5 Stove Tips That Will Save You Fuel

The best way to make your fuel last is to follow these five simple backpacking stove tips. Doing so can potentially double the life of your fuel canister.

In this test the Snow Peak Giga Power 1.0 stove was used. Performance characteristics will vary for different types of stoves but the general performance trends will be the same.

A Snow Peak Giga Power 1.0 Stove turned on heating up a pot of water.

Tip #1: Use a lid when boiling water.

When boiling water without a lid, a lot of heat escapes through the top. When using a lid, the heat is more enclosed in the pot and the water temperature increases much faster. When using a lid, we saw a savings of 1.5 grams of fuel for a 2-cup water boil.

Fuel Used Without Lid

Tip #2: Avoid cooking in the wind.

Even a slight breeze will drastically reduce the efficiency of your stove. Cooking in the wind is one of the easiest ways to waste a lot of fuel. Always find sheltered areas when cooking. In a simulated wind test of just 1 mph it required an extra 6 grams of fuel for a 2-cup water boil.

Fuel Used With and Without Wind

Tip #3: Avoid using maximum heat while boiling water.

Using medium heat instead of the maximum heat setting saved 1 gram of fuel per 2-cup water boil.

Fuel Used With Medium and Maximum Heat

Tip #4: Use water that has already warmed up in the sun.

Using room temperature water (71°F) instead of ice cold water (32°F) saved 1 gram of fuel per 2-cup water boil.

Fuel used to bring cold and warm water to boil.

Tip #5: Only boil the exact amount of water you need.

Boiling an extra 1/4 cup of unneeded water could burn an extra 1.5 to 2 grams of fuel. Be sure to measure the exact amount you need.

Extra fuel to boil more water

CONCLUSION

The difference between doing everything right and everything wrong when cooking is astonishing.

Wrong: Boiling just an extra ¼ cup of water (2 1/4 cups instead of 2 cups), in windy conditions, not using a lid, using cold water (32°F) and using the maximum heat setting used a total 16 grams of fuel to bring the water to a boil.

Right: When using exactly 2 cups of water, cooking out of the wind, using a lid, using warm water (71°F), and using the medium heat setting only used a total 6 grams of fuel to bring the water to a boil.

– Practicing good stove habits can help your fuel go twice as far.

Fuel use with poor and excellent cooking technique