Believe it or not, winter camping can be a lot of fun. Sure, you have to pack seasonal-specific gear such as a down jacket, a four-season tent, and a much warmer sleeping bag, but the trails and campsites are usually deserted, giving you the backcountry completely to yourself.
One aspect of a cold-weather outing that isn’t so fun however is trying to cook a warm meal when the temperature takes a plunge. Most camp stoves don’t perform all that efficiently in the cold, taking much longer than expected to heat up — and burning more fuel in the process — with the result often being a lukewarm meal. But a new type of fuel from Primus promises to eliminate this issue altogether, leaving winter campers much happier as a result.
For those not familiar with Primus, it is best known for its lightweight camp stoves designed for car camping, backpacking, and mountaineering. To power those stoves, the company also offers a line of fuel canisters that work well not only with its own products, but most other competing stoves on the market as well. Recently, Primus introduced a new addition to its family of fuels by creating Winter Gas, which as the name implies is designed specifically for use in cold weather. In fact, Primus says that Winter Gas will burn hotter and more efficiently than other fuels, even in temperatures as low as -7 degrees Fahrenheit (-22 degrees C).
Primus Winter Gas uses an adapted fuel blend that helps to make it more efficient in cold weather, but the true innovation is actually found inside the canister that it comes in. The designers at Primus cleverly added a special paper insert — dubbed “Vapour Mesh” — to the interior of the can. That insert helps to maintain a constant level of pressure, even when cold temperatures would typically be causing the gas to contract. As a result, the Winter Gas is fed to the camp stove at a steady pace, allowing it to boil water faster while using less fuel, even in frigid temperatures.
Winter Gas canisters come in two sizes — 230g and 450g — which are priced at $9 and $15 respectively. Unfortunately, federal regulations prohibit Primus from shipping the fuel directly to customers, so to overcome this issue the company’s website includes a handy store locator to help you find a retail outlet near you that stocks their products.
If you’re planning a winter camping trip over the next few months, you’ll certainly want to add some Winter Gas to your pack. It will make meal preparation much faster and easier, even if the mercury decides to take a serious drop. It’ll also help lighten your load in the long run too, as you won’t need to carry nearly as much fuel with you as you have in the past. On top of that, you’ll get to enjoy a hot meal much more quickly, which alone makes Winter Gas worth having at your disposal.