Three Of The Best Camping Stoves

   03.15.18

There is nothing like waking up on a cool spring morning, climbing out of the tent and using the camping stove to fix coffee and a hot breakfast. Maybe this was on a river camping trip, and there is a slight fog covering the water. Who knows what is on the trotlines from the night before?

Over the past couple of decades there have been a lot of improvements in camping stove technology.  In the 1990s it was pretty much either a Coleman dual burner stove, single burner propane stove, or something like an MSR WhisperLite.

When picking a camping stove there are some factors the consumer may want to consider.

Such as:

  • Number of burners.
  • Weight.
  • Type of fuel.
  • Availability of fuel.
  • Price.

Let’s take a look at three camping stoves which should fit a variety of needs.

Coleman 425 Dual Burner Stove

Hurricane Harvey cooking station

The Coleman 425 has stood the test of time.  This is a classic liquid fuel stove that can be converted to propane.  When cooking for a group of people, an adapter allows the use of a 20 pound propane bottle.

Windshields on both sides, metal construction, flame adjustments for both burners… there is nothing not to like about the Coleman 425.

My personal Coleman dual burner stove was received as a gift in the early 1990s.  Over the past 25 years it has cooked on numerous camping trips, and during power outages.

When the power went out from Hurricanes Ike, Rita and Harvey, the Coleman 425 was a workhorse that helped cook for almost a dozen people.  It was mostly used to cook breakfast while the smoker was used for lunch and dinner.

As much as I love the 425, this is not a hiking or backpacking stove. This is the type of camping stove someone uses as a park, or somewhere they can drive or boat to.

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Single Burner Propane Stove

These are available in a number of brand names.  By hiking standards the single burner propane stove is big, bulky, heavy and takes up a lot of room.  One thing this stove has going for it is one pound propane bottles can be found just about anywhere.

Another thing the stove has going for it, it can boil water in just a couple of minutes.

From the early-1990s to the mid-2000s I used a single burner propane stove extensively.  The propane bottle fits perfectly into the external pouch of a medium ALICE pack, and the stove top fits in the internal radio pocket.

One drawback is the stove is top heavy. There should be a base included with the stove, use the base to help stabilize the stove.

One of the benefits is the one pound bottle of propane can also be used with a compact lantern.  This makes propane dual purpose for cooking and lighting.  Have a couple of people in a group?  One can cook and the other can supply fuel for the lantern.

Regardless of what new stoves appear on the market, the single burner propane stove will always have a special place in my heart.

BRS Ultralight Camping Stove

BRS ultralight weight stove

Looking for one of the lightest and most compact stoves on the market?  Look not further than the BRS ultralight stove.

Specifications:

  • Weight: 0.9 ounces
  • Length: 1 7/8 inches folded
  • Height: 2 1/2 inches with arms extended

This has to be the lightest and most compact stove I have ever used.  The stove has a stuff sack and fits inside my TOAKS titanium 550ml pot. This provides a very compact cook set which can be taken just about anywhere.

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Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article has provided the reader with some ideas for a camping stove.

Some may wonder why the single burner propane stove was listed? Simply because one pound propane bottles can be found at just about any sporting goods store.  The stove top is wider than the ultralight stoves.  Which means there is more room for error when moving the pot around.

The BRS stove is the epitome of ultralight stoves.  However, finding blended fuel can sometimes be a challenge, especially if someone lives in a rural area.  Even my local Wal-Mart (20 miles away) does not always have blended fuel in stock, but they always have propane.

Maybe the readers can provide some insight to what kind of stove they use for a given situation?

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