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Gear Guy

Where can I buy new parts for a 1960s stove?

My trusty 35-year-old Svea stove is in need of a new gasket for the cap. I've made one, but the material I used is too hard to effect a good seal. Is the real thing still available? I also need the cleaning needle. Is that available? Kent Tracy, California

A: That's almost as old as my Svea would beBhad I kept it. I still have fond memories of that stove. I was once camping near Washington's Enchantment Lakes when the nozzle got plugged, I over-primed it, and whatever obstruction was in there blew out and would've sent the thing into low-earth orbit had it had fins.

Anyway, yes, you can find a gasket for the stove. In fact, I suggest you send it to A&H Enterprises in California and just have it overhauled—new wick and the whole deal. Won't cost you much. A&H is an expert on these stoves; they can be reached at 714-258-2525, or mail them at 1582 Parkway Loop, Suite G, Tustin, CA 92780. You can also do the work yourself by ordering a Svea 123R Parts Kit from Campmor ($15;

The parts kit does not include a cleaning needle, but because the nozzle diameter is pretty standard for these stoves, a needle for most other stoves should work. Or, you can just buy some wire in the correct diameter (the A&H people can tell you what that would be).

You're no doubt happy with, and attached to, your good ol' Svea. Which is fine. It's probably one of the few outdoor products sold during the 1960s that's still perfectly acceptable today. But, modern stoves do offer a number of improvements: bigger fuel capacity, quieter operation, easier priming, and more. I think you'd appreciate a stove such as the MSR SimmerLite ($90; But the nostalgic part of me says, stick with the Svea.

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