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M Taming Those Large Flexible Foil Windshields

by Roger Caffin

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Article Summary:

As Will Rietveld shows in his two articles; Stove Windscreen Dynamics and Design: Part I Wind Effects on Stove Performance, and Part II Practical Applications for the Field, running a stove in the field without a windshield can be an exercise in frustration. You use a lot of fuel and the water takes ages to boil (or never gets there). The reality is that you need a windshield.

While there are many effective light metal foil windshield solutions for small low alcohol stoves, the same can't be said for upright canister stoves. Upright canister stoves need something about 200 millimetres (8 in) high to protect the pot. Many commercial stoves come with a windshield of that height, but they are usually made of a heavy aluminium foil. Surely we can find something lighter than that! Options include titanium foil (sold in Backpacking Light's online store), stainless steel foil and aluminium (cooking) foil.

You encounter a problem, however, when you try to use a tall metal foil windshield. Titanium and stainless steel foil windshields are very springy and their light weight makes them very prone to coiling up and falling over. You can clip the ends together, but that does not stop them from misbehaving. On the other hand, the favored material of the alcohol stove brigade, aluminium kitchen cooking foil, is so soft it won't stay up either. What to do? We have a solution - read on.

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