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March 2015 Issue
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Pre-trip stove check-list

Follow Colin Hancock’s checklist to ensure your stove remains in top working order. PHOTO: Leon Brocard, Creative Commons

Trek ‘n’ Travel’s Colin Hancock runs through the checks required to ensure your stove is up to scratch….

Gas stoves

Every 12 months:

  • Check for cracks in the stove’s rubber O-ring. The rubber perishes over time so if in doubt, replace
  • Test the Piezo ignition. These are notoriously unreliable so it’s always good to carry a back-up ignition source
  • Check the condition of the pot supports (trivets). If they have excessive play, are prone to moving on their own accord, or are bent or damaged, now is the time to look at replacing your stove
  • Fire it up to test the knobs and valves are operating as they should.

Liquid Fuel Stoves

Before every trip:

  • Carbon build-up reduces the efficiency and performance of the stove, blocks the jets and can stop it working altogether.
  • Give the stove a wipe with a cloth to remove excess soot from the body
  • Unblock the jet. Some stoves can be cleaned by turning it upside down and shaking it. Others have to be stripped down to access the jet in order to push out any blockages with a special poker
  • Failing O-rings are probably the leading cause of accidental hut fires. Inspect them all thoroughly (there are usually three or four) for cracks in the rubber. If in doubt, replace
  • Check the fuel line and its cover has not suffered damage, crimping, bending or fraying. Replace if necessary
  • Disassemble the pump and clean out any dirt then apply oil to the pump barrel to improve pressure and performance. Check and oil the cup on the end of the pump plunger – replace if necessary
  • Fire it up to test the control knobs and valves are operating as they should.