Camp Stoves

Choose the Best Camping Stove for You

Camp stoves are such an important piece of camping equipment!

Cooking while camping can often be one of the most memorable times of your camping trip. It is special and fun to cook breakfast and dinner over a campfire - but what do you do if it rains?

It isn't easy to build a campfire with wet wood - let alone getting drenched and having rain get in your food!

Camp stoves to the rescue!

When you have a camping stove set up under a canopy or inside a screen tent, you won't have to worry when that unexpected mountain shower appears!

When you are ready to cook a delicious camping dinner after a day of hiking, boating, swimming, exploring, fishing, or whatever fun things you did that day - you can be assured of a great camping meal regardless of the weather.

The Best Camping Stoves for Easy Camping Meals

When trying to determine what would be the best stove to meet your camping needs and for making good and easy camping meals, you might consider these points:

  • How much room do we have for camping gear?

  • What kind of camping meals will we be cooking?

  • How many people will we be cooking for?

  • Can we drive right to the camp site?

  • Will we be carrying everything on our backs?

  • What kind of camp stove fuel will we be using?

Size and weight are important considerations when selecting a camping stove. Not squeezed for room? - then a 2 burner stove or even a 3 burner stove might be nice to have.

Just picture making this camping breakfast - bacon, hash browns, and coffee all cooking at the same time - after they are done - pancakes and eggs to finish.

Makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

On the other hand, if you are backpacking - you will want a lightweight camping stove. Don't forget to add the weight of the fuel!

Camp Stove Performance

Performance of camp stoves is measured by "boil time" - how long it takes for a quart of water to boil on the highest heat and at sea level. A good performance time is 3 to 5 minutes - obviously, performance will be affected by high altitudes and cold weather.

Efficiency of camping stoves means how long a stove will work at the highest setting on a full cartridge or built-in tank. A good efficiency rating is 10 minutes per ounce of fuel. Backpackers usually plan for 4 ounces of fuel per day to cook 3 quick meals. At the campground, one canister should cook 6 fast meals.

What Camp Stove Fuel Types Are Best?

You will find four main types of camping cook stoves according to the type of fuel used:

  • Butane Camping Stove non-refillable pressurized canisters - doesn't perform well below 50 degrees, but does better when fuel is blended with propane or isobutane - single burner stove - burns hot - tips easily when attached to top of the fuel canister - lightweight and compact
  • Gas Camping Stoves burn white gas, Coleman stove fuel and unleaded gas - built-in fuel tank is refillable - needs pumping to pressurize and priming to start - very dependable - performs well in cold weather - will not blow out in gusty winds - burns hot - clean burning except for unleaded gas which will clog the lines
  • Propane Gas Camping Stove uses canisters or bulk tank - the most popular type of camping stove - 1, 2 or 3 burners - easy and fast set up - flame is easily adjusted - burns hot and clean
  • Wood Burning Camping Stove has a chimney - wood goes in box base or barrel - has a grate on top for cooking - useful to dry clothes or warm your tent - very efficient
  • Wood Gas Stove - A wood gas stove is unique because it burns wood to make smoke and then burns the smoke to make gas - no need to carry fuel - burns grass, twigs, bark, pine cones, etc. - check these out!

Size Options for Camp Stoves

Camping stoves come in a wide variety of sizes from a tiny pocket stove to a large, stand-alone triple burner stove. The size of camping cook stove that will be best for you will depend on the type of camping you do - a backpacking stove that you have to carry in the wilderness to your camp site should be an extremely lightweight camping stove, but if you drive right to your camping site, you can use one of the big guys!

  • One Burner Stove-    Easy set up - just attach the stove burner to the fuel canister - good for 1 or 2 person cooking - provides a nice hot meal and drinks when you are backpacking - makes a fast, hot pot of coffee on a cool, crisp morning - good for an extra burner
  • 2 Burner Stove-    use with propane canisters or bulk tank - use with white gas or Coleman fuel in refillable tank - easy to use and set up - flame adjusts separately for each burner - holds 2 pans, a griddle and 1 pan or coffee pot,or 1 large griddle
  • 3 Burner Stove-    use with a bulk propane tank and hose - good for family cooking - cook 3 items all at once - burners adjust separately - holds 3 pans, large griddle and 1 pan or coffee pot, smaller griddle and 2 pans or 1 very large griddle

Explore  these camp cooking pages:

Tips and recipes for cooking with a Dutch oven

Are you looking for easy camping recipes? 

Learn all about cast iron Dutch ovens

Explore the many different camping grills

Amaze your camping buddies with deep fried turkey



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Check out these fun camping pages!

All about camping in tents - tips and tricks!

Camping in Montana is so special!

Learn how to build a campfire that doesn't smoke you out.

Have cheap family vacations when you go camping in Montana.