Camping stoves: features, types and selection tips
True lovers of outdoor activities will not stop even the cold. And what could be nicer than warming up and eating hot, returning to the tent from the cold? The tourist’s inventory includes a lot of useful accessories that make life easier, sometimes it’s even a camping stove.
What is it and what are they for?
Portable camping stoves are designed to make the field conditions in the cold season as comfortable as possible. A camping stove not only makes it possible to warm up outdoors or to heat a tent, it can also be used for cooking or heating food.
There are many varieties of tourist and camping stoves that differ in design of varying complexity, material of execution, type of fuel used, size and technical capabilities. Some models make it possible to heat only a small tent, others - to cook something or warm tea. And each model is designed to operate in certain conditions.
What are the stoves, we will consider in more detail.
Mini-oven or "grate"
You can find models of various designs, the hallmark of which is its small size. A primitive device, small dimensions and low price are the trump cards of this type of stove. Usually they melt with wood chips or firewood, they do not have combustion control, the principle of jet propulsion is used. They are usually made from sheet iron. Some models have a hob that allows you to heat something: for example, boil water for tea or fry something in a small frying pan.
Most often it is an ordinary gas burner, to which a small gas cylinder is connected by a hose or screw connection. This type has its advantages: even a small portable gas cylinder will provide the stove with fuel, which does not have to be searched on site for quite a long time. The device itself does not take up much space, but has more weight compared to mini-stoves. The design is not complicated, but requires certain skills in use.
Such a furnace, as a rule, is non-separable and has more impressive dimensions. The simplest design of a wood-burning stove can be of various configurations: with and without combustion control, with and without a hob, the principle of operation may slightly differ, it may even be collapsible.
The material of execution also varies: from thin steel, stainless steel or titanium. A titanium furnace will cost more, but has less weight and an impressive margin of safety, which ensures long-term operation. Such a stove is heated with firewood, dried wood and wood chips, which you can take with you or get on the spot.
The simplest design based on reactive draft of air. Usually it is a pipe and a combustion chamber. The main task of the stove "rocket" or "flint" is to heat water or prepare food: such a furnace heats up quickly and cools quickly.
There is a peculiarity of operation - before loading such a stove with “serious” fuel, it is necessary to warm up the pipe, previously burning paper in the combustion chamber. If the pipe is not preheated beforehand, the stove may smoke.
Folding camping stoves
A separate type of structure, the main advantage of this type of stove is its compactness and low weight. It's important that such a stove can be taken with you, put in a backpack and go hiking, for example, in the fall. Structurally, such furnaces resemble a barbecue - it is a collapsible design of thin iron or stainless steel.
In order to keep warm, such a stove may not be enough. The design allows you to cook something by heating or roasting on a fire.
Separate type of stove with supercharger. Usually they are a small “grate” furnace with a battery-driven supercharger. As a power supply, some models provide the ability to connect a power bank or other power source. In the upper part of the stove there is a holder that allows you to put the dishes on a fire and reheat, boil water. Such an oven is an interesting, modern device that allows widespread use.
Long burning furnaces
Such furnaces involve smoldering fuel in the combustion chamber. These are non-separable models that include a spark arrester and protective screens on the walls of the stove, which increases safety. As fuel, fuel briquettes or firewood are used. One loading of the combustion chamber can provide heat in the tent for up to 5-6 hours, which is very convenient and economical. On such a stove you can fully cook, heat water or melt snow.
It is a closed type multi-furnace. When assembled, it resembles a small suitcase, it is very convenient to carry. Such a stove cannot be used in tents - the stove is intended for use exclusively in the open air for cooking dishes and barbecue.
The main advantages are low weight, ease of transportation, rich equipment and the possibility of using the stove where bonfires are prohibited. The pipe is equipped with an effective spark arrestor, and the legs do not damage the grass cover. The set includes cutlery, some dishes and skewers.
Long-burning stove: one loading of the combustion chamber provides heat up to 5 hours, the smoldering mode allows you to save fuel and not overheat the walls, which increases fire safety. It is a cylindrical design that is mounted on a collapsible frame. A weight of 3 kilograms and a convenient shape provide easy transportation. The design allows the use of a stove like a hot smoked smokehouse.
In diesel fuel
Diesel and waste oil stove. A design weighing up to 6 kilograms is a unit of the following units: a housing, a removable fuel tank, a unit with a wick, a burner and a reflector. Such a device will evenly warm the tent, on the burner you can cook food or heat water. However, at the time of ignition and extinguishing it can smell unpleasantly in diesel fuel.
It is the simplest stove based on “chippers”: a steel cylindrical body, it is a firebox, with a holder for a pot or iron utensils at the top. Such a stove does not take up much space and does not require skills in handling equipment. At the same time, it allows you to warm up food or water, and also helps to warm up.
Use of some models in tents is allowed. Simplicity of design is the trump card of this type of stove.
How to choose?
The market is saturated with a huge number of models and manufacturers. You can find a stove for any conditions. This can be a hike or a sortie with the use of transport, rest "savages" or civilized in comfort. There are even such specific models as stoves for a cauldron. Factors of choice are the type of fuel used, weight, design and price. Choosing a camping stove should be based on the following criteria:
- compactness - the furnace should not take up much space, or ease of transportation should be ensured;
- weight - the product should be lightweight, which is especially important in cases of hiking;
- simplicity of design - it is convenient when you can assemble the product on an intuitive level;
- the ability to control combustion - there are models that do not provide such an opportunity, as a result of which the fuel quickly burns out;
- high efficiency - the longer it burns and the more heat it produces, the better;
- moderate fuel consumption - its type and consumption is of great importance, because it is not always possible to take fuel with you;
- the ability to use the stove not only outdoors, but also in a tent, other conditions;
- multifunctionality - the presence of a large cooking surface for cooking or heating food, as well as the ability to use the oven as a smokehouse;
- security - it is important that fire and sparks remain inside the firebox;
- shielding - the inability to burn yourself on the body.
If the stove is heavy or inconsistent, going on a hike will be difficult. When the campaign involves a long pastime away from civilization, a wood-burning stove or “grate” will be more relevant than a gas burner.
Do not forget about the ability to cook something on it: cooking on the stove with the use of dishes will be more convenient in comparison with a bonfire. Do not miss such a factor as price, because some models of stoves can be quite expensive.
Recommendations for use
If the stove is located in a tent, it is recommended to use a spark arrester in the chimney so that sparks do not fall on the tent and cause a fire. As well as to the walls of the tent, a safe distance must be maintained (usually indicated in the instructions). A special rug should be placed under the stove so that coals or sparks do not get on the tent or things. It is not recommended to overheat the stove.
In the field, less stringent requirements: it is enough to clear the installation site to prevent the spread of fire in case of careless handling of fire.
To extend the life of the furnace, it is not recommended to overheat the furnace: this leads to deformation of the structure and wear of the housing. This can complicate further operation, and even cause a fire.
An overview of the stove “Time does not wait” (analogous to the “Shaitan bucket”), see the next video.