Picking the Perfect Stove for Your Outdoor Experience

 

Picking the Perfect Stove for Your Outdoor Experience

 By Amy Lignor

When you plan for that ultimate backpacking excursion, you make a list of things to bring with you. One of the most important being the camp stove that will best meet your needs.

With the dozens of models available on the market today, that can seem like a difficult choice. The upside is that out of many options, they all fall into two basic categories: canister stoves running on propane/butane and liquid gas stoves running on white gas. (There are some exceptions that fall into the “hybrid” category, and alternative stove systems that run by burning such things as alcohol or wood.) But when it comes to propane or white gas systems, each has its own set of benefits as well as drawbacks.

When you narrow things down, canister stove systems seem to be the go-to choice when it comes to having that perfect summer vacation up in the mountains. The most significant benefits of the canister stove are that they do not add a lot of extra weight to the backpackers’ shoulders, and they are easy-to-use once you make camp. A blend of propane and butane or iso-butane is what runs this small stove that doubles as a pot stand, with a pressurized fuel canister that attaches directly to the stove via a screw-threaded valve. The set-up is incredibly simple: You attach the canister to the stove, turn on the gas, ignite the burner, and you’re only minutes away from your first summertime feast in the Great Outdoors.

The only drawback to using the propane/butane system is a minor one, but should definitely be taken into consideration when planning your journey. While the fuel canisters can be found at most sporting goods stores, they are not available at every service station; therefore, you can’t be sure that you will be able to pick one up in a remote location or town. So make sure to pack enough canisters to last the length of your trip.

When it comes to white gas, more work is involved. But although there are more details to learn, there are more benefits when it comes to choosing the liquid gas stove for your trip. They are quite literally the proven “workhorses” of backcountry cooking. White gas works well in every season and every temperature. Unlike canister stove systems, this set-up requires some experience and a little practice to operate safely and correctly. It also requires occasional maintenance to make sure that it always performs to the best of its ability. Not as user-friendly or lightweight, the liquid gas stoves do excel when heading to a location that is out of range of cities or the amenities that cities provide.

Running on white gas, which burns exceptionally hot and generally cranks out more BTUs than a canister stove, a greater range of meals can be prepared. Before loading a fuel bottle in your pack, however, it’s important to make sure that the bottle is closed tightly in order to avoid any spilled liquid fuel that definitely can create a fire hazard. In addition, because the gas is in a liquid state, you have to manually pump the plunger in the fuel bottle to create the pressure that will supply the burner. While this may seem like an inconvenience, a manual pump is among the benefits of a liquid fuel system.

Unlike canister stoves which can be rendered useless by freezing temperatures, liquid gas systems are unaffected by colder weather, mainly because the pump allows you to create your own pressure, thus compensating for lower temperatures. The performance of a canister stove will also decrease as the amount of the gas in the canister drops. Once again, because you create your own pressure with a liquid fuel stove, you can maintain consistent performance throughout the entire fuel bottle.

To learn even more about these choices before spending money to make sure your camping experience is among the best of the best, there are a variety of sites and stores, including www.backcountry.com that you should visit. Then make your pick, pack up, take off, and have a fantastic time enjoying the feasts you’ll be preparing.

 

Original Source; Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

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