£125 from Amazon.co.uk
Cycling the first leg through Europe meant camping and cooking every night. There are lots of cookers and stoves to choose from, but with the most readily available fuel source being petrol, we went with a burner that we could easily find fuel for no matter what the country. The Omnifuel is able to take a variety of fuels, including petrol, diesel, kerosene and of course the all important aviation fuel. It also has a highly adjustable nozzle, keeping things simmering when need be, or brought to a boil quickly.
It’s also incredibly fuel efficient – between London and Syria, we only filled up the fuel cans a maximum of three times, and cooked at least one hot meal a day. Priming, using and cleaning is all very straightforward, and with two cookers between the three of us, we were able to cook up large meals in a short amount of time.
Probably the biggest let down of the cooker was actually the windshield and heat reflector. Essential to use with most of the areas being cold and breezy, the thin aluminium shields are impossible to store or use without the thin sheets disintegrating. After only about a month each sheet was held together by a lattice work of duct tape, no matter how carefully you store or handle them. Replacements are available, but costing around 10% of the original stove, they seem to be a bit of a rip off.
The cooker weighs around 500g, and packs up into a nice small bundle fitting into another pot. We initially bought a 1litre fuel can to carry enough fuel, but decided to leave this behind just before setting off. Instead, we carried along the included 600ml cans, which provided more than enough petrol.
Primus Eta Power Pot 2.1 l
£25.75 from Ultimate Adventure Hardware.co.uk
For various reasons, our cooking gear included for the most part a large non stick domestic frying pan (without handle), a titanium 1 litre pot, and a large 2 litre pot.
The small 1 litre MSR Quick 1 was a nifty little pot, but was actually only used once. It has a nice strainer and locking lid/handle, but when cooking for three people we always used the larger 2 litre pot that we had with us. For solo tours this would’ve been a much more practical pot.
The pot we did use on a daily basis though was the Primus Eta Power Pot – a non stick aluminium pot with a heat exchanger built into the bottom. This is essentially a metal concertina like ring around the bottom of the pot. This is meant to absorb the heat radiated from the sides of the cooker so that the pot is more efficiently heated, and contents cooked quicker. It seems to work well, and boils water pretty rapidly, as well as any other meals.
Annoyingly the non stick surface does seem to be fairly delicate – upon receipt, the lid had already scraped the insides of the pot, and the aluminium handle provided with the pot has little preventing it from biting thoroughly into the walls of the pot.
Still, a good pot to use if cooking for 2 or more people. Just make sure you have a wooden or plastic spoon for stirring.