Stoves And Cold Weather

Nowadays, most serious backpackers use one of the many special purpose, lightweight stoves. They are easy to use, have a low impact on the environment, and most importantly, are a small weight in the pack. Many good backcountry camping places no longer have wood available and most conservation minded groups prefer not to build campfires even if it were. For you winter campers, melted snow may often be the only source of water.

The light backpacking stoves are excellent for that purpose. The backpacking stove may weigh from 3 ounces to 3.5 pounds. There are 30 to 50 on the market and changing every year. Choosing the right stove can be confusingi everyone has their favorite. The choice is often determined by a particular campers need; one may prefer to do a lot of simmering while cooking, another might like a quick flame and high temperature for melting snow. Some catalogues contain considerable useful information, including comparison charts on heating efficiency. Before a purchase, ask experienced backpackers what they like and dislike about their own stove and others they have seen in use. If possible, use several stoves before making your purchase.

There are many different stoves for every possible fuel (white gas, kerosene, propane, butane, alcohol, solid fuel). There is even a stove that burns twigs and wood chips. See the fuel breakdown below. Choose the one that suits your purpose.
The efficiency and reliability of your stove may be increased by following a few simple rules. For instance, keep self pressurized fuel tanks insulated from the snow for best results. The lowered temperature will decrease the pressure. Wind is the stoves worst enemy; check for windscreens when you buy a stove or carry extra foil for this purpose.

Most stoves will boil water in 7 to 12 minutes at sea level. If the wind is blowing directly on the flame, the time can increase to 18 to 25 minutes, wasting a lot of fuel. Clean the stove regularly. Try the stove out before using it for camping. Put it in a refrigerator freezer overnight; then take it out and try it. Read the operation, safety,
and repair information provided with your stove.

Remember, melting snow takes at least twice as much fuel as is used for normal' cooking. Also, cooking at high altitudes takes longer and thus more fuel. Take these things into consideration when figuring the amount of fuel needed for the trip.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License