How to Use a Camping Stove

How to Use a Camping Stove
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Don’t know how to use a camping stove? For those of you who love to go camping, fishing, or hunting trips or taking to the road in your RV for a weekend of wilderness adventure, then a camping stove is an essential item.

Unless you are happy nibbling off nuts or pre-packed, dehydrated produce, chances are that you will want to prepare something to eat for you and your fellow campers. After all, there’s nothing that works up an appetite more than being in the fresh air!

What’s in a Good Camping Stove

Ideally, you will want your camping stove to have a removable grate and a drip tray so that it’s easy to clean and maintain. Side wind panels or screens are also important if you are camping in blustery weather conditions. You don’t want a sudden gust of wind to get in the way of you and that hot bowl of soup!

Of course, size also matters. Depending on how many people you intend catering for in the camp, you will need enough burners to accommodate the various pots, pans, and saucepans to rustle up a delicious meal.

Generally speaking, the most basic propane-fuelled burners will have enough room for a large frying pan as well as a pot on their double top stove.

How to Use a Camping Stove

Most of the best camping stoves today use propane, so we’re going to focus on that type as we take you through our top tips on how to use a camping stove.

Don’t forget that before you head off to your next camping trip, pick up a new full canister or to refill the one that you do have. Hungry and tired campers make for miserable ones!

The excellent news is that most modern camping stoves benefit from being easy to set up and operate, compact, and lightweight for traveling purposes. They are also safe and secure to ignite. This is especially important if you are camping out in the wilderness.

Step 1: Assembling Your Stove and Getting Started

First up, of course, you’re going to need to set up and assemble your new camping stove, which should be a relatively simple process. While different models from various manufacturers will have their own specific instructions, most will come with a couple of separate items that need to be connected together.

Remove all the things from your bag first and lay them out so that you can see exactly what you’re working with. There should be a set of instructions provided that lists out all the components supplied, so it’s a good idea first to do a quick cross-reference to ensure that nothing vital is missing.

As a minimum, you can expect to have a stove, a connector hose, and a bottle of gas, which you will probably need to purchase separately.

Step 2: Connecting up Your Gas Supply

Your next job, once you’ve established that all the correct parts are present and in good working order, is to physically connect your gas canister to your stovetop using the gas line. Depending on the make and model of your stove, the gas line should simply connect to the stove, easily twisting on and off.

In case you are totally new to camping, the canister will be the metal bottle and the gas line most likely made from a rubberized, hose-like material. In most instances, you should hear an audible clicking noise once the gas line has been secured in place.

Step 3: Test for Any Potential Leaks

You don’t want to find out the hard way that your connector is faulty, so we recommend that before you go any further, you spray some soapy water on the gas connector points to ensure that there are no potentially hazardous leaks.

If you see any bubbles forming, you’ve got a leaky connection. Try reconnecting more securely first to see if that does the trick. If everything looks good, then you’re ready to get started. Before doing anything, though, pat all of those connection points dry first.

Step 4: Place Your Stove and Canister onto a Suitable and Stable Surface

Ideally, you need to place your stove on an entirely flat surface to prevent it from falling over while you are handling hot liquids. Not only can this, be dangerous, but it will also lead to waste and mess and cause delays to feed your crew—none of which are recommendable!

If there isn’t an obvious naturally flat surface in your camp, then you are going to need to create one by digging on the ground and creating a suitable surface. It needs to be as stable as possible before you get started. The last thing you want is for your entire stove to shift, slip, and slide in the middle of preparing a meal because the ground beneath it has moved.

Step 5: Make Sure the Burner Arms Are Positioned Correctly

Most burners will have four arms, but some only have three. Make sure that your burner arms are evenly spaced before you go ahead and put a pan on the stove top.

Normally, when you come to packing away your stove, the burner arms will need to be grouped together for security, so don’t forget to open them out to their correct position.

Step 6: Pump the Gas to Build up Some Pressure

You will probably need to pump that gas 15 to 20 times to get it primed and ready to flow with the correct amount of resistance. Your manufacturer may recommend more or fewer pumps, so always refer to any specific instructions provided.

Next, you are going to need to open the gas line slightly so that a small amount of fuel comes out, which provides the necessary space so that the liquid can be more efficiently converted and burnt as gas.

To open up the gas, there should be a small controller knob somewhere on your stovetop. You will then need to light the fuel that’s in your burner’s catchment area. Depending on what type of stove you have, you may have automatic ignition, or you may need to provide a spark by way of a match or lighter to get the process started.

Step 7: Adjust the Fire

Once your flame is lighted, you can now go ahead and adjust the level required. You’re now ready to start using your camping stove just as you would a regular stove, so adjust as you see fit according to your specific needs.

Just be careful not to turn the flame down too low; otherwise, it might be extinguished, and you’ll need to start this process again. Likewise, be cautious of any prevailing winds that might also extinguish that flame.

If you do have windscreens, it’s a good idea to position them in place so that you can ensure you get your stove fired up with the minimum amount of fuss and bother. A windbreak sheet is an excellent accessory, which will stop sudden gusts of wind from distributing the flame.

Step 8: You Are Ready to Cook!

Remember that it will take longer to cook on a smaller gas stove than it would at home, so be patient and persevere! The results will be worth it, especially when you are proudly crowned the culinary King of the camp!

Final Words

A stove is a must-have piece of equipment for cooking outdoors. There’s nothing more practical, portable, or user-friendly than a traditional propane-powered camping stove, especially if you are traveling by car to your location. Thankfully, it is very easy to operate! You’ll only need to follow a few simple steps, and you’re good to go!

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