Are you worried about the possible danger of using a camp stove? It’s understandable! There is explosive gas, fire, and lots of flammable things around that could go up in flames if you’re not careful.
Despite these worry-inducing points, camp stoves are quite safe if you stick to a few guidelines.
Don't Use your Camping Stove Inside
Most tents are quite flammable. The last thing you should be doing is lighting up a hot fire inside. In addition to the risk of catching your tent on fire, stoves also produce carbon monoxide. If you use your stove too long in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation you could run into some serious breathing problems (this is bad for your health).
Be Careful Lighting Your Camp Stove
This might seem obvious, but take special care to keep track of how much gas is coming out while you try to light your camp stove. If you’re not able to light your stove immediately, just turn off the gas and let the air clear for a minute. This simple step will help avoid gas flare-ups that could startle or burn.
Turn Your Gas Stove All The Way Off
When you’re done cooking be sure to turn the gas knob all the way off and disconnect the fuel container from the stove. This step will prevent accidental leaks that could waste fuel or even cause an explosion of escaping gas.
Place Your Stove On A Flat & Sturdy Surface
Picnic table = good. On your lap = bad. Unless spilling boiling water or oil on yourself is your idea of a good time, be sure your camp stove is on a nice sturdy surface before you start cooking. Many campsites offer a picnic table for exactly this purpose. No tables at your site? Your best bet may be to put your stove directly on the ground. Please don’t try to rig up a cooking surface using some combination of boxes and sleeping bags, you’re going to have a bad time if you do this.
We carry a collapsible camping table for those campsites that don’t have a picnic table. It works wonders!
Let Your Stove Cool Down Before You Store It
Yea, I get it. You’re ready to go for a hike, bike, swim, or some other camping activity after you scarfed an amazing meal. But please, don’t put your stove away hot. Putting a hot stove back into its box, or packing it away in a storage container is a great way to start a fire.
Keep Your Camp Stove Clean
I don’t want to sound like your mom but you should be cleaning your stove after each use. Keeping a clean stove will ensure you’re not at risk of old food or grease catching fire and causing you some serious campsite problems. Nothing fancy is needed here, just wipe the stove down with a damp sponge or scrubbing pad and some mild dish soap. Be sure to use a biodegradable camping soap for a happy and healthy environment, please!
Choosing The Best Campstove
There is really no single “best” camping stove. As always, it comes down to how you plan to use your stove. Let’s take a look at two popular categories of camping stoves and the activities they might be best for.
Multi-Burner Propane Camp Stoves
The old standby propane camp stove has been one of the most popular choices on the market for years for a great reason. This style of stove is reliable, long-lasting, and requires no maintenance. As an added bonus the fuel canisters for this type of camping stove are available in Walmarts, hardware stores, tiny camp stoves, outdoor outfitters, and even in some grocery stores.
There are many manufactures making this style of style of stove with a variety of features but the leader in the market is Coleman. They make options with one, two, or three burners.
These propane stoves are best for drive-in campsites. Their larger size and weight means you probably won’t want to carry this type of stove very far. With that size, you gain a few benefits including the option to have multiple burners running at once. Propane camps stoves are also very stable, meaning less risk of spilling your food and potential burns. Finally, the ease of finding fuel for this type of stove means you’ll never be without a hot meal.
Light Weight Backpacking Canister Stoves
If you need a lightweight backpacking stove that is easy to take on on the trail for long overnight hikes you should consider a small canister stove. Check out the offerings from Jetboil for a great example of canister stoves.
This type of stove uses a fuel canister filled with isobutane/propane fuel mix or a butane/propane mix. These canisters might not be quite as readily available as the standard propane bottles, but they are still available in most outdoor retailers and especially in stores near popular hiking destinations.
Stay Safe Out There
And there you have it. As you can see it’s not difficult to stay safe while using your camping stove to cook up some yummy camp meals. Happy camping and full bellies all around!