While on weekend trips, camping or backpacking excursions, your outdoor gear should include a camping stove. Whether a camper, hunter, hiker, backpacker or simply spending a few nights participating in outdoor activities, a camping stove present convenience. Moreover open fires are strictly prohibit by many back country areas due to the high risk of starting a forest fire.
We cannot overlook the scarcity of firewood in certain areas or during a rainy season. Therefore, it means a camping stove could become your only option. In the market there are several camp stoves of different sizes and brands. As any other product you will realize determining the appropriate camping stove that best suits your needs can be overwhelming especially if you have no idea what you need. This guide is aimed at helping you solve the puzzle of the best outdoor and camp stoves.
Purpose of the Camp Stove
This sounds dumb I know. Of course, the purpose is to prepare meals when far from an electric. Nevertheless, there is more to it for you to make the best choice. A choice is majorly based on the specific outdoors and the number of participants involved. For instance, a backpacker would want to consider the size and weight of the stove while a group would decide based on the amount of food prepared at a time. It is now prudent to look at the various types of camping stoves.
Different types of camping stoves
- Cartridge Camp Stoves
The Cartridge Camp Stoves are single burner cartridge and lightweight stoves. They are the most logical choice for the ultimate backpacks and rucksacks to easy mobility. They are environment-friendly as their fuels are clean burning and low-maintenance. There are very few parts of the stoves to carry around. The Cartridge Camp Stoves popular models consist of a fuel canister and a small burner. The burner screws to the top on usage. Other models include hoses connecting to the cartridge. However, most hikers find it slightly more cumbersome despite more stability in terms of tipping over. These stoves are suitable for small parties of people per one unit.
Pros of single burner cartridge stoves
- Lightweight unit with great mobility
- Easy to setup and use for cooking meals and
- Requires relatively little maintenance.
Cons of single burner cartridge stoves
- Tends to lose their flame easily when the wind blows,
- Only one item is heated at a time.
- Liquid Gas Stoves
Liquid gas stoves rely on supply of white gas in order to operate. Despite being able to operate under all weather conditions they are relatively inexpensive. The stoves sizes range from simpler single burner models to more complex deluxe editions with 3 to 4 burners. The deluxe editions can accommodated larger amounts of food thus ideal for traditional camping parties. Some of these stoves can accommodate multi-fuels such as unleaded gasoline, kerosene or alcohol. The fuel is contained in tanks that can be attached and removed from the burners to ease mobility. The larger models are relatively heavy thus not recommended for backpacking.
Pros and cons of liquid gas camping stoves
- Variety of sizes and features such as multiple burners
- Fold out wind guards prevent flame extinguishing.
- Most gas stoves come with adjustable heat settings for adjusting flames.
- Lighter models are relatively more expensive than the heavier ones.
Cons of liquid gas camping stoves
- Bulkier therefore not ideal for transporting on foot.
- In comparison to canister stoves, it takes more time and effort.
- Canister Stoves
Canister stoves employs refillable canisters of fuel. They are lightweight making them easy to move with on foot. They are designed in low profile styles. They can easily frustrate hikers under colder conditions as they do not work at optimum in freezing conditions.
- Bio Burner Stoves
For those who are unwilling to carry camp stove fuel around they opt for bio burner stoves. They operate on the burnable elements that can easily be found. Small twigs, pine cones and more can be used in cooking added to fuel the fires.
Pros of Bio Burner Stoves
- They are a good way of keeping carbons out of the environment.
- Environment-friendly source of fire.
Cons of Bio Burner Stoves
- There has to be dry materials present where you are camping in order to operate.
The decision on what stove to purchase is dependent on the intended primary use. If you plan to commute with it on foot, a compact and lightweight model is your best bet. The best backpacking stoves minimize space, are relatively light and maximize on fuel output. However, while selecting car camping stoves and weight is less of an issue unlike backpacking. Canister fuel is common with backpacking stoves while propane fuel is common with car camping stoves. White gas which is also referred to as liquid fuel is preferred by cold-weather adventures. Other stoves are multi-fuel (International burns) meaning they are compatible with more than one type of liquid fuel. Bio burner stoves also known as solid-fuel stoves rely on foraging sticks, pine cones, twigs and dry fuel source to burn with open flame.
A suitable camping stove should offer satisfactory performance, versatility, durability, weight and ease of usage.