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Camp Kitchen

Stoves & Cookers
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Stoves & Cookers

Cookware & Tableware

Water Bottles & Tanks

Stove Buying Guide

* Types of Backpacking Stoves. Backpacking stoves are generally divided into two categories:

  • Liquid fuel stoves
  • Canister stoves
  • Hybrid stoves (accepts liquid fuel or canister)

* Liquid Fuel Stoves. Liquid fuel stoves have the following characteristics in common:

  • Burner
  • Fuel pump
  • Fuel canister

Liquid stoves are extremely versatile, in that many of them can burn different types of fuel, including white gas, auto fuel and kerosene. They are used with a reusable fuel bottle (usually purchased separately) that you can fill with fuel.

Pros:  Extremely versatile and durable. Can be used with a windscreen in extreme weather conditions. Burns extremely hot. Can be used in high altitudes. No need for butane fuel cartridges. Can be used internationally.

Cons:  Usually heavier and bulkier than cartridge stove counterparts. Some can be more difficult to use than cartridge stoves. Some require regular maintenance to prevent fuel lines from clogging.

* Cartridge or Canister Stoves. Cartridge stoves have the following characteristics in common:

  • Burner
  • Piezo (auto ignition) in most models
  • Butane fuel cartridge (sold separately)

Cartridge stoves are popular among ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers due to their compact size, ease of use and lighter weight. Newer models can hold their own against liquid fuel stoves in terms of durability and boiling times.

Pros:  Most are extremely lightweight and compact. Many come with auto-ignition (to eliminate the need for a lighter or matches). Most are very easy to use. No fuel lines to clog. Minimal maintenance required. Butane fuel cartridges are widely available and are disposable after use.

Cons: Requires butane cartridges, which might not be readily available in wilderness areas or in foreign countries. Some do not perform as well in extreme weather conditions or at high altitudes. Not as versatile as liquid fuel stoves. Requires you to carry several fuel canisters for long trips or expeditions.

* Hybrid Stoves. Hybrid stoves can accept either liquid fuel or cartridge. They are the most versatile stoves available, but can be quite expensive.


 

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