The Whisperlite stove. How best to use it.
"Like the measles, love is most dangerous when it comes late in life."Lord Byron
The Whisperlite stove is a backpackers dream. It’s tough, simply made, very light weight and with some TLC will last for many years.
It may be used to make a simple cup of brew during a short hike in the desert or an extended expedition in the mountains. Weighing only 460 Grams you will hardly know you are carrying it in your pack. It folds up to a compact size to stuff in a pack pocket.
It’s very adaptable. It will burn white gas, kerosene or even jet fuel. The burner has a special burner jet and a larger fuel tube. It takes from 3.5 to 8 minutes to boil a liter of water using different fuels.
One added feature not available on older models is a windscreen. This is a welcome addition since the wind always seems to come up whenever a decision to cook a meal arises.
As with most other small stoves, the Whisperlite stove takes getting used to. We had tried many ways to make lighting ours easily. In order to get the stove to generate, heat must be applied in the little pan under the burner. We would try placing matches or pieces of paper but the stove would balk at that. With experimentation we discovered ways to make lighting easy.
First and foremost, you place the fuel in the separate tank. Attach the tank to the stove in a horizontal position. With the valve closed on the tank and the legs of the stove spread out you are now ready to go.
The raw gas starter.
Use a fire starter in the bowl.
The second way to start it is to use a little bit of fire starter such as Firefly or Fire sticks. Cut off a small wafer of the Fire stick approximately ¼ inch thick, or squeeze a little fire starter jell into the bowl. Light it with a match. Let it burn for about 30 seconds and then slowly open the valve a little. The stove should begin to generate and will easily light.
Because of their small size, the Whisperlite stove may lead you to use them inside a tent. Definitely not a good idea. Fire of any kind uses oxygen to burn. Burning oxygen from the air in a tent or enclosed area means trouble. Cook outside unless you are in a large room or cookout shelter. If in a room, open a window.
One of the worst habits to get into is challenging mother nature. You will in all probability, lose. Taking chances such as cooking in a tent, using a tent heater or using a white gas lantern inside have resulted in many deaths which could have been avoided.
If you are winter camping with your stove you should carry the fuel bottle wrapped up in your pack. This will keep the temperature of the gas up and make the stove easier to use.
Each Whisperlite stove comes with a small maintenance kit and a user manual. Learn to use it and keep it in your pack. It will be of no use to you if it is left at home and you have trouble with the stove.