Camping Equipment

The Best Stove for Camping

When camping, you can buy loads of equipment and tools. Some are useful, but some are not so. One of the most important items you can invest in is a camping stove. These simple devices have so many uses and can help make your camping trips that much more enjoyable. In the guide below, we look at the importance of a stove for camping, and also give some examples of suitable products that you could take on your next camping adventure.

Camping Stoves – The Essentials

A camping stove is a small device that has a heat source. Usually, this is a naked flame that burns via a supply of fuel in a separate fuel tank or canister. Typical features of a camping stove include:

  • An ignition system to light the flame
  • A control function to change the strength of the flame
  • Some type of grill, hob, or support to place pans on
  • A fuel tank or disposable gas canister

There are generally two types of camping stove. First, there is a larger portable camping stove. This may usually be rectangular in design and have one or two hobs that you can heat food and liquids on. Usually, these stoves are the size of an A4 sheet of paper or slightly larger. An example could be the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 that we review below.

Secondly, there is a smaller portable camping stove. Generally, these are much smaller and have a simple fuel system and area for cooking food on. An example could be the MSR Pocket Rocket that we look at below.  

Why use a stove for camping?

So why should you have a camping stove? Imagine this. You have pitched your tent and the weather is relentless. You huddle inside for some shelter – right now, hot coffee would be perfect. But, you don’t have any hot water! This is just one example – a stove is great for quickly making hot drinks!

I have listed some of the other uses of a camping stove below:

  • To make hot drinks – tea, coffee, hot chocolate
  • To boil water for cooking
  • To boil fresh water from a water source to kill bacteria etc.
  • For basic cooking
  • As a small heat source

This piece of camping equipment is so useful! Firstly, they are a cooking tool. You can use the stove to warm up tinned foods and even cook proper meals like a full breakfast!. Also, if you are wild camping, you will appreciate being able to quickly make a warm drink on your stove.

Camping stoves can also be useful survival tools too. For example, if you are low on water, you may need to collect some from a nearby stream. The water should be clean, but you can make sure by boiling it on your stove to remove impurities. At a basic level, a stove can also provide some warmth for short periods.

After a tent and sleeping bag, I feel a camping stove is definitely one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own.

Pro-Tip – Only use your camping stove as a heat source if you have no other options. Ideally, you want to keep your fuel supply for food and drink.

What to Look for When Buying a Camping Stove?

Camping stoves are definitely useful. But how do you choose a suitable model? From experience, I know how overwhelming it can be trying to buy equipment for camping and travel. There is so much choice! To help, I have listed four main features/considerations you should look at when choosing a camping stove:

The Fuel System

There are generally two types of fuel system for camping stoves – gas canisters or liquid fuel. Both have their advantages and drawbacks. Gas canisters are generally easier to change over, but they can lose performance and result in an inconsistent flame size.

Alternatively, liquid fuel offers a much more consistent burn and last longer. However, the changing procedure can be more difficult as you must let the stove cool before refilling the fuel tank. There is also the possibility of fuel leaks too which can be a nightmare.

Pro-Tip – When looking at the fuel type of the camping stove also consider the fuel supply. Many manufacturers will also supply canisters or fuel cans that you can buy separately from the stove. 

Portability

One of the main principles of a camping stove is that it is portable. You don’t want a huge stove that is difficult to carry, especially if you are carrying your equipment in a backpack. As a result, look at the overall dimensions and weight of the stove.

Also, consider its storage. Does it fold up? Is there a storage case or bag supplied that makes it easier to carry? What about the accessories like gas canisters? Will you need extra storage space for these items?

Wind Resistance

When using a camping stove, a naked flame is used that can easily blow out. This can be irritating when you are trying to cook or make a warm drink in difficult conditions. 

I suggest, therefore, looking if the stove has any type of wind resistance. For example, some stoves have a lid that you can use as a windshield. Others may have guarding surrounding the ignition unit and flame which can provide some protection.

Type of Camping

Finally, I suggest you consider what type of camping you will use the stove for. This will greatly affect which type of stove is suitable. For example, if you are wild camping, you will need a much smaller stove that is portable. Alternatively, if you are camping on a site with facilities and your car, you may be able to purchase a larger portable camping stove.

Our Tops Picks for the Best Stove for Camping

As you can see, a camping stove is a must-have item for your adventures! This is one of the first pieces of equipment you should look at (after a tent of course!), and we have listed five top choices for your benefit below:

1. Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Features

  • Simple ignition system
  • Boils water quickly
  • Has a safe burning and ignition system

Why we Like this Camping Stove?

The Jetboil Flash Cooking System is a top item for camping. It has a robust design but it easy to use and incredibly safe. The ignition system is simple and has a protective casing. I also like that this camping stove works quickly and can boil water in less than 2 minutes. 

2. BioLite Camp Stove

Features

  • Works as both a stove and charger
  • Can boil 1l of water in 4.5 minutes
  • Made from stainless steel for extra durability

Why we Like this Camping Stove?

The BioLite Camp Stove bundle is a great multi-purpose camping tool. First, you have the BioLite stove. This is a great item that has good heating power. To support pans and larger cooking items, it also has a detachable grill attachment. 

This bundle also comes with the BioLite charger. The stove generates 3W of electricity which you can use through the battery to charge your devices via USB.

3. Campingaz Camp Bistro 2

Features

  • Has extra safety features
  • Runs on a simple CP250 Campingaz gas cartridge
  • Simple operation

Why we Like this Camping Stove?

This Campingaz product is great for camping trips when you have more storage room. It’s still portable, but its a little bulkier. I like that it comes in a durable carry case. Also, it’s got a large hob area to support a decent-sized pan. You can also easily maintain this camping stove. The casing is easy to clean, and all it needs to run is a CP250 Campingaz gas cartridge.

Pro-Tip – If you use stoves with proprietary gas cartridges, always be sure to take a few spare with you to avoid running out of fuel.

4. MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Portable Stove

Features

  • Weighs just 73g
  • Can easily adjust the flame
  • Includes a protective carry case

Why we Like this Camping Stove?

For wild camping, the MSR Pocket Rocket could be a great option. Its maximum size is 18cm and can easily fit in your backpack or attached to a side-strap. I like the simplicity of this camping stove – you can quickly whip it out and heat some food or make a warm drink with minimal effort. It can boil 1l of water in just 3.5 minutes which is pretty good too!

5. Campingaz Portable Two Burner Gas Cooker

Features

  • Adjustable 3 kW stainless steel burners
  • Has a compact and lightweight design
  • The lid can act as a wind deflector

Why we Like this Camping Stove?

The Campingaz Portable Two Burner Gas Cooker is a simple but effective stove. I like how you can use the lid as a wind deflector to keep the flame alight. Also, it’s compact and folds-down to a small size for easy storage. For cooking, it can support two pans with a max diameter of 24cm – perfect for cooking bacon and simmering beans for a morning fry-up!

Don’t Camp Without This Essential Item!

I hope you have found this article useful. A camping stove is a must-have item for your outdoor expeditions. These small devices are incredibly handy. You won’t believe how many times you use it, and how much improved it can make your camping experience.

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