Yesterday’s post praised Tektoba as the grand master of alcohol stove making. And he is! Just be cautious when you fire that baby up, especially if you’re planning on hiking in the West this year as there’s considerable talk about banning all stoves without a positive shut off valve and a contained fuel source.
Long distance hikers widely laud alcohol stoves due to the feather weights (though the fuel is heavy). Distancehiking.com asked 123 PCT thru hikers in 2013 about their stoves. 36% of thru hikers reported using an alcohol stove as their primary stove, making alcohol stoves second only to the non-refillable canister stove’s 46%. Alcohol stove carriers were asked what two things they liked the most about their alcohol stove. Lightweight was the overwhelming favorite.
When asked what they liked least, thru-hikers were more mixed in their responses, but after “slow boil,” answers generally trended towards safety concerns:
Make sure that if you’re out on the trail this year, before you pack up and hit the road that you check with the local agency that manages the land to get current on any fire or stove bans. And give that homemade alcohol stove a test run to be sure you know how to put it out quickly if needed. My advice: if you’re going to use an alcohol stove, make sure you always have something at hand you can throw over the stove to extinguish the flame. Dumping the stove fuel out while still lit is extremely dangerous!