How To Use A Camping Stove

Camping is a great way to spend time with your friends and family. It can also be an opportunity for you to learn new skills.

When it comes to start cooking, there are many campers who find themselves feeling lost when they pack up their stove and head out into the wilderness.

The good news is that we have searched for all of the information you need in order to know how to use a camping stove in this comprehensive guide!

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Choosing A Stove

What type of camping stove you need to purchase will depend on the activities that you plan to do while out in the wilderness.

You may want a small camp stove if weight is an issue or a larger one for cooking meals for multiple people at once.

There are many options available, so take your time and read through all of them before making a purchase.

Camping stoves come in various shapes and sizes, so take some time to think about how often you will be using them, where you plan on taking them with you (hiking or backpacking), the size you need for cooking meals etc.

When making your decision, keep the price point in mind as well!

Types Of Stoves

Liquid Fuel Stoves

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Are the most popular option. They burn white gas, kerosene or unleaded auto fuel and can be easily refilled when empty without having to worry about running out of propane while on a camping trip.

It’s also easy to control their heat levels, making them ideal for cooking different types of foods.

Canister Stoves

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Are extremely lightweight and will allow you to cook meals in a short period of time. They also have simple controls that require very little maintenance to clean them out after use. 

The drawback is that they are expensive because their parts are often proprietary, which means you do not have the ability to use them with other canisters if needed.

Alcohol Stoves

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Are great because they use denatured alcohol, which is readily available at most outdoor stores for purchase, or you can also find it in small containers to carry along on your camping trip as well.

These types of stoves do not require priming and will burn until the fuel runs out. They can be a little harder to control the heat levels and are not as stable as other camp stoves.

Wood Burning Stoves

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Require you to collect wood from your surrounding area, which can take up precious time while camping. In addition, these do not allow for much cooking flexibility because they only burn wood, so if you want to cook pasta, it’s not going to work.

Solar Stoves

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Are great because they do not require any fuel at all, which makes them a great choice if you are going to be camping in areas where firewood is scarce or prohibited.

Tips For Using A Camping Stove

  • Remember that anytime you are using a stove, it’s best to cook in batches if needed.
  • Keep your camping stove clean at all times.
  • Cooking food over dirty burners is unsanitary and can be dangerous as well, which increases the risk of harmful bacteria growing on them while they cool down between uses.
  • As mentioned above, liquid fuel stoves will need to be refilled when empty. You should do this outside and away from any source of flame before heading inside the tent or cabin where you plan on staying.
  • If using a canister stove, remember that they contain pressurized gas, which is why it’s important not to store them in areas that get extremely hot.
  • Do not try to start a fire with charcoal lighter fluid or gasoline. This is very dangerous or harmful and could lead to serious injuries if you are not careful!
  • If using an alcohol stove, make sure your pot supports this type of fuel before purchasing it as well because some do not work properly when exposed to high heat levels.

How To Pack Your Camping Stove

  • You will want to store your camping stove in a dry, sturdy container that can stand up on its own and fit inside of your pack if need be. 
  • Make sure you keep it away from any source of flame while transporting it around with you!
  • When packing the fuel for your camping stove, make sure each one is kept in a separate, sealable container that is marked with the appropriate fuel level.
  • You will want to bring extra just in case you run out before your trip comes to an end!
  • Remember how we talked about making sure your stove and any propane tanks are kept away from sources of flame?
  • It’s extremely important not to store them inside a tent or cabin where heat sources could potentially set them off.
  • If using a camp stove that runs on canisters, remember to bring extra just in case one of the propane tanks happen to go empty while you’re out exploring and enjoying your trip!
  • When packing matches and lighters, make sure they are stored inside sealed zip bags or containers to keep them dry and prevent any potential accidents from occurring.
  • If you plan on using a wood-burning stove, remember that it will need to be kept in an area that is safe from high winds, rain and other harsh weather conditions.
  • For solar stoves, make sure they are stored in a dry area and away from any direct sunlight.
  • If you plan on using an oven with it, make sure the lid is open so that it can absorb as much heat from the sun as possible.

Cooking On Your Camp Stove

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  • When cooking over a camp stove, remember that it’s best to use metal or heavy-duty plastic pots and pans because the burners will be much hotter than what you’re used to.
  • If using an open flame for cooking, keep in mind that windy conditions could turn your meal into ash if your pot is not properly covered, so make sure your cooking area is free from excessive gusts.
  • Always make sure to set up your stove away from any flammable items such as dry brush or grasses, which could easily spread if it does catch fire!
  • If using a canister fuel stove, remember that you will need to press down on the nozzle in order for the gas to be released.
  • If using a liquid fuel stove, make sure you have the right kind of fuel inside before trying to start it up! It’s best to use white gasoline or kerosene because most other types will not work properly.
  • When cooking with an alcohol stove, place your pot on top and light the wick by using a lighter or some other type of flame. Make sure you do this on a flat surface and not directly underneath the stove!
  • When cooking with an electric coil, make sure to place your pan overtop it before turning it on as well as keeping any nearby flammable items at least two feet away from it while in use.
  • Remember that you don’t want to run your stove for too long either, as this can cause damage and lead to a dangerous situation.

Cleaning Up After Cooking On Your Camp Stove

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  • When cleaning your cooking utensils, remember that you will want to use hot water and mild soap rather than cold because it’s harder for the food particles to stick.
  • If using a liquid fuel stove, make sure any leftover gasoline has been disposed of properly before packing everything up as well as disposing of all trash at an appropriate trash site.
  • When cleaning your canister stove, make sure to wait until it is cooled completely before you attempt anything like this, as the burners will be extremely hot and pose a serious safety hazard.
  • It’s best to brush off any excess food particles from cooking utensils rather than scrub them with water because it could get into the metal and cause rusting.
  • Remember never to use any sharp objects when cleaning your stove as it could puncture a hole in the fuel tank and cause a leak.
  • If using an alcohol stove, it’s best to place your pot over top of the burner in order to burn off any leftover particles before packing it up.


How do I use a camping stove?

Place your propane tank on top of the burner and turn it on to light the flame.

How do you light a camping stove?

Press down on the nozzle in order for the gas to release.

Can you use a camping stove indoors?

No, a propane tank will not be able to handle the heat of an indoor environment and could explode.