Square Hot Pad 8
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $21.95
When using a white gas stove snow camping it's a problem to keep the stove from melting into the snow. This products seems to solve that problem.
- It works
- Hard to find
For years I've had the problem of my Whisperlite, and before that, Simmerlite white gas stoves sinking into the snow as I cooked. I have an MSR Trillium base and have tried several other things along with it to try to prevent the melting problem. The Trillium, even with the aluminum reflector that comes with a stove, is not enough if I'm melting a lot of snow for cooking, washing and drinking. Something that provides insulation was needed, but that something needed to be heatproof but not heavy or brittle.
I tried thin wood covered in duct tape but that would overheat and even smoke heavily and crumble after a while, and the smell wasn't pleasant. If I was below timberline I could usually find sticks or a chunk of bark but that too would scorch and burn. Blue foam melts. I considered a ceramic tile but that's heavy as heck and brittle. Any sort of larger metal later just transmitted the heat to the snow.
Then I remembered Nomex from a tour I took of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's hospital back when I worked in emergency rooms. The fabric was developed to help protect race car drivers from fires and it worked. I witnessed an impressive demonstration where a guy set his arm on fire and no harm was done.
I wondered what products might be made of Nomex and hit on the idea of a hot pad for cooking. Sure enough the Tucker company makes them. I ordered one and have used it on snow camping trips, as well as dry land testing, this winter. Despite having been used for long periods of time under my Whisperlite with just the reflective aluminum disk and the hot pad the Tucker hot pad shows no signs of scorching or wear.
Since this pad is a cotton pad covered with the Nomex I worried that the cotton might break down but so far it seems fine. Perhaps the contact with the snow and the fireproof Nomex lets the cotton keep cool enough to not scorch. Time will tell on that. I hope to get in at least one more trip this winter.
Where to Buy
The Square Hot Pad 8 is not available from the stores we monitor.
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