A camp stove is one of the simpler items of camping gear to purchase. The choices are limited and there is a small number of options and variety. There is still a variation in price and function, but with some simple research, you should easily be able to find a camp stove that suits your needs.
One burner stoves: Camp stoves typically come with one or two burners. One burner stoves are made with backpackers in mind. They are compact, light, and travel easily. They are typically nothing more than retractable feet that might form the cook top, the base, or both. They are fueled by white or unleaded gasoline, or propane. Propane stoves use the tank as the base. They are durable, and if taken care of, can last for many years. These types of stoves are most recommended for those planning on going into the back country. They are less powerful than camp stoves made for car camping, and offer less cooking flexibility, since there is only one burner. They are ideal for their intended use however, and perfect for cooking a simple warm meal when deep in the woods. Look for single burner stoves that are easy to set up and take down. They should get very compact and light, and have an easily transportable fuel source.
Two burner stoves: Traditional family camping stoves come with two burners. You’ll find variation in the output of these burners, measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). Camp stoves typically come in the 9,000-20,000 BTU range, with some additional models made on each end of the range. These camp stoves, like the single burner stoves, are fueled with white or unleaded gasoline, or propane. Typically the propane is sold in small disposable containers; however some of the larger stoves are able to hook up to refillable propane tanks. Propane stoves are typically very simple to ignite, and require no pumping of the tank as some gas stove necessitate.
Burner space: For two burner stoves, you’ll find a variation in the space between the two burners. The wider the space, the bigger the pots you can fit there. It’s an advantage to have the biggest space possible, especially if you like cooking with a large cast iron frying pan or a big soup pot.
Grill/stove combos: A new design in camp stoves is a combination grill/stove. These models offer a large grilling space on one side, and a single burner stove next to the grill. This is a great option if you like to grill and prefer not to depend on the unpredictability of cooking over an open fire. If this appeals to you, look for one with a removable grill for simple cleaning. Some models also have a matchless push button igniting system, which avoids having to worry about burning your fingers as you try to light the stove. It is also possible to buy a stove that is just a gas grill, with no burner attached.
Size and weight: Most family camp stoves are compact enough to easily fit into your car. There are some very high-end models, excellent for larger groups, which take up more space, though even these can travel easily. Compare the weight and dimensions of the stove, and make sure it will fit comfortably in your car amid the rest of your camping gear. With this well planned purchase, you’ll be enjoying delectable meals in the outdoors for years to come!