Elephant Cove, Denmark, Western Australia.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fire. Gas. Wood. Which Is Best?

What is the best way to cook a meal, or more importantly heat water for a coffee, when out in the bush away from power?

We have a small gas bottle that has a screw-on burner that we used for heating water when we were at GreenHead.  It worked well but I was always burning myself on it when trying to light it.  My hands don't always work the way they should and turning the knob and trying to get a light to the gas was sometimes a problem for me.  We were using a cigarette lighter but I think if I bought one of those long handled gas lighters I would have less trouble.  However this gas bottle is old and legally it can not be refilled.  The 9kg bottles are too heavy for me to lift and carry.  I am wondering if we need to buy another small bottle so I can use it.

However we also have 2 of those small squarish cookers that use butane and I find them easy and I think they would be safer.  I don't like them as much though as the bottles are not refillable and I hate adding to landfill.  They are cheap though.  Easy too.

If it was cold and allowed in the area  then of course a campfire would be the go. Not all places allow you to collect wood though so that is something that may need to be carried in with us.  Campfires may not get going though if it is wet but I know Hubby would have no trouble.  I would not be able to light a fire in damp conditions, I sometime have trouble getting the wood stove here at home going and that is inside!

Then there are small stoves that people make themselves.  Some use liquid fuel but I quite like the idea of wood burning stoves that are made using a tin and heat your food from the small fire that is under or in them.  Reading about them they look easy to make and easy to get burning.
The reality is far different!  It was for me anyway.
Yesterday we *had a play* and made some "stoves"  Mine was from instructions found online that took me ages of reading and then working out what I was supposed to do.  Hubby's was a hobo style stove made in a couple of minutes, no instructions.
Mine is the one on the right of the photo.  It didn't smoke as much as his but then it didn't burn as well as his.  Mine didn't get going at all and while his burnt and did heat the can of water there was way too much smoke.  It was a fun thing to try though and something that I will try again.  I know if I can get one to work then I will use that to get the water hot for coffees.

You can see his on the left with the flame heating the water and mine on the right...Must be a design fault.

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