My love affair with Trangia began at a very early age. My dad had owned one since before I was born, although he wasn’t much of a hiker he is a “Swedophile” and a lover of robust, well made kit.
My early years camping with him and my brother we’re more about car camping, we had a two burner stove which was somehow rigged up to the same gas bottle my dad used for his blowtorch. This often led to an ignited hose coming loose and flailing violently around the tent for a few exciting seconds before we could kill the gas and begin firefighting operations. Highly entertaining at the time but on reflection actually quite dangerous. At this time the Trangia was used more for its pots and pans. But as we got older and our holidays became more adventurous, we ditched the giant four person tent, the gas cooker got left at home and the Trangia became the workhorse.
The Trangia company has been around since the mid 1920′s; founded in Sweden by John E. Jonsson and his father-in-law, they started out making household cookware and also developed a range of camping sets, kettles, mess tins, fry pans, mugs and plates.
The Trangia name is a shortening of the village name Trångsviken, a small town in Sweden where Trangia is still based, it is combined with the initials “IA” – “I aluminium,” translation “out of aluminium” or “in aluminium.”
In the late 1940′s there we’re few truly portable camping stoves. The ones that were available ran on solid fuel tablets in one form or another. There were spirit burning stoves on the market, but these we’re intended for indoor use to supplement a wood fuelled stove.
When visiting a sporting goods shop in Östersund Mr. Jonsson was asked if the meta-stoves (a brand of all-in-one solid fuel stoves) were any good. He replied “Yes sure, but it would be better off with a stove that was run with methylated spirits” This became the mission of the Trangia company and lead to the birth of their Storm Cooker.
Their plan for the Trangia stove was simple
”It had to be a stove for the average person, easy to use, easy to clean and it would contain everything you need to cook one meal during the camping trip, and the coffee pot was important.”
In 1951 the first Trangia stove, the model 25, was finished, and looked almost identical to the current Trangia. The company had taken what had gone before and refined it. This constant evolution continues to this day encompassing cutting edge materials and the accommodation of new burner types.
Over the last 50 years hundreds of people have bought and loved Trangia stoves. This beloved piece of kit has written itself into the history books of hiking and will continue to do so. As well as this its burner construction has been used as a template for numerous ultralight stoves. The simple, reliable, safe, indestructible construction and constantly evolving design of the Storm Cooker has ensured that it will firmly stand the test of time.
I finally bought my own Trangia in 2005 after many years of borrowing others’- a smaller model 27, and it has been a companion on every multi-day hike I have done since. Even though there are newer, lighter, more efficient stoves none will hold such a place in my heart or my backpack.
Much of this information and imagery was sourced from the Classic Camp Stoves forum with the help of Spiritburner and his many contributors. He put a lot of legwork in and was able to get in touch with Malin Svensson from Trangia who provided much of the historic details.
Trangia timeline courtesy of Malin Svensson.
1925 -The company Trangia starts to produce cooking ware for households
c1935 – produces the first camping set, no 24
1951- the first prototype to the Trangia stove was finished, model 25
End of 1950′s – the Trangia stove comes in a smaller model, 27
Early 1960′s – the holder for the burner moves from upper to lower windshield.
1964-1976 – Produced the larger burner for the Military Mess kit for the Swedish Army (the kit is not a Trangia item)
1969 – fry pan in nonstick
Early 1970′ – hooks and the ring on the windshield is changed to stainless steel
Early 1970′s – the handle is now made with holes
1979 – winter attachment for the burner
1987 – saucepans in nonstick
1985 – Mini Trangia, originally made for multi sport competitors
1988 – Gas burner is available to the Trangia stove, manufactured by Scorpio & later Epi Gas
1988 – the windshield is manufactured with bayonet coupling
1993 – sauce pans and fry pan in Duossal (stainless steel/aluminum)
1995 – the Gas burner is made by Primus
1998 – sauce pans and fry pan in Titanium
2001 – multidisc 27+25 is available
2002 – Multifuel burner from Optimus
2006 – new thinner material in sauce pans and windshield,Ultralight aluminum & hard anodized
2010 – Multifuel burner is made by Primus
2010 – Trangia Triangle is available
2010 – Trangia is already a registered Trademark but now the Trangia Stove is also a registered 3D shape which protects the stove from unlawful copying