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Common Questions About KOVEA Stoves

• Conventional camping / backpacking gas stoves consist of a stove which attaches with a standard screw threaded connector to a gas canister. This is a simple and popular solution but it has a couple of drawback; stability and the short distance between the burner and the canister which can lead to overheating if used incorrectly.

KOVEA Spider KB-1109 with Canister• A remote canister stove connects the stove to the canister with a flexible hose. This allows the stove to be stabilised with wide legs, and the gas canister can be placed a safe distance from the heat of the stove. Both of these features make it safer.

There are no authorised KOVEA dealers on eBay.

Sellers including Chovin and Tangocloset are not authorised to export from Korea, their products do not comply with UK and EU gas safety regulations and are not covered by KOVEA's warranty. Their prices are low because they do not charge VAT or import duty, they do not ensure that their products comply with international gas safety regulations.

Customers in the UK and Europe rightly deserve the lowest possible prices, so despite our higher costs we are currently offering a KOVEA Spider (without igniter) with free UK & EU postage for just £44.00. You benefit from next day delivery in the UK, and have full access to the MercatorGear's after market support, accumulated knowledge and experience from using KOVEA products in a wide range of extreme conditions over long periods of time. You are also entitled to spare parts if you ever need them. You can also be sure that we are putting something back by supporting expeditions and conducting valuable product testing and research.

So if you are tempted by a cheap deal on eBay, think again and get a fully legitimate KOVEA Spider from us for just £44.00 delivered. Thanks!

Anti Flare Infographic

The pipe is called the “pre-heat” or “anti-flare tube”. It is a safety feature which stops liquefied gas from the gas canister (1) from entering the burner head and flaring dangerously as it decompresses. Cold gas or liquefied gas passes through the pre-heat tube (2 & 3) where it is warmed by the flame before mixing with air at the nozzle and igniting at the burner (4). The anti-flare tube also allows the canister to run in "inverted mode" or "liquid feed mode" to improve cold weather performance. 

 

"Inverted mode" and liquid feed mode" mean the same thing and refer to turning the attached gas canister upside down while operating the stove. This allows liquefied gas to enter the fuel line (1, above). The liquefied fuel then travels through the anti-flare tube where it is heated and evaporates safely (2,3) before mixing with air before igniting at the burner head (4).

The canister should only be turned upside down after the stove has been lit for a couple of minutes so that the anti-flare tube is hot enough to evaporate the liquefied gas.

  

This is incorrect except when the air temperature is significantly colder than the temperature inside of the canister (below -25 degrees C) 

In above freezing usage, insulating the canister simply prevents the external warm air from warming the fuel inside the canister. As the fuel evapourates inside the canister, the internal temperature and eventually gas pressure, start to drop. Without insuraltion the ambient temperature outside the canister helps to warm the fuel inside and maintain gas pressure.

In cold conditions, it more effective to gently warm the gas canister with body heat to help maintain gas pressure.

If you warm the canister you will increase gas pressure, so be VERY careful to warm it to no more than body temperature. Canister warming may be necessary in cold conditions to improve performance.

  • WARNING: Only warm the canister with body heat, for example inside your jacket or sleeping bag.
  • DO NOT warm up the canister when the stove is lit.
  • DO NOT warm the canister with a flame.
  • DO NOT warm the canister so that it is hot to touch.
  • If the canister is hot to touch, stop the stove and cool the canister immediately.

KOVEA-Power-Nano-maxpower

We make a very nice budget canister top stove called the KOVEA Power Nano. The build quality is as good as anything currently on the market. To keep the price as low as possible without compromising on quality, we use high grade stainless steel rather than of titanium for the pot supports, and use a tried and tested “blow torch” burner which produces a powerful roaring flame and gives you a very decent boil time.

The Power Nano weighs 90g, folds up really small, and has 4 wide fold-out pot supports for added safety. It is an economy stove made of high grade materials and components. Not the cheapest stove you can buy, but it will give you excellent service and is built to last for many years.

Another budget quality stove is the KOVEA Fireman which uses the same smart low-emission burner head as the KOVEA Spider and Titanium stoves.

• After extensive research, we have come up with some very good reasons to explain to your loved one(s) why it’s worth spending just a little bit extra for a KOVEA Spider.

o "It is safer than a normal stove due to its low centre of gravity, very low carbon monoxide emissions and its anti-flare tube"

o "It is very easy to use and is popular with both the guys and the girls"

o "We can make really good food on it due to its fine flame control and special burner head – so no more burned pans"

o "It can be used in winter so we don’t need to use that noisy and heavy multi-fuel stove when the snow starts to fall"

o "It is a great investment because it can also run safely on very cheap aerosol-type butane canisters when used with a KOVEA safety valve adapter (see picture); so it will pay for itself within a year"

o "It will last a very long time due to its excellent build quality"

o "It is so well designed, compact and versatile that it is the last stove I will ever need "

And if that doesn’t work, the ace in the hole is;

o “It is so light and compact that I will even have room in my pack for some of your stuff!"

The basic reason is that light weight is an important design objective, but below a certain weight choice of lightweight materials starts to impact on safety, performance, durability and cost. For example; 

  • narrower pot supports are lighter than wide ones, but are less stable
  • aluminium is lighter than steel for some components, but is not as strong
  • titanium is lighter and stronger than aluminium, but is expensive to manufacture and not always the most appropriate metal for heat control

KOVEA has the design capability to reduce weight further but its design philosophy is not to compromise on product safety and durability.

STORAGE

  • Make sure your stove is dry and free from food, grease, oil, mud, grime or any other substances.
  • If it comes back from a trip really dirty you can wipe in clean with a damp cloth, or scrub it with detergent and a small brush. Make sure it is then free from detergent and dry, before storing in a dry place.
  • Dampness will not damage your KOVEA stove, but it may result in the build up of grime which could interfere with efficient operations.
  • Remote canister stoves like the Booster+1 and Spider, can be stored with the hose folded up. The hose is very flexible and long term storage will not damage the hose. The only way you can damage the hose is to burn it, or kink it, so do still be care to avoid this.

PRE-USE CHECKS

  • Before using your stove it is a good idea to check that everythings works;
    • Visually inspect it to make sure it looks OK
    • Check any screws to make sure they are tight
    • Make sure any folding mechanisms such as pot supports or legs are working correctly
    • Attach it to a fuel canister to make sure it works at full power and with a smooth transition to low power and back up to full power again
    • Listen out for hissing from leaking gas, and liquid fuel emerging from seals
    • If you stove has not been used for a while, the flame will probably burn with orange streaks. This is a sign of oxidation being burned off, and the orange flame should disapear after a few minutes.
    • If the orange flame persists for more than 5 or 10 minutes, then it suggests that the stove is not working efficiently and may be producing excessive carbon monoxide.
    • Only take your stove out on a trip if you are sure it is working safely.

 

How to get the best out of your KOVEA stove

With remote canister stoves like the KOVEA Spider, it is possible to put a wind shield around the stove without causing the canister to overheat. This makes the wind shield set up safe, and also greatly improves efficiency.

MercatorGear Winshield Mark 3

MercatorGear has developed a range of KOVEA Spider Windshields specifically for the Spider which are extremely light (18g), very effective and made from used aluminium drinks cans.

See our more detailed article: KOVEA Spider Windshields:

You can also use standard windshields available in most outdoor stores.

Scramblekit KOVEA Spider Titanium Windshield

Scramblekit in the UK has developed an excellent titanium windshield design for the KOVEA Spider, which is well worth looking at (click on the pic on the left)

 

FlatcatGear in the United States also makes a range of titanium windshields specifically for the KOVEA Spider.

 

You can also use standard windshields available in most outdoor stores.

 

KOVEA Spider with KOVEA safety valve butane adapter
£ 53.49 each KOVEA Spider "Butane" - includes KOVEA Igniter & Butane Adapter for low cost aerosol-type canisters (FREE EU P&P)
This item will be sold starting on 2017-08-29
Kovea Spider without igniter
£ 44.00 each KOVEA Spider "Basic" - 4 Season remote canister stove (FREE EU P&P)
This item will be sold starting on 2017-08-29

• When a gas canister is the right way up, evaporation of the liquefied gas normally takes place inside the canister. When evaporation occurs inside the canister the remaining liquefied gas in the canister is cooled by the evaporation process. This cooling inside the canister reduces gas pressure. In very cold weather some users invert the canister so that evaporation occurs in the pre-heat tube and not in the canister. This prevents cooling inside the canister, and helps to maintain gas pressure.

See our video of Mark Hines demonstrate using the KOVEA Spider in inverted canister mode to melt snow in Alaska

Mark Hines melting snow with KOVEA Spider in inverted canister mode

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUvVr1UP1yw

•As you increase in altitude, two things happen. Air pressure drops progressively, and as a result oxygen concentration (the amount of oxygen in a given volume of air) also drops. These impact your stove in different ways. 

  • With normal concentrations of oxygen Kovea stoves operate extremely efficiently and produce mainly carbon dioxide and water as the main waste products from combustion. Small amounts of carbon monoxide are also produced. As oxygen supply reduces with altitude the combustion produces more carbon monoxide and less carbon dioxide. We encourage a deep understanding of all things about stoves, so if you are really interested, here is the science bit;
    • The chemical formula of butane is: C4H10

    • When butane burns with sufficient oxygen: 2 C4H10 + 13 O2 → 8 CO2 + 10 H2O (butane +oxygen produces carbon dioxide + water vapour)

    • When oxygen is limited: 2 C4H10 + 9 O2 → 8 CO + 10 H2O   (produces carbon monoxide + water vapour)

  • For every 1000m altitude the boiling point of the gas inside the canister drops by 2-3 degrees centigrade according to the Trouton-Hildebrand-Everett rule. This means that you can use your stove at progressively lower temperatures the higher you go.

For more information how the Trouton-Hildebrand-Everett rule can save you money, see our article: Butane canisters: Low temperature performance improves with altitude

  • As you gain altitude, eventually the reduced amount of oxygen in the air will start to impact the stove combustion efficiency resulting in higher carbon monoxide emissions.

• Water also boils at a lower temperature the higher you go, but you are unlikely to notice this much below 6000m

• Piezo igniters can start to misfire at altitude due to the reduced air density. (In fact, they create an electrical discharge but the air is not dense enough for the spark to leap across the terminals.) If you are going above 2500m you might notice piezo performance start to deteriorate. You can counter this by bending the terminal to close the gap which the spark needs to cross. If you are planning on spending time above this altitude it is a good idea to take another form of lighter for your stove (fire steel or flint-based cigarette lighter) just in case.

• Carbon monoxide becomes a bigger danger at altitude particularly if you are forced to cook in a small tent due to extreme weather. The reason for this is that the stove competes with humans in the tent for the reduced amount of available oxygen. Unless there is sufficient ventilation this further reduces the available oxygen to breath and for efficient combustion. With reduced oxygen for combustion, the stove produces more carbon monoxide and less carbon dioxide. The resulting elevated amount of carbon monoxide in the air in the tent in relation to the reduced amount of oxygen in the blood is a recipe for disaster. Every year there are cases of mountaineers suffering carbon monoxide poisoning to some degree, and there are occasionally fatalities.

For best results with the piezo igniter, make sure:

1. KOVEA Piezo Igniterthat the metal end of the igniter is touching the top or side of the burner head;

2. gas is flowing at a low to medium rate from the stove (i.e. NOT at full power)

3. click the piezo several times rapidly while ensuring that the metal end of the igniter remains in contact with the stove burner head.

If the stove doesn't light straight away, turn off the gas for a few seconds and repeat 1-3 above. It is important that the igniter is touching the burner head while lighting.

 

Piezo igniters can start to misfire at altitude due to the reduced air density. (In fact, they create an electrical discharge but the air is not dense enough for the spark to leap across the terminals.) If you are going above 2500m you might notice piezo performance start to deteriorate. You can counter this by bending the terminal to close the gap which the spark needs to cross. If you are planning on spending time above this altitude it is a good idea to take another form of lighter for your stove (fire steel or flint-based cigarette lighter) just in case.

• KOVEA understands that rapid boil is the most important requirement for some users. But when you send gas under pressure through a nozzle, mix it with air and ignite it, there are a lot of things going on, all of which need regulating and managing so that you don’t damage your stove, your pot, yourself and your companions. For example, some manufacturers produce stoves with very fast boil times, but this is achieved at the expense of high carbon monoxide emissions.

And faster boil times are usually achieved through higher fuel consumption. Boil time is important, but KOVEA wants to keep it in balance with safety, fuel efficiency and minimising emissions.

If you want a boil in one minute, reduce the amount of water to 200mls, use a windshield and turn the power on full. You will waste a lot of fuel but it will be fast.

• To be honest boil times are only a VERY rough guide because there are no standard tests, and there are many different variables which can impact boil time. For example: air temperature, water temperature at the start, water temp at “boil” (yes, it varies greatly), type of pot (narrow, wide, heat exchanger), size of pot, whether a lid is used, altitude, gas type (gas varies a lot), single test or multiple tests, indoors or outdoors, windshield or not, heat reflector (on the base) or not, type of measuring device used, calibration of measuring device, whether the gas canister is full or not, and whether the gas is fed under higher than normal pressure, whether the gas canister has been warmed or is at ambient temperature, etc. Changes in any of these can change the result by several seconds or tens of seconds.

• And here is a trade secret; it has been known for some companies to show results from the combination of factors which most favours their particular stove. So who to believe? And what objective tests are there?

• The most objective comparable measure is possibly maximum gas consumption (g/hr) as this gives you the theoretical maximum heat output of the stove. It doesn’t take efficiency into account, e.g. how good the burner head is at converting that flow of gas into heat, and transferring that heat into the pot. But it is one bench mark which is fairly objective and which can be compared between different stoves of a similar type.

• Another source of objective information comes not from the manufacturers but from experienced users writing in blogs and other user generated content. The stove-using community comes up with lots of rough and ready (and some very accurate) measurements which are independent of the stove makers. Independent users often compare different brands using the same method, so they are definitely worth a look to get an idea. 

• MercatorGear.com would support any independent organisation which wishes to conduct (and publish) rigorous and objective testing of boil times, fuel efficiency, carbon monoxide emissions of different stove brands. We are confident that KOVEA’s products will perform exceptionally well in such tests.

Although it is not one of the tests required to achieve Gas Safety Certification, and KOVEA don't recommend it, if you are careful you can toast marshmallows on a KOVEA Spider.

KOVEA Spider toasting marshmallows

 

As long as you don't let them catch fire, don't let the goo drip onto the stove and don't burn your fingers, mouth, tent, clothes and other valuable stuff, you should be fine.

Q&A about our approach to stove design and innovation

We make stoves for professional users and for leading stove brands around the world.

Users choose KOVEA because of our commitment to both safety and quality. Because we do not compromise on either of these, and because we choose to keep production in high-wage South Korea where we have full view of quality of materials and manufacture, our stoves tend to be a bit more expensive than lower quality products from China.

Finally, it may be unfashionable, but KOVEA products are built to last for many years and not to wear out or break after a couple of seasons. This is why they are a bit more expensive in the short term, but much smarter choice for the long run.

Yes. KOVEA designs and makes its own brand stoves as well as manufacturing for other famous stove brands from USA, Europe and Japan.

Our reseach and development, and design engineers work with other stove makers to bring the best possible products to market worldwide.

International stove brands choose KOVEA because our proven design and manufacturing Quality Assurance (QA) is second to none.

That is why the stoves we make last longer, work better and are higher quality than cheap alternatives.

That is fairly simple. Look on the box of an MSR or SnowPeak stove. If it says "Made in Korea" then it was most likely made by KOVEA.

 

If it says "Made in China" it is not made by KOVEA.

As in many things, price is a very good measure of quality. Much as they would like to, KOVEA cannot make a high specification stove to ship half way round the world to retail at £10 including VAT and profit for the retailer. To achieve this would involve cutting too many corners in terms of design, materials, testing, working conditions, labour rights, pollution control, quality control, customer service and after market support.

(Rather than spend your money on a cheap Chinese stove, you could spend it on your favourite canned drinks, and use the empty cans to make a hobo stove. The stove will be completely free, you will have complete control over labour conditions and workers rights, and you will get a lot more satisfaction!)

MercatorGear 10g Hobo Stove

Weight saving is an important objective in the design process but eventually other attributes of the stove can start to deteriorate if weight saving is the single most important objective. KOVEA has put a lot of effort into designing stoves which last and which are safe. The materials used to achieve these design objectives means that Kovea stoves are not the absolute lightest you can get. But if you want a low emission canister top stove which is almost lightest stove known to humanity, then we can offer you the KOVEA Titanium Supalite which comes in a 56g and a 60g model.

kovea-supalite-56g-a

It uses 4-5g of fuel to boil 500ml of water in 2.5-3 mins on an medium (economy) flame setting, and the controls are sensitive enough to simmer and lightly fry without hot-spotting.

  • We work with adventurers, extreme sports people and the ultra-light community who often come up with great ideas for reducing weight without compromising safety and reliability. But to put stove weight into context it is also worth noting that during 24 hours in the hills or on the trail you need to consume around 3-5 litres of water weighing 3-5kg. And you might get through 500g of food and munchies. In the muddy old Britain you can easily accumulate 100g of mud on each boot and 300g of moisture in your clothes and tent. In relation to these, our customers generally agree that 10g or even 50g of extra stove weight is a small penalty for having a stove which has been designed for safety, reliability, performance and longevity. 

MercatorGear actually dMercatorGear 10g Hobo Stoveoes make an incredibly light (and free) stove which we use for calibration purposes:

The MercatorGear 10g Hobo Stove (left) weighs just 10g, and uses 16g of meths to boil 500ml of water in around 7-8 minutes. It is not as durable, controllable, efficient, safe or fast as our KOVEA gas stoves. You can only really cook soup and noodles on it. It is made from beer cans kindly donated by FourPure Brewing Company. But as a stove for an occasional brew it's an excellent bit of ultralight gear.

Baboon

We build our stoves to be very robust by using the best quality materials and the best suppliers we can find. We don't cut corners on quality. The last thing we want is for our stoves to fail you when you are out in the wild.  

We recently heard about an expedition in Namibia which had their KOVEA Booster+1 fuel bottle stolen by a bunch troop of baboons. Here is their story....

 

"Hey guys. I want to congratulate you guys on exceptional KOVEA Booster+1 fuel bottle after baboon attackquality. We did the 5 day Fish River hike last week in Namibia and on the morning of day 2 our Kovea 1l fuel bottle was stolen by baboons. After chasing them down for about 1km on the rocks all the time having them drop and bite it, they dropped it down the side of a cliff. To my surprise the fuel was still in the bottle and it was not punctured. Luckily we were still able to make food and coffee for the rest of the trip. It looks in pretty bad shape now but did the job!"

Thanks Leroy!

Here is the actual Fuel Bottle from the KOVEA Booster+1 after the Baboon incident in Namibia. The stopper is chipped but still works, the bottle itself is seriously dented and you can clearly see two big Baboon teeth marks in the middle. 

So, can our stoves withstand wild animal attack? We build them tough, and our friends and baboons in Namibia seem to think so!

Thanks again Leroy for the great story.

• All stove designs are a compromise between safety, performance, cost, durability and weight. All KOVEA stoves have safety as the primary design objective and this drives choice of materials for critical components.

• Regarding the KOVEA Spider, there are two reasons not to make the legs from titanium. The first is that it is difficult and expensive to replicate the exact design of the existing stainless steel legs with titanium ones. The second reason is that we could use less expensive titanium sheet material, but this would require redesigning the leg folding mechanism, and burner housing. It would therefore be a different stove and would require additional testing and certification. This would all add substantially to cost.

• Another little known challenge when designing stoves is that great care has to be taken when selecting different metals to avoid bimetalic (galvanic) corrosion risk. Aluminium and stainless steel are widely used in stoves, but if the two metals are used next to each other, corrosion occurs in the aluminium due to exchange of electrons between the two metals over time. This can weaken the aluminium resulting in loss of durability, heightened risk of failure and danger to the user. Although few customers and users are aware of this issue, KOVEA is dilligent in selecting combinations of metals to avoid such problems, and to ensure that the stoves keep running for many years. Titanium and aluminium is another combination of metals which can lead to corrosion and ultimately, failure.

• It is clear that there is demand for a high-end very light weight remote canister stove, and the KOVEA design team is looking ways to achieve this without making a stove which is unsafe (e.g. by removing the anti-flare tube), subject to corrosion or too expensive.

 

• Yes and No: If you take the stove apart and modify it, you could be doing something dangerous resulting in higher emissions of potentially fatal carbon monoxide, or increasing the danger of flaring or explosion, so we cannot support modifications and strongly recommend you not to make them. Modifications also invalidate the warranty.

• But we also admire those creative individuals who come up with innovations. If you have any ideas for modifications which are consistent with our design objectives, and which our engineers could try out, we would be happy to look at these. For example, we are not going to make a stove entirely out of titanium because it is an inappropriate material for some components, (and it would cost a fortune) but sometimes simple practical ideas are the best. What is obvious to experienced users, may not be obvious to our design engineers in the lab, so our minds are always open to new ideas.

  • Here are a couple of ideas we have been looking at:

Titanium Spider Test Model

"Titanium Spider" concept uses existing components including titanium pot supports from our successful canister top range.

This configuration has similar performance to the original KOVEA Spider.

 

 

 

Enhanced Spider

"Power Spider" also uses existing components to boost power by up to 50% through faster fuel flow.

Note that the burner head is the popular and reliable "blow torch" burner which is used on a number of high performance stoves including the KOVEA Power Nano.

This configuration is optimised for very rapid water boiling, with good flame control for cooking.

In initial tests this configuration boils 500ml water in 2mins 45 seconds, using 5g of gas.

Common questions about gas canisters and KOVEA adapters

 

Standard 227g pure butane canisters contain about the same amount of gas and heating power as a standard 230g / 8oz screw thread canister, but for one third or quarter the price.  At several degrees above freezing point, the two types of canister are more or less interchangeable. The butane canisters are very cheap because they are made in huge volumes for domestic cooking, BBQ and picnic stoves throughout East Asia. They are also widely available in the west through Asian food shops, hardware stores, camping stores and other outlets. In east Asian supermarkets, a 4-pack typically costs $4.50 or less in the USA and around £5.50 in the UK (from Koreafoods.co.uk). Such general retailers sell large volumes of aerosol-type butane canisters for a small margin.

Screw thread canisters iso-butane/propane canisters for camping and backpacking are made in much smaller numbers, use thicker metal and more expensive valves (as they are more highly pressurised). Virtually all stove companies and other outdoor gear companies spend a lot on promoting their own brand of canisters as well. And they are generally only available from a narrow range of retailers i.e. outdoor gear shops and some hardware stores. 

The result is that although the heating power of the two different types of canister is about the same above freezing, screw thread iso-butane / propane canisters are much more expensive.

  

This is incorrect except when the air temperature is significantly colder than the temperature inside of the canister (below -25 degrees C) 

In above freezing usage, insulating the canister simply prevents the external warm air from warming the fuel inside the canister. As the fuel evapourates inside the canister, the internal temperature and eventually gas pressure, start to drop. Without insuraltion the ambient temperature outside the canister helps to warm the fuel inside and maintain gas pressure.

In cold conditions, it more effective to gently warm the gas canister with body heat to help maintain gas pressure.

This is because the gas is evaporating inside the canister cools the remaining liquefied gas inside the canister. The lower the temperature of the fuel in the canister, the lower the gas pressure. You can lose gas pressure completely if the fuel falls below freezing (for pure butane) or below around minus 20oC for a butane/propane mix.

In the UK and most of Europe (except Austria) you can put your empty gas canister straight into the domestic recycling without needing to puncture it. They are treated like any other pressure canister (e.g. aerosols) and are crushed, shredded, magnetically separated, melted down, impurities removed and new recycled steel ingots produced.

gas canister recycling process

But before recycling, make sure the canister is empty by running the stove outside until there is no flame or no more gas coming out.

KOVEA has designed several different adapters to allow stoves to run on different types of gas canister.

The KOVEA Butane adapter (above) enables the KOVEA Spider to run on cheap aerosol-type butane canisters.

 

 

 

butane canister connector

These canisters have a nozzle type connector (and not a screw thread connector)

 

 

 

butaneStandard aerosol-type 100% butane canister.

Cost around £1.30 / $1.20 each for 227g of liquified butane.

Look out for the distinctive red cap.

Widely used for BBQ stoves and domestic cooking in east Asia.

Widely available in Europe, North America and elsewhere in Asian supermarkets, hardware stores, discount stores, and outdoor stores.

Best usage in above freezing temperatures.

Can be used below freezing at altitude.

 

 

Butane canisters are so cheap they are usually sold in packs of 4 for the same price as a single 230g screw thread iso-butane/propane canister.

 

 

 

KOVEA Spider, butane adapter and butane canister

 

Typical use: KOVEA Spider, butane adapter and butane canister making an omelette on a large domestic frying pan in the Swiss Alps at 10oC.

The low cost of fuel and the very fine flame control on the KOVEA Spider allow for more ambitious and creative cooking.

 

 

Using butane to save money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KOVEA "Push and Turn" (PAT) Adapter is used for blue Camping Gas-type canisters with a click (rather than screw thread) connector.

 

 

KOVEA Campingaz adapter graphic

 

 

Application for calculating the optimum number of gas canisters for your particular expedition according to number of people, days, type of stove, level of usage etc.

Our MercatorGear Gas Canister Calculator is designed to help you estimate the optimal number of canisters you will need for your trip.

The calculator tells you how many canisters you will need depending on e.g. number of days, number of people, your hot water requirements and type of stove.

You can then change various parameters until you find the best fit for your particular expedition.

MercatorGear Canister Calculator

Essential reading for all stove users & group leaders: If you understand the risks, they can be safely managed.

A safe, clean flame is blue.

If you see a continuous orange or red coloured flame at the top of the blue flame, this indicates incomplete combustion, and the creation of carbon monoxide.

If you see a flame like the one above (not a KOVEA stove) turn off the stove and make sure that the area that it was in is fully ventilated.

If you have been in an enclosed space for more than a few minutes with a stove producing this kind of red/orange flame, turn off the stove, go into the fresh air and seek medical advice immediately.

• We want to be totally honest and open about this; Gas canister gas stoves can be very dangerous if not used correctly (just like cars, guns, knives, food blenders, chain saws, pointed sticks and Leggo bricks)

The route to safe usage in through understanding the risks of using gas stoves and ensuring that these risks are effectively eliminated.

• There are a number of dangers of using canister gas stove and these are the main focus of the KOVEA design process. MercatorGear.com has also conducted research into the stove accidents and we have a good understanding about how accidents happen.

The accidents which occur most often with all brands of gas canister stove are;

o burns, and

o carbon monoxide poisoning

Burns can be broken down into several categories according to the cause:

o Scolds occur from accidents with boiling water and very hot food. These usually result from pans falling off stoves, or accidents during pouring, or lifting up pans with very hot handles. These accidents can be disfiguring but they are rarely life threatening. They normally occur as a result of user error, or accidents with children, dogs, footballs, frisbys and intoxication, so it is important to make sure that the cooking set-up is stable, protected from moving objects, that there is enough room to move around and that the user(s) are in a coherent state.

o Minor Contact Burns usually occur from accidentally touching hot stoves. Stove can give serious burns to fingers even several minutes after the flame has been extinguished.

o Flame Burns: can come from accidentally touching the flame directly, or from accidentally setting fire to clothing or other material. These range in severity from minor to fatal. Little statistical data has been generated about these types of burns.

Accidents with gas stoves result from stoves being knocked over, or from canisters exploding. Canister top stoves are liable to flare dangerously if knocked over. Remote canister stoves like the KOVEA Spider are fitted with anti-flare tubes to prevent dangerous flaring. Cheap remote canister stoves do not have anti-flare tubes and in our view are much more dangerous.

• Canister explosions: gas canisters which conform to European Standard EN417 are manufactured in very large numbers, and undergo rigorous testing. They are extremely safe unless misused, heated until hot to touch, or used with faulty appliances. There are several cases each year of canisters exploding and causing injuries. In western Europe these are invariably a result of human error, but there are some cases where stoves (usually budget models) have been found to be at fault. Recent real cases of canister explosions include:

Using a canister stove on top of a lit grill (the canister was heated from underneath). The canister eventually exploded causing serious injuries to the upper body of the user.

Running two stoves in a tent at the same time, only one of which was lit. This resulted in a fatal gas explosion in the tent.

Heating a canister with a candle flame in cold conditions. In one case the canister exploded, causing a tragic fatality to a mountaineer. 

Incorrectly attaching a canister to a well know low-cost brand of camping stove. The gas leaking from the connector ignited, and over several minutes the resulting jet of flame heated the canister to exploding point.

Injuries from such explosions include severe burns to hands, face, arms, shoulders and neck. Loss of eye sight can also occur. Fatalities have also occurred, so please be very careful at all times when using a gas stove.

• Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is a serious hazard if stoves are not used correctly. All stoves sold in Europe and in other advanced markets must have a carbon monoxide warning tag attached to the stove. Every year there are around 40 fatalities and thousands of injuries recorded from carbon monoxide in the UK alone. Around 15 % of these are in a camping, caravanning or boating environment. Generators, disposable BBQs and gas appliances are the most common source of carbon monoxide in such accidents.

Camping stoves and lanterns are sometimes identified as the source of the carbon monoxide poisoning, though this is rare.

Experts in the field believe that the recorded incidents are only the tip of the iceberg because many serious non-fatal carbon-monoxide incidents are not reported or are not diagnosed correctly by medical staff.

• Recent incidents in the UK of carbon monoxide poisoning include

o A camper who left a gas stove running in a small tent without adequate ventilation. As the oxygen was used up, combustion became inefficient. This resulted in the creation of carbon monoxide and a life threatening case of carbon monoxide poisoning.

o A camper who left an incorrectly set up gas lantern running which resulted in carbon monoxide leaking into the tent. This also resulted in a fatality.

Safety Recommendations

We recommend that you:

  • Thoroughly familiarise yourself with your stove or lantern before going on a camping trip.
  • Make sure you know how to connect it, light it and extinguish it safely.
  • Understand how long it takes to cool down to the point that it is safe to touch and to pack.
  • Try the stove on low (simmer) and full power and notice how hot it and the surrounding area becomes.
  • Make sure you instinctively know which way to turn the regulator ("lefty loosy, righty tighty") so you can turn it down or off in a hurry if you need to.
  • Make sure you know the sound and smell of gas which may result from incorrect connection.
  • Regularly touch your gas canister to ensure it is not warming up. If it is warming up, or is hot to touch, turn off your stove and let it cool down.
  • A healthy flame is blue. So keep an eye out for persistent orange flames which indicate inefficient combustion. Turn it off if the flame looks red or orange.
  • (If you haven't used your stove for a week or two you may see orange streaks in the flames for the first couple of minutes. This is oxidation burning off and is nothing to worry about)
  • Pay attention to your cooking area. Make sure it is clear of clutter (bottles, gas canisters and anything that could burn, explore, melt or fall over)
  • Make sure your cooking area is cordoned off from passing traffic of adults, children, dogs, baboons or anything else that could knock over or disrupt your cooking area.
  • Remember that stoves are still hot for several minutes after the flame has gone out, so don't pick them up by the pot supports.
  • Gas canisters should also be treated with care.
  • Full canisters should be stored away from the stove and disconnected after use.
  • Empty canisters should be stored away from sources of heat as they can still explode if overheated. Ensure that they are empty by running them until no more flame or gas comes out. Always put empty canisters in recycling bins.

Safety Recommendations

We recommend that you:

  • Thoroughly familiarise yourself with your stove or lantern before going on a camping trip.
  • Make sure you know how to connect it, light it and extinguish it safely. Please do this several times before you leave.
  • Understand how long it takes to cool down to the point that it is safe to touch and to pack.
  • Try the stove on low (simmer) and full power and notice how hot it and the surrounding area becomes.
  • Make sure you instinctively know which way to turn the regulator ("lefty loosy, righty tighty") so you can turn it down or off in a hurry if you need to.
  • Make sure you know the sound and smell of gas which may result from incorrect connection.
  • Regularly touch your gas canister when in use to ensure it is not warming up. If it is warming up, or is hot to touch, turn off your stove and let it cool down.
  • A healthy flame is blue. So keep an eye out for persistent orange flames which indicate inefficient combustion. Turn it off if the flame looks red or orange.
  • (If you haven't used your stove for a week or two you may see orange streaks in the flames for the first couple of minutes. This is oxidation burning off and is nothing to worry about)
  • Pay attention to your cooking area. Make sure it is clear of clutter (bottles, gas canisters and anything that could burn, explore, melt or fall over)
  • Make sure your cooking area is cordoned off from passing traffic of adults, children, dogs, baboons or anything else that could knock over or disrupt your cooking area.
  • Remember that stoves are still hot for several minutes after the flame has gone out, so don't pick them up by the pot supports.
  • Gas canisters should also be treated with care.
  • Full canisters should be stored away from the stove and disconnected after use.
  • Empty canisters should be stored away from sources of heat as they can still explode if overheated. Ensure that they are empty by running them until no more flame or gas comes out. Always put empty canisters in recycling bins.

• Before stoves can be approved for sale in Europe (as well as USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Israel, Korea and other advanced markets) they must meet rigorous safety standards defined by the local gas safety or product safety organisation. In Europe, camping gas stoves are regulated under the European Gas Appliances Directive. This specifies that they must be tested according to safety standards defined by a European technical standard called “CEN EN 521: 2006 Specifications for dedicated liquefied petroleum gas appliances - Portable vapour pressure liquefied petroleum gas appliances”. This standard defines the specific safety tests which must be conducted, and the thresholds which stoves must meet before they can be awarded a CE mark. The CE mark is awarded by organisations which are qualified and certified to evaluate and award European safety mark using test data provided by stove manufacturers and by independent testing laboratories. All stoves on sale in Europe must have a CE mark.

• Please note: Even the certified safe levels of carbon monoxide emissions are still extremely dangerous when used in an enclosed space like a tent or small hut.

• All KOVEA stoves come with the following warning tag attached:

“DANGER: CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD This appliance can produce carbon monoxide what has no odor. Using it in an enclosed space can kill you. Never use this appliance in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, car or home.”

• The tag also contains the identification number of the stove, the name of the manufacture, and the identification number of the agency which awarded the CE mark to that particular model of stove.

The KOVEA Spider, KOVEA Titanium, KOVEA SupaLite Titanium 56g & KOVEA Fireman canister top stoves produce exceptionally low carbon monoxide emissions due to their unique burner head and flame pattern which ensures very efficient combustion.

Peak carbon monoxide emissions for these stoves are just 12% of the maximum permissible level (according to independent data submitted for CE Marking)

MercatorGear.com provides Technical Support & Official Spare Parts for KOVEA stove users in Europe and beyond.

If you have a technical support question or require a spare part, please contact: info@mercatorgear.com

We hold some spare parts in Europe and can often source other parts direct from KOVEA Co Ltd.

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Please note that KOVEA items purchased in Europe through eBay are not covered by the KOVEA Global Warranty as these items do not comply with strict European safety standards.