When using an type of fire or stove don't use them near on in your tent. Tents and a lot of camping clothing can be highly inflammable. What ever fuel you take will need to be bought at your destination since you can't take flammable fuels substances on aeroplanes
If you want to keep your gear as light as possible then fire is the obvious choice but the question you need to ask is it going to be feasible in the area's or for the style of travel you have in mind. If your mainly free camping and there is a good supply of downed wood then fire's are a good bet. Keep them as small as possible, remember that fire can spread rapidly so check that the fire is out before you go to sleep or leave the site. Preferably cover it in earth. Obviously if your in a camp site you need to ask permission first.
Don't use fire wood if it's in limited supply and if its not already downed don't chop it down. If you need to burn bamboo make sure that you smash all the air cells before putting it on the fire else it will explode and could cause injury or start other fires. Don't leave the fire unattended. If there is someone else already using fire ask if you can use it as well and offer to find some more wood. When carrying fuels always try and use metal containers and double check the lids are tight if possible carry them in a side pocket to help save the rest of your kit should they start to leak.
Most stoves are of the single burner type designed for use by individuals or small groups. The stoves vary in the heat they produce, weight, fuel, method of storing fuel, ease of starting, heat adjustment, stability with pans and simplicity.
Users tend to fall into the following categories....
- Camping: Usually with transport. Considerations are mainly simplicity, heat adjustability, stability with pans and safety. These stoves may have more than one ring and even a grill. Often feed from larger gas cylinders.
- Backpacking: Weight is the overall factor remembering that the fuel may well weigh more than the stove and can be bulky.
- Travel: The main requirement is availability of fuel, this is particularly the case with stoves that use gas canisters. The best solution is to opt for stoves that burn petrol, diesel or kerosene (paraffin).
- Mountaineering: If visiting remote parts of the world then fuel availability is important. When operating at high altitudes in extreme cold very high heat outputs are needed as well.
Fine if your travelling and you know you can get the canisters. However the chances of you getting any in the developing world is about as remote as finding rocking horse shit. So gas isn't really an option. There are two types of gas cylinder the pierce-able type and the resealable variety. The second is obviously the safest and best choice. Gas stoves are simple to operate, light and easily adjustable.
Kerosene & Multi Fuel Stoves
Kerosene is the most common fuel used for cooking in the developing world. This makes kerosene stoves a good bet. The kerosene you buy may be watered down, dirty or stored in strange manners so it may not burn as cleanly as you might expect. This also means that before you leave home you should check you know how to and have the tools to strip down and clean the stove.
Better than Kerosene stoves are the multi fuel stoves that are now on the market these can burn practically any thing from petrol, diesel or even aircraft fuel. These are your best bet.
- Keep away from flammable items.
- Use only in well ventilated areas.
- Store fuel in approved containers.
- Do not place fuel containers near the stove.
- Before changing gas cylinders or refuelling ensure there are no naked flames nearby and that the stove is cool.
- Check stove is cool before packing away.
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