Sunday, 10 November 2019

Retro review - De Luxe Super Bleuet Camping Stove Set

1960's De Luxe Super Bluet camping stove set, with a similar age camping kettle.

The set comes in a metal tin

The back has vent holes

The metal box hold the stove and has space for two spare gas cartridges.
A further gas cartridge can be stored "live" in the stove.
The cartridges are NOT self-sealing, so once a can is "opened", it should be left in the stove until it has been used up.

Vintage instructions ,,,

... dated 11/62
(November 1962)

The stove originally took cartridge type C200 (the lower one shown).
The more modern cartridge type C206 (top) has generally replaced the C200.
Both are "pierce" type cartridges, and if you take off a part-used cartridge,
it is going to leak the remaining gas!
The C206 shown is a 80/20 Butane/Propane mix,
but Butane-only C206 cartridges are also available.
Butane cartridges produce more energy (heat!) for the same size,
but they don't work very well at colder temperatures.
For "summer" camping, butane is perfect,
but for winter camping, propane or a butane propane mix is usually used.
The 80/20 (butane/propane) cans like the one shown (top) work well enough in most
"normal" conditions, so are a safe bet for a "prepper"/"emergency"/"power cut" stove.
The cartridges (unused and "new") keep a LONG time -
I think I bought the NEWER cartridge about 20 years ago (when I went to Norway).
The stove set has been sitting in my (unheated) garage for the past 14 years,too.
I wouldn't like to hazard a guess as to how old the "older" (C200) cartridge shown is,
other than quite a bit more than 20 years old! - yet it worked fine, as you will see below.

How to load a cartridge into the Super Bleuet stove

Step 1 - the bottom of the stove has a removable base.
Twist and remove - it is quite stiff ...
(if you take the bottom off with a "full" can,
it will dump the gas,
and may shoot the cartridge out with some pressure!)

... the inside of the stove. If storing for a long time,
it is best to store without a cartridge in it. 
The base of the stove has a "spring plate" to keep the gas canister pressed tightly against
the burner head unit. The gas pressure may well "blow" the cartridge off the burner head unit,
dumping the gas, if you take the base off with a "live" gas cartridge in the stove.

Step 2 - unscrew the burner head unit from the stove.
If you do this with a "live" cartridge, it will leak the remaining gas,
but will not shoot the cartridge out under pressure,
Step 3 - put in the new cartridge
(this is a C200, but the C206 fits as well)

Push the base back on, and twist to lock.
It is quite stiff, and remember that
"spring plate" makes it stiffer.

Looking down into the stove - you can see the new, unopened cartridge.
The burner head unit literally punches a small hole in the top of the cartridge
when you screw it back in, so a used up cartridge is easily identifiable by the small hole in the top!

After screwing the burner head unit back on, the body of the stove slots into the
base plate of the tin. The tin is designed to act as a carry case AND an effective windbreak.
The instructions say spare gas canisters should be removed from the carry case BEFORE
lighting the stove, so I did!

The stove is just a "Super Bleuet", with the "De Luxe" part being the carry case/windbreak 

The Super Bleuet stove took about 5 minutes to boil about 400 ml
(13.5 US fluid ounces), with very little wind, and an air temperature of about 10 Celcius
(50 F), although the water came from inside the house, so probably was at more like 15 C (57 F)
at the start.

A nice cup of tea.
(this is a "double sized" cup, which is why 400 ml / 13.5 US fl oz does not even fill it!)
I like my tea!

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