Friday, August 27, 2010

Stove Stories

I've seen a lot of stoves on the trail.
Some guys would get obsessed with having the fastest stove and boil contests would be held. Each person starts with one pint of cold water. Then, lighting the stove, a stop watch would keep track of how long the stove took to heat the water to boiling. Usually the soda can stoves would be in a class by themselves. Backpackers with canister stoves and whisper lights just had too much power behind the flame to be fair.

We had our sleeping bags all stretched out in the shelter on the AT when a guy starts to light his stove next to my sleeping bag. This is so wrong on many levels. Number one, you shouldn't be cooking in the shelter. Course, most of us did anyways. Number two, you should be more respectful of other's gear. What if your stove leaked, exploded or tipped over (as has happened to long distance hikers one time or another)? You could send someones sleeping bag up in flames, especially a down $265 Marmot, like I had.
I politely moved my bag in spite of protestations that he was being careful.

I've seen the screw from a photon stove go flying past it's owner's eye. Another time the guy poured fuel into the priming pan, lit his stove and caught the floor of the shelter on fire.

I knocked my stove and cook pot full of pasta over when I woke up from an accidental snooze while leaning against the shelter wall.
These things happen.

Just to see what would happen, I lit a soda can stove while it sat inside my old silnylon tent, shut the screen and filmed it. Of course, the heat eventually caught it on fire. I posted this on YouTube
The response to the video was mixed. Everything from "what a waste of a good tent" "dumbest video ever" to "thanks for posting, you saved lives"

So, when you play with fire, or stoves, expect stuff to happen and be safe.
A way to put out the fire (snuffer, wet cloth, water) and a way to move the pot when the food is cooked are great ideas. Not cooking too near your flammable gear is smart. Stay awake, even if you have to walk around.

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