Meths burning stoves (such as Trangias) are a very good stove especially for the young or inexperienced camper or backpacker. It is one of the most stable and safe stoves to use. However, like all stoves, these stoves need to be treated with respect and all users should be trained to a good level of familiarity, competence and understanding of safety. Here are our 5 easy steps to staying safe with meths burning stoves.
- Look for a heat haze – we know that meths can burn with an invisible flame so you wont always see a flame like you would expect to
- Lay a blade of grass over the top of the stove – this is a really easy way of telling if the stove is still lit; if it withers, it is still alight.
- Using the back of the hand, wave your hand well above the stove, feeling for rising heat – getting lower only if you are confident to do so – I recommend the back of the hand because if you do burn the back of your hand the implications are that you can still grip things with your fingers!
- Stoves should NEVER be refilled in a “cooking” area – this avoids the ignition of any fumes, but also means the stove has to be picked up and moved – if its hot, they won’t pick it up!
- Use bottles like this that have a safety valve fitted – we don’t want any accidents!
Some stoves are adapted to use gas. Again, due care should be taken to follow basic safety rules. Great care must also be taken to make sure that the gas bottle is connected tightly to the hose and should never be disconnected whilst the stove is lit. When using the gas version, the gas container should be lower than the level of the burner.
Nothing can replace common sense, basic safety sense and familiarity with using the stove through practice in controlled conditions before using on an expedition or camp.
If you’d like more information on how best to use your meths burning or gas stoves, come along to our all-adult camping weekend to learn more – details are in your inbox!