Mega Stoveboard Revelation

| May 16, 2013

I’m almost embarrassed to think of how long it took me to realize the significance of using a huge stove board for heavy winter camping, but now that I’ve been enlightened, camping will never be the same.

There are many different styles of winter camping and ski mountaineering expeditions, but for those which involve flying in and setting up a basecamp right near the landing strip, a cook tent is essential.  Since one of the main cook tent activities is melting snow to make water, having a solid stove platform is one of those small details which makes a huge daily difference as it gets used so much.


In the past, I’ve brought 2-3 smaller plywood stove boards, but on our recent trip to the Ruth Amphitheater, Noah Howell packed along a 14″ x 48″ sheet of 3/8″ plywood which he got out of the scrap bin at a Home Depot for $.99.   Not only does a mega stove board like this give you lots of room for stoves, but you also get tons of chopping real estate.  As an added benefit, it also supports the center pole incredibly well and in the case of our trip, we never had to adjust the tension or redress the central snow pillar.

A the end of the trip, the board can either be recycled, passed on to another group or burned as a ceremonial offering to the Cheese Gods.  The downside of having a huge stove board is that they don’t travel well if you decide to move camp, but that is more of a planning issue.

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Category: Expeditions, Gear Reviews

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber and Mountain Unicycle rider. He and Polly Samuels McLean are the parents of two very loud little girls.

Comments (4)

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  1. Ken McKean says:

    I know that on my visit to the Ruth when we left base camp we used sleds to tote gear, cut so it fits in the bottom of sled.

  2. i just put 2 sheets of plywood in my neighborhood clean up pile, which is a far cry from ruth glacier!

  3. Chris Nance says:

    Nice to laminate a thin foam mat under 1/2 ply. Helps with insulation and keeps the rig lite. I also make these types of stove boards to fit in the bottom of a paris sled and pack on top.

  4. James says:

    Need to travel with it? Just put some hinges and latches on it if you want to get crazy.

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