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Hanging Out With The Hanging Stove

First the photography behind this shot. Just a snap shot, yes! But whats different is the pop up flash looks pretty good, right? well, thats because I made a diffuser from a clear (translucent) film canister. Worked like a charm.


Now while I probably use my popup flash in less than 0.5% of all images taken with my SLR/DSLR i find it saves me the weight of carrying an external flash like I used to carry with my film SLRs, and really it's mostly used for fill light or shots like this.


Generally the pop up flash leaves shots looking obviously flashed. But diffusing the light adds depth and reduces shadows.


I set the FEV (Flash Exposure Comp) to -1.0 with the diffuser, and with the light bouncing off the tent the -1.0 seemed to be about perfect.


Now the story behind the photo:


Hanging stoves are misunderstood, and truthfuly a gift of the mountaineering gods.


Let me briefly explain the advantages.


1) you can melt snow and eat dinner in the comfort of a weather proof tent


2) because you are warm, comfy and relaxed you tend to eat and drink better. Thus you are more rested, better hydrated and expend less energy just "keeping warm".


3) the tent goes from 10-15*F above ambient outdoor temp, to about 30F above. On this trip it was about 0*F outside the tent but a balmy 36*F in the tent with the stove going.


4) like a candle lantern the stove lowers the dewpoint and drys the air, so not only is it warmer but it reduces condensation, and actually allows you to dry out gear. Anyone who has winter camped in the northeast knows that unlike out west the humidity of the air even on -25F nights makes drying gear near impossible.


5) it allows you to pack significantly less clothing, it allows you to wear less clothing, thereby allowing you to keep your insulating layers stored in their waterproof bags, for use ONLY if the shit hits the fan and you need to break out your toasty warm down/primaloft layers.


For more about this trip, or any other adventure:


Mountain Visions: The Wilderness Through My Eyes

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Taken on February 25, 2008