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M Performance Comparison Testing of Lightweight Canister Stoves Fall 2005: Controlled Data Evaluating Key Variables of Temperature, Wind, and Windscreen Use for Four More Canister Stoves

by Will Rietveld

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Article Summary:

Good stove heating efficiency (the outcome of burner design, low fuel consumption, good wind resistance, and good heat transfer) is an important factor to consider when selecting a backpacking stove. Since that information is not readily available for most stoves, Backpacking Light conducts scientific lab tests under controlled, repeatable conditions on most of the stoves we review. Through our testing, we hope to identify the more efficient stoves for our readers, and better understand the factors that contribute to stove efficiency.

Why not just test the stoves outside in real field conditions? Sure, we could test them in an alpine thunderstorm, blizzard, or windstorm (or drop them off a cliff like another magazine did), but the problem is that the testing conditions are not uniform and repeatable. To properly test stoves on a scientific basis, so the results are accurate and comparable, we need to do replicated tests under uniform testing conditions. Wind, rain, and temperatures in the field are not uniform from the beginning of testing to the end, so the first stove gets tested under one set of conditions and the last stove is tested under different conditions. That's why we choose to use controlled lab testing conditions that simulate field conditions. With this approach we can be confident that our results are accurate and reflect what can be expected under field conditions.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

# WORDS: 5300

# PHOTOS: 12

# TABLES: 3

# FIGURES: 2

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