Camp Stoves: Optimus 80

Continuing on with the theme of admiration for the classic camp stoves, here is a visual overview of the Optimus 80 / Svea 71.  No, they are not exactly the same, but are very close and share virtually all the same features.  For those interested in the early history of the liquid fuel camping stove, have a look HERE.

The Oprtimus 80 stove.

The Optimus 80 stove.

How much simpler can this get?  It is essentially a repeat of the classic design in a slimmed down form.  It was designed to stand alone as a portable cooker with the carrying case serving as a pot support.

This beautiful stove pcks down in this nice little tin box.

This beautiful stove packs down in this nice little tin box.

I wasn’t really looking for one when found this on Ebay.  It has obviously seen very little use and the paint and tin plate are still in excellent condition.  I’m not a fanatical collector so when I bid on these things I tend to be pretty frugal.  I was fortunate to get this one for a very fair price.

The box opened for use.

The box opened for use.

A bit of oxidation is visible on the top and in the lid of the box but otherwise, this is a clean stove.  It fired up immediately and works extremely well.

Simmering along with a QuietStove insert.

Simmering along with a QuietStove insert.

I put a Quiet Stove flame spreader in this one and I think it makes it easier to cook on.  The flame is certainly a lot nicer and more controlled with this device.  They are a bit expensive but are certainly worth the cost if you are using an Optimus-style stove on a regular basis.


Check them out.


Camp Stoves: Optimus 8R

Just some eye candy of the Optimus 8R.  Battered, grungy, and well-used, much like it’s owner.  I really wanted one of these back in the mid-1980s.  Since I was bumming around and using air travel, I went to a butane cartridge stove instead.  For those interested in the early history of the liquid fuel camping stove, have a look HERE.

Svea 123.  Click for more information on liquid stoves.

Svea 123. Click for more information on liquid fuel stoves.


Camp Stoves: The Svea 123


The Svea 123.

Arguably the pinnacle of white gas stove design.  My little Svea 123.  It is essentially a brass fuel tank and a burner; a Molotov Cocktail with a valve.  And it comes in one of my favorite colors, shiny brass.  During a recent extended power outage, I used this guy on my electric stove top for making up the coffee.  Collectors will probably cringe at this but I ditched the little aluminum cup years ago as I don’t cook in aluminum.

If you’re interested in the early history of the liquid fuel camping stove, have a look at an older write-up HERE.


Primus Stove Accessories

 “Do you ever Hunt? Fish? Paddle a Canoe? Explore? Prospect? Climb Hills or Sail on a Yacht?”  Such was the opening line on an 1899 advertisement for Primus stoves.  That covers just about anybody of worth that I know.  Of course you need a stove.  Buck up and buy one (that means you Jim).  The ad goes on to say “It cures all ills that campers are heir to.  It is the one thing needful to make camp life a dream of Elysium.”   You just can’t ask for more than that.

1277439611-PrimusPicnic_1908-01Improving the Primus Stove experience began early on.  Putting the stove in a tin case, disassembled, made for easier packing and kept the parts together.  And of course, a toaster rack that works while the tea kettle is heating on top would become indispensable.

1392681847-primus_usa_1899Unlike what was taught in the Boy Scouts, Primus highly encourage its use inside tents; going so far as to suggest drying clothing and bedding.  I’m not sure my old Scoutmasters would approve but really, it’s nearly the twentieth century, right?  Seriously though, some of the better information concerns the economy.  One quart (0.95 litres) will burn for 5 hours, or as one prospectors testimony claims “A quart of kerosene lasts a week and cooks three meals a day for us.” 

Now I just need to find the right tin box and the remarkable flatiron griddle shown in the upper right of the second ad.