Our very first Optimus 00!

Discussion in 'Optimus No:00' started by Doc Mark, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Greetings, All,

    My first kero stove, was a 1920 Primus Pocket Outfit 96, very kindly gifted to me by two US Marine brothers, who used to sell stoves and such at "that same old swap meet". I liked it so much, and I decided to try and find a little larger version, and settled on the Optimus 00, which I had seen in an REI store North of Los Angeles, years ago but did not buy. However, for a very long time, I never saw another one in a store, nor at the swap meet. So, I went back to REI, this time in San Diego, and asked them about buying one. They told me that it had been discontinued and that there were no more in stock. I was bummed, but asked them to call other stores and see if they could find one. They checked stock in every REI store in the US, and none were found. Then, I told them about seeing one at one of their stores around Los Angeles, and they called that store back. Turns out that they actually still had the one that I had seen a few years before, but since it had been discontinued, it was just shoved up on a shelf in the back of the store, and forgotten!! The San Diego store had it shipped down for me to check out and when it arrived, I was sort of bummed to find that one leg (pot support) had never been milled to fit the stove. I asked if they could help me with the price, and they knocked it down to $40! I bought it, and then went home and filed the leg to a perfect fit. Then, we did the PCT, and though I'd not experimented with the 00 much, we decided to take it. Unfortunately, that did not work out. But I'll tell that story a little later in this post.

    Later, we learned just how to use the 00, and keep it running as it should, and so we began using it again, with far better successes! Recently, I dug out that 00, and gave it the once-over. The gaskets and pips were all almost rock-hard, so I replaced them all, and took our first 00 out to test it, even though it was almost dark outside. Here is how it all turned out:

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    You'll note that I had cut down the original Optimus wrench, as only one end worked with the 00, and I wanted to save a little weight. Cut, and holes drilled in it, to save a bit more on the weight, it's worked like a champ ever since.

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    The flash almost completely killed the blue flame, unfortunately.

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    So, our very first Optimus 00 is still working like a champ, even after all these years, and I only wish we'd been more smart about using liquid Meths to prime it, back when we tried to use it on the PCT, as the nasty Mautz Fire Paste didn't work worth doodley squat, and we gave up on our 00 because of that. Had we used regular Meths, I know our little 00 would have worked perfectly on our 850 mile trip that year!!! Too late old, and too late smart, at least for our PCT trip!! :shock: :roll: :oops: :doh: ](*,) :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Huzzah to the Optimus 00!! It's a fantastic stove, and has become a real favorite of ours!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. I wish I'd have used the big camera, as I took these photos with our little Point and Shoot Nikon, which is a good little camera, but not near as good as it's bigger Nikon brother!! The big Nikon, on a tripod, would have offered better photos in the very low light. Sorry about that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Trojandog

    Trojandog United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hi Mark. Without doubt, my favourite kero stove. I used mine last night in the kitchen!

    Sausage sandwiches with ketchup and Tabasco, washed down with Old Speckled Hen, whilst watching a classic episode of Dad's Army - Lin is away on a sculpture weekend so not around to tell me off :thumbup: :lol: .

    Terry
     
  3. nmp

    nmp United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi Doc great story!
    You mention the difference between your big and little Nikons.

    I have the same combination and tend to favour the point and shoot for stuff I want to put on CCS as the file sizes of my D70 are huge, very often getting them down to under 100kb is a struggle. Personally I do not think that the quality is that different when viewed on line?

    The Optimus 00 is a great stove I think I have 3 now!

    Cheers Nick
     
  4. roat

    roat Norway Subscriber

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    You should not be sorry for using the "wrong" camera, the pictures look great! Really amazing flame shots! :thumbup: Actually, after watching your pics I need to go out in the garage and find me a 00 and make coffee..! :lol: Thanks for sharing a great stove story!

    Roar
     
  5. Nordicthug

    Nordicthug R.I.P.

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    My first kero stove was an Optimus 45, it needed a bit of fettling which you fellows here helped me with. I've used it quite a bit, good stove that it is. Since acquiring it I've latched onto quite a few more kero stoves as well as some nice gasoline units. I now have several 00's some kero Svea's, a Meva or two, an Aida, Primus 210's, a nickled Hovikverk 210 and a sweet little Primus 96L that runs like a champ.

    All in all my accumulation runs to ablut 100+ stoves.

    Gerry
     
  6. Afterburner

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    Doc,

    You have a nice Optimus 00. It's a great stove; quite compact size, easy to set up, powerful enough to make meals for 2-3 persons (even for 4). Operation is very straight forward, also simmering works very nicely by adjusting the pressure in tank. Simple construction with very few parts to break or to become un-operational during the travel.

    I am using Canon's "big" camera normally. I have small one also but for some reason I have used to bigger one 8-[ . In bigger one I can set picture to be small so file size is just under that 100 kb or close to it so quite ofter there is no need for post processing.
     
  7. Odd

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    When it comes to minimizing picture files I've found the quick'n'dirty method of sending them via an e-mail to myself...

    - select the picture file - right click - send to E-mail recipient - select size/format to get under that 100K limit - send it

    The not-so-quick'n'dirty method of doing all that fancy editing in Photoshop takes lots more time...

    And for our daily type on-screen viewing the former method is good enough. 8)
     
  8. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Thanks Doc.
    My first exploit with using kerosene in a stove was in a vestibule of a tent, in January, in a snow storm, on the side of Mt Rainier. I had read that the MSR XGK would burn kerosene, so I brought some for our trip.
    The mistake I made was that I didn't prime it at all. Yuk, sooty smoke, but finally got it burning.
    My tent partner said "Don't do that again." So, I didn't use kerosene again until I found this site.

    Ken in NC
     
  9. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Good Morning, All,

    Thanks for all the kind words and comments! Yes, the 00 is a fantastic stove, and fully capable of cooking up some excellent fare whilst backpacking, and camping! The weird thing is that, with our first kero stove, the 1920 96, we used liquid Meths to prime, and it worked a treat!! We chose Mautz Fire Paste, because it was supposed to be "Meths paste", which we thought would prime the 00 just as well as liquid Meths did our little 96!! Man, were we ever wrong on that one!! The Mautz would dry up and blow away, in the slightest amount of wind, whilst using liquid Meths, the wind actually helps the prime to go a better job!! We'll, in point of fact, though we did backpack 850 miles that year, in our three months out on the PCT, we made quite a few mistakes in our planning, and learned a great deal on that very arduous and long trip. Most of our enjoyment and success today, whilst backpacking, came through the lessons we learned on that first try of the Pacific Crest Trail, back in 1991!!

    As for the photos, they came out OK, and I like them, but had I used a tripod, instead of trying to brace the little Nikon 8100S free hand, a holding my breath, the photos would have been better. Also, had I used the big Nikon D7000, also on a tripod, I could have used a wireless activator to shoot each photo, and the focus would have been much better! I used to shoot photos with smaller files, but now, with the big camera, I only shoot in RAW, and each photo is about 10MB +/-. Then, I resize them on our Mac, which is not as hard as it used to be, now that I found a system which works for me, and put the ones for CCS in a special file. Taking night-time shots with the 8100S "can" be done, as the photos I took of our 00 proves, BUT, it can be done much better, using the D7000 and the big, heavy 17x55mm f/2.5 lens, on a tripod, with wireless shutter release!! Just my own preference, I guess.

    We now have, probably 5-6 Optimus 00 stoves, 3-4 Primus 210's, 2 Hovik work 210's, a British Veritas, a Juwel stove like a 210, a Radius 20, and a few other non-descript stoves of the same size as the 00!

    Ken, as an aside, when we dumped out Opti 00, on the PCT trip, we went to an X-GK, as we had bought 6 months worth of water-white, K1 kerosene, and wanted to stick with that fuel. We primed the X-GK with kerosene, and though a sooty mess, the stove worked very well, and gave no problems. We were not hip to using a good simmering plate, back then, and grew tired of having to keep an eye on the X-GK (which we later learned to use quite well on such trips), and so swapped that one out for a first version of the MSR Whisperlite International, which, in truth, and as I've long documented on this site, died in less than 200 miles of constant use, no matter how much maintenance we gave it!! GRRRR, I hated that stove, and told MSR so. To their credit, they soon redesigned the entire generator on that stove, and later versions worked much better with kerosene. So, as you might surmise, we dumped the WPLI and went to a Coleman Model 550A Multifuel. Yep, that one did the trick, and with the proper generator installed, happily burned kerosene for the rest of our trip, without a single mishap or problem.

    BUT, getting back to the gist of this thread, IF we had known how to use our Optimus 00 correctly back then, we would have done just fine, with been very satisfied with it's performance, as we are now, instead of doing the "swap the stove dance" so often on that trip. Thank God for the little 550A, though, as we could finally get back to the hike, without worry that the stove would fail us. Live and learn, right?!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  10. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Great story. With ultra-light backpacking being all the rage, you may well have been the last person to lug a stove that size up the Pacific Crest Trail. I wonder if today's hikers will treasure and fondly reminisce about their beer can alcohol stoves.
     
  11. DAVE GIBSON

    DAVE GIBSON Subscriber

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    nice photos i can hear the roar just from the shots.
    drill holes to save weight?
    i'll bet you cut the handle on your tooth brush for that trip ;)
     
  12. gunsoo

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    Hi Doc.

    i'm feel now your love about optimus 00 stove ;)

    thank your intersting story,Doc !!

    :D :D :D

    Gunsoo
     
  13. Phil G4SPZ

    Phil G4SPZ Subscriber

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    Marvellous flame shots!
     
  14. Dutch_Peter

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    Hi Doc,

    Congratulations with this fettle and the very rewarding flame shots! :D/ Great to bring it back to life.
    One of the first stoves I've ever 'collected' was an Optimus 00. It's now a regular user and it's very easy on the eye too 8) .

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  15. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Good Morning, All,

    Thank you, again, Guys!! In truth, there is little that a good 00, or Primus 210, can't do, for a group up to around 4 people, Rugged, dependable, reliable, easy to use, and compact, this size stove is, at least for me, the ultimate for many backpacking trips, and outdoors adventures. Thanks, again, for your great comments, friends, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  16. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    Doc, I also strongly agree that there is nothing that a 00 or 210 can't do for the camper.

    If I had to choose one stove only it would be one of those two.
    As a personal preference, I like the looks of the 210 tank better.
    However I used an 00 quite some time before I came across a 210.
    I also own more 00s than I do the 210.

    Maybe I am turning . . . . . :-k
     
  17. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hi, Shag!

    Hey, you can't go wrong with either one, truthfully, and like you, I love both the 00 and the 210!! IF I had to choose just one, since the 00 was my first kero brassie of it's size, I'd probably choose that one. But, it would certainly be hard not to have both of them!! Thanks, Trevor, and as always, God Bless, my friend!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark