Care guide: how to clean and care for outdoor stoves

Table of contents

Like any other piece of equipment, you should occasionally clean your stove. Although they usually work relatively well, if you want to use them for a long time, regular maintenance is recommended. Another aspect is safety – no one wants a gas stove nearby with petrol leaking from the fuel bottle.

You should always make sure that every stove is clean and that nothing wobbles or is loose. After every tour, you should clean the stove of soot, deposits and food residues. It may seem like a big wide world to explore when your cooker still has pasta sauce from the last trip, but once the gunk clogs up your nozzles, the fun of cooking on the road quickly comes to an end.

Extremely reliable with the right care: Primus multifuel stove
Extremely reliable with the right care: Primus multifuel stove

Everything still tight?

You should also make sure that all connections and supply lines are tight. Sealing rings can be easily maintained with a silicone care product, such as those already included with gas or multifuel stoves. With these stoves, it is particularly important that all seals are intact.

Without this, you cannot build up pressure in the fuel bottle and therefore cannot use the stove. It can also be very unpleasant if the bottle leaks inside your backpack. Some expeditions have been cancelled because fuel spills have contaminated all the equipment.

Check the seals regularly. Photo: Primus/Mattias Wall
Check the seals regularly. Photo: Primus/Mattias Wall

Small in-between service

When using petrol, diesel or paraffin, soot and other deposits can form during combustion. The nozzle where the fuel is released for combustion can become particularly clogged. Modern stoves avoid this problem with shaker nozzles.

The principle is simple: below the nozzle is a thin needle with a weight. The weight pulls it away from the nozzle when cooking. When the stove is not in use and is in your luggage, it is automatically shaken and the needle can move up and down so that the nozzle is kept free all by itself.

If no shaker nozzle is built in, simply clean the nozzle by hand with the thin needle supplied. A clear sign that the nozzle should be cleaned is when the stove “coughs”. If this happens, fuel no longer burns smoothly and the stove starts to stutter.

It’s not just the nozzle that needs some attention from time to time, the pump should also always be well maintained. The seals, which are also responsible for pressure build-up, should be inspected regularly and rubbed with silicone care product. Primus has a clear video about this here:

Other than that, the same applies as for the care and maintenance of the rest of the equipment: You should always check if anything is defective or damaged. If necessary, parts should then be exchanged or replaced.

After a tour, you should always clean your stove and store it in a dry place. With gas stoves, the fuel bottle should also be emptied. If you follow these instructions and the relevant operating manual, you will be able to keep your stove working for a long time.

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Alpinetrek-Expert Simon

Alpinetrek-Expert Simon

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