If you have ever camped outdoors, you probably realize the importance of food preparation. Even though for most people it’s not a problem to go for many days on dry provisions, the feeling of a warm meal after an exhausting day is just unbeatable.
The most hardcore survivalists would probably manage with fire, stones and sticks to create an improvised kitchen. However, for those who prefer more casual and comfortable style, a wide variety of camping cooking stoves comes to the rescue. Among them:
Trangia Storm Cooker (stormkjøkken – from original Swedish)
Trangia – the company
Trangia is a manufacturer based in Sweden. They have been producing camping cooking accessories since 1925, starting from aluminum household pots. As Swedish workers started to get more holiday time throughout the year in 1930, the demand for portable cooking equipment increased and Trangia quickly shifted their production model to match the market needs.
Today, Trangia boasts an offer of over 100 products: cooking stoves, full camping sets, kettles, frying pans, mess tins and a whole range of accessories.
Trangia Storm Cooker 25-5 UL – Elements and Material
In this review we’ll have a closer look at one of the mid-range sets designed for 3-4 people. The 25-5 UL variant consists of 7 elements:
- 1.5L pot from ultra-light aluminum with non-stick coating
- 1.75L pot from ultra-light aluminum with non-stick coating
- Ø220 mm frying pan from ultra-light aluminum with non-stick coating
- Upper and lower wind protector from ultra-light aluminum
- Alcohol burner
- 68cm strap
- Pliers / Handle
Full dimensions of the packed set are Ø220 mm x 105 mm (height). Total weight is around 905g.
The ultra-light aluminum used here is said to be 50% stronger than regular aluminum and it’s thinner at the same time, which allows for the lower total weight. My version of pots and pan is also covered with non-stick coating (or Teflon, if you will). This of course makes the surface much more sensitive, but also easier to cook on and clean. Remember to only choose coated versions if you’re not expecting to use rough tools/utensils. For more challenging conditions I recommend aluminum alone or Duossal (a mix of aluminum and stainless steel).
Fuel for Trangia Storm Cooker 25-5 UL
Trangia offers two types of fuel in their cookers – liquid and gas.
In this case I am using an alcohol burner which should be filled with methylated spirit. Those are widely available in most countries and you shouldn’t have a problem buying them in any hardware or gardening store, as well as gas stations.
On the official Trangia website there is a list of how such substance is called in each country.
Burner holds approximately 100 ml, however safety instruction states it should be filled to 2/3 of capacity, therefore around 70 ml which should last for around 25 minutes of continuous burning (depending also on weather conditions). Manufacturer claims that boiling 1L of water should take around 10-15 minutes.
I don’t know exactly in what type of conditions Trangia performed their test, but I carried my own. One liter of water (approx. 15 degrees Celsius when poured) reached boiling state (100 degrees Celsius) after 13,5 minutes. The temperature outside was around 8 degrees Celsius. In warmer weather this time could probably be cut down to around 10 minutes as per official information.
The cost of fuel is on a very acceptable level. A 1L bottle of methylated spirit shouldn’t set you back more than 4 EUR/USD. Considering that one filling of the burner holds 70ml, that’s 14 fillings which translate into nearly 6 hours of burning time. Simply speaking – 0.66 EUR/USD per hour.
Usage and Transportation
Each Trangia set is thoughtfully designed in order to take up as little space as possible. The 25-5 UL version is one of the larger sets but it still packs nicely into the upper part of the wind protector, with frying pan acting as the lid. Everything secured with a 68 cm strap.
Getting the stove ready shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds. All you need to do is take out all the elements, set the lower wind protector on a flat surface, insert the fuel burner and place upper wind protector on top.
That’s it. Now just light up the fuel and put any of the pots on the 3 foldable feet and start cooking your delicious meal!
Remember to accurately predict the time of cooking if you only have one burner. Once it runs out of fuel, it’s dangerous to add more right away. You need to let it cool down for a few minutes, and only then refuel and continue cooking. That’s why we highly recommend purchasing an extra one. With two containers you can switch them around whenever one is close to running out of fuel and continue cooking for as long as you need to.
Whenever you want to make the flame smaller or put it out completely, just use the attached simmer ring.
Trangia Storm Cooker 25-5 UL Price and Other Sets
On official Trangia website, this model costs around 90 EUR/USD. Depending on the country you can probably expect a price variation of around 10%.
The same set without Teflon coating (25-3 UL – cheapest version from the 25 line) costs 70 EUR/USD.
With gas burner price increases significantly and can reach around 150 EUR/USD and more in case of larger sets.
An extra liquid fuel burner is a cost of approx. 15 EUR/USD
The line of products marked with number “25” is designed for 3-4 people. There is also a second line marked with number “27” which is described to be appropriate for 1-2 people. Set composition is pretty much the same in each variant, with a slight difference in capacity. Within line 27 pots will have a capacity of up to 1L and the frying pan has 180 mm diameter.
It is said by many users that one of those Trangia stoves can serve you a life time if taken care of and I have a similar impression. It seems to be very durable, well-fitted and very light. Perhaps it is not the smallest of stoves, but considering how many large elements it is holding, the packed form is still impressively compact.
Using the Trangia storm cooker could not be simpler, especially in case of the fuel burner. And it is very safe too, provided you’re not trying to refill a burner that just went out and is still very hot (consider buying an extra one for increased safety and comfort). Cooking times may not be express, but after all going out on a hike or camping is rather a peaceful time without much rush, so that should not be an issue.
Last but not least, there must be a reason why veteran bush crafters and survivalists like Dave Canterbury are recommending these stoves.
Although I’m not even close to such skill and experience, Trangia has also earned my recommendation for the 25-5 UL model. I’m sure that it will serve me very well for many years to come!