I am very happy with my storm-proof spirit stove. When others are struggling to find a place outside the wind, I can cook wherever I like — provided I can lighten my ethanol fuel.
Trangia stove in use.
Usually, this is not a problem. I have a good lighter that provides fire in pretty much any weather. I'm careful to keep it dry and I have never failed to lighten it. However, when it's cold, it's difficult.
Cold morning near the Norwegian-Swedish border north of Bjørnfjell, Narvik, Norway, October 2010.
When it's a bit cold (below -5°C), my lighter still produces fire. It's pretty small so easy to heat with my body, and I keep it in my tent. I could even keep it in my sleeping bag. But the fuel is still cold. I'm a bit nervous to have the fuel holder in my sleeping bag during the night, for fear of leaking ethanol into my bag. I haven't camped in real cold (-20°C or colder) but I might like to. What tricks do people employ to ignite ethanol when camping in winter?
Landscape at site for first picture. 2 July 2012, 01:00 AM, above Skittendalsvatnan / Baikalagojávrrik, Evenes, Nordland, Norway.