Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mid-Week S24O

After collecting bits and pieces of camping equipment for the past few months, I decided it was time to actually put this stuff to use. I try to keep my weekends free for my family, this includes my Friday nights. I planned to head out to Lake Benbrook Tuesday afternoon after work and attempt to be back home Wednesday morning in time to shower, get dressed, and be off to work by 8:oo AM. As it turned out, packing up and leaving camp took longer than expected. I arrived home just before 8:30 AM. I ended up taking the day off since I had some family business to take care of anyway.

I was thankful that the bike lane was shaded on the ride out.

This is one of the newer sections of the Trinity Trails that leads out towards Lake Benbrook.

My campsite with a great view of the lake.

I had some some trouble getting water boiled for my Ramen noodles. I took two stoves, an old Esbit stove and a French military stove (pictured). They both use Esbit fuel tablets. I set up my gear as a windscreen and started off using the French stove. The water got hot but didn't boil before the fuel tablet burnt out. I tried again with the Esbit stove with the same results.

The noodles turned out alright. I will be looking for a new stove with a good windscreen.

I put the rainfly on the tent for privacy until it was dark. My camp site was near the boat ramp and there was foot traffic going by tent until about 9:00 PM. When I took the fly off I was surprised at how transparent the mesh walls were at night. I had a great view of the stars.

As I packed up my gear I was treated to a beautiful sunrise.

This is where one park ends and another begins. You have to lift your bike over the low spot on the fence. The ride back along the lake was excellent. It was still cool and I had a tailwind the whole way.

The cows managed to get out of their fence. They were't in a hurry to go anywhere.


  1. Nice write-up and great pictures - sounds like a successful trip!
    I tried Esbit stoves years ago but quickly gave up on them. These days I mostly use a pepsi can stove. You can boil water pretty quickly, but you do need a decent windscreen.

  2. I gave up on the Esbit stoves after the first try back around 1974...I currently use a Clickstand alcohol for most of my short trips, I do use a Storm Kettle when I ramble with my Raleigh Superbe. It works great on the woodsy east coast, plenty of fuel. For longer multiple day trips I use an MSR Whisperlite gas stove. I have a few other gas stoves, but they are more of collection than normal use stoves. FWIW they are an Optimus 8R and a Svea 123. Both are great old stoves, but the MSR is lighter and easier to refuel.

    Glad to see the S24O was a success! I need to get a couple in this year.


  3. Most excellent. I'm glad you got away. The lake front sunrise scene is fantastic.

  4. Looks like a great getaway. Awesome sunrise photo!

  5. If you'd like, feel free to borrow my Coleman hiking stove. It uses white gas.

  6. Chuck-I've watched videos on making soda can stoves. I like the idea of using alcohol as my fuel. I may make one this weekend.

    2whls3spds-I like the Storm Kettle. Christopher (Pondero)uses something similar.

    Pondero, Big Oak-Thanks. I was very surprised that the photo turned out as well as it did.

    Steve A-Thanks for the offer Steve. I'll see how the soda can stove turns out.

  7. What tent is that? I'd love to have a full mesh tent. Perfect for Texas.

  8. @Myles,
    Awesome! The pics rock. Now why do I get the feeling I know where that lake is? :)

    Peace :)

  9. Jonathan-It's a North Face Rock 22. I picked it up at Backwoods in Fort Worth for around $180. It's sturdy and quick and easy to setup and take down. The tight mesh blocks the light breezes (I could feel the walls being blown back and forth) but when the wind picked up I could feel the heat being sucked out. I'm happy with it.

    Chandra-I wish that I could have gone along on the recent group trip with you guys. By the way, the downed tree is still blocking the trail. It caught me by surprise

  10. Looks like a fun trip, with a beautiful campsite.

    Before you give up on the stoves you have, you should try using them with a windscreen. It makes a big difference. You can build one cheaply using aluminum baking sheets. Let me know if you want more information about that.

    I have a Trangia alcohol burner and it works fairly well ... but it can't boil water as fast as an Esbit can. Used properly, an Esbit stove can boil water very quickly. I don't know the tricks behind it, but you could ask Bone or Five Toed Sloth.