One important concept I learned while serving in the army was:
"No battle plan survives contact with the enemy". What you can take away from this, is to test your gear in the comfort of your home or out on your front lawn before you haul it 8000km and find out it fails miserably or needs modifications.
I'm rationalizing my excuse to play with fire and relieve the boredom of a cold Sunday afternoon on Prince Edward Island, and I can live with the laughter and pointing fingers.
Right, the mission is to use a homemade alcohol stove, pot stand and windscreen with 1oz of alcohol to cook sliced mushrooms, fry an egg on top of it, then to use my "brand new never been used" folding wash basin that I purchased on AliExpress over the winter months.
|Ryder 5 litre folding wash basin
|My alcohol penny stove, potstand and windscreen
I lit it up and watched it bloom into life, placed my relatively new frying pan on top of the pot stand only to have it tip backwards and fall off, as the balance was wrong, so I had to rotate the two legged pot stand to provide more support underneath the heavier handle side of the frying pan. Lesson 2: Make sure the pot is going to do the job or dinner ends up in the grass, and becomes dinner for someone else.
|There's no wind in the apartment, but let us pretend, shall we?
The 1/2 teaspoon of oil was quickly disappearing, and if I cracked the egg into the pan it would stick like glue. I quickly added another 1/2 tsp of oil and cracked the egg over it carefully so as to not upset the apple cart again. Lesson 4: Use more oil when cooking with fire and thin aluminium pans.
|And the flip side!
I've a mini spatula coated with silicone that works really well in this pan, but when I went to flip the egg over to cook the other side, in spite of the oil I had to pry the egg up and flip it, and watch as parts of it stuck to the bottom Lesson 6: More oil? Lower heat? A lid? All three perhaps? I'd never have been able to do this with a kfs combo (knife fork spoon)
|The flame is dying and the egg is just about done. Lunchtime!
The egg was yummy and went down so easily that I've plans for doing another once I get this posted, perhaps with my butane gas stove or a trangia clone and simmer ring?
|Yep. Stuck on overcooked egg.
|It looks weird, but it works quite well!
I had fun playing around this afternoon, but feel free to laugh, and post a comment to correct the error of my ways.
Would I use this setup on a trip? A weekend campout perhaps, but as the flame needs to be tamed down, that is what I'll focus on next time, using a stove that I can control the heat with to delicately simmer scrambled eggs in butter, right up to boil up a pint of water for a cuppa and some oatmeal for breakfast. I'm going to repeat this experiment with a Trangia clone and pot stand, making use of the simmer ring.
Don't forget, test your gear BEFORE you hit the road. You may learn something. ;)