Spending a day or two, or even a week camping in the woods is a great way to connect with nature and relax. Some of the basic equipment you’ll need is some kind of shelter, such as a tent, a sleeping bag, food, water and in many cases, a camping stove.
Even if you are a whizz at making a fire from wood, during really hot, dry summers, there may be a ban on making open-air wood fires. That’s where a camping stove is a great alternative so you can boil water and easily make hot meals in the great outdoors. Typically, you would need a single or dual-burner camp stove. They are portable, compact, lightweight and an ideal choice if you are tight for space.
We feature a list of some of the best camping stoves you can purchase online. Read on and find the one that best suits your needs.
1. Editor’s Choice: Gas One GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Camping Stove
One of the main decisions you will have to make when looking for a camping stove, aside from whether you need a single or dual-burner model, is the kind of fuel it requires to heat up. While most camping stoves work on either propane or butane, being able to use both can be a great advantage.
This single-burner camp stove can operate on a single eight-ounce butane cartridge or a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder (a propane converter regulator is included), giving you more flexibility in your fuel choice. You no longer have to worry about getting a refill while on the road, with both options available.
Over and above the dual-fuel function, the camp stove is also equipped with an automatic Piezo electric ignition, so you don’t need a lighter or matches to get the fire started. Plus, an adjustable heat dial allows you total control of the cooking speed.
Finally, with safety in mind, the camp stove has been designed with a built-in pressure sensor cartridge ejection system and gas flow cut-off mechanism (for butane) and will eject the cartridge if irregular pressure is detected.
- Uses butane or propane as fuel
- Portable and lightweight at 3.1 pounds
- Adjustable heat dial
- Not recommended for indoor use
- Only one burner
- Does not come with fuel
2. Runner Up: Gas Camping Stove
From camping stoves to camp chairs, Coleman has been associated with outdoor gear since it was founded in Oklahoma in 1900. So, it’s no wonder we have included this lightweight portable camping stove on our recommendations list.
Weighing only five pounds and measuring a compact 15.9 inches long by 7.8 inches wide and 24.8 inches high, the two burner propane-fueled camp stove packs a powerful punch. With a total of 22,000 BTUs of cooking power, enough to cook your bacon and eggs on the 12-inch burner while brewing coffee on the 10-inch burner, it has up to a one-hour run time on high using one 16-ounce propane cylinder.
The stove, which has an easy-to-open heavy-duty clasp that keeps the stove closed when it’s not being used, also has two wind shields to protect the burners from the wind and two independently adjustable burners for precise temperature and simmer control. And when all the cooking is done, the durable chrome-plated grate is removable for easy cleaning.
- Total 20,000 BTUs
- Independently adjustable burners
- Does not have an instant starter
- Unreliable temperature control
3. Best for Backpacking: Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove
Heading out on the trails for a day or two of a backpacking adventure means making sure everything you take with you is lightweight enough to not over burden you. If you want to include a camping stove to boil water and cook food, then it has to be small to fit in your backpack and light enough to not weigh it down.
This little device is unique in many ways. For example, it measures only five inches wide by five inches long and five inches high and weighs less than a pound — 14.6 ounces, to be exact. But most importantly, it is a really compact personal use cooking system with parts that pack conveniently into each other, including a 6,000 BTU burner, a lid that doubles as a measuring cup and a pot to cook in!
It’s easy to assemble and once it is, it uses JetPower fuel (which is sold separately) and is powered by FluxRing technology. Whatever you put into the cooking cup will come to a rolling boil in just over two minutes and when its ready, you can eat right out of the bowl.
- Personal cooking camping stove
- Incremental heat adjustments from light simmer to full boil
- Push button igniter
- Bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl
- One-person use only
- No burners to place pots or pans
- Cannot cook big meals
4. Best Budget-Friendly: Fire-Maple FMS-X2 Fixed Star 2 Personal Camping Oven
This small but mighty personal-use portable camping stove comes in at an affordable price point, which makes it an attractive option if love camping on a budget.
The one-liter cooking pot and the stove on this personal camping oven consist of one integrated unit with a built-in Piezo electric ignitor that ignites the stove instantly without the use of a match. The innovative heat exchange technology on the camping stove minimizes wind impact and reduces boiling times by up to 30 percent compared to traditional backpacking stoves.
The pot is made of hard anodized aluminum and it has an insulating neoprene cover and a locking stainless-steel handle for secure and safe handling. All the parts of this camping oven fit neatly into the accompanying one-liter pot, including the stove, the bowl and the fuel canister but you must purchase the fuel canister separately. The unit is compatible with most fuel canisters except those made by Coleman. Easy to pack away in your backpack, the whole thing weighs only 18 ounces.
- Includes one-liter pot
- Includes a folding canister stand
- Not ideal for cooking large quantities
- Propane sold separately
5. Best Mini Wood Burning: WADEO Portable and Foldable Backpacking Camping Stove
Camping stoves don’t get much smaller or more basic than this cute mini pocket wood stove from WADEO.
Small it may be, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. In fact, this little stainless steel camping stove is powered by almost anything you will find while camping in the woods, like wood, dry leaves and twigs, or you can use solid alcohol or charcoal.
The camping stove weighs a mere 2.2 pounds and when put together, measures 27 inches high by 5.51 inches deep by 5.51 inches wide and when folded, you can slip the 1.38 x 8.27 x 5.5-inch stove into its storage bag. You can boil water and BBQ on the stove, as it comes with a grill and an ash pan, and when the cooking is done, you can keep the fire going to keep you warm.
The stove also comes with an 18-inch telescopic pole that you can blow through to feed the flames with oxygen plus a rope saw to help you cut thin branches off trees to use as fuel.
- Lightweight at 2.2 pounds
- Uses wood, leaves, twigs, solid alcohol or charcoal as fuel
- Comes with a carry bag with handles
- Comes wrapped in blue plastic that is difficult to remove
6. Worth Considering: Eureka! Ignite Portable Two-Burner Camping Stove
Eureka!’s portable two-burner camping stove is worth considering as it offers up lightweight portability and more options to control the height and intensity of the heat.
The stove has a push-button igniter, so you don’t need matches to get a quick and easy flame on each of the burners. Once you have the flame going and the pots on, you have some flexibility in how you want to cook your food. The two-turn simmer controls deliver precise flame adjustments, so you can choose from light simmer to full output for boiling for up to 90 minutes of burn time per canister at maximum flame.
Made from thick gauge steel, the stove measures 18.5 inches long by 12.8 inches wide by 4 inches high when closed and when fully open, measures 20 inches long by 13.5 inches wide by 14 inches high. Weighing 10 pounds, it’s easy to carry from your car to the campsite.
- Two burner
- Fuel regular for propane
- Two-turn simmer control
- Each burner fits a 10-inch pan
- Propane sold separately
- A bit heavy
7. Honorable Mention: Unigear Wood Burning Camp Stove
Whether you’re camping, out for the day at the beach or backpacking for a few days, you may want to bring a portable camp stove with you, but you may not feel comfortable carrying or handling propane or ethanol. That’s when you can consider a model that uses wood, leaves and twigs as a fuel source.
This camping stove is made of stainless steel, can be folded like a book and comes with its own carry bag. Measuring 7.41 inches long by 6.16 inches wide and 7.1 inches high, it only weighs 1.54 pounds, but is sturdy enough to hold one pot or one pan to boil water or cook food. Because it is comprised of only four parts — the main body, an ash plate, a coal grill and pot stand, it’s really easy to set up and take down.
And while you can forage for wood, twigs, pinecones and leaves to burn, you can also use charcoal or gas or solidified alcohol tabs. This camp stove is also super affordable to fit even the smallest budget.
- Uses wood, leaves, charcoal as fuel
- Easy to assemble
- Only room for one pot
- Ash pan could be deeper
What to look for when choosing a camping stove:
There are many reasons why you may want to own a camping stove, aside from the obvious one — of having something to cook on other than an open fire pit, when you are camping. A good camping stove can be useful when at a picnic at the beach, on a backpacking trip, or even in an emergency or to boil water and cook during a power outage.
How and where you intend to use a camp stove will determine some of the factors to consider before you actually choose one. For example, if you will be camping for a few days with at least two people or more, then you will want a two-burner camping stove, so that you can prepare a larger amount of food to feed everyone at the same time. If you are on your own, one burner will do, or even a small, mini-camp stove is suitable.
Coupled with this is the strength of the burners in terms of BTUs, which measures the amount of heat output. Generally speaking, the higher the BTU, the hotter the flame and the quicker your food or water will heat up. You’ll also want to make sure there is some kind of temperature control dial. This way, you can put water to boil, or simmer a sauce, depending on your needs. This will reduce the risk of burning your food, and it will also conserve your fuel,
And speaking of fuel, most camp stoves use either butane or propane as a fuel source, although some models use wood, wood chips, twigs, leaves and charcoal. When you purchase a camping stove, it will not include the fuel, so do your research in terms of price and availability in your area of each fuel option and then choose butane or propane depending on these factors. Once you have done that, consider if you prefer an automatic starter or if you are fine using matches or a lighter. There are pros and cons to each of these methods of ignition. An automatic starter is super convenient. Just a push of a button, and your stove is lit, no need to remember to bring matches. The downside is that an automatic starter can falter or even stop working, especially on a less expensive model. If you are not the type to forget the matches or a lighter, then you may want to forgo the automatic switch.
Finally, the last thing to consider is your budget. While you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford, if you plan to use your camping stove often, it pays to invest in a more expensive model made from sturdy components so it can withstand long-term use.
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