think I'm set on my sodium intake for the rest the week.

One whole box is way too much food for one guy, and requires a lot of fuel and a lot of boiling time. Underestimated my fuel and it burned out before it came to a rolling boil. Had to finish the recipe on my kitchen stove.

Noticed they'd pre-marinated salmon fillets in foil pouches. Thinking of buying one and pairing it with some instant garlic mashed potatoes for a more "upscale" backpacking dinner.


The paint/finish came off my windscreen and now rubs off.

As cool as it is to have a windscreen match my Fender Stratocaster, I'm not down with black rubbing off on the rest my gear. The stripped finish is really obvious on the panel furthest to the left.

Next time I use the stove, I'm going to flip it to the opposite side in the hope I can even-out the finish and get rid of as much of the black as I'm able.

5:29 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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that's going to happen to your windscreen using an alcohol stove. did it blacken your pot as well? that setup should be nice and light. how much does it weigh?

9:22 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, Trailjester...

...the irony is that the windscreen was originally black, and turned copper after using the stove. I use denatured alcohol, so it burns clean and without residue or soot.

Stove weighs 1.34 oz, the windscreen, 1.3 oz. 

Fuel bottle is 9 oz, filled - however, if only going on an overnighter, I wouldn't need that much fuel and could lose the extra weight.

Sure beats lugging around the 'ol canister stove!

9:25 p.m. on September 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Should add the SP Cookset weighs 6.1 oz - a big damn improvement compared to the previous 15.5 oz MSR 1.1L Stowaway!

Only downside is the new pot won't fit the windscreen. Not like it's hard to find room in a pack for a 3.5" X 3.5" flat piece of aluminum, but it is always nice having everything in one place.

10:26 a.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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The alcohol stoves are great and so light, wondering where you tested the stove.  Photo looks rather like a paved yard.  Remember if you ever end up in the Alberta Rockies, my neck of the woods, salmon is not advised as the bears will also enjoy your upscale meal.


11:09 a.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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Was testing outside the front stoop at home: freeze-dried meals, simple add-water-and-butter meals, just trying to familiarize myself with the stove before hitting the trail with it. Been a canister stove user and am making the switch to the alcohol stove to spare myself the weight and trouble of those 'ol IsoPro cans.

From the Chicago area and will do most (if not all) of my backpacking in-state for the coming year. Last I checked, bears aren't much a problem, here. :) If ever I'm up that way, though? Consider your point duly noted!

3:56 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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If you're really into boil-in-a-bag meals, you will probably come to prefer something like the Jetboil. Does nothing but boil water, but does it very well. And you can get rid of all the extra paraphernalia, saving weight and space.

As for bears (and other large mammals)...

...just in case you get near the boundaries of one of the neighbouring states, like Wisconsin or Missouri, for example. You might want to check your research.

4:28 p.m. on September 5, 2013 (EDT)
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Probably could flip all the old MSR canister paraphernalia for a JB system (used camping gear seems to do well on eBay).

Now, is there one particular JB system anyone would suggest? I'm a 3-season backpacker who'd - at most - have one other person along with me.

Coyotes are all over the darn place. I've seen them out at my mailbox at night - and I'm from the middle of the suburbs! Fairly certain I heard a pack of them while I was out as the Palisades, too. 

If I venture any further North than our state like, say to Wisconsin, or Michigan (and especially the Northern regions of both states) can bet I'd be double-checking on what kind of wildlife I'd be sharing the woods with.

12:10 a.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
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gotta watch out for those wolves up there...

2:18 p.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
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What canister stove do you presently have? You might just hold on to what you have.I have a JB and all it pretty much does is boil water in two minutes.If your canister can simmer your ahead of the game and can take the weight hit..Alot of backpakcers have a canister stove also..There's other places you can do weight savings.

2:31 p.m. on September 6, 2013 (EDT)
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Canister stove?

The MSR SuperFly, Denis.

They're just bulky - I've got two (think a detachable two-headed burner for car camping) and it seems like bulk on top of redundancy. 

You're right about the JB just boiling water - and it still means using canister fuel. Nothing my alcohol stove couldn't do for a lot less money. I'm not into mountaineering, and I don't camp during the winter, so the JB really isn't a practical choice, at the end of the day.

Really want to upgrade (and downsize by one stove) to a MicroRocket - at least then it would fit inside a mug or cookset.

If anyone's interested in one of my SuperFly stoves, they're both listed in the classifieds here on Trailspace: $35 shipped (including the original MSR stuff sack and a $15 Primus canister stand).

10:31 p.m. on September 8, 2013 (EDT)
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Sold both the SuperFly stoves and ordered a MicroRocket. Loved the functionality of the SuperFly, but it was too big and bulky. This way I can still do legitimate cooking, and cook for more than just myself.

8:20 p.m. on September 9, 2013 (EDT)
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I have the blue one. That one is turning to silver, but isn't peeling paint.  The blue must be anodized on.  I knew it would change color, but wanted the blue anyway.  Silver is the smartest choice.  Great wind screen with my alcohol stoves. 

9:19 p.m. on September 9, 2013 (EDT)
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Windscreen functions just fine, runrude - I have to agree with ya, there.

Also have to say, in retrospect, silver (unfinished) would have been the smartest choice. Probably the most reflective, too.

Anodized? Really? Mine isn't peeling, but the finish practically evaporated off, and rubbed-off on anything it came into contact with while still warm.

Do the hinges on yours occasionally jam? I've got a stubborn one on mine that doesn't always like to fold down.

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