Got plans to go on a camping trip? Since eating is an integral part of your daily life, the ability to cook a decent meal during a trip can make a huge difference. Sometimes, small things, such as a camping stove, can either make or break your entire camping experience. There are many types of portable stoves, but, are all stoves the same size?
When it comes to backpacking, minute details, such as size and weight of your portable stove, become important when considering items to take with you on a trip. Bringing a decent stove with you can enhance your trip since this will allow you to cook simple but satisfying meals.
Imagine starting your day with a cup of hot coffee in the middle of a forest. Wouldn’t that be a treat?
In this article, we will share with you all the basic things that you need to know about portable stoves including its many different types and a list of safety tips when using one. Before that, though, let us first define what a portable stove is.
What is a Portable Stove?
A portable stove is much like your average kitchen hob, but, instead of cooking in your kitchen, it allows you to cook any meal outdoors. Today’s portable stoves offer a different level of camp cooking. You can choose from a wide variety of designs that fit your needs and your budget too.
Are All Stoves the Same Size: What Size and Type Do I Need?
Portable stoves vary in design, shape, and size. Generally, the smallest models are known as backpacking stoves. This portable stove consists of one burner, fuel tank, and pan support. This type of stove is also small and lightweight, making it perfect for activities that require you to travel constantly.
Designed for people who are traveling by car or a boat, camping stoves are much bigger. Camping stoves can have two or more hobs set into a table-like exterior. This
Types of Backpacking Stoves
A quick search online would provide you with a vast selection of backpacking stoves to choose from. Thus, it is imperative that you know how each type differs from one another so as to find out which one fits your needs and preferences the best.
- Canister Stove
This stove type has a single burner that screws onto threaded tops of sealed fuel canisters containing a mix of pre-pressurized isobutane and propane gases.
- Liquid-Fuel Stove
This stove type uses white gas, which is known to perform well in below-freezing temperatures. Some models of this stove can run on different kinds of fuels like diesel, kerosene, or gasoline. The versatility this stove offers is beneficial for people who go on international camping trips where fuel choices are quite limited.
- Alternative-Fuel Stove
There are several sub-types under this category such as the wood-burning stove, which runs on twigs, leaves, and other flammable objects. No fuel is needed for this stove to run.
Another sub-type is called the denatured alcohol stove. This stove is great for ultralight backpacking because most models only weigh around two ounces. Lastly, the solid-fuel tablet stoves. This is another ultralight backpacking stove that uses solid-fuel tablets that light up easily and may be reused as well. Pocket-sized models are also available.
Types of Camping Stoves
Similar to backpacking stoves, camping stoves also come in different types, each one offering a different set of features and functionalities.
- Freestanding Stoves
This type of stove is usually tall because of the inclusion of stove legs. Don’t worry, though; most stove legs are removable in case you don’t want to use them. What’s great about this type of stove is that you can stand and cook comfortably just like how you would at home.
Additionally, you get a lot of cooking space too, which means whipping up a gourmet meal is not impossible even on a camping trip. On the downside, however, freestanding types are naturally heavier and bulkier to carry around.
- Tabletop Stove
Contrary to the large footprint of freestanding stoves, tabletop stoves are lighter and easier to pack in a car. However, you still need a table or a large, flat surface to set this one on.
Now that you know the answer to the question: are all stoves the same size? The next thing you have to do is to find out which one suits your needs best. As we have mentioned above, choosing the size of the portable stove you purchase depends on how you will be using it.
If you are planning to go on a camping trip alone, a single burner portable stove is enough. Single burners are also quite adequate when you’re camping out with a partner. On the other hand, if you like going on a camping trip with family or friends and you always bring a car with you during these trips, you can opt for a larger portable stove for a more festive camping experience.
Safety Tips When Using a Portable Stove
Cooking outdoors is fun. It is yet another experience that you don’t want to miss out during camping trips. Although minor mishaps are common during these trips, burning and injuring yourself or another person is the last thing you would want to happen.
To prevent accidents like these from happening, you have to be keen when cooking outdoors. Below are some safety tips to guide you when cooking outdoors:
- Read the instruction manual. If it’s your first time using a particular portable stove, make sure to familiarize yourself with its proper handling and operation well in advance. You may want to try it out in your backyard or somewhere safe to avoid having problems during your trip.
- If children are present during your trip, make sure that they don’t get near the camp stove at any given time.
- All flammable items should be kept away from the stove and gas source. If you’re in a base camp, set up your kitchen away from tents and vehicles.
- Never ever cook inside your tent. Doing this puts you not only at risk for causing a fire but also for having carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to death.
- When using a stove, ensure that all hose attachments or connections are undamaged and properly secured before turning it on. Watch out for any hissing or blowing sounds. You should also look out for unusual odors like Sulphur or the smell of rotten eggs coming from your stove. These are signs of a possible gas leak. To look for leaks, spray soapy water around the areas you want to check. If tiny bubbles appear in a particular area, then you probably have a gas leak.
- Never leave a portable stove unattended while in use. After use, never forget to unplug or turn off the stove’s knob. Store it safely and away from an additional heat source, which can add further pressure to build up inside a gas canister or container.
- Help your portable stove perform at its best by cleaning it every time you use it.
- When you need to replace an empty gas cartridge, let the stove cool down first before doing anything.
- When you’re not using the stove, always remove the gas cartridge inside.
- As much as possible, always cook on a stable and level surface to avoid accidents caused by spills or the stove slipping.
Going on an adventure out in the forest does not always mean that you have to deprive yourself of the comforts that a hot meal offers. For that reason, you must make it your top priority to invest in a quality and reliable portable stove before you embark on your trip. Luckily, the market offers a wide range of portable stoves you can choose from. It is now up to you to find which one meets your budget and needs.