When you melt snow for drinking water in winter, your stove, if you use a liquid fuel (white gas) stove or an inverted canister stove, is going to get red hot and start to melt the snow it’s sitting on. Melting a few liters of snow for drinking and cooking water is a time-consuming process and your stove is going to be running continuously for much longer than it would in warmer weather.
One of two things can happen at that point. Either the surrounding snowmelt will drown out your stove or the stove will tip over when the snow supporting it melts, spilling the contents of your cookpot all over the place and wasting the fuel you’ve already burned through.
But there’s a simple ultralight hack you can use to prevent this, which is to use an aluminum pie tin as a stove stand. If any of the snow under the pie tin melts, the tin will float on top of it and the tin’s sidewalls will prevent the stove from getting drowned out. This pie tin hack is compatible with any kind of stove and if the tin gets a little bent up in packing, it’s easy to bend it back into shape. I just pack my pie tin at the bottom of my backpack and pile my gear on top of it.
This hack works marvelously well, it’s inexpensive and extremely lightweight. So if you’ve been struggling to find a good stove stand for winter camping or backpacking, give an aluminum pie tin a try.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.