Tips for choosing the right camping stove

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There are a few basic things you need to consider when choosing a Backpacking Stove How many people you’ll be cooking for? What kind of meals are you planning on preparing? (how adjustable does the stove need to be?) What temperature will the stove be used in? (most of the time) The temperature may affect the type of fuel you will use.

If you are planning a trip with a lot of people it would be a good idea if there were multiple stoves brought along. Nobody is going to want to be last to get their meal after a long day on the trail!

Backpacking Stoves come in a variety of sizes. There’s lightweight’s that fit in your pocket all the way up to the two burner units that need to be carried in a pick up! It is always a good idea to stay with the smallest and lightest stove that meets your specific needs. Weight and pack-ability is always a concern when choosing any hiking gear.

To save space in your pack look for Backpacking Stoves that collapse and can be disconnected from the fuel source. Be sure to get a field repair kit for your selected stove too! I don’t need to go into how important this is, do I?

There are some stoves that are designed to fit inside some cookware sets. These are real space savers! Be sure to protect the pots from fuel spillage by using a plastic bag.

Fuel Options

Butane stoves are convenient, easy to light, immediately hot and burn clean. They also can easily be adjusted for simmering. On the down side the fuel is more expensive than other types. They don’t perform as well in lower temperatures. Butane stoves will be rendered almost useless below 32 degrees. A big issue if you do a lot of cold weather hikes.

Tips for choosing the right camping stove

Kerosene stoves offer high heat output, easy to find fuel (world wide) which is inexpensive, and, if spilled, does not ignite easily. These stoves are somewhat messy due to burning dirty and are smelly. They tend to get gummed up and any spilled fuel evaporates slowly. Priming of the stove is also required before use.

White gas stoves offer easily found fuel supplies throughout the U.S. They are clean burning, easy to light and spilled fuel evaporates quickly. The spilled fuel is very volatile and can ignite easily. Fuel can also be an issue outside of the U.S. and white gas stoves require priming before use.

Alcohol (denatured) stoves offer a low volatility fuel that is easily renewed. Burns very quietly in fact almost silent. These stoves tend to have fewer parts which translates into less probability of breakage. They don’t burn as hot as other types of fuel which means longer cooking times Tips for choosing the right camping stove This also causes you to use more fuel to cook your dinner. Fuel can be an issue outside the U.S and Canada.

Unleaded Gasoline stoves are very inexpensive and fuel is easily found throughout the world. Unfortunately they tend to burn dirty and sooty which can lead to clogs. Gasoline is also very volatile. Use these stoves as a last resort. A special note to consider: NEVER use oxygenated gasoline in your stove! The additives will destroy the rubber parts of the stove.

Multi-fuel stoves offer the best choice for total versatility. They are designed to burn more than one type of fuel. They cost more and are more difficult to maintain but if you are a hiker that travels the globe, a multi fuel stove might be just the ticket!

Ok, now you have decided on a basic size and fuel type for your stove. Terrific! The next thing you should think about pertaining to your stove is the overall assembly of the stove. How easy is it to set up? Does it need to be put together every time you use it? Is a complicated process? You want something that is going to be reliable. Believe me you’ll be thankful for a reliable Backpacking Stove when the weather takes a turn for the worse!! Been there, done that!

Consider the sturdiness of the stove. Is a pot going to be easily balanced on it? What is involved in lighting the stove? Does it need to be primed? Lastly, find out how easy it is to adjust the stove. Having a stove that can simmer your meals opens a bigger door for meal selection. I personally used a MSR Whisper Lite for years. It was (still is) an excellent stove that NEVER let me down. My only gripe with it was that you couldn’t simmer anything! It would boil water faster than you could say burn baby burn! But simmering was out of the question. Take this into consideration.

A final tip for you AFTER you have purchased your new backpacking stove. Get familiar with how to take it apart and servicing it in case of emergency. You don’t want to learn out in the woods when you are freezing and need to get some hot chocolate in your body fast! Do your homework at home and you’ll be glad you did should a problem arise in the field. Enjoy your food! Tips for choosing the right camping stove