Equipment Video

Time to make the donuts

March 25, 2010


I’m a bit of a fire girl. And by that, I mean that while camping in my youth, I always exercised my dominance over fire and harnessed it inside a circle of rocks beaten smooth by a river. Or something. And over that fire, I would place a homemade cooking skillet that my Dad constructed by welding three legs onto a disc from a disc plow.

Dang, my Dad is awesome! I call him MacGuyver.

But that thing was heavy. And I think to throw a device like that on a Bob Trailer may push me over my 70lb limit without actually loading anything onto the thing. (I’m aiming for 50lbs by the way, so it would truly push me over).

Which brings us to the MSR Whisperlite Internationale. This little puppy also allows me to harness fire, but with increased risk of burning my eyebrows off. What an exciting prospect!

It connects to a fuel bottle, which you pump to pressurize and this is what creates the potential for eyebrow loss and little girlish squeals of delight (or pain). It clearly says in the instructions that a ‘soccer ball sized flame is normal’ upon lighting.

Apparently, the MSR basically has two speeds. Full on and off. So I guess stuff besides my eyebrows will be burning too. It’s got a little wind screen (which I didn’t put up in the video as there was no wind in my apartment) and runs on gas, kero, and unleaded auto-fuel. I think that’ll cover all my bases, and is the reason I got the Internationale version.

I can’t wait to stir something in my amazing pot with my amazing titanium spork! :

Gimme matches! Gimme fuel! Girl’s gotta cook!

  1. Reply

    Blind Pilot

    March 26, 2010

    Cool post. Like the video… well done, as usual.

    Speaking of MacGyver, according to

    At the age of 17, he [Richard Dean Anderson, AKA MacGyver] took a 5641 mile bicycle trip from his home in Minnesota through Canada and Alaska, an experience which was sparked by his sense of adventure and discovery, but which also gave him a more centered sense of direction.

    Cool little factoid.

  2. Reply

    Dave B

    March 31, 2010

    I found your blog in a link on this video on YouTube. I just wanted to say GOOD JOB! and I’ll be cheering for ya.

    And to Blind Pilot, that’s is a cool little factoid indeed

  3. Reply


    April 8, 2010

    Blind Pilot – believe it or not, I actually knew that about RDA. Old childhood crush… 🙂

    Dave – thanks for the support! Cheering is goodly.

  4. Reply

    Matt Law

    April 9, 2010

    Just found about your trip on AdFreak. My wife and I did the trip last year west to east and you are going to have a great time. Buy some pepper spray for the dogs (and raccoons), don’t take too much stuff and get up early as it is going to be hot. Make sure you stay in Jeffrey City, Wyoming – ex Uranium mining town and home of this crazy potter called Byron who lives in an abandoned gas station. Don’t worry if dogs chase you they just want something to do, it’s the little ones you should worry about. Eat more than you think you need to. That’s it, the rest is easy

  5. Reply


    April 9, 2010

    Excellent advice Matt! I’m not incredibly familiar with raccoons. I was running around the bridle path early one morning in Central Park once when one popped out of a trash can and gave me an evil glare. Is that pretty much what they do everywhere?

  6. Reply


    April 29, 2010

    Finally decided to ditch my old MSR and use the Caldera Ti-Tri instead: three options for fuel, including wood, fuel tabs, and good ol’ alcohol (like Heet in the yellow bottle, available everywhere).

    So simple, and it does allow for some ability to simmer.

  7. Reply


    May 2, 2010

    For my camping trips I have used the gas canisters, because there is no pumping and ‘soccer ball’ sized fire. I know the fuel bottles are better because they can be used at lower temperatures and you can refill them. My question is can you refill them with kerosene that you find in a regular supermarket? If not I suggest the gas canisters, works like a charm and no pumping involved. Only problem for you is going to be able to carry enough of them to last you 3.5 months.


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