Canteen cup stove

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.

A video from Dutch Bushcraft on YouTube demonstrated that the Dutch Army canteen cup can hang on its handles on the side of another canteen cup. And that it is a stable fit.

These two things combined leaded to a ”home made” stainless steel Swedish Army cooking set. But then smaller and lighter.

Original stainless steel Swedish Army cook system vs Home made canteen cup stove 01
On the left; Original Swedish Army cooking set with original alcohol burner. On the right; Dutch Army canteen cup hanging in a replica US Army canteen cup with Mil-Tec alcohol burner. Both cooking pots on this picture are in Stainless Steel.

This setup is made from the following components:

  • The Trangia alcohol burner or Mil-Tec Alcohol burner
  • (Replica) US Army canteen cup
  • Dutch Army canteen cup
  • Aftermarket US Army canteen-cup lid

Alcohol stoves are sold with a variety of diameters and heights. The burners made by Trangia and by Mil-Tec happens to fit exactly (with a little force) inside a (Replica) US Army canteen-cup. These alcohol burners have the same design as the ones that the Swedish army uses but then smaller and much lighter. Since the US Army canteen-cup is slightly bigger than the canteen-cup from the Dutch Army they fit in each other. The shape of both cups is almost identical. The after market cover lid fits exactly on the (Replica) US Arm canteen cup.  The canteen cup lid is al little too wide for the Dutch Army canteen cup. Therefore it will rest loosely on top of the Dutch Army canteen cup. The only modification that needs to be done is drilling a few small holes in the sides of the US Army canteen cup. This allows for air intake. Without these holes the alcohol burner can not burn.

Note 1) When boiling water it is important to keep the lid loosely on the cup. Otherwise pressure might be build up the lid can be blown of !

Note 2) Its very likely that the after market canteen cup lids will only fit on the imitation canteen cup made by the same company. Trying to fit it on a original US GI Canteen cup might be a struggle. Demonstration of the Rothco canteen cup lid.

Note 3) Ethanol is normal alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Methanol however is highly toxic. This is the stuff that makes people blind after drinking it. So be aware of spirits with a high Methanol percentage.

Other designs
Another approach of a canteen cup stove made out of another canteen cup is a canteen cup with holes in the bottom and turned upside down.

Several armies including the US Army (NSN#8465-01-250-3632) issued canteen cup stands. These were intended to use with solid fuel tablets like Hexamine. Using a alcohol burner in combination withe these canteen cup stands can be difficult. This is because the canteen cup fits tight inside the stand. Therefore it is difficult for hot air to leave the stand and alow for fresh air (oxygen) intake.

US Army Canteen cup stand NSN#8465-01-250-3632
The US Army canteen cup stand in combination wit a Esbit Alcohol burner. Source: www.preparednessadvice.com

More info
– Review from the Mil-Tec Alcohol burner on YouTube by The Outdoor Gear review.
– Review on YouTube from the Dutch Army canteen cup and comparison with the US Army canteen cup.

Available at

Mil-Tec Alcohol burner
www.varusteleka.com
www.specshop.pl
www.asmc.com
www.goarmy.co.uk
www.mokkimies.com

Replica US Army canteen cup
www.asmc.com
www.milworld.pl
www.armysurpluswarehouse.com
www.hessenantique.com
www.mokkimies.com
www.fatiguesarmynavy.com

Dutch Army canteen cup
www.reforger.de
www.sportsmansguide.com
www.xmilitarystore.com

And also in our very own webshop

After market US Army canteen cup lid
www.asmc.com
www.milworld.pl
www.cadetdirect.com
www.armynavyoutdoors.com
www.fatiguesarmynavy.com
www.cadetshop.com.au

Dutch Army one man tent

This tent was was introduced into the army to replace the classic pup tent in the early 90’s. Most of them are marked KL-94. Usually from the company Wittock Industry. The design of the classic pup tent was almost unchanged since WW2;  two shelter halves that can be connected into a tent without ground sheet for two persons. This new design came with a bath tub rubber floor. Quite luxury for army standards.

KL Pup tent
The DPM Woodland camouflage makes the tent perfect for stealth camping.

Although advertised as a 2 man tent it is more convenient as a one man tent. Maybe when you’re in a really close relationship this will do as a 2 man tent but that will be very tight. The dimensions are approx 225 x 90 x 115 cm.

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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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A guide to Dutch army Backpacks (Bergans)

The Dutch Army used and uses modern backpacks that all have in common that they have detachable side pouches  These pouches (aka rocket pouches) can be zipped together into a improvised small backpack. After years of using the Berghaus Vulcan backpack the the Dutch army switched to several models and sizes of Lowe Alpine backpacks. The sizes are 40 liter, 55 liter and 130 liter. They all come with 10 liter side pouches.  The 40 liter backpack has a minimalistic hip belt and static shoulder straps. The bigger models have a padded hip-belt and shoulder straps that can be adjusted according to the user length.

Initially they were made by renowned backpack manufacturer Lowe Alpine. Later the Dutch army ordered copies of these backpacks at the Belgian company ARWY. Also the Army ordered copies of the backpacks without a brand in countries like Vietnam. A real Lowe Alpine version of these backpacks can be recognized through the label under the cover lid and the Lowe Alpine logo on the metal button clasps that keep the aluminium frame inside its sleeves.

The fast majority of the produced backpacks has Dutch DPM camouflage. Smaller quantities are made in US Woodland camouflage for the Marine Corps and in black for the Military Police. Lowe Alpine itself produced the backpacks also in Olive Green for the civilian market.

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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.

2037-austrian-military-4-pc-backpack-pic2-1200x1200
The Austrian backpack and front-pack. Source: www.swisslink.com

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US Army style duffel bag for traveling

Soldiers in the army have usually something like a kit-bag, see sack, weekend bag or duffel bag. This not to use in the combat field but to take all their clothing and gear from army base to army base or from their barracks to home during weekends. These bags are usually very simple. In case of a duffel bag it is usually a one compartment bag with rings and a clip to close it instead of zippers. Most duffel bags have just one strap to throw over your shoulders. The US army duffel bag however is one of the few designs with two straps so that it can be worn as a (improvised) backpack. To improve the possibility of carrying the duffel bag as a backpack the bag has a rectangular shape instead of a cylindrical shape. A round shape will flip sidewards all the time when you have it on your back. A flat shape will be much more stable.

US army (style) duffle bag

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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), Dessert (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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Great travel item: US army patients effects bag

Some military surplus items are perfect for travellers; light weight, not to expensive, still available from unused stock and many different ways to use them. The US army patients effects bag is such an item.

When wounded soldiers were taken to a (field) hospital, staff placed an injured soldier’s personal belongings such as wedding rings, watches, glasses or letters in these bags. Each bag has two drawstrings on top and a gusseted bottom to stand upright when full. Inside the bag is a rubberised pocket to separate items. On the outside of the US GI personal effects bags is a small white square where the soldier’s name would be written. Another version which is not so common is meant for dead soldiers and has a label which much more details to be filled in. Among the details; Killed in action. Measuring 12 inches tall and 15 inches wide, these cloth bags make perfect toiletry bags, laundry bags, or other small item bags for campers, Scouts or travellers.

 

Available at:
www.global.rakuten.com
www.hobbyswoodmilitaria.co.uk
www.colemans.com
www.go-armynavy.com
www.mooremilitaria.com
www.sportsmansguide.com This is the not so often seen bag for deceased military personal instead of the wounded one.

French army F1 backpack

The French army F1 backpack was in use till the mid 90s. Nowadays you can still find them in many (online) army surplus shops. Main reason for that is because they are extremely durable and made out of tough heavy duty materials. This backpack is super strong and won’t disappoint you.

f1-backpack-2-modified
The French Army F1 backpack can be extended with a chimney. That’s why the closing straps are extra long. Source: www.global.rakuten.com

The French army F1 backpack is compared to a modern lightweight backpack a bit heavy (2,2 Kg) and a bit uncomfortable. Actually it is more a very luxury duffel bag. For example; it doesn’t have side pockets and it has grip handles on both sides. Besides that you can also wear it on your back.

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The (British army) Rucksack Other Arms vs The Osprey Porter

The Rucksack Other Arms from the British army and the Osprey Porter are both “single” compartment backpacks where you can hide the shoulder straps. This allows you to use it as a hand carrying bag. Both the backpacks are not very high compared to their width.

If you spend most of your time carrying your luggage at your back when hiking or going to the woods and mountains, then a real backpack is most suitable. If your backpack spends most of its time in a luggage compartment of a bus, train, air-plane, mini van, taxi etc. then a single compartment bag with no extra straps or side pockets is more suitable. This setup comes close to a suitcase that you carry on your back.

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