Stove Safety Tips for Backpacking and Camping

When using a portable stoves for backpacking and camping, we recommend that you follow these stove safety tips. You can remember these in three groups: PRACTICE, SENSE & ORGANISE


Practice is the most important of the stove safety tips.

Attaching and detaching the gas canister. Make sure you don’t cross threads while attaching.

Lighting your stove in different ways (piezo, lighter, fire steel). Find your preferred method.

Turning it On and Off (“lefty loosy, righty tighty”) so you can turn it down or off in a hurry if you need to.

Control the stove at low simmer and full power and notice how hot it gets.


Look at the flame at high, medium and low power. If the flame is orange after a 1-2 minutes, then turn it off and clean the gas nozzle.

(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)

Smell is an important safety indicator. Be alert to the smell of gas or burning. Turn off the stove if it doesn’t smell right.

Listen and get to know the sound of a high and low flame. Turn it off if it doesn’t sound right. Get to know the hissing sound of gas escaping before the flame is lit.

Touch the gas canister regularly to ensure it is not warming up. If it is getting hot to touch, turn off your stove and let it cool down.

Time how long it takes to cool down to the point that it is safe to touch and to pack.


Organise your cooking area. Make sure it is clear of clutter such as bottles, gas canisters and anything that could burn, explore, melt or fall over. This is one of the most important stove safety tips.

Separate your cooking area from passing adults, children, dogs or anything else that could knock over your stove.

Store gas canisters away from the stove and disconnected after use.

Leave No Trace: take away empty gas canister for safe recyling (empty canisters can still explode if heated or burned)

KOVEA Spider safe usage
KOVEA Spider: safe blue flame. Notice that the pot supports get red hot. Let them cool down after use!