A gear guide to make your stove buying process a little easier

Camping stoves aren’t just for camping—these portable stoves can be used for tailgating, backyard BBQing, car camping, glamping or grilling at the park for an afternoon. In any instance, camping stoves provide a great way to eat well while outdoors. Before selecting the type of camping stove best fit for your needs, consider your cooking style. Do you like to use multiple burners at once? Do you prefer a grill over a griddle? How important is simmer control to you? Are you looking to cook for a group of people and create epic meals? Or are you more into boiling water for a hydrated meal on the trail along with the catch of the day? These are questions to ask yourself to determine which stove will provide the features you desire and the experience you are looking to have outdoors.

Defining your camping stove needs

General rules to follow when selecting a stove.

Feeding four people or less, or perhaps you’re just camping for a few days? If so, a two-burner stove is your best bet. Make sure to measure the pans you'll be using for your next meal so you can be certain they are compatible with your stove size. Some stoves can only fit 12-inch-pans and others can only fit one 12-inch-pan at a time, with the wind panels attached. If you're feeding between five and seven folks, you can either pack two multi-burner stoves or one multi-burner and a single burner to allow two or more people to cook at once and enough flexibility to prepare large meals. Another option is to also pack a cast iron dutch oven which can cook full single pot meals over the course of a few hours with the heat of coals, along with a double burner stove. To feed eight or more mouths, we usually pack one double burner per couple or bring a larger free-standing stove that can fit pans up to 18-inches in diameter.

Alternative stoves for the fuelless explorer.

If you'd rather use nature's resources to start your fire and packing fuel isn't your thing, then wood burning stoves are your bread and butter. These stoves allow for heat to centralize and maintain a steady burn for cooking.

Care and Storage

When using a 5-gallon propane tank always turn off the fuel source before turning off the burner and wait for the flame to completely extinguish. Turning off the burner before closing the fuel valve results in a hose full of fuel that shoots out when you disconnect from the stove. Be sure to clean and pack your stove after each trip to ensure your gear stays in shape and no critters can call your stove home while not in use. We have a dedicated stove rag for this purpose. You might think of camping as a way to get back to a simpler time, to spend more time playing outdoors and less time spent doing the daily activities of our typical lives. You aren’t wrong, but this belief doesn’t mean that the gear you take with you on a camping trip should be simple and quick. If anything, investing in great camping tools and gear can make your time outdoors even more enjoyable, and can include some unforgettable meals.

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