A camping stove is an extremely useful piece of equipment that you must have for outdoor activities including camping or even hunting.
Why do you need it? A camping stove is necessary because you need to cook food and water for consumption. If you do not boil your water or cook your food, there is a likelihood that bacteria will be present. You do not want to get food poisoning or weaken your immune system when you are hiking the trails or hunting your prey.
For better understanding, the post will be segregated into the sections below:
(A) Different types of camping stoves and how to assemble each of them
(B) Precautions taken for starting a campfire
(A) Different types of camping stoves and how to assemble each of them
There are 4 different types of camping stoves: (1) Solid Fuel Stove; (2) Pressurized Liquid Stoves; (3) Non-Pressurized Liquid Stoves and (4) Gas Cookers.
Since the procedures for using a camp stove is different for different kinds of stoves, I will talk about each of them separately.
1) Solid Fuel Stove
Solid fuel stoves use little tablets to help fuel the fire. This kind of stove is popular because of the minimal amount of cost needed to get and maintain this stove.
Furthermore, solid fuel stoves are lightweight. This means that it’s suitable for you if you want to bring it around, be it hunting or hiking.
So, how do you use solid fuel stoves?
a. You need to open up the stove and put it on an even surface. The spikes with an uneven surface should face upwards.
b. Put a fuel tablet on top of the stove and light it up.
c. Use a match or a lighter to light the hexamine block.
d. Once you light up the fuel block, you can start placing your pan or any other materials that can conduct heat easily.
2) Pressurized Liquid Stoves
This stove is also known as pressurized burner stoves, which I would suggest using only if you are experienced in building a fire using a camping stove. Learning how to operate a Pressurized Liquid Stove require much more skill.
Here are the steps to light it up:
a. After getting your stove out of the box, you have to pull each arm upwards to release them from the bracket. You have to lock them into its position by pressing them.
b. You need to check your fuel source, whether it is connected properly with the burner. If your liquid fuel tank is permanently attached, there is no need to check the connection. For screw-in bottles, you need to make an effort to check the hose.
c. For Pressurized Liquid Stoves, because you need to take the extra step to connect the canister to the stove by using a line, you may need to take extra precautions. This include getting soapy water sprayed on the connector points to check if there’s any bubbles that appear, which shows signs of leakage.
d. If you have not opened your gas cartridge yet, you need to remove the seal to get started. You need to screw the gas cartridge on the stove until you hear a ‘click’.
e. Next, put the stove on a flat surface. To light it up, you need to light a flame near the burner and slowly open the valve.
f. After you finish using it, remember to wait until your stove cool down before removing the gas cartridge. You have to fold the arms back to its original position and put it back into the box for protection.
3) Non-Pressurized Liquid Stove
This stove is also known as alcohol stoves. These stoves basically use liquid fuel to help start the fire. You can even create your own fuel for this stove by making alcohol.
Non-Pressurized Liquid Stove usually do not contain hoses, which means that you do not need to clean it.
Here is how you get it fired up:
a. For Non-Pressurized Liquid Stove, they usually contain a windshield. Therefore, the steps taken to set-up this stove is different from the other types of stoves. First, you need to put the bottom windshield on a place with a flat surface. (the burner has to be slotted into the bottom windshield)
b. Next, fill up the burner with alcohol. It should get around 3-quarters full before you slot it on the bottom windshield.
c. After that, place the top part of the windshield, connecting it to the bottom windshield. This would mean that the burner is enclosed now.
d. Get a lighted match to light up the alcohol in the burner. You should be able to feel the heat, and the fire would not light up right away.
e. After you have finished using the stove, you need to extinguish the flame. You can do this by sliding a disc over the burner so that no oxygen can go through, and combustion will not happen.
4) Gas Stoves
Gas stoves are stoves that use gas cartridges as fuel. Gas stoves are often used because we can easily find gas cartridges. This means that the probability of stock running out is low.
Here are the steps you can follow to light up a gas stove.
a. Similar to all of the procedures above, you have to place the stove on a flat surface.
b. Later, you have to slot in the gas cartridge into the stove. This means that you have to remove the lid from the canister which you are using and put it into the stove.
c. Next, you should make sure that your canister is slotted into place. This means the canister should not move too much when you are using it.
d. Time to adjust the control knob to ignite the fire. Usually, the stoves has a control knob which allows you to control the intensity of the flame.
e. After using the gas stove, you only need to turn the knob to extinguish the fire. Finally, remember to remove the gas cartridge from the stove.
(B) Precautions you should take while using a camping stove
After understanding how to work around different kinds of stoves, we need to remind ourselves what precautions we should take while operating a camping stove.
1. Remember to ensure that there are no leaks between the lines connecting the stove and the cartridge. This usually applies to Pressurized Liquid Stove and Gas Stoves.
If gas starts leaking from the connectors, you will breath gas that is hazardous to your body, it may result in a fire or cause the canister to explode.
2. Always use stoves in areas which are well-ventilated. This is because the fire needs a continuous flow of oxygen for combustion. Also, you have to make sure that you have fresh air to breath constantly.
3. For liquid-fuel stoves, remember to choose the most suitable fuel. There are various options you can choose from including Naphtha (White gas), Kerosene, Diesel, Petrol (Gasoline), denatured alcohol and even alternative liquid fuels.
You need to understand what kind of fuel is the best for the environment I am going to be in.
Not only that, you must refill stoves using fuels that your stove is designed to burn. This means that you have to read the instructions manual and understand how your liquid-fuel stove operate.
4. Never overload your stove. Please understand that your stove is not made for cooking a large amount of things at the same time. If you put too many things to cook in one go, you may end up with food that has many uncooked parts.
5. For gas stoves, always double check whether you have correctly slotted the gas canister before you begin cooking.
6. Always remember to look around and make sure that there is plenty of open space before setting up your camping stove at that location. Location is extremely important because you want to ensure that there is consistent airflow and that you do not accidentally burn anything near the stove.
7. If you are travelling around with the stove and fuel canisters, you need to take extra care. Make sure that they are kept in a cool place, ensuring that it is not caught in the sun. It would also be wise to separate your fuel canisters from your food because it may cause slight contamination.
8. Never light up your canisters in a tent because most of them are highly flammable. This means that it is best to operate the fire under an open environment with minimal flammable materials surrounding you.
If you follow the steps and you are mindful of the precautions, the probability of you making a mistake while operating a stove is highly unlikely.
Of course, you can consider using a campfire to cook too! There are differences in terms of pros and cons for each of them. Some of the different aspects are the maintenance required, how fast you can cook and what environment you can operate it under.
I hope that this guide has helped you understand what you need to do when operating a camping stove. Feel free to share your comments below.