Backpacking Stove Basics

Every backpacker desires a good stove to carry and cook on. Selection of a backpacking stove is not as easy as just running to the store and picking out the least expensive model. There are a lot of factors that come into play which choosing the right one(s) for you. To start, know that backpacking stoves come in all kinds of sizes, shapes, and designs. They include everything from midget pocket stoves that tuck into your wilderness survival kit to multi-burner models that barely fit in your backpack– or your even car trunk for that matter. They range from low tech wood burners to the generally heavier high-tech microwave types. Some stoves some will burn almost any type of fuel. Thus, you are able to still get a hot meal while safely having fun and preventing forest fires

So the size of a backpacking stove should also be considered because as with any other backpacking gear, you’ll be carrying this with you. As a whole, stick to the lightest, most compact model you are able to find, unless your plans include short trips, large meals and big groups of people. The backpacking stoves that can be detached from their fuel tanks are more attractive as well because they allow for a more compressed packing.

More considerations are the weather conditions of where you will be backpacking, and then the fuel type as well you’ll need, as well as what and how much you will be cooking.

Canister Stoves are the most common type of camping stoves. If you’ll be doing primarily camping by car and also prefer to have a stove that will work comfortably for a night or two in the backwoods, then, by all means, think about getting a canister stove .The more convenient use of canister stoves will make “car camping” more pleasurable – and you’ll still have the flexibility to venture out into the woods for a couple of nights.

Canister Stoves are little burners that screw on top of the fuel canisters. They hook up to pre-filled isobutene and/or propane fuel which allow you a plenty burn time for the weight… The fuel is a pressurized gas, so it’s always quick to burn. However, you shouldn’t store these types of fuel canisters in your car. Just so you’ll know, propane burns a little hotter than butane. And propane stoves just require you to screw in a propane canister and light it. However, butane doesn’t burn when the temperature is at or below 32 F. But because the fuels are pressurized, they’re not safe for storage in your car. So you may check into to alcohol stoves.

Alcohol cooking stoves are low pressure devices so a suitable windscreen is a must-have accessory. Experts often reason that an alcohol cooking stove is a safe item for an emergency kit. Alcohol poses no explosion risk and spills vaporize rapidly. These popular, low tech stoves are wonderful if you need a solution that’s lightweight, and cooks quicker than solar and wood. The primary disadvantage is that you still have to pack the alcohol. Further, alcohol doesn’t burn very hot, so it takes longer to boil water, and you need about double the amount of fuel compared to isobutene/propane stoves. For short backpacking trips, you’ll be able to carry just a few oz.s of alcohol.

Even though the process of selection may be a bit more than involved, using backpacking stoves is by far the most environmentally responsible cooking option. And while the simplest form of cooking device is an open fire, try to only use open fire as your “backpacking wood stove”. The whole earth will appreciate it!

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