BernieDawg Silent Damper Cap Instructions

These instructions cover a lot of detail on BernieDawg caps and their use. Please read the complete instructions. Sorry it’s so long. 

All BernieDawg F-SERIES silent damper caps are built of 40% stainless steel and 60% bronze. 

To install the cap on your stove, carefully remove the factory flame plate (aka flame spreader) by gently prying up the end of one of the flame plate legs. The flame plate should pop off the bell. Keep the flame plate in your stove stuff sack so it won’t get lost and in case you decide to reinstall the plate while in the field. Drop the cap into the bell so that the little holes are visible and the cap is centered and level in the burner bell.

If your cap has gaps in the hole pattern, align those gaps in the hole pattern with the pot supports of your stove to reduce the heating of the pot supports by the flame.

If you are the new owner of a cap that has legs, the legs are used to keep the cap from “rolling” in the burner bell.

The burner bell of your stove will expand more when heated than your BernieDawg cap. The cap may “settle into” the bell and then be held tightly by the bell. To remove the cap if it has secured itself strongly, fire up the stove at full power. Have a pair of pliers handy. Turn off the stove and immediately grip the cap with the pliers and lift it out of the burner bell. Dawg-A-Nova caps are designed not to stick in the bell, so no worries with these.

If you do not have or do not want to use pliers, you can also just dump the hot cap out into a metal pan like a cook pan, but please be careful. Don’t burn yourself. I show how to do the trick of dumping the cap out into a pan in this YouTube video about the PolarDawg right here:

Some people are concerned about securing the cap in the burner bell of the stove. I do not do this myself. But, a means of securing the cap is called “wiring the cap” in the bell and is the most commonly used technique. Here is a link to a tutorial on wiring your cap in place.

Or, you can download a PDF of the tutorial here:

Another common option for your BernieDawg cap is to pack it in a small cloth bag and keep it in your cookset for transport (it’s what I do).

I recommend preheating your stove with denatured alcohol. Denatured alcohol is grain alcohol (ethanol) with added poisonous chemicals to keep you from drinking it. It is available in hardware stores and stores that sell paint. It burns very cleanly and will keep your BernieDawg cap, your stove, and you a lot cleaner than preheating with stove fuel. Unvaporized stove fuels burn with lots of soot and leave carbon deposits on your stove, your BernieDawg cap, and your cookware. Ewww, messy.

If you like, you may clean your BernieDawg cap from time to time with a toothbrush and a solvent such as naphtha, mineral spirits or paint thinner. Rinse in solvent and dry thoroughly before use. A very fine wire may be used to clear soot or dried pasta out of the small holes on the cap.

Sintered F-SERIES BernieDawg caps are very strong and tough. It is very unlikely that they will break or fracture if dropped on a hard surface from a reasonable height. I’ve not had any of mine break and I drop them all the time. (Oopsy!) Still, it might be a good idea not to toss a BD cap off the top of a cliff.

How to Light Your BernieDawg Cap

Fill your stoves preheat cup or preheat pad with denatured alcohol. Light. Allow the preheat to burn out completely before opening the fuel control. When the preheat alcohol has burned out completely, open the fuel control a bit and light the BernieDawg cap at the top by all those little holes. Lighting your stove this way eliminates “underburn”.

Here is a video that shows how to light an F-SERIES DragonTamer cap on a Dragonfly stove using denatured alcohol:

If you must use stove fuel for preheating your stove, then please watch this video for some instructions on how stoves work and tips on best performance:

About underburn

Underburn is a condition where the fuel/air mixture ignites inside the BernieDawg cap before it can leave all those little holes. BernieDawg caps are designed to operate without succumbing to underburn and, in my experience, they rarely, if ever have this problem.

Cap operating correctly:     
Cap in underburn (DOH!):

Should you hear a roaring sound from your BernieDawg cap and/or notice it is glowing red or orange, immediately shut off your stove as your cap is experiencing underburn. Allow the cap to cool before refiring your stove. Underburn is most often caused by new owners not reading or following the instructions on how to light their caps. Always allow the preheat flames to die away completely before lighting the cap at the top of all the little holes.

Rarely, underburn can be caused by dirt, carbon, crud, soot or sand inside the cap. These little particles will heat up to a glow and cause the preignition of your fuel/air vapor. They are like little spark plugs. 

Clean your cap as mentioned above. A clean cap is a happy cap. Dirty caps are more likely to experience underburn.

Now some disclaimers

Some of my customers have told me that they use their stoves with BernieDawg caps to heat the inside of their tents during winter adventures. My position on this is simple – never use any stove or lantern inside a tent. Tents are extremely flammable. Stoves and lanterns have flame. Keep the two well separated. If you choose to use your BernieDawg cap on your stove inside your tent, you do so completely at your own risk and with the acknowledgement and understanding that I told you never to do that because you could be horribly burnt or even die. (All the tent and stove manufacturers of which I am aware tell you exactly the same thing. Be smart. Follow this safety rule – no stoves in tents.)

Use of a BernieDawg silent damper cap on any stove may be a violation of the stove manufacturers warranty terms and is probably a non-standard use or modification of their product. Once again, I cannot insure your proper use of the BernieDawg cap or your stove, so you accept and acknowledge that you do so completely at your own risk.

If you have further questions not covered by this not-so-short instruction sheet, please contact me at:

And, thank you very much for your purchase!!

Hoping you enjoy all your adventures in the out of doors!