I never venture out for more than half a day without taking a stove with me – I like to be very sure of my tea supply! On a short tour its no problem to take sufficient gas to last the trip but my recent longer visit to France and Spain created something of a dilemma. One simple solution would have been to take a Trangia. Meths is easily available, I’ve owned a Trangia for 20+ years and its completely foolproof. Its also rather heavy and slow and I’ve grown used to a super speedy gas stove. I do possess a multi fuel stove which would solve the problem. Petrol is the easiest and cheapest fuel but it is worryingly volatile and priming (or lack thereof) can produce alarmingly large flames! Gas is definitely my fuel of choice but screw on cylinders can be hard to find. Decathlon are rumoured to stock them but their stores always seem to be on the side of motorways. I finally found the perfect solution – an adaptor that allows the widely available puncture type cylinders to be used with stoves designed for screw on cartridges.
The one I bought was marketed under the name of Markhill at £19.99. I later discovered what appears to be exactly the same product under the Edelrid brand for £16.99. It is fairly compact and weighs 5oz (140g).
Before fitting it the valve assembly needs to be removed. The legs then clamp round the cyclinder and the rubber band fitted to secure them in place. The valve assembly is then screwed back in piercing the cartridge. Obviously once attached it can’t be removed until the cartridge is empty.
I was initially reluctant to pay £20 for this but it turned out to be well worth the money – even more so if you get the £16.99 version! The first shop I tried in Spain did actually stock screw in cartridges but they cost 7.95 euros whereas the puncture type were only 1.49. Most French shops sold them in a variety of own brands for a similar sum. The supermarket brands were only Butane as opposed to the Butane/Propane mix used in the screw in cartridges so they wouldn’t be quite so good in the cold. The Camping Gaz and Coleman ones are both Butane/Propane mix. They only contain 190g of gas as opposed to the 250g screw in ones but they still work out much cheaper. My local Blacks is selling Coleman 250g cartridges for £4.99 whereas the 190g Coleman puncture type is £1.50 so I’m tempted to carry on using it now I’m back home. I’m pretty sad so I’ve weighed both on the kitchen scales! A 250g cartridge weighs 12oz (350g) whereas the 190g plus adaptor weighs in at 15oz (425g). It also just fits inside my Primus Eta pot.