When it comes to choosing the right stove for your own personal outdoor expedition, you may easily be intimidated by diverse classifications and categories of products you can choose from.
However, there are actually just two types of outdoor stoves to choose from: Camping Stoves, and Backpacking Stoves. The difference between these two is fairly simple: If you’re going on a camping trip where you basically drive to the area and park a significant but safe distance from the eventual site, then you would probably want to buy a camping stove. If you’re going to the back country and way into the wilderness, further away from civilization, then you may want to just consider a backpacking stove.
That being mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean that backpacking stoves are only for backpackers going the full distance – some campers actually would prefer to use backpacking stoves even for less complicated camping trips, simply because backpacking stoves are more fuel-efficient than larger, less portable camping stoves.
Choosing the right stove for you need not be intimidating or difficult. The first thing you would need to put into consideration would be how much space you can afford to give to accommodate your stove, and the weight of the entire stove, including any gas tanks you will be bringing with you.
Some camping stoves look just like any other home stove you can purchase – this is because they are designed keeping in mind that you have a vehicle to lug the whole apparatus to and from the campsite. These camping stoves can have you cooking with kitchenware that you use at home, outdoors. They may be heavy and bulky overall, but on the other hand, you are given a less stressful cooking experience.
Backpacking stoves are designed and built, prioritizing efficiency over convenience. This generally means that they produce the best heat and flame for their size and portability. There are some backpacking stoves that can only produce just enough heat to boil water, while more robust models can have you cooking almost like you would cook at home, out in the wilderness. These latter models usually come with their own custom-made cookware to work with the portable stoves. After all you have to choose the best budget backpacking stove as per your need.
While it is easy to buy a stove solely based on how far you will be going, and whether you will be camping or backpacking, another thing you would definitely want to consider is the size of the group which will be conquering the outdoors with you. If you’re going on your own, this is obviously less of a problem, but if you’re going to be backpacking or camping with your family or a group of friends, it makes all the difference in choosing a good stove. In cases where you have more people with you, you will definitely want to look at stoves that produce the best flame and heat for the gas you will be transporting.
There are stoves that can actually support more than one burner with a single gas tank, and if you’re heating water to, say, serve coffee for a group of people at once, these stoves with multiple burners are nothing less than godsends.
There are other minor factors to consider, such as durability and the way the stoves maintain the flame, but you would do well to consider form and efficiency above everything else when you’re out shopping for a proper outdoor stove for you.