Cooking in the outdoors, means warm food without the bulk of a food flask and the ability to go further and to remote places without the worry about getting back for a meal. It also means that you find those special places. I like wild camping and also having a warm meal when on the hill, and that is why I carry a stove with me when on the go.
Kovea is an outdoor company that I had not heard of before in the United Kingdom, until I started researching about an igniter, a small but useful piezo – igniter that can be used on the hill with a camping stove. I purchased one of those of the internet, and have been really impressed by its workmanship – lightweight, easy to use and a hundred times better than anything else I have previously used on the hills and mountains of the UK. Too many times, I have been sat there is howling wind with numbing fingers trying to light a stove, that is now in the past that I have a Kovea igniter. It has seen use on the hills, in this prolonged winter that we seem to be having in the UK at the moment and have no complaints.
The KOVEA igniter compared with a standard kitchen gas lighter that I had used to light my stove on the hill.
As a result of using the igniter, I was keen to try other products that are manufactured by Kovea, and the Kovea Spider stove fitted the bill.
The stove is a remote canister stove, that attaches to threaded canisters that are readily available in the UK.
Being a remote stove, means that it has a lower gravity base, which avoids the problems of canister mounted top stoves. These stove types can be more unstable if you have a bigger pan on top. The three legs open out and are secured in place by the mechanism in the stove base, no mucking about, just push the legs down and open them out. You then have a secure base for your pans. Some remote canister stoves do have a problem that they cannot fit into the pans in your rucksack, meaning extra space is taken up, the spider solves this problem by folding down to a compact size, which I have managed to fit in a variety of pans with no problem and with space to spare for other things, such as food, an igniter and eating utensils. It is also only 170 g in weight, light enough to be appreciated and not to be moaned about.
It is quick to set up, and when ready to light, there is an easy to turn control attached to the top of the fuel hose which joins with the gas canister. This avoids getting burnt hands, and means the flame can be altered with gloves on, as it is a big enough size to do this. No fiddling about with a small knob on the hills with this stove. What is important on a cold day, is being able to get the stove going quickly and with no hassle and the stove delivers on this.
The stove also has a pre- heat tube, which warms the fuel, once the stove has been on the go for a while I have found that canister can be inverted, thus meaning good fuel use. I have found some small flare of the flame, though in retrospect this was when I had not let the stove warm for long enough and at times I have had a phuttering sound, though this resolved with re-inverting the canister to the upright position. This did not seem to be a problem the last few times that I have used it on the hill whilst on a Pennine Way wild camp journey. Most of time however I have used the stove with the canister upright.
I have used the stove with it directly standing on snow, cold rocks, and moorland, and it has given a steady flame, which does the job that it has been marketed for – to cook food on the hill. It does not roar like a jet plane but I like that feature on the hill. As with many stoves, both gas and liquid fuel types wind can be a feature that affects performance, for that reason I have used it with a pliable aluminium windshield which has done the job. The stove comes with an igniter, and a handy bag, maybe a windshield would be another accompaniment?
Overall, I have been happy with the stove and would be happy to try other Kovea stoves and products.