A camping stove is a must for hiking tours, active holidays and road trips. You don't restrict yourself when cooking on the go and enjoy hot meals whenever and wherever you want. But it does not always have to be gas: Here we present the different types of stoves with their strengths and weaknesses.
Most camping stoves use the gas butane, propane or isobutane. They are safe to use and burn the relatively odorless gases completely. There is no health risk or even a negative aftertaste. However, gas is not always the best choice. The stoves only work reliably up to a temperature of 4 degrees, at lower temperatures the gases no longer evaporate. So if you go on a tour into the cool high mountains, the flame may not go out.
You also have to carry gas cartridges with you for replacement. This means additional weight on active holidays when you are walking or cycling. Camping stoves without gas can be a welcome alternative here. You choose to work with
- Wood or
- Dry fuel.
The gas cooker: the strengths of the classic
Gas stoves are the classic among camping stoves. No wonder, the mobile devices are easy to use, work in any weather, have to be maintained zero and are inexpensive to buy. However, gas cartridges are not uniform internationally.
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That means you always have to have enough replacement in your luggage, which leaves you less space for other things. If you fly on a hiking holiday, gas stoves are also completely taboo – they are dangerous items and must not be in your hand luggage or suitcase. If, on the other hand, you are going on a camping holiday in Europe by car, the gas stove is a cheap and easy option for you to provide warm food.
Camping stove with petrol: can be used anywhere
Camping stoves with petrol are just as weather-independent as the gas stove. They are also called multifuel stoves because they can also work with kerosene. The best way to run it is with pure gasoline – so you are safe from additives that contain normal gasoline from the petrol station. The biggest advantage of the gasoline stove is its performance: one liter of water gets boiling hot in just three and a half minutes.
This is also the disadvantage of the stove: the use of petrol produces soot when cooking, and an unpleasant smell can also spread. So you have to clean and maintain the stove regularly. In addition, in southern countries, hot and dry summers result in fines for the use because the risk of forest fires is extremely high.
Camping stove with alcohol: super light thanks to cast aluminum
Standard in Scandinavia, increasingly popular with us: Camping stoves with alcohol are made of light aluminum and are usually available in a set with several pots and pans. They are placed on the coated cooking device so that the cooker can prepare food outside even when it is raining. In addition, the cast aluminum is very light, the stove and a pan generally only weigh around 500 grams and only weigh down your trekking tours minimally.
The disadvantage of this type of stove: alcohol only burns at 425 degrees. It is therefore more flammable than gas or petrol and also has a lower heat output. You need a little longer to cook. But alcohol is cheap and easy to buy anywhere, even abroad.
Wood stove: Small, light and with free fuel
Are you on a backpacking tour through the thicket and have absolutely no space for gas cartridges or spirit bottles? Then an alternative is needed. Maybe a wood stove? This type of stove is a collapsible metal bucket with air openings. If necessary, unfold the flat plate and fill it with dry branches and leaves. Then you light the fuel. On top of it comes a pot, a pan or a grill. It's very easy, and wood is available in nature for free. The stove can be easily stowed away thanks to its flat fold and hardly takes up any space in the backpack.
The disadvantage: in wind and rain it can be difficult to put the wood stove into operation. You may not be able to find any dry wood or light a flame. On an autumn tour of Norway's fjords, you should better take a different type of camping stove with you.
Stove with dry fuel: Combination device makes you more flexible
Stoves that work with dry fuel are offered as a weatherproof alternative to wood stoves. The flame is created with the help of spirit briquettes. If they are used up on your tour, most dry fuel stoves can alternatively be fired with wood. Some models also work with liquid spirit, which makes you more flexible.
However, the spirit briquettes have a very low heat output. They are good for heating food, but less for cooking. As a sole camping stove, it is only suitable if you also use wood or alcohol – or only take ready meals with you on tour.