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Lipsmacking Backpacking

6 7 What we cook on makes a big difference to our experience gas stoves are quick and efficient, great when youre in a crowded campsite or in a hurry, but the small ring of blue flames doesnt really rev us up for a cum by ya. Barbecues and wood stoves are for when youve moved down a gear, and are taking it easy. Two golden rules safety and hygiene. Never start a fire if it is prohibited, if there is not sufficient open space, or if there is anything that could be a fire hazard nearby. Clear a large area around the heat source before lighting it. Always be sure that you know what you are doing, always supervise children. Always have sufficient water or sand handy to put out the fire. For hygiene, do not cook close to toilets or drains. All in all just use your common sense, but if in doubt, do not take a risk. The three most common fuel types are gas, meths and paraffin these are sometimes known by other names in other countries. Each stove, be it a trangia or minigaz stove will vary, so you should follow the specific instructions for your product. The basic point is to make sure that all parts are correctly fitted and tightly screwed, that there is adequate fuel and that the stove is on flat ground. Make sure that it is sheltered if it is windy, and that you keep your fuel bottle well away from the flames. Far less portable they weigh a ton but readily available in Africa and other parts of the world is the charcoal stove. Put some charcoal into the main body, filling it so as to be level with the top rim dont exceed this otherwise your pot will be sitting on the coals and not on the stove. To light it, put some ash onto a piece of paper and pour some meths or paraffin onto the ash. Light and place it under the coals via the little door. Ive included some tearout pages at the end of the book that you can use as emergency firelighters. Leave it for a while and fan the coals until they have caught fire. You might need to fan pretty vigorously. When the coals have caught and are starting to turn grey at the edges, put on your pot. Obtain some dry wood or charcoal and keep it in a pile away from where you want to cook. Its always good to get more than you think youll need. Deforestation is a major issue in many countries, plus wood, even dead wood, is often a vital habitat for a range of forest species. Ensure that the wood youre going to burn is coming from a sustainable source. The secret of a good burn is adequate ventilation and dry wood, but the secret of good cooking is to have a stable base. Arrange three or four similarly sized, flattish stones into a triangle and make sure that your pot can balance securely on top. Make a small pyramid of kindling and easy to burn things like dry bark and light it. Put more sticks on as the fire catches and then put on your pot. Feed the new sticks or charcoal in from the sides as they are needed its best to get some quite long, thick, dry pieces and you can just push the end inwards as they burn. If you have a grate, pop that on the stones and theres your barbecue but dont forget to wait until the flames have died down before putting the food on.
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