When buying a camp stove, consider the type of fuel, access to extra fuel, size, stability, and accessories. Butane is convenient but doesn’t work well in cold weather, while white gas is cheap and works in any temperature. Gasoline and kerosene are toxic and should be avoided. Prices range from $20 to $200, with more expensive stoves lasting longer.
A camp stove is a must for any outdoor enthusiast, but there are many factors to take into consideration when buying one. The first consideration when buying a camp stove is the type of fuel. The two most popular types of fuel available for camp stoves are butane and white gas.
Butane comes in disposable containers that are both convenient and relatively inexpensive. The only downside to butane is that it doesn’t work well in cold weather. For summer and fall campers, this wouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re planning a four-season campground, you should consider a different type of camp stove.
For year-round camping, white gas, also known as white fuel, may be the perfect choice. Not only is it cheap, but it will burn at any temperature. Other fuel options include propane, sternum or heat jelly, and blended fuel, which is a combination of propane and butane. Gasoline and kerosene are very toxic and should only be used as a last resort.
Access to extra fuel is important when buying a camp stove. While gas is common in the US, butane is the preferred choice in Europe. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check fuel availability before investing in a camping stove. Another option for overseas travelers is a multi-fuel camp stove, which runs on both gas and kerosene or alcohol.
Another factor to keep in mind when choosing a camp stove is size. Larger models may be more convenient at dinnertime, but are usually too heavy and bulky for the average camper. Camp stoves range from simple models that weigh a few ounces to double burners that will add a few pounds to your load.
One feature that few campers think about in advance is stability. Large pans require large burners or the food will cook unevenly. The same goes for cooking on uneven surfaces, in which case a camp stove with adjustable legs is a plus.
Accessories shouldn’t be considered a luxury when choosing a camp stove. Carrying cases are now standard on many models, protecting the knobs and tubes. Many camp stoves also come with a windshield or lantern that can be switched with the stove for 2-in-1 convenience. If you’re planning gourmet meals, a camp stove with adjustable flame function is a must. as it allows you to control the amount of heat and avoid undercooked or burnt meals.
If price is a consideration, a single burner with propane fuel will only set you back about $20. For a quality two-burner cast iron camp stove, expect to pay upwards of $200. More expensive camp stoves usually last longer, especially if you often camp near salt water, which tends to rust steel quickly.