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Buying And Using A Camp Stove
Camp stoves are an important part of your camping gear, but it can be difficult to determine which one is best for you out of all the different models available today. Read on for more advice on how to choose the best model for you, as well as how to operate your chosen camp stove safely.
If you're looking to purchase a new camp stove, you may be overwhelmed by the range of options available on the market. Should you purchase the top of the line model with four burners and two separate propane tanks? Or could you make do with a smaller version that features a single burner for cooking? Before you hit your local sporting goods store, read on for more tips on choosing the perfect camp stove for your needs.
Determining your need
The first step in choosing the camp stove is to determine how often you anticipate using it during your camping trip. If you've been camping before, you probably already have a good feel for how many meals you like to prepare on your campsite versus how many meals you like to eat out away from the campground. If your family prefers to check out local restaurants instead of preparing their own meals, you can probably opt for a smaller model with one or two burners. However, even if you like to cook on your campsite, don't rush out and get the biggest model you can find. Remember, you can always supplement your camp stove with meals that are grilled or cooked in a Dutch oven in the fire.
Does brand matter?
In the past, you pretty much had one option – the Coleman camp stove. However, there are many more camping goods manufacturers on the market today, so it's a good idea to look for reviews online or from fellow camping friends to get a feel for which brands are safe and reliable. It's also a good idea to keep your price point in mind. Coleman camp stoves are some of the best on the market, but they do tend to be a little more expensive. If you're serious about camping, you might choose to pay the higher price for a product that's more durable and will last longer. However, if you aren't sure yet whether or not camping is for you, you can always start with a cheaper model and upgrade later on if you need to.
Operating a camp stove safely
Once you've purchased your camp stove, read over the directions carefully before turning it on for the first time. For the most part, operating your camp stove follows the same basic instructions:
1. First, lift the lid of your camp stove and fit the flaps into place to hold the lid up. Be sure the flaps are secure – you don't want the lid to come crashing down on your fingers while you're trying to light the stove or cook on it.
2. Locate the propane tank hookups and securely attach the propane tank to the stove. The instruction manual should tell you what kind of propane tank to buy and how to hook it up correctly. For obvious reasons, it's important to follow these instructions to the letter!
3. Slowly turn on one of the burners to its lowest setting, strike a match away from the stove, then lower the match to the burner, keeping your hand out of the way. If the burner doesn't light, turn off the propane and make sure the tank is attached correctly – don't just let the burner run as you strike several matches or inspect your setup!
4. Cook your food and enjoy!