Camping Stove Buying Guide
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
Make + Model
JetBoil Helios Cooking System
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
2L flux ring pot, burner base...
MSR XGK EX
White gas, petrol, paraffin,
diesel, aviation fuel.
White gas, petrol, parafin.
Gas cartridge and liquid fuel.
Lightest, very strong and durable
-MSR stowaway, MSR
-MSR Base2 potset, Primus
-Snow peak mini solo titanium, MSR Quick 1 titan pot