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Canister Stoves for the Backpacker

Canister stoves are some of the lightest and easiest stoves to use. There’s no pumping or priming, just turn the knob, light it and you have maximum heat. They are easy to operate, easy to adjust the flame, maintenance free and they are relatively quiet and are odorless. 

Canister stoves come in a variety of styles and are very popular for the backpacker. Some of these stoves come packed in a cooking pot and the lid can serve as a frying pan so there is no need for packing additional cookware. Canister stoves are some of the lightest and easiest stoves to use. There’s no pumping or priming, just turn the knob, light it and you have maximum heat. They are easy to operate, easy to adjust the flame, maintenance free and they are relatively quiet and are odorless. However, the non-refillable containers can be a bothersome to dispose of properly. Canister stoves burn clean on butane, propane, or a mixture of both called isobutene. Canister stoves by far are the best stoves for the backpacker that does not camp in extreme cold temperatures or high altitudes.

Butane and propane fuels work differently in different temperatures. Butane burns hot, yet it does not perform well in temperatures below freezing, whereas propane works well down to zero degrees. As the fuel in the canister burns, causing the canister to cool and with the moisture in the air settling on the cooled canister which causes the fuel to cool even more, combine these factors and the result is very poor performance in cold conditions.

With these fuel types when the weather starts dropping below freezing you will need to keep the canister warm to allow the fuel to vaporize to burn correctly. It is best to start off with a warm canister; this can be done by packing it in your sleeping bag. During use hand warmers will help keep the canister warm. Also keeping the canister sitting in about an inch of water will help keep the frost from condensing on the canister and further cooling the fuel.

The majority of the canister stoves are deigned to be mounted right on top of a disposable fuel canister. This makes for easy and quick setup, as well as easy to pack. Since most canister stoves mount right on top of a fuel bottle, a wind screen is not recommended for this could cause excessive heating and create an explosion. This could definitely ruin a camping trip. However, if you have to use a windscreen with a canister stove, be sure to leave enough room around the inside to allow air to get in and keep the canister from overheating.  A good idea for a wind screen is your backpack lying on its side, a sleeping pad on its side, or some aluminum foil to help block some of the wind. A good way to test your canister for too much heat is by simply putting your hand on it. A slightly warm feeling to the hand is just right. When it is to warm you will have feeling to the hand of ouch. If you hear a roaring sound this means the internal pressure is getting to highScience Articles, shut it down immediately

Canister stoves are not intended to cook full meals on and they should not be used inside of a tent.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Want to go backpacking or hiking then you will need some type of outdoor stove. They are many styles and models from which to choose. However, for the backpacker you will need a stove that is light weight, easy to use, and easy to carry. The Canister stove by far is your best choice and there are several types to choose from.



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