Liquid Fuel Camp Stoves
Camp stoves are far from a one-size-fits-all piece of equipment. The range of sizes, weights, BTUs, fuels and features is astounding and nearly every set-up has its devotees. Propane stoves are perhaps the most familiar; they come in a wide range of sizes and it is easy to find fuel, but there may be even better options if you are looking for an ultra-lightweight stove for a backpacking scenario.
When deciding on a stove, consider the following:
Where do I plan to use the stove? Do you need a backup stove in case of power outages? A kitchen-like set up for car camping? A small unit for a 72-hour kit or backpacking trip?
How many people need to be fed? A small single-burner unit is usually adequate to prepare a one-pot meal for 2-4 people, but if you will feed more than that, you will need additional stoves or a double burner. This is for safety as well as convenience, as a single-burner may become unstable if used with a very large or heavy pan.
Are there other conditions or requirements that need to be factored in? If you will be cooking in a windy or very cold environment a windscreen may be essential. Will you have a table to set it up on, or do you need a stand? Do you need an automatic starter or do you feel comfortable using matches or a separate starter?
If you plan to use it for canning, make sure that your cooking area is large enough to handle your canner and that you have sufficient BTUs (15,000 or more should be adequate) to heat a large volume of water and to keep it at a rolling boil for a long period of time.
How much fuel will you need to store and transport and will you need to purchase adapters or hoses to connect to the tank?