Selecting a Right Camping Stove is Key – No Microwave or Oven in the Woods, Don’t be Dumb!

Some few fortunate people out there have been part of a military before, but this is not true for everyone else. For those who have not….you frequently crave to have that military experience sometimes and try to emulate it whenever you get an excuse to do so.  For this reason, when it comes to making choices on simple things but important such as a camping stove, you will often go with the simplest stove that works – a tin, maybe simply a spit created out of a live broken branch that you’ve chewed the bark off of… Or maybe you like cold C-Rats, simply to bring back recollections of the great times you holed up in an exceedingly fighting hole (normal civilians understand it as a ‘fox hole’) for days on end.


That said, to be more specific and frank, most of people are not Rambo or attempting to be him. The majority of people only wish to urge far from civilization for a moment, however you do not notably care to ‘rough it’ excessively, therefore you are going to make a choice on the simplest and best way to make your food if gone out camping. Therefore, the most appropriate choice on a stove will rely on your camping objectives and plan – for example, are you a loner? Are you going to be hiking in from a distance? Or will you be accompanied with friends and family, and therefore have an automobile few feet away? Are you going to camp for a couple of days? Or is this going to be a week or two wild adventure?

Considering these variables will be important in helping you determine the right camping stove best for you.

Stove for a backpacker

Stove for a backpacker

Without asking and answering these questions, you may find yourself with a ton of unknowns and in a status of total confusion….should you go for wood burning stove, propane stove (gas stove), electric stove, fireplace, or bring a pellet stove completely?


Stove for a Backpacker

Hiking to the wilderness for camping will definitely require a stove that is going to be easy to carry and compact enough. We all know, five miles out hiking in the wilderness, you are going to be regretting each excess ounce you packed in your backpack – weight can turn out to be a massive issue if not considered prior embarking on your journey. Therefore, unless you are within an area where you can get assistance or hire someone to carry your stove – you will need to think about the simplest but suitable stoves if you will be hiking in to your campground from a distance.

Also remember, some encampment areas do not allow open fires because of environmental reasons or fire dangers. In circumstances like this, you do not have many alternatives. You will definitely have to go with some type of camping stove which will get you fed. Also, in such camping stove permit situation, you will have to pick one of two selections available for fuel – most backpacking stoves use either canister fuel or liquid fuel.

For larger teams of backpackers – your better option will leaning towards liquid burning camping stove. The reason is liquid fuels tend to be more affordable, also better during winter or high altitude camping. While, Canister fuels are easier to use, but they tend to be a bit challenging to figure out the quantity of fuel you have got left. That said, for a single backpacker, or a few, as long as you are not in winter temperatures (take note – canister’s perform poorly within the cold), the benefits of a canister stove are decisive. With just fourteen ounces, one standard and well known selection available to backpackers for consideration is the ‘Jetboil Flash’ cookery system.


Wood Burning Stove

It is no secret, wood stoves are most massive and bulky, however if you are heading to a region where there will be ton of wood available that can be collected, and you are accompanied with a large number of people, driving in – wood stove may be the simplest and suitable selection for you. One advantage, basing on my personal perspective, the wood scent of a burning stove is definitely better than other alternative stoves. Also, you cannot go wrong when it comes to budget, wood is the cheapest form of fuel.

Therefore if breaking your bank is not part of your camping planning, wood stove could be the selection to decide on before embarking to your camping holidays. That said, before jumping to this decision double check if the campsite you are going to does not have any restrictions on wood gathering – otherwise you will be seriously out of hot food if you can’t get wood for your stove! This is not rocket science to figure out!

Also remember, wood stove is not going to be a bed of roses neither even though is affordable and the most simple version out of all camping stoves. Simply beginning the fireplace may be tougher than the ‘push button’ solutions that a lot of backpack or gas stoves use. For this reason, you will need to understand a way to build a fireplace and start a fire. And for you camping dummies out there, it isn’t quite as simple as throwing a match into a pile of wood. (That only works in homes with no homeowner’s insurance.)


Overall, if you do not mind slow cooking, the scent of a burning wood, and the soot – wood stove will definitely be a suitable camping stove for you.


Propane Stove

Now, let’s discuss the ‘heavy hitters’ of camping stove options available – the gas stove. If your family and friends are coming along to camp with you and you prefer a bit more of luxurious and simplicity in terms of camp cooking, then gas is for you. If you lean towards low-cost fuel, this is not for you – however if you wish a fuel option that can be bought almost anywhere, and simple use at the same time, propane stove should be number one your list.

With a propane stove, your whole cooking experience will be almost equivalent to your own kitchen at home. These are not the type of stoves you wish to backpack to a camping ground – however if you are driving in to a camping area – propane stove is a ticket for you!  Even though the fuel is more costly – it’s available just about any place within the U.S, Canada, and most of Europe. If your campsite is more hardcore than that, then use caution to bring enough supply to last you!


Top Gas Stove Features

  1. Number of burners – Propane stoves typically are available in one or 2 burner models, but you can find 3 burner ‘deluxe’ gas stoves out there. Therefore, if you are going camping with a large number of people, start
    Propane Camping Stove

    Propane Camping Stove

    thinking burner number you wish to have on your camping stove before you purchase any. One or two people can easily be accommodated with a 1 or 2 burner stove – however if you have got a descent number of individuals, you will a bigger option.


  1. Wind Barriers – Many transportable gas camp stoves are equipped with wind barriers, however if yours does not, you most liked should be looking into building one or purchase on your own. Larger stoves, like those with 2 and 3 burners, usually come with a lid that folds up to become a wind screen for the back. it is also best if these stoves even have fold-up sides that may become wind screens.


  1. Piezo Ignition – Piezo ignition is pretty much a push-button ignition that lights up your stove in one straightforward step. It is also popularly known as, “matchless”, since there is no need for matches to start a fire. A propane stove with push-button ignition is easy to start it, even during a windy day, you won’t waste time start up your stove and spend longer time cooking your food.


  1. Pressure Regulation – Please note, not all camping stove models these days have pressure regulation systems built-in. Therefore, If you are looking for a stove which will continuously be able to keep up with windy weather, at higher altitudes, and on propane tanks that are going empty, pressure regulation can be essential. A gas stove that regulates the fuel pressure keeps your flame steadier and more consistent, situation that will make your whole cooking experience easier.


  1. Sensitive Controls – Another issue to consider in your portable stove is sensitive controls. Most best performing gas stoves, whether or not they are 3-burner stoves or stoves for backing, are equipped with sensitive flame controls to enable you to boil or simmer, basing on your cooking desires. Meanwhile, lower quality stoves can cook at only one temperature: high. This situation will restrict you extremely in terms of what you’ll be able to really cook on your stove, therefore it is best to consider sensitive controls prior buying any camping stove.


  1. Portability – It is obvious, amongst the top variables to consider in buying a camping stove, portability is one of them. This is no rocket science, however some stoves are less portable while others are better. For example, backpacking stoves can be compacted into a cooking pot that may cover their fragile parts from wear and tear. Most good two burner fuel camp stove models (as well as three burner stoves) have a closing lid that shuts in place effectively to make them possible to move with.

The last thing to think about when it comes to propane stove is safety. Gas stoves are often considered to be the safest forms of camping stoves – simply take time and precautions to tighten the connections – and validate that there is nothing to spill or cause issues and you are on your way. If you are considered a klutz by your family and friends, a decent propane stove is definitely a suitable choice to go with.


Multi Fuel Stove

If you are okay and capable to work with Coleman liquid fuel, gasoline, or kerosine (kerosene), then the Coleman Multi-fuel camping stove is not the right choice for you especially if you have to backpack it to your campsite. However if you are heading to random and all kinds of strange places, and are not very certain about fuel convenience and availability, then a multi fuel stove will definitely be the one for you.

Multi Fuel Camping Stove

Multi Fuel Camping Stove

Multi fuel stove is frequently known to be a popular choice of the American military serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Middle East in general, since in those areas especially during combat, no one has any clue on what fuel you will have access to. With equivalent benefits to your typical gas stove, the multi fuel stove goes a bit further if you are looking for simplicity in usage. For example, the Coleman Multi-fuel model can be stuffed up before the trip, and last all weekend long. Yes, it is still true that liquid fuels tend to e be cheaper than propane tanks, but the fact still remains that they are more expensive than firewood – which we are all aware won’t be quite as simple to use compared to most gas camping stoves. For this reason, lying within the middle for simple use between a propane stove and a wood stove, the multi fuel stove is a superb option – especially if your camping will be in remote areas far away from civilization.


Now What is our Conclusion on Camping Stove Choices?

So far it should be clear that it is impossible to make a decision on a camping stove without going through considerations on how you will be using it and where exactly you will be camping. However, I hope this article has given you enough ideas to pin down your wishes to the right camping stove that suits most of your needs before you embark on that journey.

I’ve stayed away from discussing other forms such as alcohol burning stoves, solid fuels or solar stoves, since those options are in a more exotic or out of the everyday categories most campers today go with. Ultimately, the choice of camping stove will still rely on your own decisions and preference based on how you want your camping holidays to end up being…….no one wants to go hungry, so all you have to remember before you go camping is……….a campground is not your home, especially if it is in the wilderness or remote areas, do not expect to make your food on a cooktop, electric stove, oven or some other form of kitchen appliances. The decision you make on a camping stove will determine your whole cooking experience and of course how much you are going to enjoy your whole camping activity.

Have fun with your camp stove!

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