Safety for all stoves

Every year there are many accidents involving stoves: some minor, others very serious. Avoiding accidents means considering the following:

Stoves vary in stability, and all stoves can be unstable when used in difficult conditions. Make every effort to use your stove on a solid, horizontal surface. A small three ply wood or cork mat will help prevent it from sliding around as you stir, remove pots, etc. In the snow, mats are essential to prevent the stove melting the snow it is sitting on.

Flammable objects
Keep stoves well away from anything that could burn or melt. Modern insulating clothing (made from artificial fibres), plastic groundsheets and nylon tent floors all burn or melt. Small sticks and dry grass burn easily. Packs can scorch or melt. Practice using your stove in the open before using it in a tent vestibule or crowded hut.

Refuelling stoves can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced group members or in crowded spaces. Let the stove cool before refilling it. Only fill in the open, outside huts and away from tents, food and other flames. Label your fuel bottle, clearly indicating what fuel it contains to avoid mistaking it for a water bottle, or filling a stove with an incorrect fuel type. Recap all fuel bottles before relighting the stove. Filling stove tanks directly from a fuel bottle can be difficult due to the small stove tank filler opening. Sigg brand bottles have fuel caps with two small holes in the thread part of the cap, designed to give some control when refilling the stove. One hole allows the fuel out while the other lets air in. The problem with this, however, is that fuel generally leaks through the threads of the partially opened cap. This can be avoided by replacing the normal bottle cap with cap incorporating a folded pouring spout, which are generally very satisfactory. You can also use a small plastic funnel.