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   AshokIndia    Helpful Hints    Stove Care Tips

Stove Care & Feeding : Tips to improve performance

Getting the most heat from your stove requires a little care
and feeding. The following are tips and hints gleaned from
years of guiding and stove use that you can rely on to
improve your stove's efficiency:

  • Always store a stove and fuel away from food, such is in a side pocket of a pack. Many manufacturers offer padded sacks or special stove cases for this purpose.
  • Take the time to test fire a stove at home. This way you will know it works and can learn in a controlled setting your stove's particular quirks and features. Another advantage, you are only a phone call away from either the manufacturer or your local specialty store if you encounter any problems--not the case if the problem is discovered in the high mountains.
  • Water (from condensation, typically) and debris (from careless opening and closing of a fuel canister when filling, most likely) can clog a fuel line. Use a fuel funnel outfitted with a small screen to prefilter fuel going into their stove. Also, before filling a fuel bottle, always check it for debris and water.
  • Never use old fuel. Fuel stored in a stove's fuel tank for more than a few months begins to break down which results in impurities that will clog a stove.
  • Avoid naked lights except in initial lighting.
  • All fuels should be stored out of direct sunlight.
  • Never tolorate, or use an unstable stove.
  • Unburnt gases are toxic and therefore ventilation is essential.
  • Never use a stove inside a tent.
  • Refuelling, with correct fuel, must be carried out with great care at all times.
  • Beware of so called 'invisible flames' when using methylated spirit. All liquid fuels must be kept in screw top bottles.
  • Take plenty of spares, such as prickers, jets and washers for pressure stoves.
  • Be very careful when changing gas cylinders. Never change a cylinder in the presence of a naked flame.
  • Gas cylinders are forbidden in aircraft.
  • Take empty gas cylinders home to avoid leaving litter.
  • Butane (usually in blue cylinders) does not burn below -1 degrees centigrade, therefore on winter expeditions, propane (usually in red cylinders) should be used.
  • Most fuel gasses are heavier than air and do not vent away completely. Be wary of gas being able to ignite at low levels in ground pockets.
  • Never put empty (or full!) gas cylinders on a fire and keep all cylinders away from heat.
  • Never mix fuels. Always use the correct fuel for the appliance in use.
  • Always use the correct fittings. Do not substitute high pressure hose and fittings for low pressure ones.
  • Check all hoses, regulators, taps etc regularly and have your stove serviced.
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