Okay, I have been digging gear out of the rafters, closets and storage buildings to comply with the Boss's directive of efficient storage. Unfortunately I got side-tracked when I decided to "restore" my two 40+ year old Seva 123s. Actually they didn't need it, but boil times did improve. All I had ever done was clean the jet on every trip and replace the fuel tank gasket periodically (bad gaskets) and the source of most Svea horror stories. So there was a lot of cleaning and polishing over two weeks. I replaced the wick on one stove and the other is still in great condition. Replaced both cap gaskets and that is all after 40+ years!
In 1971 I bought my first Svea. Then I bought a Hank Roberts canister stove a couple years or so later. The canister stove was okay... it didn't thrill me. When I saw a Sigg Tourist pot set for a Svea (my friend had one) I decided to get the pot set. My friend had to have the Hank Roberts and offered to trade his Svea and Tourist set for the stove because they could not be easily found at the time. No brainer to me :) I used the Tourist set-up for winter/snow and the other for all other trips. The first Svea was my main stove until about 3 years ago.
Both Svea stoves packed and ready to go.
The 123s were first produced in 1955. In 1969 Optimus bought the company and soon replaced the 123 with the 123R, which had a self-cleaning needle included in the design. You can tell the difference because the control shaft points down at approximately 45% angle, also the keys have a cutout on the end to loosen the packing nut on the housing. 123Rs shafts are parallel to the horizontal. People who have used both models say the older ones work better, but I have never used the R series.
Svea inside the windscreen/pot stand.
Svea with a 2.5 quart pot. Once the stove is lit and adjusted you want to remove the key as it gets too hot to handle with bare hands.
You can also cook with the included cup/pot. I usually drank out of a Sierra cup and cooked with an aluminum pot or pan. Sometimes I would use this in the morning to boil water for instant oatmeal and coffee.
Svea nested in the Sigg Tourist, which includes windscreen, stove holder, 2.5 qt pot, 3.5 qt pot, and a lid/frying pan.
Stove inside Sigg windscreen and pot holder. The pots are formed to sit securely into the stove holder and you can stack both pots on top of the stove for fancy cooking, which I have no idea how one would do that :)
Svea 123 with windscreen 473g or 16.68oz
Svea 123 with windscreen and cup 554g or 19.54oz
Sigg Tourist Aluminum Cookset with Svea 123 981g or 34.60oz
OPTIMUS 731 MOUSTRAP
I bought this stove in the late 70's or early 80's as part of my never-ending lightening up process. It used 100% liquid feed butane canisters. I really like the stove, although it is easy to tip over. I no longer have any canisters left and cannot find any.
One thing I really liked about this stove was its compactness and easy to store in my pack at 7 1/8" X 4 3/4" X 1 5/8".
Mousetrap opened up. It is leaning slightly to the left. Then canister fits inside the wire bail on the left under under the knob. The canister height would then make the stove level, but you can imagine the stability issue.
Weight of stove is 353g or 11.25 oz.
Bottom of stove. You can see the piercing need that goes inside the rubber tipped canister. This needle can break if one is not careful, which happened on my first Mousetrap, but I bought another one later.
GAZ 106 GLOBETROTTER
In 1985 I cut the tip of one of my fingers down to the bone. Since I was an auto mechanic the doctor ordered me to not work for a week. So I went backpacking. This was a rather strenuous trip. For those who are familiar with the San Jacintos, the trip started by going down Palm Canyon from Ribbonwood and then up out of the desert to the Peak and then back to Ribbonwood. The 2nd day I broke the needle in the Mousetrap rendering it useless. So I hiked over to Idyllwild to see if I could get another stove. Nomad Adventures was in business back then (they are still there and in Joshua Tree). And the only compact stove they sold was the Globetrotter. The Stove used pierceable butane canisters, which meant that once pierced you had to leave it in place. The stove with the canister connected will still fit into the included pots/cups. These are fairly large and will hold a Svea 123 with the windscreen and cup. I liked this stove so much, I bought a 2nd one as a spare, since I figured they would be discontinued some day, which they were... along with the small canisters. I still have a few left.
Stove, canister, pot lifter inside the cup/pots.
The pot supports flip up and the pot sits inside of them, so you really cannot use a larger pot. Notice the built in windscreen, it works pretty good.
Canister removed from stove. You can see the hole in the canister where the stove punctures it. Canister is 100% butane.
Gaz Globetrotter Stove 298g or 10.51 oz.
Gaz Globetrotter Stove with pots and handle 565g or 19.93oz.
In the 1980's I also bought a MSR Whisperlite for more extreme winter conditions and for car camping. I never have been completely thrilled with it, as there is too much "fiddle-factor" and too much required maintenance. But I still have it and it has never let me down. I guess I am so used to the ease of the 123 that I mentally never got over it. Many people complain that the Seva is too difficult to use, but after 40 years of use it is simple to me.
One huge problem in the deserts where I hike is wind. The Whisperlite does as well as any stove in wind with the aluminum windscreen. But again, I just never warmed up to the stove. So I bought a remote canister stove in the 1990's for desert work and car camping.
This is a really cool stove. Remote canister so a windscreen can be used, such as the MSR alumium screens. Piezo-electric ignition and it can hold a large pot. With a "heavy" Gaz 470 canister I did many two week trips on a single canister. It also was great to use car camping to supplement a Coleman camping stove.
Gaz Tristar Stove with bag 462g 16.30oz
There is a thin piece of foam in the bag and the instructions, which I still have, say to place the canister in the back when using in snow and not to turn the canister in any position but vertical. I never tried it in snow, due to past experiences with canister stoves.
Gaz Trailstar Stove w/o bag 407g 14.36 oz.
Two other stoves I owned in the past were a Gaz S200 (don't know why I bought it and I think I gave it away), and a Gaz 270 Turbo another lighten the pack stove, which I eventurally gave to my son.
Other than still using these old stove once in awhile for nostalgia sake, my go to 99% of the time stove is a Calder Cone GVP, usually with Esbit. I also sometime use a Snow Peak GigaPower. In winter I am most happy with a MSR Dragonfly, although last winter I used a MSR Wind Pro with an inverted canister. This winter (if it ever snows) I will go back to the Dragon Fly.
Even though I rarely us it, the hands down choice the Svea 123. Unbelievable reliability and it looks like a piece of art. Next is the Gaz Globe Trotter, but canisters are almost impossible to find. However I will continue to use the Caldera Cone and Stove Peak due to weight considerations.