A portable camping stove is a highly necessary piece of gear for any great camping experience, but with such a large range, and so much variety, choosing the right one may prove to be difficult. Having the right stove by your side is essential in getting the very most out of your trip, so here are a few things to look out for and a few questions to ask when trying to make the best decision for you.
Consider the size and the weight. When you’re picking out a stove, the type best for you is most often determined by how and where you are camping. If you’re backpack camping, you should look for something smaller and lighter. Your primary concern should be the portability of the stove. The smaller and lighter it is, the easier it is to carry. Include weight of your gas canister too. The downside of opting for portability is that you are risking the reliability of the stove. If you are camping with a car, you can sacrifice portability for efficiency and reliability. In this case, go for a larger, heavier stove.
Propane canister fuel or liquid fuel?
Check what kind of fuel your stove works with. Propane fuel is easiest to usePropane fuel is easiest to use, simply turn the gas on, ignite and you’re good to go. Unfortunately, when the canister is running out, the cooking time almost slows down to a halt, and in very cold temperatures, it stops working. Liquid fuel is more expensive than propane, and much heavier to carry around. The advantage of liquid fuel is that it burns much hotter, cooking quicker. Also, it will never let you down in cold weather.
Look for whether or not your potential stove comes with a wind screen. Wind screens are not essential, but they really help in making the right choice. In windy weather, your stove won’t be of much use. It’s hard to ignite, and once you finally get there, the flame is constantly blown away from the pan making the cooking a slow and painful process. The use of a wind screen helps immeasurably, not only by blocking a lot of the wind, but also by reflecting and trapping the heat, actually quickening the speed in which you cook.
Automatic ignition and adjustable flame
Two important features in any stove, which you should definitely look out for before making your purchase. Automatic ignition is handy. It saves you carrying a lighter or a pair of matches which might easily get wet, or lost. It also makes the whole process easier, and neater. The adjustable flame becomes possible by a little bar underneath the hob. You can manually adjust the level of the flame, influencing the heat and cooking time.