Meals and hot drinks are always highlights of any tour and we need a stove to prepare them.
There are countless different stoves available in the market, yet the wood fired ones are really only workable in forest areas and often too large and heavy to carry on a hike.
Therefore I limit this article to the three types of stoves normally used for hiking:
- Gas (picture shows my gas stove from Primus)
Let me give You some details:
- Spirit stoves are fueled almost 100% pure, denatured spirit. The advantages are that spirit is easily available and affordable in most places and burns well even in colder conditions. The downsides are mainly pretty low heat and therefore quite time consuming cooking. Some spirits leave a lot of soot on the bottom of the pot which then easily stains other equipment unless properly cleaned and stored separately. There’s also a risk of spilling fuel into the meal, just one drop ruins everything… And putting out the flame can be an adventurous endeavor. I used a few different ones for many years and they are very reliable when operated correctly.
- Gas stoves are easy, clean, safe and fast to use and modern stoves often utilizes special heat absorbing and concentration designs to cut the cooking time considerably. Personally I moved over to the use of gas quite a few years ago and never looked back except with winter hikes. When temperatures hit close to 0 centigrade (lower 30’s F) the pressure in the cartridge decreases to a point where the cooking time is painfully prolonged. As long as were operating in non frozen environments in regions where the cartridges can be easily obtained I definitely recommend gas stoves.
- Multifuel stoves use different exchangeable valves to enable the use of several fuel sources. The most common one is chemical grade gasoline, yet they can be fueled with gasoline from any filling station, strong enough alcohol, kerosene etc. Slightly more complicated to use than a gas stove and clearly less potentially messy than spirit burners they are a great choice for colder climates and all year use in moderate ones!
Good luck, have fun and love the experience!!!
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Peace // Claes