Camping stoves come in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. If you usually camp alone or with a partner, you won’t need the same type of camping stove as someone who camps with a family, a scout troop, or another type of group. Luckily, The Outdoor World has every type of camping stove imaginable, whatever your needs.
The Outdoor World is the online leader for all your outdoors supplies. We carry a wide variety of camping stoves, including both canister fueled and liquid fueled stoves, as well as a number of useful stove accessories. We carry such leading brands as Coleman, Exponent, Camp Chef, Century Tool, MSR, and Campingaz. Our camping stoves are portable, and we carry cases for them that make them easier to take to your campsite. Some of the larger models come with legs and shelves, and the smaller models will have such features as wind baffles or durable steel construction.
Camping stoves come in two general sizes: backpacking stoves and larger camping stoves. Backpacking stoves are smaller in size and weight, making them eminently portable. Larger stoves are perfect for people traveling by car or boat and are similar to your stovetop at home. These are ideal for multi-party camping trips or even tailgating.
Liquid-fuel stoves are the most popular in backpacking because they operate well in cold temperatures and pack less weight per hour of cooking. The main disadvantage is that they need priming, making them more difficult to operate. Gaseous or disposable canister fuel stoves use cleaner-burning fuel, but are more expensive unless you convert them to a refillable bulk tank. Canister fuel can also be harder to find in rural areas; this, however, is rarely a problem for some dual fuel stoves, which can use unleaded gas from the local gas station.
Camping stoves come in a range of sizes, and the size of your camping stove will ultimately depend on how many people you intend to cook for, and how much cooking you intend to do. Other features may include wind-blocks that shield the burner (or burners) during cooking, easy self ignition mechanisms that allow you to light your stove without a match, legs and side tables, and higher BTUs.
BTU, which is short for British Thermal Unit, is the term used to describe and measure thermal energy. A BTU unit is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Without getting too scientific — and in regards to portable camping stoves — the higher the BTU output, the higher the heat potential. Camping stoves can range anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 BTU.
Types of Stoves:
Traditional Camping Stoves:
Traditional camping stoves usually come with two burners, although three burner stoves as well as portable gas grills are now available. These larger camping stoves resemble kitchen stoves and are the perfect choice for family outings, or for those who like a little extra space to cook gourmet meals while they are roughing it in the great outdoors. Each camping stove will boast of special features, whether it is higher BTUs, a better pressure control system, or push button ignition system.
Higher BTU camping stoves may come in single, double, triple, or grill form as well, and usually fall in the 30,000 BTU range. It’s safe to say, the higher the output, the larger the stove. As well, the larger the stove, the less portability you may have. However, when you’re cooking for a group, or when you’re planning on camping for an extended period of time, a larger high output stove may be the best choice.
And for those who like to tailgate, manufacturers have also created portable gas grills with folding legs and wheels. Perfect for outdoor cooking, these portable grills pack easily for camping, and may be used at your home, apartment or townhouse.
Note: most traditional camping stoves will use either canister gas fueled or liquid gas fueled, but never both.
For the backpacker, the type of camping stove he or she selects might be obvious, as the needs of a backpacker are very simple when it comes to portability; his or her camping stove must be small and it must be efficient.
Manufacturers produce light weight, compact, camping stoves which are well suited for backpacking, and are fitted for either liquid gas or canister gas. Liquid gas camping stoves of this type may be the most popular choice of backpackers because they operate well in cooler temperatures and can pack less weight per hour of cooking.
Single Burner Stoves:
If you like to pack light and do not intend to do a lot of cooking on your camping trip, a single burner camping stove may be a good choice for you. Single burner stoves are light weight and low profile. These stoves fall somewhere in between traditional camping stoves and backpacking stoves. They are large enough to heat a good size skillet yet small enough to feel like you haven’t packed the entire kitchen.
See also our information page about Camping Stove Fuel.