Trangia have been around forever and for good reason. Get outside and cook on one with the kids.
It sounds so simple, get your food, get a cooker, get fuel and go and cook it outside. It is that simple too and you can involve the kids at every step of the way to make a simple cook out a really memorable moment for the whole family. We recently ventured in the woods with the kids and cooked pancakes on a Trangia to celebrate Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day here in the UK. It wasn’t totally what we planned but you’ll have to check out the video to see what happened 😀
Full guide below the vlog!
First up, you’ll need a few things….
Trangia (or other alcohol stove/pan set)
I’ve had my Trangia for many many years. I bought the non-stick set which makes the world of difference when cleaning it up. I’m going to write a full review and how to use a Trangia in a future post. It’s super simple though. Pour fuel into burner, light burner, place burner in base. Ta-dah!
You can also buy cheaper alternatives such as this small alcohol stove, coupled with a small pan set and wind break. I love the way the Trangia packs into one thing though, dead useful for slinging in a bag.
Plates, Cutlery, Utensils
We actually haven’t got a “picnic set” at the moment. Typically we buy a set and lose or break parts of it and end up with a mishmash of different sets. The most important thing is weight and durability though. Plastic sets are great, cheap and hardwearing.
Grab a knife, spatula, wooden spoon from the kitchen draw to take too. (Though you could always just carry a pocket knife and use sticks from surrounding areas for stirring etc).
We pack a small tarp for sitting on and occasionally we’ll pack one for shelter too.
Our Trangia gets stowed in an old tote bag, y’know those ones that you get free at a conference or given away at a trade show. They’re great for stashing the Trangia in because even if its dirty you can simply wash the bag in the washing machine afterwards. Alternatively Trangia have their own bags available in a rather lovely orange colour. We pack a j-cloth, scourer and a hand sanitiser. A rag can be useful to have too for spills and handling.
Obviously you’ll need the things to cook. Don’t forget things like oil (we tend to take Fry-Lite spray) or decant some from home into a small vial/bottle. Salt, pepper, condiments. Don’t do without, it’s a treat, it’s special.
Ignition + Fuel
We have a storm lighter which is good for lighting methylated spirits (meths) but we also pack a Ferrorod / Firesteel just incase. It’s a good idea to keep your fuel warm. Meths can be tough to ignite when its cooler. Keep meths in a good fuel bottle, clearly marked so you don’t end up accidentally guzzling it instead of water.
Trangia have actually created a gas burner addition to Trangia if you want even easier use.
Find a good location for cooking. You’re going to be sat down for a little while, so find somewhere out of the wind. If you’re in the rain then strapping a tarp up amongst trees or making a little tarp shelter with a walking pole can be a super easy and fun little task of its own. Our kids love making shelters and you can rain seal them with a cheap tarp.
Make sure the cook area is clear of debris and hazards. Clear rocks/logs out of the way, the last thing you’ll need is a little ‘un flying into your cooking bacon. Keep your Trangia / stove on a flat surface away from potential fire hazards too. #PROTIP – grab a cheap lightweight chopping board from a pound/dollar store or Ikea. They slide right into your backpack and can be hugely handy for prepping food and keeping food off the floor. It’s good to get everything you need out and visible.
I try to get the kids involved as much as possible, let them pour things in, stir, make sure the fuel is still burning. They can help get the plates together and the cutlery. Depending on what you’re cooking and how long it takes you should be able to hold their attention just about.
I think eating something a bit different or a treat is a good idea for keeping the kids attention. Something sweet like pancakes with loads of different fillings is super easy also you can make the mix at home beforehand. They always go down well with the kids. I’d quite happily cart a can of squirty cream out with me too 😉 After eating we love to put a pan of hot milk on for a hot chocolate (and even take an Aeropress out to make an awesome coffee for the grown ups).
HASHTAG PROOOOOOOO TIPS:
- It’s worth getting the stove on as fast as you can, Trangia and meths takes a little time to warm up. It’s worth keeping the fuel as warm as you can too. Maybe in your backpack close to your back. This makes ignition much easier.
- Make sure your Trangia is on a flat surface, ideally on a rock too to avoid damaging any of the earth/grass.
- For cleaning you can grab a big piece of moss/grass and scrub the soot from the bottom before tackling with the cloth, gets the worst off.
You can see what I use to take pictures, make films and document all our adventures right here.
We recently made pancakes out in the woods. It didn’t go quite to plan this one but worth watching where we messed up! Check out the video and if you’ve got any favourites for cooking whilst out and about let me know on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.