Alcohol stoves are more susceptible to wind than conventional backpacking stoves, and therefore a good windscreen is a critical part of the system. I make my wind stoves from aluminum foil (e.g. Reynolds Wrap).
- It is ultralight, at just .3 oz.
- It is very inexpensive, costing just pennies to make.
- It can be made very quickly, in less than 3 minutes.
- It requires no tools to make.
- Its raw material (aluminum foil) is available in every town.
- It folds up easily and can be stored in the bottom of my pot, where it can’t be crushed.
- It is functional for about 10 days (at 2 meals per day). This exceeds the length of most trips. When on a thru-hike, I just put a fresh windscreen in every maildrop, which I usually pick up once a week.
Make your own
1. Cut a length of foil that is about 3 inches longer than the circumference of your pot. When your windscreen is placed around your pot, leaving a half-inch gap between the two, you want the ends of the windscreen to overlap by 1-1.5 inches.
2. Fold the sheet of aluminum foil in half length-wise.
3. Double over all of the edges in order to increase durability and proneness to tears. Before you double over the last edge, smoothen out the windscreen in order to get all of the air out. If there is air inside the windscreen, it will expand when heated and blow out an edge or part of the windscreen.