Stove: How to choose the best camping accessory in 2021
Anyone who enjoys hiking or camping knows the importance of camping equipment. Here we have already talked about the main items such as tent, sleeping bag, backpack, among others. Today, we will talk about the stove.
The stove is used to prepare meals. To choose the ideal model for your adventures, you will need to know the different versions of the equipment, their respective characteristics and functionality. Continue reading and learn more about it.
First, the most important
- Although some people insist on building a fire to prepare meals during camp, we advise against this alternative, as the fire can cause damage to the environment.
- The best alternative is the camping stove. The equipment consists of five parts: The stove, fuel, support base, support for the pan and windshield.
- You can find five types of cookers: Spirit cooker, gas cooker, wood stove, fuel stove or electric cooker (not recommended for outdoor activities ).
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The best stoves: Our recommendations
For all outdoor equipment to be purchased by hikers or campers, the rule holds: Do not have the price as the main criterion of purchase, but the quality of the product. With this principle in mind, we have selected the best stove models below:
- The best camping stove
- The best gas stove
- A multifunctional cooker
- An electric cooker option
Popular with adventurers, the stove is used in the preparation of meals, a moment of rest and appreciation of nature. To choose the best stove for your next trip, continue reading this Buying Guide.
What is a stove?
Similar to a table stove, the stove is the perfect solution for preparing food during outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, mountaineering or fishing.
The stove has one or two burners that allow you to heat lunchboxes and prepare different foods, regardless of the preparation time.
The device has a compact format and is very light, ideal for carrying the backpack or even the attack backpack. The stove can be powered by gas, firewood, fuel or electricity.
How does a stove work?
Although all stove models have the same purpose, each has a different mode of operation.
The electric stove is moved by an electrical resistance that heats up when subjected to an electric current, producing heat that is transmitted to the utensil and to the food.
The gas stove produces the flame from the combustion of a flammable, colorless and odorless gas – it can be butane, propane or a mixture of the two. The flame that heats the food consumes a liquid stored under pressure in a small cylinder.
The wood stove has a small compartment that serves to put wood to burn. Firewood can be purchased or collected in the wild.
These containers can be found on the stove powered by fuel, just pour a small amount of alcohol, oil, diesel or gasoline into the indicated tank and light the flame. Some models use solid fuel.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a stove?
One of the main advantages of the stove is the portability of this equipment. Small and light, the stove does not demand much space in your backpack.
Another positive point is that a stove can be used anywhere, during the trail or camping, whether in a forest, beach or even in the snow – without causing damage to the environment.
The consumption of a stove is relative. Some models consume a lot of fuel while others consume less. This fuel must be suitable for stoves and the change must be sporadic.
What are the different types of stoves?
As mentioned earlier, there are different types of stoves. Know the characteristics, positive and negative aspects and purpose of use of both models below:
There is a wide variety of spirit stands of different sizes and shapes, but they all work in the same way: The user must add the fuel, wait for it to volatise and ignite the flame. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a spirit stand below:
- It’s the cheapest model
- Uses cheap fuel
- Lights up quickly
- Produces little residue, odor and no smoke
- It’s silent
- Less aggressive towards nature
- Less susceptible to low temperatures
- Hard to break
- Fuel packaging is bulky
- It can spill and cause accidents
- The flame is invisible and easy to put out
- Requires experience in handling
Gas powered stove
It consists of two parts, a fuel bottle – which uses 75% butane gas and 25% propane gas – and the stove. The parts do not work separately.
You can find two models of cylinder for gas stove: screw cylinder and drill cylinder. When choosing a drilling cylinder, you must use the entire contents of the bottle at once, as when disassembling the rest of the gas is lost.
The screw cylinder allows assembly and disassembly without considerable loss of fuel. It offers good performance and high heating capacity. The disadvantage is the lack of balance in the pans.
You should know that at high altitude or low temperature, the contents of the gas bottle can freeze. The bottle is neither returnable nor reusable, after running out of fuel, you must dispose of it in an appropriate place. Find out all the pros and cons of this model in the table below:
- Lights up quickly and easily
- Offers flame control
- Harder to blow out with the wind
- It’s a safe model
- It lasts a long time
- Easy to handle
- Works well in altitude and cold weather
- Does not give off odor
- It’s silent
- It’s a more expensive model
- It can be difficult to balance the pan
- Refill replacement is complicated
- Can break
- Relatively bulky and heavy for short trips
- Difficult to calculate the amount of fuel used
- Bottle is neither returnable nor reusable
We can compare a wood stove with a controlled fire. The flame can be moved by any flammable material that you can collect in nature with the difference that the portable wood stove increases the efficiency of burning. But is it worth investing in this equipment? Find out below:
- It is a lightweight and compact device
- No fuel expense required
- Helps scare away larger animals and insects
- It can serve to warm you in the cold
- You can cook for a long time, as long as you have firewood available
- Time-consuming to assemble
- Difficult to switch on and off
- It is not so safe as it emits sparks
- Leaves soot in the pot
- Leaves a smell on you and your clothes
- May cause forest fire
- Does not support pan
It can be powered by solid, liquid or multi-fuel (kerosene, diesel or gasoline). Solid and liquid fuels must be suitable for the equipment – you can find them in stores specializing in camping items – as a common fuel can corrode the interior of the stove.
You also find the electric stove which, although it is the most complete model on the list, cannot be used in camping , as it needs to be plugged directly into the outlet.
What precautions should I keep with the stove?
The stove is flammable equipment, so never leave it on unattended and avoid using it inside the tent. If you want to use the stove to heat the inside of the tent without making smoke, use alcohol to heat it and only then open the fuel valve to light it.
If you are using a gas stove, remember to leave it outside the tent overnight, after all, a poorly closed or imperfect valve on the rubber ring can cause explosions.
And stay tuned, buy a good stove from nowhere if you can’t start a fire. Take a box of matches and a pair of lighters – keep in mind that the lighter is terrible at high altitudes, but the match will do the job.
Purchasing criteria: How to choose a stove
Although they serve the same purpose, there are great differences between the models of stoves. Before investing your money in one of the available models, evaluate and compare some purchase criteria such as those listed below:
- Electrical resistance
- Electric tension
- Camp site conditions
We will detail each of these criteria throughout this section. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
If you decide to buy an electric cooker, assess whether the appliance has a common resistance (spiral springs) or armored resistance.
Although the common resistance is cheaper, it is more fragile to falls, impacts and contact with water – some models even have a protective canopy to prevent damage.
The stove with armored resistance is much more resistant and durable, so it is the most suitable model, although it is relatively more expensive.
Another factor that must be taken into account when purchasing an electric cooker is the electrical voltage / voltage of the equipment. When connecting a 220V electric cooker to a 110V outlet there is no risk of damaging the equipment, but the heat generated will represent only 25% of the equipment’s power.
However, when you plug a 110V electric cooker into a 220V outlet, the resistance will burn out instantly – regardless of whether the resistance is simple or shielded.
Between one stove model and the other, what should determine your choice is the type of food that will be prepared, the place where the stove is used – the altitude and the climatic situation influence the choice – and the desired ease of handling.
As mentioned earlier, you can find models powered by gas, electricity, firewood or fuel, we compare the different versions below:
Camp site conditions
To choose a suitable stove for the trail or camp, it is necessary to assess the local climate. For forests, mountains or beaches in regions with a tropical climate, we recommend the gas stove for its practical handling.
For places with low temperatures and a lot of wind, give preference to a stove powered by liquid or solid fuel. A golden tip is to test the operation of the stove before starting your adventure.
You find the stove with one or two burners. A stove with two burners allows the preparation of two foods at the same time, in contrast, the distance between the burners is small, so you should use small pots.
In addition to the number of burners, evaluate the burner frame and look for a robust model that offers greater stability to the pan, to avoid possible accidents.
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