Today in specialized stores and on the Internet there is a very large selection of different burners.
You can see very small and lightweight burners made of titanium, and a large assortment of gas burners with and without a hose, models that run on gasoline and multi-fuel burners, as well as burners combined with a pan from different manufacturers. So what are these differences and how to choose your own burner?
The first thing you should think about when choosing a burner is the number of people who will cook the food, the duration of the trip, as well as the climatic and weather conditions for operation. The right choice will directly depend on the answers to these questions.
Let’s take a closer look at this now. Burners are classified according to different criteria, and, probably, one cannot talk about any one classification as the only correct one. Therefore, we offer several classifications.
1. Classification of burners by capacity.
- Low power (up to 1500 W)
- Medium Power (1500 to 2500 W)
- Мощные (более 2500 Вт)
Low-power burners are perfect for use at low altitudes for one to two people. Medium power burners are designed for a group of up to four people, and powerful burners are designed for a group of up to six people or more. It should be remembered that in some cases, even for one person, a sufficiently powerful burner may be required (for example, if there is a need to melt snow or use it).
2. Burner classification by brand.
- Non-specialized manufacturers
- Specialized Firms
- World leaders
3. Classification of burners by type of fuel used.
- Liquid fuel
- Without hose
- Portable cookers
This classification is the most detailed and by this criterion one can easily consider the main types of burners, their advantages and disadvantages.
The most common and popular burners are gas.
Basically, they are quite simple and affordable. This option is perfect for lovers of summer tourism or hiking at not too low temperatures (the article “Outfitting for hiking” will tell you what else you need from clothes and equipment). Such burners operate on liquefied gas, filled into sealed cylinders of various volumes. As a type of fuel, gas is quite versatile and convenient. It burns without smell, does not leave soot when burning, and cylinders, while maintaining integrity, eliminate leakage. The simplest version of the burner is a divider for a gas jet with a valve for adjusting the power of its supply, screwed directly onto the cylinder. The length of the folding “petals” of the burner, on which the dishes are installed, determines its diameter and, as a result, the volume. Typically, the volume does not exceed two liters, although the range of such burners is quite wide and among them there are very powerful ones (about 3000 W, for example, models SuperFly and PocketRocket from MSR, Swedish company Primus – Alpin micro and Alpin Titanium). The main disadvantage of all wound-up burners can be called their low stability, but the pluses are also undeniable – small size and weight, high reliability, simplicity of construction, lower cost, so it seems to us that an experienced tourist will always find a way to strengthen the gas cylinder with a burner in such a way as to give structures of greater stability (for example, overlay with stones).
Another option for gas burners is hose. They have folding legs and a gas hose with a gas regulator, but the base is the same – a gas divider. These burners are larger and heavier, but much more stable. In addition, the hose allows you to move the cylinder closer to the burner to heat the gas, or even put it on the burner for a couple of minutes if the gas is too cooled (this often happens in the morning, especially if there were frosts at night, but remember that this is all it’s not safe). The larger diameter of the burner allows you to use cookware with a volume of more than two liters and cook food for a group of people. Hose burners with an adapter can be used with other types of cylinders. However, such burners have their drawbacks. As we already said, this is weight and volume, and in addition to them, in fact, the hose – tube may fail (to break with constant bends or careless handling). At the junction of the tube, biases can occur, which will affect the transfer of gas to the burner.
It should be noted that not only burners, but also portable stoves work on gas.
This option is most convenient for organizing large base camps and tourists who go on a camping holiday and for whom the weight and volume of equipment are not of fundamental importance.
We have already talked about the pros and cons of various gas burners, but in fact the biggest problem for all of them, without exception, is the cooling of the cylinder in the process of burning gas. As a result, the pressure in the cylinder decreases, and the burner power drops. At low subzero temperatures, this becomes very noticeable, and often also leads to the fact that liquid gas begins to flow into the burner under certain operating conditions. If you have ever seen huge flames over a burner in such conditions, then that is what happened. On some burner models, a small flame tube is installed to prevent such problems. It evaporates liquid gas, which greatly improves the operation of burners at low temperatures.
But for your convenience and confidence that the equipment will not let you down, for mountaineering and mountain tourism, as well as for winter hiking, fishing and hunting, we recommend choosing burners that run on liquid fuel or multi-fuel.
So, oil and multi-fuel burners.
Oil burners operate on the same type of liquid fuel, for example, gasoline, and multi-fuel burners operate on different types, either liquid fuel or liquefied gas. The principle of operation of such burners is similar, therefore, we will consider multi-fuel in more detail. If you use liquid fuel, the starting process will be as follows: the pump, combined with the burner hose, is screwed into the tank with fuel; pumping the pump, excess pressure is created in the tank, due to which the fuel enters the hose, the burner is heated with liquid fuel or with the help of dry fuel; after that, the flame ignites, and after about a minute (when it heats up until the fuel starts to evaporate on it), the valve opens and the burner then already operates in normal mode. But if you turn off the burner and allow it to cool, and then turn it on, you will need to do the same thing. It is clear that such a burner will be more complicated in design and use than a gas one, and more expensive, of course. But at the same time, gasoline is much more widespread than gas, and most importantly (this is the main advantage) – the power of a multi-fuel burner, when running on liquid fuel, practically does not change even at subzero temperatures, since if the pressure decreases it’s enough to pump it pump. In the same way, this problem is also eliminated when the burner is operated at high altitudes (over four thousand meters above sea level). In addition to all the above, I would like to note that it is very important to choose high-quality fuel, otherwise the flame will give a lot of soot, the internal parts will be clogged with unburned impurities, which means that you will have to disassemble and clean the burner regularly.
When switching to fuel in the form of liquefied gas, it is necessary to disconnect the pump, put the adapter and connect the cylinder – the burner is ready for use.