2004 Buyer's Guide: Camp Stove Care
» CLEAN AWAY food or other debris from the burner head after each use, or you'll get an incomplete flame or the odd flare-up.
» INSPECT THE GUTS of the stove's mounting mechanism. Make sure the threads are free of gunk and that the O-ring isn't rotten. Replace the O-ring regularly.
» Take a SPARE CANISTER. It's your insurance against canister and valve malfunctions or running out of fuel. When it's cold out, WARM THE EXTRA in your jacket or sleeping bag. If the active canister sputters, switch to the warm one, which should perform better, then cozy up with the first.
» Make a habit of CLEANING THE FUEL JET every time you're ready to put the stove away. If your cooker doesn't have a built-in needle that cleans the jet aperture, carry a fine-gauge sewing needle to do the job manually.
» White gas should always be your FUEL OF CHOICE. If you're forced to use a heavier, dirtier fuel, be diligent about cleaning the jet, and wipe off the inevitable carbon buildup from the burner and generator. Do this every cooking session to reduce your odds of ending up in the wilds with a kaput cooker.
» If you keep your stove's pump on the fuel bottle and you won't be cooking for a while, RELEASE THE AIR. If you remove the pump head, make sure its filters remain intact.
» If your stove has an external fuel line, be sure to CLEAN IT out regularly, following the manufacturer's instructions.