Backpacking is one of the favorite hobbies of many people. And who can blame them when backpacking is fun and exciting? Of course, just like with any hobby, one must be prepared before embarking on it. Any person who wishes to go trotting in various places must be prepared and have the proper gears and equipment like a portable stove. As such, it is important for future and even current backpackers to know about backpacking stove fuel consumption.
Backpacking Stove Fuel Consumption: The Basics
One of the first things that a backpacker must ask is what he or she should bring to the trip. The belongings to be packed must be appropriate for the destination.
There are a few things that one must consider when packing for an adventure with backpacks. First, one must figure out how much weight will you be carrying around. The size and the weight of the portable stove is a major consideration. If one must travel light, and then it is essential to have a lighter stove to bring.
The difficulty of the camping should also be taken into consideration such as the distance one has to walk, the hike involved and the weather conditions during the trip. If there is a lot of walking and even hiking during the journey, then it is best to travel light as much as possible.
Crunching The Numbers
But just because one does need or want to travel light does not mean that he or she will scrimp on the fuel to be brought. One of the most important steps is to compute the backpacking stove fuel consumption needed for the trip. Failure to do so may mean that someone or many within the group will either be suffering from hunger or thirst.
In crunching the numbers, one must plan for the number of people traveling for which the stove will be used. Aside from the number, it is essential to know ahead of time how many hot meals have to be cooked. After determining these two, multiply the number of people and hot meals each for the entire trip. Also, account for the number of times water has to be boiled for drinking.
There are also other considerations when planning for the stove consumption such as the weather and source of water. Snow poses a different challenge, and as such, it is wise to choose a stove that is appropriate for extreme cold.
If you are going to a cold place, then consider that boiling and cooking time will be longer. Hence, more fuel will be consumed. Plus, altitude matters. It is easier to boil water at higher altitude, but it is slower to cook raw food. Hence, backpackers must think and consider what kind of cooking will be used for the stove. How many times will the person or the group heat the food? How many times throughout the trip will the team or individual cook from scratch?
The source of water is also a factor in determining the amount of fuel consumption in backpacking. If climbing a snowy mountain, then in most probability, snow will be the primary source of water, which arguably will take longer to boil than bottled liquid. Water from ponds and streams are likely to be cold, too, which would entail more fuel for the stove.
One must also think about the wind. Is it a place that is very windy? Keep in mind that it will take longer for open-burn stoves to boil or cook if the wind keeps on blowing fast.
Backpacking conditions vary from one trip to another. Plus, one location would have different environmental concerns, and as such, it is best to ask someone who has been to the place where you or your group plan to go to know how many grams of fuel is needed to boil or cook.
Many experienced backpackers would say that boiling two cups of water would require at least four grams of fuel. But remember that this figure is just an approximation and not an exact figure as each place has different weather and environmental conditions, and each person or group has varying needs.
Fuel Efficiency Is Key
Planning is one of the essential tasks to ensure that you or your group do not run out of fuel during trips. But making plans is just half of the battle. One must also take into consideration the best ways to maximize the use of the stove. There are tips to be followed in ensuring fuel efficiency during trips.
Expert backpackers would always tell you to stay away from winds. Of course, we cannot make the winds go away. But one can still choose a spot where the wind does not howl strongly. It is best to find a secluded spot such as an area behind a large trunk or rock to protect the fire from the wind. There are also windscreens that would help to keep the flame burning.
Be patient. This means not turning the stove at its maximum heat. Remember, more heat or fire results in lesser efficiency. Contrary to popular belief, more heat does not save fuel and instead does the opposite. If one has time, then just opt for the lesser flame in both boiling and cooking. This, of course, would mean longer times to boil or cook, but it would also mean consuming less of the fuel.
Covering the pot is essential too when cooking or boiling. Refrain from always opening the lid every few minutes. Just remember that steam escaping the pot or cookware is an inefficient use of the fuel.
There are many ways to make sure that backpackers do not run out of fuel for their stoves while traveling. And it starts by planning each trip carefully. Just also remember that planning is only half of the battle. One also needs to pay attention to the use of the stove all throughout the trip and follow the tips to conserve fuel.