What is a camping stove?
A camping stove is a very useful item of portable outdoor equipment that enables you to heat water and cook food. They are a controlled heat/fire source and are used when the use of a campfire is prohibited or impractical or just as an alternative heat source. Stoves come in a variety of designs dependant on what fuels they use which could be Butane/Propane gas, Alcohol or spirit burner, wood burning, fuel tablet and fuel gel.
What are the uses?
Having a stove with you on your camping or hiking adventures gives you the means to satisfy one of the basic needs for outdoor survival and that is to cook food and boil water when needed. With only a little fuel you can boil filtered water taken from a natural source rather than having to carry all your water with you. Having to carry all your water is unpractical due to the weight and bulk of the several litres you would need in an average day outdoors. A stove is good for cooking small meals or that all important morning brew near or even inside your shelter in some cases!
Different kinds of stove
There are different kinds of portable outdoor stove but the main ones used in camping are pocket stoves that use either wood or Butane/Propane gas as a fuel. Stoves that are specifically for camping, hiking, backpacking and travelling have to be small and lightweight in order for a person to carry it with all there other necessary equipment.
A wood stove is useful as they are compact and can be fuelled from whatever is combustible in the environment. With this you don’t have to carry all your fuel and it is available in near infinite quantities where-ever you are.
A gas stove is useful as it is also compact and easy to carry. A gas stove burns without smoke so can be used if campfires are not allowed or if you need to cook food and boil water without the smoke giving away your location to others.
You do need to carry your own fuel and it will eventually run out if not replenished, fuel is not available from the environment. The fuel itself adds to the weight and bulk within your backpack so you have to bare that in mind when selecting a gas stove as your cooking solution.