over the weekend, while camping out at the Bluegrass Festival in Grass Valley where I volunteered as security, I experimented with two innovations in camp stoves.
the first was a replacement for the potstand that finally fell apart last year after too many abuses with heavy pots and pans. I realized the other day that 1-1/4" fender washers held by 1/4" nuts and bolts would hold the pan above the fire at just about the right height. I used 3, all stainless hardware, which cost over $14, but it could have been a lot cheaper. these are adjustable, so they fit not only my stick stove, but just about any steel or aluminum can.
the other thing was using kerosene or cooking oil for fuel, especially the latter for close-quarters camping and urban bivouacking because it makes very little smoke and the odor isn't unpleasant. my stick stove, on the other hand, hasn't made me a lot of friends due to the pungent and copious smoke, at least until the fire gets burning really hot. I found that a piece of an old cotton shirt made a passable wick. get enough to fill the whole container (I used both my stick stove and an old tuna tin I found on the roadside), and you won't have to worry about something to hold the wick upright. plus you have the maximum amount of fire for the size can you use.
photo of the tuna-tin stove at Instagram. I cooked a 4-egg omelet on it today, but the charred wick became more and more useless towards the end. I read that you can make it last longer by soaking in salt water then drying before use. you can also use things like fiberglass or fine steel wool as a wick.
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last updated 2018-06-19 17:13:36. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com