Canteen cup stove: US army cup + Dutch army cup

A canteen cup as used by the military is very useful to prepare a meal or boil water for coffee and tea.

A very efficient cooking setup is the Swedish army ”Trangia” system. This is a cooking pot nested in a special designed windscreen. Inside this windscreen is a folding pot stand. The heat source is a alcohol burner. The cooking pot has a cover lid that can also be used as a pan on its own.
The cooking pot stands inside the windscreen. By enclosing the bottom from the pot by the windscreen the heat from the flames is transferred more efficiently into the pot. Also the flames stay inside the windshield instead of going everywhere. It also makes sure that rain and wind have almost no effect on the burner. This windscreen stays around the pot when carried. It acts as a storage container. Big advantage is that the black soot that will be formed on the pot cannot easily be transferred to other equipment and your hands. Alcohol burns relatively clean compared to petrol based liquids. The smell is less and the formation of black soot is also lesser. Alcohol is widely available and you can bring it in a small bottle for a day hike or a big bottle for a multiple days. With gas burners you need to bring a whole canister. If running out of Alcohol you can also burn some wood twigs in this stove.


Swedish Army pan + windshield 01
The Swedish Army cook system with the pan standing inside the windscreen.

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Austrian army backpack system

During the 80’s the Austrian army had a load carrying system that consisted of a large backpack that looked like a US army Alice Pack and a smaller bag that could be carried as a front pack or as a butt pack. Alternately the small bag could also be worn as a shoulder bag or a small backpack on it’s own. The bags are made from Nylon (Polyamide) and usually carried in combination with a pistol belt.

The idea from a front pack was copied in later years by the Dutch army. They had a small duffel generally known as the Rotota bag or soldiers handbag. This was also attached to the shoulder straps of a backpack. However the Dutch used plastic fast release buckles while the Austrian pack system uses metal hooks. Another difference is that the Dutch front-pack is carried on the chest while the Austrian front-pack is carried a little lower, on your belly. Perhaps this was done so the soldier has more space to handle a rifle.

The Austrian backpack and front-pack. Source:

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(Dutch army) foldable wash bucket

When you are travelling you need to wash your clothes sooner or later. Luckily you can find many laundry services in most countries. They will wash and dry your dirty clothes for a small amount of money. But sometimes you just want to wash one or two items or you just stay one night in a place. Then it is an option to do a quick hand wash in a bucket or in the bathroom sink. For these situations it is super handy to have your own small rubber bucket with you. It is light and it doesn’t take much space in your suitcase or backpack.

The Dutch / Belgian military rubber bowl will stand right up by the pressure of the water what is inside. The bowl isn’t that big (approx 4 liter) but it is large enough for a T-shirt, a pair of socks, some underwear and a short. Just let your laundry soak in the water with soap for a few hours and then wash the soap out of the laundry under running water from the tap.

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Dutch army daypack

The Dutch army daypack aka KL daypack or KLu daypack is a small backpack but equipped with foam-padded shoulder straps like it is a full size backpack. The bag has a main compartment with an internal divider and two side pockets. The weigh is about 1,35 kg and measurements are 45 x 28 x 18cm for the main compartment and 7 x 15 x 25 cm for each of the side pockets. This gives the backpack a total volume of 28 liters. However, on online army shops and second hand trading websites the volume is very often stated as 35 liters. The outside contains two attaching belts for extra equipment like a water bottle or first aid pouch. These items can be attached with alice-clips, but also the old Dutch/British webbing system hooks.  This backpack was made during the 90’s in 3 colours; Woodland (Dutch DPM), Desert (Dutch CDU) and olive green. The olive green one was only issued to the Dutch Airforce (KLu) and therefore harder to find nowadays. Big advantage of this last one is that the camouflage pattern will not fade out after years of usage. Also the color is more neutral and suitable for urban traveling. An even rarer version is the black one issued to members of the Dutch military police (Marechaussee). This one was however made of a much softer normal fabric.

3 x Dutch army backpack
The 3 different camouflage versions of the Dutch army daypack

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HPV Salsa regulating alcohol stove

At some point in history alcohol stoves or Spiritus stoves with a controllable flame were widely manufactured and used. These stoves are also called gravity fed alcohol stoves or valve controlled alcohol burners. The alcohol fuel isn’t under pressure as it is in petrol stoves. In the past many of them were manufactured in Germany. Today there is only one factory left that is still producing a classic proven design: Heidersdorfer Produktions- und Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH

The current model HPV Salsa (Spiritusbrenner) was previously sold under the name BAT Spiritusgaskocher 55/1 and Enders Cooky 1 Spirituskocher. Besides the single burner version there has always been a double burner version. The current model is named HPV Flüssiggaskocher Mambo or Spirituskocher Mambo.

Enders Cooky Spirituskocher Vintage Spirit Alcohol Camp Stove Single Burner 01
Enders Cooky 1 with original box.

Specs of the HPV Salsa alcohol stove:

– Power: 1.0 kw
– Fuel consumption: 0,2 l
– Fuel storage tank: 0,4 l
– Dimensions: 25 x 32 x 12 cm
– Burn time: up to 120 minutes
– Weight: 1,4 Kg
– Color: blue or white powder-coated

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Stainless Steel mesh coffee filter

Easy to use and re-use system for pour over coffee. In this way you can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee instead of falling back on (tasteless) instant coffee. It is very suitable for one or two persons. The filter can be used as a filter itself or in combination with a additional paper filter.

Twp Dutch companies (RubyTec and Bo-Camp) are offering these types of filters. They work according to the same hanging principle as some prepacked coffee filters from Thailand. Those ones are single use while this is refillable. They also work good with a small paper filter. Then it is more of a filter holder instead of a filter itself.

Stainless steel coffee filter with paper insert in action while camping.

Additional information:

Dutch army mess tins

The Dutch army mess tins are almost identical (just a little smaller) as the British army mess tins. It is a two-piece set of a smaller pan nesting in a bigger pan. Both pans have a fold out handle. The design dates back to the days of the 2nd world war. Armies around the world are still using this style of mess tins. Modern outdoor equipment suppliers as Highlander, Bo-Camp and BCB are still producing this design for the civilian market. That says something about the quality and practical usage of this type of mess tins.

Dutch army mess tins 04

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Kerosene types and gradations

Kerosene is a quite generic term and also known as Paraffin, lamp oil, Jet-Fuel or Petroleum and can be used in camping stoves, heaters and lamps. It is usually made from crude oil by cracking and distillation. The distillation is done at different temperatures in order to obtain different fractions based on their boiling- and condensation temperature. The substances in a fraction have a certain molecule size because the molecule size strongly relates to the boiling point and condensation point. Kerosene products have a boiling range of approximately 150 to 290 °C (302 to 554 °F) and a carbon range of approximately C9 –C16. Usually a treatment with hydrogen is also done prior to the distillation. Besides breaking larger molecules into smaller ones it will also transform aromatic benzene rings into cyclohexane and transform sulfur into H2S which is then removed. Labels will often state: Dearomatized and desulphurized. The resulting mixtures of substances that have common properties such as molecule size, boiling point, and flash-point are sold under different names and labels. Kerosene in particular is sold in different molecule size gradations. The larger the molecules, the larger it’s flash-point. If the molecule size is not mentioned on a product label, the flash-point often is. Besides usage as fuel it is also used as lubricant and as solvent. Hence the flammability of WD40 and paint additives such as brush cleaners (turpentine, white spirit).

The range of carbon atoms per molecule is often found on the label on bottles with lamp oil, turpentine, white gas, kerosene for heaters etc. The longer the molecules are the more energy content. Also the oxygen demand will increase with the increase of the molecule length. A lack of oxygen will often result in yellow flames instead of blue ones. Smaller molecules are easier to ignite.

Camping gas C3-C4 In other words Butane and Propane. Easy to ignite as there is no need for preheating to ensure gasification. Soot formation on cookware due to yellow flames is rare. In recent decades this became the most popular camping fuel due to its ease of use. Downside is that the heat output per volume is small and canisters are sometimes difficult to find. Another downside is usage under cold weather conditions. Due to the boiling point at -1 ºC from Butane it can become liquid and pressure in the canister will be lost.

Camp fuel C5-C9
Usually Light Hydrotreated Distillate CAS number 68410-97-9 is the main ingredient in Camp fuel. The most famous is Coleman Fuel, other brands are Crown camp fuel and Primus Power Fuel. Labels will show a flame symbol to indicate it’s high flammability. The flashpoint is far below 0 ºC. The liquid itself can be set afire with a lighter so it can be used as a preheating material for camping stoves. Normal automotive fuel can be used as an alternative. However the presence of a variety of additives to enhance the fuel properties can lead to clogging of the generator in most camping stoves. A cleaner less smelling alternative is Alkylate Fuel such as Aspen 4.

Petroleum C9-C11. Not very often found due its lower flashpoint at 39 ºC and therefore tighter rules for transport and storage. Although lubricants such as WD40, low aromatic paint thinner and brush cleaner tend to use this grade of petroleum. Labels will often show a flame symbol to indicate it’s high flammability. Although it is nearly impossible to set it afire with just a lighter. Having the flashpoint at 39 ºC would suggest that maybe in hot tropical weather conditions you might succeed in doing so. This grade can be used in classic camping stoves such as the Primus 96, Primus 210, Optimus 45 etc. Just like other kerosene grades it is necessary to preheat camping stoves with alcohol or camp fuel. Usually it will burn with a nice blue flame and it is easier to ignite in cold weather conditions then heavier petroleum grades.

Petroleum C10-C13 Very often sold as petroleum for classic kerosene stoves, wick stoves and oil lamps. Unlike Petroleum C9-C11 it is not labeled with a flame symbol for high flammability. It’s flashpoint is 65 ºC. Therefore regulations for storage and transport are less strict. As a result it is one of the most common found petroleum grades.

Petroleum C14-C17. Not very often found. Petroleum grades with C14 and higher components will burn safely and good in Kerosene heaters but will flare up with yellow flames in most camping stoves. Camping stoves with a roarer burner head will burn easier on this type of kerosene then camping stoves with a silent burner head.

Grades of Paraffins (Kerosene) made by Sasol. Source:

Lamp oil: C10-C13 + C8-C26. Perfect for oil lamps because it will produce nice yellow flames. Unsuitable for most camping stoves as it will lead to smoke, smell and flare up of yellow flames. Camping stoves with a roarer burner head such as the Primus 210 or Primus 96 might succeed in burning this. Easily available in supermarkets and camping supply shops. Please note that products sold as ”lamp oil” can contain all kinds of kerosene gradations as flat wick lamps will easily burn on it. Some sellers of classic oil lamps advise to stay away from products labeled as lamp oil and instead use refined colorless grades of kerosene to avoid soot formation.

Kerosene for kerosene heaters: C11-C16. The molecule range is a on the high side but not too much. In this way the flashpoint and boiling point are high enough to avoid dangerous situations but is still low enough to ensure a complete burning of the fuel so smell is avoided. By using kerosene with relatively high molecule sizes the heat output per volume is also higher. Most suppliers of kerosene for heaters will sell 2 different grades; suitable for indoor usage and suitable for outdoor usage only. The last one is made by classic cracking and distillation while the other is made synthetically with the so called Fischer–Tropsch process. In this process gasses (small molecules) are combined into larger molecules that are liquid. Hence the name GTL fuel, Gas To Liquid. These fuels have a extreme low aromatic compound content. Since aromatic compounds are liquids at room temperature while the starting materials for this fuel are gasses they simply cannot be there. They are known for smooth and clean burning.

(Aspen) Alkylate fuel for camping stoves and lanterns

Aspen fuel is marketed for usage in small gardening machines like chainsaws and lawnmowers. Lesser known is that it is a excellent fuel for camping stoves and lanterns. It burns fiercely without any smell.

Aspen 4 and Coleman 533 stove in the outdoors. Source:

Aspen fuel is a brand of so called Alkylate Petrol. This type of petrol is made by a synthesis process instead of distillation. The result is a very pure fuel that is free from hazardous components that naturally occur in fossil oil. Usage is very popular in machines that are used outdoors such as chainsaws, hedge trimmers, lawnmowers, vibratory plate compactors for pavement construction etc. When used professional alkylate fuel is often demanded by health and safety regulations. When used in petrol stoves as a replacement for white gas you can benefit from the same clean burning characteristics. Reports of usage indoors without odor problems are not uncommon.

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Hello World!

Welcome to Military Travel and Outdoor. This site is about military surplus items that can be used for traveling, outdoor and camping purposes. Other commercial available items that will come in handy will also find its place on this website.

This website is a continuation from Thailand Travel Base. Beside information about traveling in Thailand it became more and more a website about military travel and outdoor gear. The .EU domain was added to the website to clarify that goods purchased are send from Europe. More specific; from The Netherlands.