Find the best camping stove for backpacking, hiking or car camping.
When buying a camping stove we want to get the right type for the trip planned. The stove is an important piece of camping equipment to get right without wasting money that can last many of years.
Stoves vary for fuels used, size and weight. Various types include the propane camping stove, backpack stoves, coleman camp stoves, wood camp stoves, duel fuel camping stoves and many other variations and choices.
This guide will provide useful information for those considering a new camping stove or renewing the old clapped out stove.
Some stoves measure their efficiency in BTU, or British Thermal Units. Hotter stoves produce more BTU’s than more cooler stoves. However, the best way to gauge a stove efficiency is boiling time. Most camp stove manufacturers advertise their product’s boiling time in the stove information guide. The quicker a stove boils water, the more efficient it is.
Camping Stoves and Fuel Types
Camping stoves run on a variety of fuels. The type of fuel used will play an important factor in your decision making.
Kerosene camping stoves: kerosene products have been around for over a century and are safe to use with the usual precautions required for anything that generates heat. This fuel is a dirty fuel, leaving you a need to clean up the stove. It is best to use kerosene in well ventilated areas , only if no other fuel is available. You must also frequently pump-up kerosene stoves because this is a liquid fuel to be kept pressurized to produce enough flame to be practical.
White gas camping stoves: Very popular and avaliable from camping stores that sell coleman camping equipment, sporting goods stores, maybe even Wal-Mart. Slower burning and great for cold weather camping. Cleanliness is also an advantage.
Propane/Gas camping stoves: Propane camp stoves run on gas and are the most popular stove used for family camping or car camping. Coleman camp stoves and many other stoves are made with two burners to suit trips for more than one person camping. Most propane stoves have push button ignitions attached that are definitely convenient, but over time the mechanism can break, so make sure you have matches or a lighter to get your stove up and running just in case. Having a windscreen attached to your camp stove can be very helpful on windy days. However many stoves have sufficient windscreens at the side of the stove. These are the easiest to use and clean, out of all fuel types. Just plug the cannister in and cook. Not the best fuel at low temperatures, below zero degrees.
Unleaded gasoline camping stoves: Widely available and cheap. Many people would not recommend using unleaded fuel. Others are very happy to use it. This fuel also means more time spent cleaning the stove compared to white fuel.
Various Camp Stoves
Duel fuel: Duel fuel camp stoves are great for those needing different fuel options. Many will run on white gas and unleaded fuel, others will also burn kerosene. However follow the manufacturers guidelines. . I would use white gas above unleaded unless circumstances required unleaded.
Alcohol camping stoves: Alcohol burns well in an non pressurized burner compared to other solid fuels.alcohol does take much longer to produce heat.
Backpack stoves: For the single burner backpacking stoves. These are not made for preparing an entire family meal. However, they can come in handy as an extra burner, or to carry with you for a picnic lunch away from your base camp. Most of these stoves will be the white gas type. This is because weight is very important when backpacking lightweight or hiking, and white gas provides the most heat for a given weight of fuel.
Wood Stoves: Wood camp stoves are a great option if you would like to have a home made stove or the increasingly popular wood gas burning systems that effectively burn the fuel twice. Wood gas stoves work like this. In the first stage, combustion air is driven into the fuel to create some smoke (or wood gas). In the second stage, more combustion air is driven into the chamber to burn the gas from the first stage. The electric fan provides the combustion air in just the right amounts to produce the gas and burn it completely. Good option for the environmental friendly folk.