by Staff Writer
Wrap up a day of hiking, pitching tents and swimming in the lake with a delicious meal. To enjoy a home-cooked meal while roughing it, consider investing in a camp stove. Camp stoves and other camp cooking equipment are available in many different varieties to suit your camping style. When shopping for camping equipment, compare a variety of camp stoves to choose the one that will best fit into your camping gear collection. Use these tips to choose the right camping supplies for your camping adventures.
Cartridge stoves: If you've ever been frustrated trying to keep your old camp stoves lit, then you appreciate the advancements in fuel technology. Because of the fuel technology, camp stoves are divided into two categories: cartridge stoves and liquid gas. Cartridge stoves are lighter and, compared to liquid gas stoves, more maintenance-free. They are sold as a burner that screws directly onto the canister or as a tube connected to the canister. Cartridge stoves are very dependable and easy to use while camp cooking, and they are lightweight, so they won't add bulk to your camping gear collection. The fuel cartridge can be detached and reattached, which makes it easy to carry a cartridge stove with your camping equipment without worrying about leaks.
Cartridge stove tips and options: To avoid flare-ups, do not shake the stove before lighting it; allow it to sit for a few minutes after use. If your cartridge doesn't reseal, it is a puncture cartridge that will stay on the burner until empty. Only use a puncture cartridge if you plan to use an entire canister of fuel for your camp cooking. You can choose from three types of fuel for your gas canister. Blended fuel is a blend of propane and butane. Isobutane is sometimes added for efficiency of performance. Butane cartridges are straight butane. Butane cartridges don't burn as hot as other cartridge fuels and are not dependable in temperatures below 40 degrees F. Isobutane cartridges burn consistently but not at temperatures below 40 degrees F. Expect a slower boil time with isobutane cartridges.
Liquid gas stoves: Liquid gas camp stoves are generally less expensive than cartridge stoves, more environmentally friendly and hotter burning in all types of weather. Unlike cartridge stoves, liquid gas stoves have refillable fuel tanks, making them a good choice for your comprehensive camping supplies collection. Liquid gas stoves are a little more difficult to operate but work more efficiently in subzero temperatures. They will be heavier than compressed stoves, as well as bulkier, and they cost a bit more, but you can't really complain too much about a stove that has great heat output, flames that tolerate gusty winds and are great for all-season use.
Liquid gas stove tips and options: Get into the habit of refilling your tank with fresh fuel before each trip. You should also practice taking it apart and putting it back together. Practice regular maintenance. You can choose between four different types of fuel for liquid gas stoves. White gas is the standard fuel you'll find throughout North America. Pure white gas burns hot and clean and is the best choice of all fuel options. Alcohol fuel doesn't burn as efficiently or as hot as some other fuels, but it is a clean and nonvolatile fuel. Kerosene may be the best fuel for traveling internationally. It is generally available in most parts of the world, but it can cause fumes, smoke and clogged fuel lines. Automobile gas can be used to power liquid gas stoves, and many times it is the only fuel you can find when backpacking or camping in remote areas. Use automobile gas only as a last-resort fuel and always cook in well-ventilated areas.