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Advice on stoves

What kind of stove do you need?

The environment you will be visiting, your experience with stoves and the time between resupplies has the biggest impact on stove choice. All stoves have their advantages and disadvantages, we hope to inform you about each and if you have questions don't hesitate to contact us for personal advice on your choice.

Alcohol stoves

Of all the stoves alcohol stoves are the lightest, but you will need to carry more fuel to boil the same amount of water. They are simple, reliable and robust without moving parts. You could stand on your stove and it couldn't care less. The fuel, denatured alcohol, is readily available in Scandinavia and Iceland and easy to get by from gas stations, DIY-, paint- or outdoorshop.

This is the stove system for you if:
•  you want simple and durable stove
•   you are visiting Scandinavia and Iceland a lot, where the fuel is readily available
•   you want to have a lightweight system

This is the not right stove system for you if:
•   you want precise control over the heat-output of your stove
•   you need to melt a lot of ice and snow or are in sub-zero environments
•   you travel for long periods, as the energy density of alcohol is quite low.

With alcohol stoves you have to determine the amount of fuel you will need before starting to cook. With small ridges on the inside of the cooker, the right amount can be determined. Once you have filled the stove you shouldn't refill it until the cooker has turned off completely. Trying to refill while the cooker is still burning (or very hot) could ignite the fuel being poured and explode your fuel bottle.

Alcohol takes longer to cook when the temperature drops, it is a fuel that is ideal for late spring, summer and early autumn. While still workable in colder seasons, boiling will take longer then usual.

Gas stoves

Ease of use and safety is where gas stoves excel. Gas stoves are easy to control and simmer, and therefor perfect for the culinary inclined. While this is a common ground to start from, there is a hugh variety of different designs available. From all-in-one systems that include pans and foots to a ultra-lightweight screw-on burner. Gas stoves are more receptacle to wind, so a built-in wind-screen or an external one is a good idea.

This is the stove system for you if:
•   you want a stove that works easily and reliably
•   you want a clean burning stove with minimum exhaust smell
•   you don't like to tinker with your gear

This is the not right stove system for you if:
•  you are going to high altitudes and sub-zero climates
•  you are going remote places or developing countries where gas cartridges are hard to come by
•  you don't want to buy expensive fuel

Important to note is that the gas mixture loses pressure when the temperatures drop below 0ºC. A simple solution is to keep the gas cartridge in your sleeping bag or inside your jacket to warm up. Then put it on a insulated piece of wood or plastic to prevent rapid heat loss.

Multifuel stoves

These are the heaviest and most effective stoves of all. They are made for expedition use and are a great fit for longer treks or visits to remote areas. These stoves can burn any fuel you find, diesel, white-gas and even aviation-fuel. If you need to, you can even connect a gas cartridge when you go family camping. With fuels as white gas and aviation-fuel these stoves are perfect for winter camping trips and mountaineering. For extended trips of 2 weeks and longer these are the go-to stove systems, as the fuel has a very high density and the higher weight of the stove is offset by those gains.

These stoves require a bit more work then the average stoves. First you will need to build-up pressure in the fuel bottle with the pump. This will make the fuel enter the hose to the burner. Then the burner needs to be pre-heated with a small amount of fuel before lighted. This pre-heating usually takes 30 to 40 seconds and will show some large yellow flames. After pre-heating the stove will burn strong and hot, almost impossible to be extinguished by wind or rain.

This is the stove system for you if:
•   you want a stove that works reliably in all weather conditions
•   you enjoy tinkering with your gear
•   you need to cook for larger groups or are leaving civilization for extended periods
•   you are a world-traveller

This is the not right stove system for you if:
•   you want a quite cooking system
•   you think weight is more important and don't hike long periods
•   you don't want to have the chance of maintenance while in the field
•   you want a clean cooking system without smell and dirty fingers