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Encyclopedia > Portable stove
A small portable stove and its container
A small portable stove and its container
MSR WindPro with skillet, heat reflector, wind shield and isobutane/propane canister
MSR WindPro with skillet, heat reflector, wind shield and isobutane/propane canister

A portable stove is a stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, as for camping. Portable stove source:me Duk 06:48, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Portable stove source:me Duk 06:48, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1231 KB) Summary MSR WindPro portable stove with heat reflector (silver disc, bottom) and wind shield (silver wrap around). ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1231 KB) Summary MSR WindPro portable stove with heat reflector (silver disc, bottom) and wind shield (silver wrap around). ... MSR WindPro portable stove with heat reflector and wind shield An MSR propane/isobutane fuel canister and portable stove in operaton Mountain Safety Research, or MSR, was founded in 1969 by Larry Penberthy because he was not pleased with the safety and reliability of outdoor eqipment. ... A stainless steel frying pan. ... Butane is an alkane hydrocarbon with the molecular formula C4H10. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , Flash point -104 °C Autoignition temperature 432 °C Explosive limits 2. ... A stove is a heat-producing device. ... For other uses, see camping (disambiguation) Camping is an outdoor recreational activity involving the spending of one or more nights in a tent, primitive structure, a travel trailer or recreational vehicle at a campsite with the purpose of getting away from civilization and enjoying nature. ...


The division of portable stoves into several broad categories is based on the type of fuel used in the stove:

  1. Simple single-burner stoves, often without any controls at all, that use solid or liquid fuel that is placed in the burner before ignition.
  2. Single-burner stoves that use volatile liquid fuel in a pressurised burner-tank combination.
  3. Single- or multi-burner bottled-gas stoves, which have controls to regulate the heat, similar to the controls on a kitchen stove.
  4. Gravity-fed spirit stoves, which have priming pans.

Contents

A kitchen is a room used for food preparation. ... A stove is a heat-producing device. ...


Simple single-burner designs

Trangia stove
Enlarge
Trangia stove

The simplest stove is a burner that contains the fuel, and which once lit burns until either it is snuffed or the fuel is exhausted. The rise in the popularity of extreme light-weight equipment for extended backpacking, and the increasing restrictions on the use of campfires in most wilderness areas, have made these small stoves extremely popular. Trangia Burner - photo taken by Martin Conway and released under the GFDL File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Trangia Burner - photo taken by Martin Conway and released under the GFDL File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... For the workstation, see SGI Fuel. ... Wikibooks Transwiki has more about this subject: Campfire A campfire in a fire pit A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, usually in a fire ring. ...


The two most popular of these are the solid fuel stove, using Hexamine tablets, and the liquid fueled stove using methylated spirits. Both types are available commercially. There are also many designs published for similar home-built stoves, like the beverage can stove. While solid-fueled stoves may be refueled while burning with care, with a liquid-fueled stove it would be reckless to attempt this. Solid fuel is a term given to various types of solid material that provide energy. ... Hexamethylenetetramine cage Hexamine ((CH2)6N4) is a chemical created by the reaction of 6 moles of formaldehyde and 4 moles of ammonia. ... Liquid fuels are those combustible or energy-generating molecules which can be harnessed to create mechanical energy, which in turn usually produces kinetic energy, and which also must take the shape of their container. ... Methylated spirit (or Meths) is ethanol which has been dyed and rendered undrinkable, and is used for purposes such as fuel for spirit burners or as a solvent. ... Pepsi can stove (pot stand omitted for clarity). ...


Both solid alcohol fuel and stoves for using it are produced by Esbit, and fuel is produced by several other makers. While most brands of firelighters can be used in such stoves, some types will produce a troublesome residue that may be impossible to remove from cookware, and will taint any food exposed to the flame or fumes. Esbit is a solid fuel in tablet form, which is used by campers and hobbyists. ...


One popular make of simple liquid-fueled stove is the Trangia, available in many different models from a single bare burner to an integrated expedition cooking system. Some of these come with a sealing cover, allowing the burner to be packed while containing fuel; although, putting the lid on while the stove is hot can damage it. A fully assembled Trangia stove. ...


Pressurised-burner stoves

History

There is some controversy over the invention of the pressurised burner. Most have given the credit to F. W. Linqvist, who was granted a patent for a kerosene-fueled burner in the late 1880s and went on to develop the Primus brand of stove into a market leader. However, some have suggested that he bought the design.


The Primus stoves and their imitators were a significant advance over previous designs, which had used a wick to supply liquid fuel to the burner by capillary action. The Primus burner vaporised the fuel in a loop of pipe, and used this both to supply the fuel to the burner as a gas and to maintain pressure in the fuel tank.


Initial pressure was provided by a small, hand-operated pump. It was also necessary to pre-heat the burner with methylated spirits.


This burner design was also successfully adapted to portable lamps, lighthouse lamps, and blowtorches. The Peggys Point lighthouse in Nova Scotia, Canada An aid for navigation and pilotage at sea, a lighthouse is a tower building or framework sending out light from a system of lamps and lenses or, in older times, from a fire. ... The top torch is a welding torch and the bottom is a cutting torch, or blowtorch A blowtorch is a torch used to cut metal. ...


Modern models

Kerosene pressure stove. The pressurising pump knob is protruding from the fuel tank at the lower right.
Kerosene pressure stove. The pressurising pump knob is protruding from the fuel tank at the lower right.

Pressurised-burner stoves are now available to burn almost any volatile flammable liquid, including alcohol; diesel or other motor fuels; kerosene; jet propellant; and many others. Work is proceeding on vegetable-oil burners. Some can burn multiple fuels or even mixtures. Some require special low-residue stove fuel; others are designed to resist clogging or to be easily and regularly cleaned of the residue. I, the creator of this image, hereby release it into the public domain. ... I, the creator of this image, hereby release it into the public domain. ...


Most pressurised-burner stoves provide some control over the amount of heat produced. Some fuels permit preheating (or priming) with the fuel; others require use of a more volatile fuel, such as methylated spirit or alcohol priming paste, for preheating the burner. Most provide an integrated pump for initial pressurisation; others require the use of a separate pump. A few, such as the later Optimus and Primus designs, need no pump, but pressurise themselves when the burner is preheated.


Although heavier than the simpler designs and more complex to maintain and operate, these stoves can heat food more quickly. Standard issue to many units in the Second World War, they enjoyed a large base of competent users in the years immediately following the war. Another of their advantages is that hydrocarbon fuels have a higher heat content, weight for weight, than alcohol fuels, so that, for extended expeditions, the weight advantage of alcohol-fueled stoves is reduced or even reversed. Combatants Allies: • Soviet Union, • UK & Commonwealth, • USA, • France/Free France, • China, • Poland, • ...and others Axis: • Germany, • Japan, • Italy, • ...and others Commanders Strength Casualties Full list Full list World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a large scale military conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. ...


Gas stoves

A 190-gram single-use cartridge containing a mixture of 20% propane / 80% butane
A 190-gram single-use cartridge containing a mixture of 20% propane / 80% butane

The greatest variety in designs is in this category. They include gas-cartridge stoves and refillable gas-bottle stoves. In most of these the gas is stored as a liquid under pressure, but vaporises immediately as it leaves the storage bottle, arriving at the burner as a gas. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x1054, 136 KB) Non-refillable gas cartridge containing butane for camping use File links The following pages link to this file: Portable stove ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (800x1054, 136 KB) Non-refillable gas cartridge containing butane for camping use File links The following pages link to this file: Portable stove ...


Smaller, lighter designs tend to use non-refillable gas cartridges containing butane, propane or a mixture of hydrocarbons. There is little compatibility between different makers and systems, and cartridges for older stoves are often unobtainable. In addition, the single-use cartridges are considered objectionable by some on environmental grounds. Butane, also called n-butane, is the unbranched alkane with four carbon atoms, CH3CH2CH2CH3. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , Flash point -104 °C Autoignition temperature 432 °C Explosive limits 2. ...


Refillable gas bottles are heavier and tend to be used on larger stoves intended for car-camping or expedition base camps. However a great variety of gas-fired stoves is available, some integrating the gas cylinder, some connecting it by a hose.


Gravity-fed spirit stoves

Two-burner spirit stove, with far burner on low heat
Two-burner spirit stove, with far burner on low heat

The traditional "spirit stove" still found in many pleasure boats is a unique design, largely replaced by gas stoves but still with a following. It consists of a tank that supplies methylated spirit under gravity to the burner or burners, where it is vaporised and burned. Download high resolution version (1296x896, 49 KB)Spirit stove installed on a small ocean racing yacht. ... Download high resolution version (1296x896, 49 KB)Spirit stove installed on a small ocean racing yacht. ...

Burner in operation on high heat
Burner in operation on high heat

Around each burner is a priming pan used to preheat the burner. To light the stove, the burner is first turned on to allow a small amount of fuel to pass through the burner and collect as a liquid in the priming pan. The burner is then turned off, and the fuel ignited to preheat the burner. When the fuel in the pan is almost all gone, the burner is turned on again, and fuel passes into the burner where it is vaporised and passes through the jets. Detail of a spirit stove. ... Detail of a spirit stove. ...


These stoves look and even sound a bit like pressurised-burner stoves, but the fuel tank is under no pressure. They remain popular for small boats owing to the minimal fire risk they pose in a confined space.


General considerations

The difference between backpacking and camping stoves

Stoves differ widely in their size and portability. The smallest models are generally termed backpacking stoves. They are designed for use in backpacking and long-distance cycling, where light weight and small size are paramount considerations. Backpacking stoves consist only of the burner and any related systems, and some (usually crude) devices to support the stove and cooking vessel. The legs are collapsible to minimize the space required. The weight may range from about 80 grams to nearly one kilogram. Backpacking in the Grand Teton National Park, United States Backpacking (also tramping or trekking in some countries) is the complete combination of hiking and camping. ... Cycling is a recreation, a sport, and a means of transport across land. ... The gram or gramme, symbol g, is a unit of mass. ... The international prototype, made of platinum-iridium, which is kept at the BIPM under conditions specified by the 1st CGPM in 1889. ...


Camping stoves are designed for use by people travelling by car, boat, canoe, or on horseback. They are similar in function and ease of use to kitchen stovetops, usually with two burners set into a table-like surface, and often with a folding lid for stowage and wind protection. This increases the weight to at least one kilogram, and sometimes as much as eight kilograms. A small variety of cars, the most popular kind of automobile. ... Lobster boat A boat is a watercraft, usually smaller than most ships. ... Canoe at El Nido, Philippines A canoe is a relatively small boat, typically human-powered, but also commonly sailed. ... horse, see Horse (disambiguation). ...


Wind protection

A common problem in the use of stoves outdoors is the wind, which often tends to extinguish the flame. Even if it does not do so completely, it may extinguish it on the upwind side, reducing the stove's effectiveness, and cause the hot gas to flow away from the vessel being heated. In camping stoves, the fold-out lid makes an effective wind shield, and some stoves also have protection on the sides. Wind is the roughly horizontal movement of air (as opposed to an air current) caused by uneven heating of the Earths surface. ...


Most backpacking stoves do not include such features, as they would interfere with the stove's collapsibility, and many backpackers erect makeshift shields out of materials on hand. However, there are exceptions.

  • For several stoves, there are specially designed cylindrical shields that are placed around the burner. In addition to keeping out the wind, they also trap heat that might otherwise escape.
  • The VAR2 stove has wind protection shield which can be easily packed with cooking utensils, which protects the burner from wind and reflects the thermal radiation to the vessel.
  • The Jetboil stove has wind protection integrated with the burner and the cooking pot.
  • Many backpackers rely on aluminium foil as effective and light weight wind shields

Thermal radiation, or radiant heat, is electromagnetic radiation from an object that is simply caused by its temperature. ...

Self-lighting mechanisms

Many camping and backpacking stoves have piezoelectric self-ignition mechanisms so that they can be lit without a match. They use the mechanical work done by the operator in depressing a button to create an electric spark. These devices provide an advantage in windy conditions, because matches blow out easily. Matches are also less convenient to use, and pose a fire hazard if used improperly. Disadvantages are low reliability and additional weight. Piezoelectricity is the ability of certain crystals to produce a voltage when subjected to mechanical stress. ... Work (abbreviated W) is the energy transferred by a force to a moving object. ... Look up Spark in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The word spark has several meanings: Sparks produced by grinding In electricity, spark usually refers to a momentary electrostatic discharge across a spark gap. ...


Fuel specifics

Gas fuel is sold in canisters, typically under sufficient pressure that almost all of it is actually in liquid form. For backpacking stoves butane or a mixture of propane and isobutane are used. Camping stoves use either these or pure propane, which requires a particularly heavy-walled container. Pressure (symbol: p) is the force per unit area acting on a surface in a direction perpendicular to that surface. ... Butane, also called n-butane, is the unbranched alkane with four carbon atoms, CH3CH2CH2CH3. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , Flash point -104 °C Autoignition temperature 432 °C Explosive limits 2. ... Butane is an alkane hydrocarbon with the molecular formula C4H10. ...


A variety of liquid fuels are used as well. While gaseous fuels have relatively simple chemical names that transcend language barriers, any discussion of liquid fuels is complicated by regional differences in terminology. (See the External Links for more information about alternative nomenclature.) Broadly, four types of liquid fuel are used:

  1. Alcohol, either methanol, denatured ethanol, isopropanol, or a mixture of these. These fuels lend themselves to use in simple wick-type stoves.
  2. Automobile fuel, usually known as either gasoline or petrol.
  3. A purified form of automobile fuel, with a lower vapor pressure and slightly lower flash point, variously called Coleman™ fuel, Blazo™, naphtha, or white gas. These products are most widely used in North America and are almost unheard-of as stove fuels elsewhere.
  4. Heavier, less flammable fuels, variously called kerosene, paraffin, fuel oil, stove oil,jet fuel, diesel, biodiesel.

For other uses, see Alcohol (disambiguation). ... Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, is a chemical compound with chemical formula CH3OH. It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colourless, tasteless, flammable, poisonous liquid with a very faint odor. ... Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. ... Isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol is a common name for 2-propanol, an alcohol commonly used for application to the skin, and popularly referred to as rubbing alcohol. ... A small variety of cars, the most popular kind of automobile. ... Gasoline (or petrol) is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting primarily of hydrocarbons, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... The vapor pressure is the pressure (if the vapor is mixed with other gases, the partial pressure) of a vapor (this vapour being formed from molecules/atoms escaping from a liquid/solid). ... The flash point of a fuel is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mix with air. ... Coleman Company, Inc. ... Naphtha is a group of various volatile flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixtures used primarily as feedstocks in refineries for the reforming process and in the petrochemical industry for the production of olefins in steam crackers. ... Russian kerosene lamp Kerosene or paraffin oil (British English, not to be confused with the waxy solid also called paraffin) is a colorless flammable hydrocarbon liquid. ...

Differences between liquid-fuel and gas-fuel stoves

Design

Most stoves can use either liquid or gas fuel, but not both (One exception is Primus Omni/Multi-Fuel). Gas-fuel stoves are simpler to operate than liquid fueled stoves. The gas, being already pressurized, flows from the fuel canister into the burner, where it ignites, in the same manner as a domestic kitchen stove.


Liquid-fuel stoves are more complex because the liquid fuel must be vaporized prior to burning. To accomplish this, the stove design brings the fuel line containing the liquid fuel near the flame of the burner. The heat from the flames converts the liquid fuel to a gas before it reaches the burner, where it mixes with air and is ignited. Some models that use a spray system that does not require preheating exist.


Most stoves operating with liquid fuels must be heated or primed before the burner is turned on. Many stoves require the operator to open the fuel valve briefly without igniting the fuel, so that it flows into a small pan. This small quantity of fuel is then lit and allowed to burn down. When the fuel valve is opened again, the fuel vaporizes from the heat of the pan. Some stoves do not have this apparatus, and must be preheated by the application of an external heat source such as a solid fuel block.


In many stoves, the priming pressure is generated by a small hand pump that forces air into the fuel container. As the fuel is consumed, the pressure decreases according to Boyle's Law, so the pump must be operated occasionally during use to maintain steady stove operation. Manual pump used to obtain water A pump is a mechanical device used to move liquids or gases. ... Image:Boyle. ...


Advantages and disadvantages

Liquid fuel stoves are the most popular for backpacking in United States. They generally operate well in cold weather. Liquid fuel costs less than gas fuel generally. Some forms of fuel, such as kerosene or fuel oil, are readily available worldwide.


Disadvantages to liquid fueled stoves include they require priming, hence some skill is needed to operate them properly. Using liquid fuel stove in a tent is difficult or even dangerous. The fuel does not burn as cleanly as gas fueld stoves. Soot builds up on cooking vessels eventually. Spilt liquid fuel poses a fire hazard, and can soil equipment. The odor of the fuel may also attract dangerous wild animals. Phyla Porifera (sponges) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Placozoa (trichoplax) Subregnum Bilateria (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Orthonectida (parasitic to flatworms, echinoderms, etc. ...


Gaseous fuels have many advantages; the fuel burns cleanly. They are quite simple to use, just adjust the fuel flow with a valve and light the burner. Since the gasious fuel quickly dissipates, the fire hazard associated with leaking fuel is reduced. Safety is also increased because there is no priming. (Undetected leaks in larger gas bottles can cause explosions). Gas fuel bottles of a particular make may be widely available in some countries but not in others, so international travellers have to be particularly careful.


Some disadvantages of gas fuel are the difficulty of transferring fuel from one container to another and the difficulty of accurately gauging how much fuel remains in a container. Gas fuel is somewhat less efficient than liquid fuel, meaning more fuel volume is required for the same heat output. Gas fueled stoves usually do not operate well in colder temperatures. Butane in particular, does not vaporize well at low temperatures which makes stoves fueled with butane unsuitable for cold weather camping. Boiling point of butane under normal pressure is -1°C and under this temperature butane cannot be used as a fuel for gas stove. The temperature where use of butane becomes impractical is even higher (around 5°C). Propane-butane-isobutane mixtures used in most containers are suitable to temperatures of -10°C. Pure propane boils at -42°C which is the actual limit of usability of propane stoves. Gas fuel canisters tend to be heavier than liquid-fuel bottles, because it must be stored under greater pressure. When a canister runs out, it may have to be treated as hazardous waste. Canisters tend to deteriorate and leak if stored for several years. The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it can change its state from a liquid to a gas throughout the bulk of the liquid. ... Hazardous waste is waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and generally exhibits one or more of these characteristics: ignitability corrosivity reactivity (explosive) toxicity Generally, toxicity is quantified through the use of the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure or TCLP test, as required by EPA...


Solid-fuel stoves

A quantity of liquid fuel sufficient to cook a meal, if simply placed in a container and ignited, would burn violently and consume itself in a matter of seconds, and a similar quantity of gas fuel would simply explode. The primary design principle of stoves that use these fuels is to provide a steady flame and prevent the fuel's escape. Solid fuel, however, is more manageable.


A solid-fuel stove may consist of no more than a metal plate to hold the fuel, a set of legs to keep it out of contact with the ground, and some supports for the cooking vessel. This design is highly scalable, and may be used for anything from tiny backpacking stoves to large portable woodstoves.


While admirably simple, solid fuel has many disadvantages. First of all, its burn rate may be controlled only by varying the amount of fuel placed on the fire, while fluid fuels may be controlled precisely with valves. Second, no solid fuel burns completely. It produces considerable amounts of ash and soot, which soil both the stove and the cooking vessels. Some of the chemical energy of the fuel remains locked up in the ash and soot, so solid fuel releases less heat, gram for gram. For the computer software/games company, see Valve Software A valve is a device that regulates the flow of fluids (either gases, fluidised solids, slurries or liquids) by opening, closing, or partially obstructing various passageways. ... Soot, also called lampblack, Pigment Black 7, carbon black or black carbon, is a dark powdery deposit of unburned fuel residues, usually composed mainly of amorphous carbon, that accumulates in chimneys, automobile mufflers and other surfaces exposed to smoke—especially from the combustion of carbon-rich organic fuels in the... In chemistry, a chemical bond is the force which holds together atoms in molecules or crystals. ... The gram or gramme, symbol g, is a unit of mass. ...


Firewood may often be used in solid-fuel stoves, but manufactured fuels are also available. One type is sold in the form of hexamine tablets, on the order of a centimeter in size. This form, pioneered under the trade name Esbit, emits small amounts of cyanide when it burns, and should not be used in enclosed spaces. Sterno® (Canned Heat™) is a pink flammable gel that is also used in solid-fuel stoves. Wood burning is the largest current use of biomass derived energy. ... Hexamethylenetetramine cage Hexamine ((CH2)6N4) is a chemical created by the reaction of 6 moles of formaldehyde and 4 moles of ammonia. ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... Hexamine Fuel Tablets, also known as Esbit, or Heat Tablets are a solid fuel in tablet form, which is used by campers and hobbyists. ... A cyanide is any chemical compound that contains the cyano group C≡N, with the carbon atom triple-bonded to the nitrogen atom. ... Sterno® Canned Heatâ„¢ is a chafing fuel made from denatured and jellied alcohol. ... A gel (from the lat. ...


Simple stoves are sometimes used in ice houses and large tents, both to provide warmth and for cooking. They burn wood, and have a small flue used to exhaust the smoke. When used in tents, they are used in a larger tent made of fabric that does not burn readily, and are most often used in base camps that move infrequently.


History

The widespread use of backpacking stoves began with increased awareness of the environmental impact that backpackers had on the areas where they travelled, beginning in the 1950s in parts of Europe and the 1960s in the United States. Prior to their use, the usual practice when backpacking was to build an open fire for cooking from available materials such as fallen branches. The fire scar left on the ground would remain for two or three years before the vegetation recovered. // Events and No. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ...


The accumulation of fire scars in heavily travelled areas detracted from the pristine appearance that backpackers expected, leading to more widespread use of stoves.


See also

Pepsi can stove (pot stand omitted for clarity). ... Wikibooks Transwiki has more about this subject: Campfire A campfire in a fire pit A campfire is a fire lit at a campsite, usually in a fire ring. ... Cooking in the outdoors using heated stone Campfires can be used for cooking food by a number of techniques. ... Dutch oven from the 1890s Note the evidence of ashes on the lid. ... Cooking is the act of preparing food for consumption. ... Car camping with all the comforts Camping is an outdoor recreational activity involving the spending of one or more nights in a tent, primitive structure, a travel trailer or recreational vehicle at a campsite with the purpose of getting away from civilization and enjoying nature. ...

External links

These websites list the names and availability of different liquid fuels in different countries:

  • Ultralight Hiking
  • Mountain Safety Research

Suppliers' sites with information on portable stoves:

  • Choosing a stove - advice from the Paddy Palin store

  Results from FactBites:
 
Portable stove - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2757 words)
A portable stove is a stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, as for camping.
The simplest stove is a burner that contains the fuel, and which once lit burns until either it is snuffed or the fuel is exhausted.
For backpacking stoves butane or a mixture of propane and isobutane are used.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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