Long live the stove

How maintenance, care and the right spare parts can help to increase the lifetime of your outdoor stove

As outdoor enthusiasts, we all know the importance of having a good and functional outdoor stove in our backpacks – no matter if we are out camping, hiking, or doing any other type of outdoor activity. But over time, even the most dependable stoves can wear out and need to be replaced. Fortunately, with proper maintenance, some care and the right spare parts, you can extend the lifetime of your gear so that it will last for years to come. We asked Primus’ customer support manager Erik Wiren for his best tips to keep your outdoor cooking equipment going.

Full functionality in all weather conditions, small packing size and yet, a high amount of stability – camping stoves are, in a way, the workhorses in any outdoor kitchen. However, like any appliance, even an outdoor stove can wear out or show defects, especially if used often. But this is anything but a reason to replace it.

“In most cases, camping cookers can be repaired with comparatively simple means”, says Erik Wiren. He is responsible for claims and customer support at Primus – and therefore an expert in maintaining and repairing outdoor stoves. “The first Primus stoves were produced at the end of the 19th century. And we still have a few models from that time that work today. That shows how long a stove can work if it is handled with care”, he adds.

Why you should maintain your stove as well as possible

Today, Primus has more than 20 stoves for different purposes in its product range, starting with basic hiking stoves like the Essential Trail Stove up to high-end models for advanced outdoor expeditions like the OmniLite Stove Ti. While the latter has a purchase price of several hundred euros due to its high-quality components, entry-level models are already available for less than 30 euros.

“However, the relatively low price is no reason to throw away a camping stove just because it no longer works properly”, Erik explains. “At Primus, we prioritize serviceability in our design process. Therefore, we have spare parts for nearly every model and issue”, he says.

In this way, he refers to one of the main reasons why it makes sense to repair rather than buy new – even for cheaper models: Longer-lasting goods save the consumer money and are better for the environment. A vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from the handling of materials, resources, and products from cradle to grave. By extending the life of products, we can therefore have a significant and positive effect on the climate and nature. “That’s why it is so important for us to develop products that last a lifetime”, Erik states.

Outdoor stoves – The most common issues and how to solve them

Due to his profession as a claims and customer support specialist, Erik knows all Primus products by heart – or, more precisely, by every little screw. Problems can thereby occur in two different ways: mechanical defects and signs of wear and tear.

“A good example are our multi-fuel stoves: they require more cleaning and maintenance, and in numerous instances, they don’t need any spare parts at all. It is enough to just clean them properly”, the expert says. On the other hand, a typical mechanical fault is an issue with the ignition – especially on stoves with a push-button igniter. But those can in most cases also be serviced”, he adds.

In case of a malfunction, Primus has the appropriate spare parts in stock. It is not without reason that the website even has its own section about stove accessories and spare parts – starting with small items like fuel filters or o-rings up to complete service kits for more extensive repairs. In some instances, the spare parts are even available for free. Every year, before the start of the main hiking season, Primus offers spare parts at no cost to the customer during their Service for a Reason campaign.

Since 2023, Primus has expanded this service even to all inline Primus brand stoves, including the double burner and open-fire cooking options. “If a part of your Primus stove needs to be replaced because it is worn out, please let us know, and we will ship you the part for free”, Erik underlines. In 2023 the campaign is running from February 1st to March 31st.

What knowledge do I need to have to fix a camping stove?

A service offer aimed at all target groups – especially since the repairing of a stove is fairly easy and hardly goes beyond “a bit of screwing and using some other tools”, Erik smiles. An example is the Expeditions series that comes with a handy multi-tool containing all the necessary tools for stove maintenance. In this context, Erik has a piece of good advice for all outdoor enthusiasts:

“More important than the mechanical knowledge is the understanding of the functionality of the model in question. If I know how my stove works, then I can also detect issues earlier and fix them faster”, he says, but also refers to the Primus customer service: “Of course, we will assist you anytime. I’m certain we will find the issue together and can get your stove up and running again.”

Maintenance instead of throwing damaged products away – with this approach, Primus has kept hundreds of stoves out of landfills over the last few years. One of the credos of the Swedish brand is that “you can rely on your Primus product even during extreme adventures and then pass it on to the next generation”. Caring about your stove can help to achieve exactly that: an increased lifetime of the workhorse of your outdoor kitchen, the stove.

Camping stove care – 5 tips to increase the lifetime of your outdoor stove

On our website, you can find several videos of Erik explaining how to maintain the Primus stoves. For a better overview, we have compiled 5 tips for cooker care below.

  1. Handle it with care: Outdoor stoves are utility devices. It is, therefore, quite normal that they show signs of wear over time. However, you should treat your cooker with care. A simple knock in the wrong place can cause as much damage as a fall.
  2. Keep it clean: Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to maintain your outdoor stove. Before each use, ensure your stove is free from dirt and debris by giving it a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth or sponge. After each use, it’s important to thoroughly clean your stove using a mild soap and warm water solution. This will help keep it in top condition for longer periods of time.
  3. Keep it dry: Wet conditions are a regular companion when being out in the wilderness. Once you’ve finished cleaning your camping stove, make sure to turn it upside down so that any remaining water is completely drained from the interior. This is essential for preventing rust from forming.
  4. Use soft equipment: Outdoor cookers are built in such a way that they offer the optimal compromise between robustness and lightweight. Therefore, they are sensitive devices. Soft cutlery like wooden utensils or a long spoon in reinforced tritan can help to limit the amount of wear on your stove and in your pots.
  5. Store it properly: Storing your camping stove properly is just as essential as ensuring that it is thoroughly cleaned. Once it has been washed, ensure it is stored as described in the manual. Additionally, transport it carefully so that it does not get damaged during the journey – this can be done simply by placing the stove in a designated pocket or secure spot inside your backpack.

February 07 2022