How to Choose a Camping Stove
Choosing the best camping stove for your camping trips depends on a lot of factors. You may need to know what types of camping activities you have and how many people you typically cook for while camping.
You can have different camp stoves in several designs and sizes. They offering one simple burner option that makes camping outside is easier than cooking at home!
The best camp stoves for backpacking need to be lightweight. It should be a single burner stove that is easy to carry in your pack. Small and portable backpacking stoves are also great for family camping trips. People can use them for picnics or day outings with cooking involved.
If you will be cooking for more than two people or camping with your family, a bigger camp stove may be more appropriate.
Family Camping Stoves
Family camping stoves are much more versatile than single burner backpacker stoves, though they are larger and weigh more. For a small family, you can use two burner stoves which are adequate for feeding the whole family. For a larger family, you can consider getting three and four burner stoves. They allow you to cook a nice meal just like you would have at home while cooking outdoors.
If grilling is one of your favorite camp cooking methods, but you would still like to heat a few vegetables, try a combination grill and stove.
Once you have decided on the best size camp stove for your camping needs, you should consider the type of fuel you would prefer. Most camp stoves are available to run on either propane or white gas, also known as Coleman fuel.
Type of fuel
Gas canisters stove that uses butane and propane fuels are the most common and popular type nowadays because it is convenient and easy to deploy. You can just screw onto the stove and you are set to start cooking.
They are also lighter and the preferred choice for both the backpackers and car campers.
Important note: for high altitude and very cold temperature camping, propane fuel is a must. You need to avoid using butane as it will not work effectively.
Some camp stoves also run on unleaded gas or kerosene. Several camp stoves use innovative and powerful blended fuel systems that provide great performance in cold weather or high altitude locations as well.
White gas, or Coleman fuel, provides the most heat for outdoor stoves. The Coleman fuel can be purchased in small containers and poured into the stove’s gas tank. Propane camp stoves use pre-filled canisters that are simple and easy to use but are much heavier than liquid white gas.
Camp stoves that use white gas are more environmentally friendly than canister stoves. It also produces less waste.
Coleman gas, unleaded gas, and ethanol gas blends are ideal fuel choices for experienced outdoorsman and backpackers. They are very useful especially in mountainous locations or extremely cold conditions.
Together with the fuel, a liquid gas camp stove is lightweight and offers more portability for traveling campers.
Several white gas camping stoves offer dual fuel operation, meaning the stove can also run off of regular unleaded gasoline or a clean ethanol gas blend for more flexibility.
Propane and canister fuel
Propane and other canister fueled camping stoves are great choices for families and weekend campers. Most people love to use them because of their ease of operating.
Propane camping stoves perform well in warm climates and at low elevations and are easy to ignite. Many propane-fueled models feature electronic ignitions for even simpler operation.
Once you have chosen a camp stove, there are several available accessories to make your outdoor cooking experience easier and more enjoyable.
Windscreens are a necessity for windy or rainy conditions and may be included with certain stove models. Carrying cases are a convenient way to protect your camping stove and to keep all your stove supplies together.
You may also want to consider a starter if your camping stove does not feature an electronic start and an attachable stove light if you will cook in the dark. A portable stove stand may also come in handy so your picnic table is free for other activities, like eating, food preparation, or games.
Key Factors To Choose the Right Camping Stoves
With such a wide array of camping products available in the market, choosing the right gear can be a little intriguing. Below are some key factors that can help you make the best decision that fits your needs.
Car Camping Stove vs Backpacking Stove
For car camping, the vehicle that can reach right up to the campsite, the stove can be as heavy and bulky as you prefer. These are typically made of steel and are more durable.
Backpacking stoves are usually much smaller and made of light materials such as titanium or aluminum as weight and size are crucial factors. A backpacking stove designed with fuel efficiency can be used for car camping as well but not the other way round.
Size and number of burners
The number of burners is relevant for car camping only as most backpackers would prefer the light one burner type, typically meant for 1 to 3 person. For car camping with 3 to 7 person, a compact two burners are usually adequate, it is also smaller and can easily fit inside the boot area.
For 7 person or more, it may be better to consider a three burner stand alone stove with legs as it does not need an additional table. Another option is to choose a two burner plus a one burner stove as this offers more flexibility and allow two people to cook at the same time.
Length of trip
This factor is critical for backpacking stove as it is important to carry enough fuel to last through the duration of the trip. If your backpack has extra room, throw in a second ultra lightweight stove together with a one or two additional gas cartridges is a good backup plan.
Tips: If you have two stoves or one lantern and a stove, a butane splitter is handy to connect all with just one fuel tank.
Portable Gas Stove For Camping
One of the fundamental types of equipment for camping is the portable gas stove. Its use dates back during the 19th century, the time when it was first invented.
Presently, there are many types and models to select from which you can use for your own convenience. Some time ago, the only fuel for a portable gas stove is kerosene. Due to safety reasons, other fuels were developed such as butane and propane.
Companies such as Coleman, a highly popular American company that specializes in producing different useful products for camping, have made their own line of fuels for camping activities.
Different Types of Stoves Available
Fortunately, if you are planning to purchase a new gas stove there are many to choose from with a variety of different features.
A popular one is the Coleman 425F499G 2-burner portable gas stove. It is ideal for those camping adventures. It is very transportable and can be brought anywhere.
Place it in a tent, a cabin, or even on outdoor grounds. You will only need 2.5 pints of Coleman White Gas fuel which will last approximately 8 hours worth of burn time. It can even boil a quart of water within four minutes. The 11500 BTU is also included.
The weight of the entire set is only 12.5 pounds, making it easy to bring around. You only clean it every after camping trips. Presently, it is also one of the most stylish portable gas stove available in stores.
More importantly, the quality, transportability, and the functions of the stove are the real reasons why you will buy this equipment.
Options When Buying Portable Stoves
There are a lot of different benefits of getting a portable stove. You have the convenience factor. Since these things are relatively lightweight, you can store them into a backpack as you go on a hiking and camping trip.
They are also relatively inexpensive so you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get one of these.
Another benefit of having one is you can actually save money as well by bringing and cooking your own food on vacations instead of having to pay for overpriced meals.
When it comes to getting one of these types of stoves, there are many different options that you will have. So let’s take a look at what the different types of portable stoves that you can buy.
The first thing you will want to consider is the size of the stove. There are some with just one burner and others that will have dual burners. The size you choose will depend on the size of your family and how much food you plan on cooking whenever you use the stove.
Keep in mind that although the bigger ones are better for cooking more food in less time, they will also take up more space so if you plan on taking these on camping trips, just know that they will be heavier a little less convenient.
The cost of the actual stove itself isn’t all that expensive but what you will be paying for is the gas canisters.
However, since these portable stoves are made for occasional use, getting one will still be beneficial any way you look at it. You can find and buy most models online for under $50.
Of all camping stoves, Canister stoves tend to be the smallest and lightest. As a result, Canister stoves are the best fit for backpackers. Most Canister stoves come packed in a cook-pot, which the pot can be used to cook in while the lid can serve as a frying pan like the North American Gear Primus EtaExpress.
Canister stoves burn Butane, Propane, or a mixture of both. Although butane burns hot, it does not do well below freezing temperatures. On the other hand, propane performs well to about zero degrees. Canister stoves require no priming or pumping, you just turn the knob, light it and you have heat, which makes them the easiest stoves to use, and they require almost no maintenance.
Canister stoves have another advantage of being able to adjust the heat from low to high. Also, most canister stoves come equipped with a windscreen, which can be a fuel saver in windy and cooler weather.
Canister camping stoves are great because they’re pretty much plug in and cook. Turn the knob, light, and you have instant maximum controlled heat. These camp stoves usually burn clean on butane, propane or a mixture of the two. Canister camping stoves are the easiest and cleanest to use.
Some of your choices of canister stoves are very light, portable and compact for backpacking and hiking. Other selections offer options for use at campgrounds, backyard, or even your favorite sports tailgate party.
How about considering the Optimus Crux w/Terra Weekend HE Cook Set for your next backpacking trip. Not only are these camp stoves light and compact but the HE Cook set has 0.95 L Heat Exchange saucepan. The fuel canister can even fit inside the pot for easy packing. Its fuel knob is adjustable to crank this camp stove or even to simmer your outdoor meals.
The camp stoves on this page allow for fuel choices and portability for extreme camping experiences. Whether you’re a climber or love to camp in colder weather check out the Optimus Nova + or the Optimus Hiker. The Optimus Hiker is very rugged and compact and may use Optimus Arctic Fuel, White Gas, Kerosene, Diesel, and Jet Fuel. Great adjustments on this camp stove have even made it better to make wonderful meals.
Whether your camp adventures take you to the extremes or secluded places there are great camp stove options to choose from for the serious backpacker. The camp stoves not only have fuel options but they are compact, light, and easy to clean and are durable.
Liquid Fuel Stoves
Liquid stoves are more expensive and temperamental. They may need to be fussed with from time to time. However, the fuel is a little cheaper and easy to transport when space is a concern. Also, liquid fuel stoves work better in high altitude. Gas stoves are a lot cheaper and easy to operate but carrying extra fuel could be a problem for the.space conscious.
We use liquid fuel stoves over the years primarily, because of space and weight. We are canoe/kayak campers so space and weight are a big concern with all that fishing gear.
One summer we were home 4 weekends out of 16 weeks. We often camp for a week to 15-day trips. I would shudder to think how many fuel canisters we would have gone thru that year. We used a half gallon of Coleman fuel (white gas).
BioLite Camp Stove
BioLite has created a camp stove that may be the most needed item in your bug out survival kit. By collecting twigs and burning them in the stove, you can charge your cell phone or GPS or your Computer.
It operates like most camp stoves, burns wood, fits in your pack or the pack loops on the outside. Truly portable, durable and lite weight at 2.1 lbs. Below are the product details.
The only problem now is its availability and me being able to sell the stove. It was even featured in Popular Science this month and has won several awards.
I hate to wave the green flag because that is not what this stove is about. It uses only natural material and leaves a very small carbon residue.
But to me, it does not require reusable canister or fuel cells and does not require you to carry fuel. Except when you climb a mountain with no trees or are in a snowfield or on a glacier.
You can collect twigs as you go along. A small collection bag would be nice, but not totally necessary, if you have a spare pocket.
The charging capability in itself is unique. It removes to slip inside the fire chamber when transporting. Remove it, slip on to the side of fire canister. Insert twigs, light, and plug in your device by USB to charge. Weird, but it works.
Often when looking at the long term aspects of disaster or an extremely long camp out, the amount of gear needed adds up. This is the first device in a long time that helps reduce gear.
This stove is made in a small camp out format or in a larger home format for places that do not have gas or other material but do have wood such countries in Africa.
The home stove, still and outdoor stove reduces emissions and total fuel (wood) use while producing electricity.
It will power led lighting and many normal devices along with charging batteries. Data was not provided but the description is such that the stove would be portable enough for family or group cookout.