Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cooking at the Campsite With Coleman's Butane Stove

Last week I took a camping trip to a state park property close-by for a quick, one-night getaway. When packing and pulling all of my gear together, I realized I had a ton of backpacking gear which is great for....well, backpacking trips and backcountry adventures. Backpacking gear isn't exactly the most efficient or useful for classic car camping which I was planned to be doing at beautiful Pike Lake Unit nestled in the Kettle Moraine State Forest. I'd be cooking a pot of chili and garlic bread for dinner and then cheesy eggs and bacon the following morning. There was no way my little pocket-size backpacking stove was going to cut it for hearty car camping meals.

For years, I've said to people looking to get into camping and hiking, that mega stores like Walmart and Target sell excellent basic outdoor gear. And it's so true. So I headed up to my local Target the night before we left to find a real, actual car camping stove that you can cook on. I ended up spending under $20 on a Coleman 1-Burner Butane Stove.

This was a super familiar sight, having come across loads of these when camping throughout Iceland this past fall. They're reliable, crazy easy to set-up and use, compact and cheap. At nearly every campground I stayed at across the land of fire and ice, travelers bundled-up in down jackets like myself fired these little stoves up to cook a hot meal out the back of their 4x4 or tent. Iceland tried and proven so I had no hesitation buying this. So let's get to the details.

The stove itself is powered by a 8,8-oz butane cylinder, which costs around $3. You'll need to purchase one as the stove does not come with one included. It's remarkably easy to use. Flip the side lid open, slide in the butane cylinder which then clicks into its holder. Shut the lid and flip the vertical switch down to the locked position. You've now got gas safely and reliably flowing into the burner. Turn the dial all the way down to the left until you hear a click- and the stove lights up. The dial is easily adjustable for desired temperature control. At high power it'll burn for almost 90 minutes at 7.650 BTUs of cooking power. A circular grate surface above the burner holds up to a 10-inch pan. Hardware is made of aluminum meaning it's very lightweight yet very stable too. It's also easy to clean post-meal. A plastic carrying case comes with the stove also doubles as a windshield. Sorry spring wind, you sure are nice but I want to devour some morning eggs before a day of hiking.
So for $18.99 (and another $3ish for a butane cylinder) you've got a perfect, easy-to-use stove for car camping or even tailgating delicious meals! Go pick one up and add it to your gear rack. It's clearly a victorious purchase.


Cost: $18.99