Many camping stoves burn kerosene or white gas. Store these fuels in special metal bottles with lids that screw on tightly. Choose bright red bottles or mark them with colorful tape so there is no chance of mixing them up with your water bottles.Butane and propane stoves burn gases from small cans called cartridges. Cartridges and fuel bottles should be stowed in plastic bags and carried.
When you're ready to cook, place your stove on a flat surface. A patch of bare ground or a flat rock is all you need. In winter, put your stove on a 6-inch square of plywood. The wood will hold your stove on top of the snow and prevent the cold ground from chilling the stove.
Larger kerosene and white gas stoves are too heavy to carry in a pack, but they are fine for use in camps that can be reached by road. Two or three burners give you all the room you need to cook meals for an entire patrol. Different kinds of stoves operate in different ways. Read your stove's instructions carefully and do exactly what they say. In addition, always follow these safety rules:
- Use camping stoves only where allowed and only with adult supervision.
- Never use a stove inside a tent or cabin. There is a danger of fire and poisoning by odorless gas fumes. Refuel and light stoves outdoors where there is plenty of fresh air.
- Before lighting the burner, tighten the caps on the stove and on any fuel containers. Do not loosen the fuel cap of a hot stove.
- Stoves sometimes flare up. Keep you head and hands to one side of the stove as you light and adjust it.
- Don't overload a stove with a heavy pot. Instead, set up a grill over the stove to bear the weight of the pot.
- Never leave a lighted stove unattended.
- Let hot stoves cool before refilling fuel tanks. Refill stoves and store extra fuel well away from open flames such as other stoves, candles, and lanterns.
- Carry home all empty fuel containers. Do not place them in or near fires. If heated, they may explode.