Ode to a Camp Stove

We all have those cherished pieces of hardware in our lives. Tools or items that mean so much more than the mere metal or plastic or wood that comprise them. It might be a favorite hammer, Dad’s old multimeter, the family pickup or Grandma’s Singer Featherweight.

These mere things can connect us to experiences, projects, memories. Like a delicious smell wafting from the kitchen, they take us back. Maybe they are just worldly possessions… but sometimes they are much, much more.

For the outdoor set, that hallowed bit of hardware might involve cookware. And there is none so fine as the Swedish-made camping stoves known as the Svea. For more than 60 years these lightweight cookers have been essential kit for the backpacking elite. Today they are marketed as Optimus, but the blowtorch-inspired heritage is still there.

Gear I Hold Dear: The Svea 123 Camping Stove

One backpacker shares his memories and affection for his trusty Svea 123.

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