July 15, 2007

Classic Camping Stoves

At one time, most of us probably owned a brass Optimus, Primus, or Svea stove. For the most part, they served us well and faithfully accompanied us on our treks. They are part of our history.

Many of these cookers were shelved when we acquired the hi-tech stoves first introduced by MSR.

Others just don’t work so well anymore. The most common problems with old stoves are dried gaskets, defunct wicks, and clogged jets. There is hope, however. A & H Packstoves both sell new stoves and furnish parts for the old. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, enthusiasts of Swedish brass. Prices are quite reasonable.

Classic Camp Stoves is a discussion forum and an archive of photos, advertising art, catalogs, and exploded diagrams.

Read the Backpacker review of the classic Svea 123 and its links to related articles. You should find the review at Cool Tools to be helpful, especially the comments and link to a Svea fact sheet.


July 10, 2007

Personal Locator Beacons

Technology is finding its way into the backcountry: the avalanche beacon, GPS receiver, cellphone, and personal locator beacon (PLB). The media have reported the use of personal locator beacons in dramatic and successful rescues but at least one instance of their abuse. Some experts have expressed concern that the devices will encourage over-reliance on their use.

ACR Electronics manufactures most of the units available in the United States. The devices are pricey but can be rented from PLB Rentals.

The New York Times recently published an article about PLBs.

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