Wind is the nemesis of most backpacking stoves. It blows heat away from your cookpot, cools the pot directly, and creates efficiency-robbing turbulence within a windscreen. The primary functions of a windscreen are to break the wind, create a calm zone within the cooking system, and channel heat from the burner to the cookpot. Some type of wind protection adds efficiency to any backpacking stove, but that is easier said than done in many cases, especially when the wind gets serious. The fundamental questions "boil down" to: how does a windscreen work, how much wind protection is needed, what is the best windscreen design for each type of stove, and how do you keep weight to a minimum? Part I of this article provides an overview of wind dynamics and how wind interacts with a windscreen to affect stove performance. In Part II, I evaluate windscreen options, present test data, and provide some practical field applications.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Wind Dynamics
  • Windscreen-Stove Interactions
  • Alcohol and Fuel Tab Stove Windscreen Dynamics
    • Calm Conditions
    • Moderate Wind Conditions
    • Strong Wind Conditions
  • Top-Mount Canister Stove Windscreen Dynamics
    • Calm or Breezy Conditions
    • Strong Wind Conditions
  • Does the Perfect Windscreen Exist?
  • Acknowledgements
  • Resources

# WORDS: 2700

# PHOTOS: 1

# FIGURES: 2

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