Stoves are often considered as crucial for each journey. But why are they so important and what is the purpose of having one?
Simply, a camping stove solves one of the biggest problems you may face in the wild – food preparing. Because of that, it is obvious that having a camping stove has become a necessity.
You can survive without a camping stove, although that would be much tougher than you think. In case you want to try out this option, prepare yourself to eat cold food out of the can, or spend hours trying to cook your meat on a campfire.
The second solution can be exhausting, and unless you are keen on doing something like that, there is no need for it. Today’s market is full of great-quality camping stoves, that is a much better alternative to cooking than using a stick and fire.
Whatever you choose, it will be more effective than cooking on fire for sure.
Benefits of a camping stove
What so great about it? Why should you buy or make a camping stove?
Well, the stove has more options compared to the campfire, as you can’t control the heat on the fire. Luckily, the stove has this ability, so not only that you won’t burn your food, but you can also choose to cook it slowly if that is the way you prefer.
Camping stoves come in different sizes, so in case you travel alone, you can take a small one that will boil water much faster than the fire.
Although choosing a camping stove is not that hard, you need to understand that there are several different types, each one designed for different needs.
Camping stove guide
Now, once you are aware of the importance of having a camping stove, let’s take a deeper look at it. It is not something complex, but you definitively need to understand how this works, what types are available, and how to use it.
Without any more hesitations, let’s begin.
Types of camping stoves
The main difference between the types of camping stoves is in the number of burners, or more precisely, the power you can get for cooking. While a camping stove with one burner will be enough to boil water, you may need more time to cook lunch for a group of people.
So, in case you need to cook for more people, or you want to cook more complex food, you might want to consider buying a camping stove with two, three, or even four burners, as it the cooking this way will be much easier.
So, why don’t you just buy the biggest one? This is considered as an alternative, but don’t forget the downside of this, as the number of burners increase, the size of the stove increases too.
You will need to carry the camping stove, and the size affects the weight. Maybe you want to consider a smaller camping stove? The next section is focused on answering that question.
Types of lightweight camping stoves
The difference between all of the types explained below is what they use as a fuel. So, take a close look and find your favorite.
• Camping stove that uses tablets as a fuel
This is the basic of all camping stoves. You will need to use tablets to light a fire, and the intensity of the flame is defined by the amount of tablets you put in.
So, this is the cheapest option, extra lightweight and convenient.
However, personally, I would not recommend going for this one, as there are much better alternatives. For example, you cannot control the fire, and this camping stove will need much time to heat, which means it is not a very effective way to cook.
Proceed to the other types in case this doesn’t work for you.
• Camping stove that uses gas
Again a cheap product, although a much better option than the previous one, as boiling liquids will be done in a matter of minutes. The cartridge can be easily found and replaced, but it has some disadvantages as well.
First of all, you can use it in extreme weather conditions, as the cartridge will freeze, or even explode if you put it near a fire. Plus, it can be a bad option to consider when packaging, as the design is not very cool, so you might dislike this model because of that.
Surprisingly, even though there are much better models than this one, it is often used by campers and households. Because of that, there is something extra I would like to emphasize.
Butane or Isobutane:
Both fuels have disposable and pressurized containers.
PROS: It is a light and sealed container.
It is very effective and burns at a high temperature.
Isobutane is more effective than butane and works best in cold climates.
CONS: It is more expensive and less heat production than liquid fuels.
Efficiency is reduced at high altitudes.
Butane is less effective than isobutane at temperatures below 10ºC.
It is sold in disposable and pressurized containers and is the one used in most portable stoves.
PROS: It is a light and sealed container.
It produces high heat and its flame barely smokes.
It has good performance in cold conditions.
CONS: It is more expensive and has lower heat production than liquid fuels.
The efficiency of this is reduced at high altitudes.
It is less safe than other options because it has more fuel.
Sold in disposable and pressurized containers. It is a mixture of butane, propane and/or isobutane.
PROS: It is a light and sealed container.
It is safer than pure propane and with better results than this one and isobutane in cold conditions.
Your flame is more effective.
CONS: It has a higher cost and lower heat production than liquid fuels. It has limited efficiency at high altitudes.
Safety should always be your top priority, so make sure to be careful NOT to take this camping stove, in case you are camping in extreme weather conditions. Plus, you don’t want the stove to overheat, as that could cause you problems as well.
– Indoor usage
Not only for cooking while camping, but this camping stove is also commonly used indoors as well. Of course, you won’t cook meals with it, but you can use it for making coffee or tea. It is fast, plus, it saves more energy.
• Camping stove that uses alcohol
The beauty in this one is that you can choose to buy it, or make it on your own, in case you don’t want to spend money on it. Although it is not the fastest way of cooking, this will definitively be of great use in the wild.
If you want to build one, the process is simple – find a nice can, find (or build) something that can hold it, pour alcohol in the can and make a flame. However, be careful when packing the alcohol.
Don’t make your choice yet, as there are other camping stoves to consider.
The fuel is sold in disposable containers. It consists of burning the fuel and a screen that serves as a cooking platform.
PROS: The fuel is not pressurized, so it can be stored in almost any hermetic container.
It is light, stable and safe and almost always sold with cooking utensils.
CONS: It is prone to fuel spills and takes longer to heat up than other stoves.
The flame is vulnerable to wind and other atmospheric conditions.
• Camping stove that uses gasoline/kerosene/white gas
As you already noticed by the title, the biggest advantage of this type of camping stove is that you can choose between several fueling options. Apart from that, it is much easier to set up and control the heat, and it won’t cost you much to buy the fuel.
So far, so good. But let’s take a look at the disadvantages as well. Refilling can be tough, and expect your hands to smell bad after it. Next, it is a bulky stove, so as a backpacker I don’t guarantee that you will like it. And finally, overheating can be a real problem, and you need to be very careful because it may even explode.
• Camping stoves that run on wood
Well, maybe not what you expected, as the camping stoves are meant to be a substitute for starting a fire, right? However, this one is much more different.
This type is a bit more expensive, however, it has another option that some of you would like to pay for. Believe it or not, this is like a digital version of a camping stove, as you can charge your mobile on it. Yes, you read that right! Old-school campers may not be very satisfied with this, however it is an option worth to mention.
How to use a camping stove
Using the camping stove is not quantum science, but since playing with fire can be dangerous, you need to be careful. Although it depends on the type of the stove, there are several things you should follow.
What should be considered with camping cookers?
Among the most common models, we can cite standard stoves. These are the devices that are estimated to have basic features. But they are appreciated for their performance and compactness. There are also Duo stoves that have a valve that connects with cartridges. They meet the needs of campers.
We can also mention devices that use a remote cartridge. In this case, the burner is connected to the cartridge through a feed pipe. This kind of device allows you to enjoy good stability and it can accommodate a cooking material whose size is larger. Also, we have all-in-one stoves that fit those looking for a versatile product. They come with a burner, and they include a heat repair device. The heating rate is optimized as is gas consumption.
The speed of heating
To help you understand how to buy a gas stove with better value for money, read the data related to the speed of heating. It is important to master this choice criterion as it helps you to know if the model you choose can meet your needs.
This feature can be associated with high power, but you should not limit yourself to this parameter alone. There are devices that are limited to only 5 minutes to bring water to the boil, while others go up to several minutes. In addition, the possibility of adjusting the flame intensity would be an asset. This adjustment helps you adapt the heat to your preparation.
Check availability of fuels in advance!
In general, one should worry about the availability of fuels abroad. Alcohol or gasoline cookers often score here, as both are usually readily available abroad.
Observe operating instructions and product data!
Very important: Never refill a hot camp stove, as it may come to jet flames. In general, you should use almost all camping stoves outside or inform yourself beforehand about possible odors or smoke.
Check stability and draft shield!
Depending on the application, it may be important to check the stability of the stove. If the terrain is rough, it is important that the cooker has a good grip and is stable so that no accidents happen. When cooking outdoors, it may also be important to pay attention to a windbreak – alcohol stove, for example, can be sensitive to wind.
What can you cook with a camping stove?
From coffee to a generous evening meal – theoretically, everything is possible with a camping stove and the right equipment. Everything that goes fast is basically always good, as it does not consume so much fuel.
These meals are infused only with water and are then ready to eat. You can not expect haute cuisine here, but with little time or equipment, this is a good alternative.
Basically, all the recipes are perfect, which can be cooked in a pot. Pear the vegetables on the spot, bring to the boil with some water and broth and, if available, refine with cream – that’s it!
The classic: pasta and rice
Especially thin noodles (e.g., Angelhair) or noodles, which only have to draw in hot water (Asian Mie noodles, for example), are perfect because the water only has to be brought to a boil shortly. Also, rice can be wrapped after boiling in a sleeping bag.
Be very careful when you store the fuel and use the stove. Always check when the stove is turned off that the knobs are closed to prevent leaks.
Remove the vegetation and dry leaves in the area where you will place the stove, assuring you always on a flat and stable surface. Always keep the fuel away from the flame and possible sparks as this could be fatal.
If you use a stove with liquid fuel be sure to use it in a well-ventilated space because they can give off toxic gas, such as carbon monoxide, and all the stoves burn oxygen.
NEVER use a stove inside the tent. In addition to the risk caused by toxic gases, the fire represents a considerable danger and can cause the store to be reduced to ashes in a matter of minutes along with everything inside.
Do not leave the stove on without supervision. If it is turned over, a fire could be triggered. If the stove flame goes out, a spark or the flame itself could also ignite the vapors in suspension and cause an explosion.
The quality seal is very important as it shows that safe use is possible. Many campsites attach great importance to this quality seal so that their own safety and that of other campers are not endangered.
Which cooker is suitable for which application?
When choosing the best model, it plays a crucial role in what it should be used for. If you’re a hobby camper, like camping and camping, a gas cooker is definitely your first choice. It pays to store the cartridges, and the ease of use and handling offers additional benefits here. In addition, the initial cost is low.
However, if you are more of a permanent or RV camper looking for a more comfortable solution with ample space, you should definitely go for a larger cooker. However, here is a gas cooker first choice. Best suited models are here, which are operated with a large bottle since it can be stored well in the motorhome.
If you want to use the camp stove as a long-term or world traveler, and if you spend long periods in sparsely populated or unsettled areas, you should focus on durability and also rely on a camping stove fueled with fuel anywhere can get. A gas cooker is very advantageous here, but also a solid fuel stove or spirit stove can be thoroughly recommended.
Firstly, make sure you place it on a flat surface. Make sure there is nothing around it and place it in a way so it will stand firmly. Never think of cooking inside of your shelter, which will most likely be a tent.
No matter how careful you are, it takes just a moment and you may cause a huge problem. Just one little spark, and you might lose your tent.
Use a match to start the fire, and don’t get to close with your hand, as you can burn yourself. Also, be careful when adjusting the heat and do it slowly.
Don’t cook right near your shelter. The smell of the food can attract animals, so you don’t want them near your shelter.
Finally, extinguish the fire and make sure that the stove is cooled off before you pack it.
To sum up, camping stoves are a much better option than cooking on fire. It is faster, more effective, and less exhausting alternative. Depending on your preferences, there are different types of camping stoves to consider, and this article will guide you through all of them.
You will also learn how to use it, backed up with several safety tips to prevent injuries or damage to your equipment. All in all, this guide should be more than enough to show you the way and help you to find and pick the right camping stove.
What type of camping stove do you prefer? Is there anything you would like to add to this? Fill the comment section below and share your opinion.