Camping Stoves: What to Look For?

Camping Stoves or portable stove  is a cooking stove specially designed to be portable and lightweight, used in camping, backpacking, out doors activities or other use in remote locations where an easily transportable means of cooking or heating is needed. Camping stoves can be used in outdoor food service.

Since the invention of the portable stove in the 19th century, a wide variety of designs and models have seen use in a number of different applications. Portable stoves can be broken down into several broad categories based on the type of fuel used and stove design: unpressurized stoves that use solid or liquid fuel placed in the burner before ignition; stoves that use a volatile liquid fuel in a pressurized burner; bottled gas stoves; and gravity-fed “spirit” stoves.

Stoves differ widely in their size and portability. The smallest models are generally termed backpacking stoves. They are designed for use in backpacking and bicycle touring, where light weight and small size are paramount considerations. Backpacking stoves consist only of the burner, fuel tank and pot supports. The legs – if any – are often collapsible to minimize the space required. The weight may range from about 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 g) for simple alcohol stoves, 11 to 14 ounces (310 to 400 g) for MSR-type stoves (without fuel weight) and canister stoves (with gas cartridge), and up to 1 pound (0.45 kg) for larger stoves. Single burner alcohol stoves, beverage can stoves, and small liquid fuel and gas canister stoves are well suited for backpacking.

Camping stoves are designed for use by people travelling by car, boat, canoe, or on horseback. They are similar in function and ease of use to kitchen stovetops, usually with two burners set into a table-like surface, and often with a folding lid for stowage and wind protection. This increases the weight accordingly.

When you want to find a camping stove to use at your campsite, there are a few important aspects to consider. These units often come with propane fuel, but that is not always the case. The number of burners, the available cooking size and the adequacy of wind protection all impact the stove’s performance. Check out each of these features as you research your options.

Fuel Type
Many campers prefer camping stoves with propane connections. Propane comes in external canisters that can be filled and refilled anytime you need. This fuel source produces a clean flame without adding unnatural flavors to your food. The gas pumps through the unit at a consistent rate, retaining heat levels for as long as you need them.

Wood and coal-fueled camping stoves are less common propane stoves. They do not require tanks to function, but they also lack the fuel consistency that comes with a gas connection.

Your camping stove should come with as many burners as you need for regular meal preparation. If you travel with a large family, you may want access to more burners. Those who prefer to travel light may prefer single-burner camping stoves. Extra burners often use extra fuel, but even the largest camping stoves use less fuel than traditional backyard grills.

Cooking Surface
The size of the cooking surface usually correlates with the number of available burners. Camping stoves with more burners usually have larger overall cooking surfaces than those with single burners, but the available cooking space varies from one stove to the next. In general, you want to find a stove that has more than 100 square inches of space on the primary cooking surface. This gives you enough room to prepare a full meal. Camping stoves with more than 250 square inches of surface space give even more room for cooking, but they take up significantly more storage space than the smaller models.

Wind Protection
Not every camping stove comes with a way to protect against wind and rain, but these features provide an important role in outdoor cooking. Wind protectors and hoods ensure that the fire stays lit in every weather condition. With enough protection, you do not need to re-light your stove while your food cooks.

Camping stoves allow you to prepare food outdoors. These devices often hook up to external fuel sources, and they come in a wide range of sizes. You can find an option that gives you enough room to prepare your meals without adding too much weight to your pack.



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