Hi another new 'old' guy here

Posted by: BigBill

Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/09/17 10:30 PM

I've backpacked off and on since the early 80's. After reading a couple of Colin Fletcher's books I realized there really is no age limit so I'm off again in a couple of days for a few days of solo packing.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/09/17 11:12 PM

It
Originally Posted By BigBill
I've backpacked off and on since the early 80's. After reading a couple of Colin Fletcher's books I realized there really is no age limit so I'm off again in a couple of days for a few days of solo packing.


Cool! We'd love a trip report when you get back!
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/10/17 08:03 AM

Your early 80s, or the 1980s? smile (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Welcome and keep hiking. At 67 (I also began in the early 80s) I find I can't hike as far as I used to in a day, and can't handle some of the aggressive terrain I used to. I've also learned that the love of the eastern US forests is still as strong as ever, and that the hikes and the nights spent camping are just as sweet.
I'm also a huge fan of Colin Fletcher. The original Complete Walker got me started.
Posted by: HPD

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/10/17 02:58 PM

Welcome BigBill from another Bill and another Colin Fletcher disciple!! I did a lot of backpacking in the 70s & 80s and picked it back up about 20 years ago.

Hope your solo trip goes well, look forward to hearing about it.

Nice stove BTW!! I still have mine but it's "retired" now.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/10/17 11:07 PM

I forgot to mention the stove - lots of memories. (Didn't everybody use it?) Mine is now sitting on the bookshelf of a young man that I taught to backpack, helped him earn his backpacking merit badge, and shared many meals cooked over that stove in many great campsites neither of us would have visited if it hadn't been for the other.

When my wife and I downsized to our condo, he had just finished his tour as a Navy SEAL and was settling into his first house with his wife. It seemed only fitting that he get the stove to use as a bookend for the complete set of Fletcher's hardbound books (all 4 Complete Walkers, plus all the others) that I sent along with it.
Posted by: BigBill

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/10/17 11:41 PM

That particular stove is still new to me, though I have been using it daily since I got it to make sure it's reliable. It'll be the one I take on this trip. Believe it or not I used to take a coleman 400 and a full Sigg bottle of fuel with me. Now, thank goodness I have started to get into ultra light weight backpacking although the ultra part is still a ways off, as is most of the lightweight as well. But it's all lighter than it used to be.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/11/17 07:54 AM

I still have two of them. Picked up one of them for $15 at a sporting goods store because the pot was missing. I have thought about taking one of them out on a weekend trip just for old times sake.

Another old guy from Michigan.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/12/17 11:50 AM

I have two Svea 123's and an R-8. Most reliable stoves ever. Bought the R-8 at a yard sale for $5! I still use them all but IF I haul a stove at all in my pack, it will be an Optimus Nova or Esbit....or better yet, super tiny cook fires using twigs. For car camping, I'm likely to have stoves all over the place heating various stuff.
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/15/17 09:15 AM

Svea 123's !!!
Posted by: shuddleson

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/15/17 03:29 PM

quote=skcreidc]Svea 123's !!!
[/quote]
The Saturn 5 of stoves. One of the first pieces of kit I bought for backpacking in 1972. I had wanted an Optimus, but a buddy picked this Svea up for less than 10$ in Denver so I was happy. That roar! You know you're cooking when the Svea hit's its stride. I lost the burner plate to mine years ago and went in to the Houston REI. Kid didn't know what I was talking about, I had to ask for an old dude to help me. Haven't used it since except to fire it up before Hurricane Ike hit, just in case. I would break it out for real, but concerned about the gaskets on the relief valve.

Seen a variety of impressive priming methods over the years. Being a caver, we sure loved a spectacular start up! So welcome fellow old guy!
Posted by: BigBill

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/15/17 04:15 PM

You can get replacement gaskets at the fettlebox, https://fettlebox.co.uk/
priced very reasonably.

Well my trip was cut short due to extreme weather so I never got the chance to use my Svea as nature intended. But there will be other trips and summer doesn't even start for another week or so.
Posted by: skcreidc

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/16/17 07:18 PM

Priming the Svea is half the fun, as long as you don't set everything around you on fire wink
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/19/17 07:52 AM

I've had fairly good luck finding squeeze bottles of gelled alcohol fuel. It works pretty well for priming. If you cant find gelled alcohol, Stern can be diluted with alcohol to make it flowable. Regular Sterno is made with methanol, but there is a green Sterno that is made with Ethanol. I scrape some green Sterno into an empty paint can and add denatured alcohol to dilute the Sterno. Put the lid on and let it sit a while. Once it gets fluid enough, I pour some into a plastic squeeze bottle.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/19/17 08:03 AM

What is wrong with the old tried and true method of pouring gas over it and lighting on fire. Just do it well away from flammable stuff. Actually when I used the Svea I used an eye dropper to put gas around the burner for preheat. Never had a lot of problem with lighting the stove.
Posted by: Dryer

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/19/17 08:52 AM

Exactly. I still use my Sveas and R8 and keep a metal ball point pen barrel as a "primer". Same idea as the eyedropper...I just stick my thumb over the end and pull out enough gas to prime. When it's really cold, the "hold the stove with the valve open in your warm hands to prime" works "sometimes".

The first time I primed my Optimus Nova....which stores with the valve slightly open (design flaw) primed so vigorously it set the surrounding grass on fire! I've seen people do the same thing with Whisperlites.
Posted by: shuddleson

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/21/17 12:28 PM

Eye dropper was my go to, but also in cool weather you can just open the valve and hold the tank between your hands to warm the fuel. Just has to be warmer than the surrounding air to create enough pressure to force fuel out and into the cup. Some of my caver friends (don't look at the black on the bottom of my tank, OK?) would heat the tank with a zippo (or campfire) to force fuel into the cup. Or, just open the valve and blow into the tank, stopping when you feel the fuel run down your cheek. Most spectacular at night of course.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/21/17 05:57 PM

I always loved a rousing game of Poof No Eyebrows. smile
Posted by: BigBill

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/22/17 12:01 AM

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
I always loved a rousing game of Poof No Eyebrows. smile


That's why I've begun using alcohol for all my priming needs, white gas is a little too energetic and I can't run as fast as I used too.
Posted by: balzaccom

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 06/22/17 08:50 PM

If you drink enough alcohol, you get pretty well primed anyway. And then you don't need to light your stove. You're already lit.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 12/02/17 05:55 PM

Originally Posted By BigBill
I've backpacked off and on since the early 80's. After reading a couple of Colin Fletcher's books I realized there really is no age limit so I'm off again in a couple of days for a few days of solo packing.

I started during college, around '71 or '72 and yes, like many it was Colin that got me going and speeded my learning curve.
I have been out of it for years, despite my retaining my older (and heavier than I like) gear. My late wife's illness and subsequent death had me out of things for more than 2 decades.
Now at 65 I am back into it. The real challenge has been to find time in weather that I would care to go out in. I am still in practice at EMS, despite most services wanting nothing to do with someone as gray as I. I mostly work at summer camps dealing with cuts, some serious, some traumatic brain injuries (all serious), hypoglycemia and more.
This past year I got out once, for a shake down overnight. and I did indeed find that a lot of my newer gear was not ideal for what I want to do. I have invested carefully in newer, lighter gear and have found that much of the new wisdom is, well, not so wise. My canister butane stove proved not much lighter in reality than my old MSR liquid fuel. My ultralight tent proved, well, deficient. (Fortunately the weather was dry.) One of my new internal frames was good, the other, carried by a friend was excellent if a tad small for my big sleeping bag.
Yes, this year I am planning four trips, four days on the AT from southern Berkshire county to my home in Williamstown, two nights on the Tongue Mountain range in NYS, one or two nights on the Glastonbury loop part of both the AT and LT.
Now to find the money for the right stove and a lighter sleeping bag. Damned poverty.
Posted by: EMT Dave

Re: Hi another new 'old' guy here - 12/02/17 06:10 PM

Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Your early 80s, or the 1980s? smile (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Welcome and keep hiking. At 67 (I also began in the early 80s) I find I can't hike as far as I used to in a day, and can't handle some of the aggressive terrain I used to. I've also learned that the love of the eastern US forests is still as strong as ever, and that the hikes and the nights spent camping are just as sweet.
I'm also a huge fan of Colin Fletcher. The original Complete Walker got me started.


I am currently 65.
I found that I can indeed hike about as long as I did in my 20s, but I clearly needed more breaks at the top of hills. Beyond question is that I need to get my pack weight down even more that I have already. In last summer's overnight breakdown cruise, I had to carry some gear, food and water for my companion who is smaller than I and less accustomed to exercise. It was too heavy a load at around 35 lbs., although clearly I had too much food and having to carry water for both of us did not help. Still, I need to get my pack weight down to like 18 lbs. or so without food or water.
Still, it is an easy price to pay to be back in the mountains I love.
Oh. And Colin. God bless his heavy toting, irascible Welsh ass. He has given me gifts which cannot be over rated. I hope he is happy where ever he is.