Saturday, January 27, 2007
Recently, on several kayaking blogs and bulletin boards, there has been a discussion of small stoves. The question being, what is the ideal stove to have on a trip? Mostly the consensus is to pack light and small. Other than the Kelly Kettle and the ZZ Zip stove, all burn some form of liquid fuel.
The stove in the picture is a butane burning stove, the fuel coming in readily available pressurized canisters. You won't be able to take these on aircraft, but on my trip around Manitoulin Island a few years ago, the stove was very handy. You'll need a space about 25 cm x 20 cm x 5 cm in volume and a bit more somewhere for the fuel canisters. After a long day on the water, it's really convenient to just turn a dial on the side of the stove and 'presto' instant heat - just like a gas stove at home! Butane burns hot, so boiling up water takes very little time. At first I used up a whole canister in a couple of days, but after fiddling a bit with the flame setting, I soon discovered I could stretch out a canister for several days longer. It comes in a plastic case, can handle a good sized pot, is quick to clean and the fuel doesn't get contaminated. I've added a fold-up metal windscreen which packs inside the case for windy cook sites.
On another trip the stove was actually 'lost' up in the stern of another kayak and only discovered when the boat was lifted off the roof rack on arrival back home. It's that inconspicuous and easy to carry! I always take this stove on trips close to 'civilization' where the fuel is obtainable. Long wilderness trips still require either wood burning stoves or ones with liquid fuels which can be carried in refillable fuel bottles.