|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – October 2009
Read the terrain and use anchors to stay grounded.
Cook Safely in Your Vestibule
Officially, no one cooks in a vestibule. Unofficially, veterans of windy, cold, and wet conditions all do it. But get vestibule cooking wrong, and you're at risk for serious burns, a melted tent, or carbon-monoxide poisoning. Here's how Andy Tyson, an 18-year guide in Antarctica, Patagonia, and Alaska, does it.
1) Make sure your vestibule faces downwind, so carbon monoxide blows away from–not through–your tent.
2) Organize all ingredients and supplies before cooking to eliminate the need to reach over the stove for anything. Alert your tentmates when you're about to start, so no one has to climb through the vestibule for a bathroom break while you're cooking.
3) Stabilize your stove on a sturdy, flat rock.
4) If you're using a liquid-fuel stove, be extremely careful not to let flames jump too high when priming (or prime it just outside the vestibule). Unzip the fly's door, and have a pot lid ready to shield the tent from flare-ups. Keep a water bottle close at hand to extinguish any unruly flames.
5) Unzip the vestibule's doors as much as conditions allow (even a few inches can help) to avoid carbon monoxide build-up. The longer the stove runs, the more important this becomes. Never cook inside the tent itself, no matter how nasty it is outside.
Orient your tent's narrow end into the wind so that gusts blow over, not into, your sleeping space. Stake out all guylines to keep the tent from bending or flapping. Soil too loose for stakes? Tie the guylines around hot-dog-shaped rocks. Pile bigger rocks on top to hold guylines in place.