Cycle Camping

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by tapan, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. tapan


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    Home Chef
    I have cycled a lot in my life but in the last 12 years since retiring i have spent several weeks each year solo cycling and camping all over Europe


    These days I travel towing a lightweight trailer which carries all my gear - tent, clothes cooking equipment and a small amount of emergency food. I have one pannier on my rear rack which carry my bike tools and spare , my waterproofs and the bits I have forgotten to put on the trailer.

    My cooking equipment has always been minimal. I reckon that i am one of the best "one pot" cooks in this pat of the world. On tour I always cook my evening meal from fresh products which I buy locally at the end of my days cycling. It can be quite fun when find a huge supermarket and trying to buy 1 carrot, 2 potatoes, an onion! ( Actually I have found that in France even in the largest Supermarché's I can buy small quantities. -- but don't try the Aldi/lIDL type stores .

    For a long time I used the smallest "camping gaz" burner which has a single canister which is pierced open when fitted to the very small burner and is discarded when empty. It was always my intention to carry only 2 gas canisters -- one on and one spare -- but often on my more remote travels I found replacements hard to find and so finished up carrying to 2 spare in some areas -- not a good idea it you are weight conscious as am I .. The stove I had was also fairly unstable and I could guarantee i would uptip at least one meal during a trip!

    Not a good idea -- I am very weight conscious.

    So about 5 years ago I invested in the Trangia system which the spirit stove. I have found that I can buy  "spirit" "alcohol" easily in every country I have visited.

    The trangia system is so simple. It provides a complete wind protected and stable stove together with 2 pans and a lid/skillet. It packs down into a compact size totally self contained.

    I carry 2 of the small inserted spirit burners for convenience but generally one filling of a burner is enough for me to cook my evening meal from fresh.

    My routine at the end of my cycling day is to set up my 2 man VaudeXT tent , then unpack my cooking equipment and prep the food and get it on the stove. Then I finish setting up my home for tho night, Thermarest mat and sleeping bag unrolled, velo secured and me washed and showered if possible.

    By then the meal is usually cooked and I can enjoy a glass or 2 of wine with my latest 1 pot gourmet stew!.

    It is easy to upgun the trangia to a pressure type multi fuel burner but to me the basic spirit burner works without fail and totally without hassle of any kind. It does take a mite longer but, hey, at that time of day I am relaxing

    I find that the actual camping and cooking is an essential part of the enjoyment of mytravels. I try to change my meals in accord with the area through which I am travelling. I always buy very ocal wines -- often very young but always a new taste sensation and i am continually surprised by the changes in food and wine over relatively short distances. But then I generally avoid large towns and cities unless I have a nned for travel by train etc.

    I will say that in all the countries I have visited by bike I have awlays found local people are very willing to be helpful and friendly. In my many travels I have encountered "disasters" where I have been in some despair and when suddenly real help has turned up out of nowhere and set me on my way again.

    I will say finally that whenever I am taveling in a country I always try and speak the language. It you travel alone, like me, you have to or talk to yourself! I do have flunent german and Fremch. But, thanks to my schoolboy latin. I found my travels in Spain and Italy soon had me getting along fine.

    I remember on my cyling pilgrimage from home all the way to Santiago de Compostela -- i reckon I travelled through Spain with

     Luvia   -- Rain

     Viente -- Wind

    Nieve   -- Snow.

    Una vaso vine tinto per favor -- A glass of red wine ( and the red wine was always chilled!0
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    Trangia doesn't offer a lot of heat control, even with the simmer disk/ring systems. They are great boilers, simple to operate and fuel with many great options from hardware stores, paint stores, auto parts stores.