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Camping Stove Buying Guide


CAMPING STOVE BUYING GUIDE

Designed to perform in a wide variety of environments and climates, our selection of stoves cater for the needs of everyone. Whether you need a lightweight stove for melting snow at high altitude, or a large powerhouse for cooking up a feast on the beach, we have the perfect stove.


1. Solid Fuel Stoves

Suggested uses: Family Camping Trips 

This type of stove uses fuel like alcohol gel or 'hex' blocks. They're safe and easy to use, but the solid fuel is inefficient, burns slowly and is not widely available.

2. Unpressurised Liquid Stoves

Suggested uses: Duke of Edinburgh expeditions; short trips for small groups

These stoves use methanol - a great example being the Trangia. They're simple to use, relatively safe, low maintenance and stoves are integrated with the pan, so they're a good choice for youth groups or Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

3. Gas Stoves

Suggested uses: Fast and light trips, short backpacking trips.

The main advantage of gas cartridge stoves is convenience: no priming is required so they light instantly, they're generally maintenance-free, clean and easy to use. They run off butane/propane cartridges, but are not generally compatible with blue gas cartridges (ie camping gaz). The exceptions to this are the Primus Mimer Duo Stove and the MSR Superfly Stove auto which both feature 'multi-mount' technology.

All-in-one design: Personal Cooking Systems

This is a  type of gas stove which integrates the cookware and the burner, resulting in a more effective transfer and retention of heat. Jet Boil lead the way with their Flash Personal Cooking System (£84.99) and the Jetboil Sol Titanium Premium Cooking System (£130)

4. Pressurised Liquid / Multifuel Stoves

Suggested uses: expeditions, exploration or trekking; winter/glacial/alpine trips, long distance backpacking.

These stoves will work at nearly any temperature or altitude, they're tough, dependable and will burn many different fuels, which means that they can be particularly advantageous in the more remote parts of the world. You can also see exactly how much fuel you have left at any one time (unlike gas cartridges!) and they pump out a constant flame right up until the fuel runs out.

These can also work out cheaper than gas stoves in the long run, as a bottle of liquid fuel is often much cheaper than a gas cartridge.

The slight disadvantage to these stoves is that they're relatively high maintenance, there are more parts to get clogged up and they're slightly more fiddly to light. It's therefore important to make sure that you also carry the appropriate maintenance kit, as spares may not be readily available in less populated areas.

Parts of a Gas Stove

1. Gas cartridge / cannister - This contain the liquified gas

 

2. Valve - This valve needs to be opened to release the gas into the burner - you can adjust the value to allow varying amounts of gas through, therefore allowing you to control the size of the flame.

 

3. Foldaway pot supports - These support the pan. They fold away to reduce the overall size of the stove.

 

4. Burn area - On the example stove shown here (the MSR Superfly Auto) the burn area is much larger, which means that the flame is less likely to be blown out by the wind.

Parts of a Pressurised Liquid / Multifuel Stoves

1. Fuel bottle - This contains your fuel and needs to be pressurised before commencing.

 

2. First valve - This valve needs to be opened as part of the priming process

 

3. Pump - The pump is used to pressurise the fuel bottle 

 

4. Flex fuel line - This feeds the fuel to the stove and allows the stove to be packed noticeably smaller

 

5. Second valve - The second valve is opened once the stove has been primed

 

6. Foldaway foot and pot supports - The supports on this type of stove tend to be wider to be able to handle larger pans

 

7. Flame spreader - This is the disc that sits above the flame and spreads it out. It is held in place by leg-like clips

 

How do Stoves Work?

GAS STOVES

Gas stoves utilise gas cartridges. These cartridges contain liquified gas, normally a mixture of butane and propane, which vapourises as it leaves the storage bottle, arriving at the burner as a gas.

You therefore just attach (screw) the stove onto the gas cartridge, twist the valve open and light the burner.

PRESSURISED LIQUID / MULTIFUEL STOVES

The first thing you need to do is 'prime' the stove. This involves first pressurising the fuel bottle and then preheating the burner. Priming is required to get the fuel vapourised in order to get a good and clean combustion.

Once the burner is preheated, open the second valve and the orange flame will turn into a strong blue flame.

Comparison Tables:

Please note that the prices quoted in this table are the recommended retail price and are subject to change.

GAS STOVES

Make + Model

 

 

PrimusMimerDuo

Primus express

Primus express

 spider 

Primus Express

 Ti+Piezo

Primus Gravity

 II EF

PrimusEtaPackLite

MSR Pocket

 Rocket

MSR Superfly

MSR Reactor

JetBoil Flash

 Personal Cook

System 

JetBoilSolTitanium 

JetBoil Helios Cooking System

Price(RRP)

 

 

£22.99

£29.99

£44.99

 

£49.99

 

£64.99

 

£91.99

£29.99

 

£59.99

£140

£79.99

 

 

£130

£130

 

Weight

 

 

257g

82g

198g

 

86g

 

264g

 

596g

85g

 

131g

496g

397g

 

 

260g

733g

 

BoilTime (1Lwater)

 

3 mins

3.15mins

4.5mins

 

4 mins

 

3 mins

 

2.5mins

3.5mins

 

3 mins

3 mins

4 mins

 

 

4 mins

3 mins

 

Burn

time 

 

70 mins

85 mins

119 mins

 

85 mins

 

90 mins

 

90 mins

60 mins

 

60 mins

109 mins

90 mins

 

 

90 mins

72 mins

 

Ideal usage

 

 

Budget/international

Fast/light

Solo/Alpine

 

Fast/light

 

Trek/Alpine

 

Lightweight

Fast/light

 

International

Alpine

Fast/light

 

 

Fast/Light

Base camp

 

Notes

 

 

Versatile, mounted adaptor

Light but durable

Lightest hose mount stove

 

Titanium, piezo lighter

 

Used in low temperatures

 

Contains 1.2L pot&strainer 

World's best seller

 

Fits variety gas cannisters

1.7L hard anodised pot

Colour change heatindicator

 

 

Lightweight titanium 

2L flux ring pot, burner base...

 

PRESSURISED LIQUID FUEL STOVES

Make +

Model

 

 

MSR XGK EX

MSR dragonfly

MSR whisperlite

 internationale

Primus Omnifuel

Price

(RRP)

 

 

£140

£130

£89.99

 

£145

Weight

(inc fuel

pump)

 

374g

395g

330g

 

441g

 

Boil time

(1L water)

 

 

2.8mins

3.5mins

3.5mins

 

3mins

Burn time

(600ml

fuel)

 

109mins

126mins

110mins

 

182mins

Ideal

use

 

 

Expedition

Base camp

Expedition

 

Expedition

Fuel

 

 

 

White gas, petrol, paraffin,

diesel, aviation fuel.

White gas, petrol, parafin.

 

Gas cartridge and liquid fuel. 

COOKWARE

Material

 

Stainless steel

 

Aluminium

 

Titanium

Pros

 

Durable, cheapest

 

Lightweight

 

Lightest, very strong and durable

Cons

 

Heavy

 

Weakest

 

Most expensive

Example products

 

-MSR stowaway, MSR

alpine cookset

-MSR Base2 potset, Primus

ETA pot

-Snow peak mini solo titanium, MSR Quick 1 titan pot