Tips and Hints

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When out camping and backpacking, not every campsite has a fire pit to build your fire for cooking.  Many hikers however prefer not to build a fire, they prefer to leave no trace that they were there, so they decide to purchase a backpacking stove.  They are easy to use and reliable, especially if you're trying to start a fire in the rain, which is not an easy task.  There are 3 types to choose from when picking out a stove.


Refillable Stoves

            This type of stoves runs on liquid gas which most often is white gas.  This is a highly refined gas and is available at most sporting good and hardware stores.  The most common brand you will come across is Coleman fuel.  Bottles of fuel come in different sizes, depending on how much you plan on using.  Most average size tanks can carry enough fuel to last at least a week.  This will also depend on how often you cook and what you're cooking.


Cartridge Stoves

            This style of stove uses prefilled, disposable gas containers using either propane or butane.  Propane requires a heavy container, so it is not often used when backpacking.  Propane however does burn well in cold weather.  Butane is more commonly used between the two however does not work as well in the cold.


Zzip Stoves

            This style of stove does not require any kind of fuel.  It runs on a small battery that runs a fan which circulates air flow through the stove.  You can burn birch bark, pine cones, twigs and anything else that is flammable.  They are light weight and don't require you to carry fuel.  The only problem you may run into is if it's a no fire zone, you may not be able to use this stove.


Additional Advice on Using Stoves


  • Learn how your stove works before taking it out in the wilderness.  Read the instructions and try taking the stove apart and putting it back together.
  • Try using it at home first
  • Consider where you are travelling to and if you will be able to take fuel with you.  You can't travel with fuel if you are flying.  If you are driving, make sure you already have your fuel packed incase there is nowhere to get any along the way.
  • Be cautious when cooking around your tent or if you are in your sleeping bag to avoid burning any holes in your gear.  Especially if you have borrowed it.
  • Your gas tanks should be filled no more than 80%.  Gas is expandable so leaving this extra space is important.
  • Tie longer hair back when lighting your stove.