Your stove does not include a windscreen. This simple but time-consuming step has been omitted in order to keep stove labor costs down. Also, pots come in different sizes and accurate cutting according to your pot size saves more weight than a “fits all” windscreen. A commercial version made of softened aluminum is much more durable and available on the products page, click here to order. However many hikers have reported the homemade version will last a long time if care is taken with it. The instructions are easy to follow.
Materials: 12″ wide heavy duty aluminum foil (purchase from any grocery store), paper clips (optional). Alternatively, aluminum oven liner can be used, which is thicker and more durable. If you use oven liner, use a single layer cut to the dimensions listed below (instead of folding it over itself to make it thicker, like you would do with the aluminum foil).
Tools Needed: Yardstick or tape measure, permanent black marker (a sharpie works well for this), scissors, standard office paper hole punch.
- Measure the pot you intend to use by wrapping a tape measure around the widest point, or alternatively, wrap a piece of string around the pot and measure the length of it. Add 6 inches to the measurement. Unroll twice this amount of foil from the container, plus a little extra. You can always trim later if needed.
- With dull side facing up, fold the foil widthwise so that it’s 12″ high, and “X” number of inches long. Smooth foil flat.
- Fold the foil lengthwise in half to obtain a strip that is 6″ high, and “X” number of inches long. Smooth foil flat. The piece is now four layers thick.
- Fold loose long side over ¼ inch to reinforce it, then fold again. With this fold facing up, wrap foil around pot under the handle while the pot is sitting on the stove, and check to see that there is 2 inch overlap of the ends, with the correct 0.5″ gap between windscreen and pot. Trim foil as needed with scissors to get the correct overlap. Fold cut end over ¼ inch to reinforce it.
- Using the paper punch, and starting 1inch from the end, cut holes at 1inch intervals ½ inch above the bottom of the windscreen to within 1inch of the other end. This allows proper airflow during cooking.
If you have a pot that uses a pot gripper, trimming angles at the corners opposite the holes is not necessary. If your pot has permanently attached handles it’s necessary to adjust the ends so that the windscreen will sit closely enough to the pot with the handles protruding out. Fold the corners of the screen down at a 45 degree angle and gradually increase the size of the fold until the windscreen sits with the proper overlap, there is the recommended gap of 1/2″ between cook pot and windscreen and it doesn’t interfere with the handles. If there is a lot of extra material in the folds when done, trim the excess material as needed.
To assure proper stove operation it’s important to make sure that the windscreen is not wrapped too closely to the stove during firing. A minimum gap of 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) is critical for airflow and proper stove operation. Wrapping the windscreen too tightly may cause the stove to overheat, resulting in flaring and rapid consumption of the fuel. Use the largest possible opening according to the limitations of wind conditions.