There are many types and variety of gas stove suitable for camping and in this article we will take a look at gas stoves suitable for hiking. By hiking I mean walking with all your requirements in terms of shelter food heat clothing and so on in a rucksack on your back.
Now for this purpose your cooking kit needs to be both light and compact. Some of the most light and compact cooking pans are army type mess tins. A pair of these can be put together to form a box, rectangular in shape. If you select the right type of burner it can fit inside your mess tins which will make the best use of the available space.
This is by no means a new idea. The solid fuel burner known as a hexi burner was specifically designed and dimensioned to fit this space. The problem with the hexi burner is that it is not particularly efficient and taints food with a chemical smell and taste if it is not used properly.
The modern solution is a highly efficient single burner gas stove. This type of heating appliance normally has folding legs and a built in spark igniter for self ignition. With these burners the folding legs tend to incorporate the pan stand as well so the entire unit is very compact. There is usually a flexible braided pipe to connect the burner to a small and compact gas cylinder. Some models connect directly onto the top of the gas cylinder and in this case it is sensible to choose a model that utilises a short wide dumpy type of cylinder. This type of cylinder will be a lot more stable when a pan or mess tin is placed on the pan supports. The downside is that it has to stand on level ground. The type with the remote cylinder usually has three legs that are adjustable and therefore easier to level if the ground is uneven.
There is a type of gas camping stove that uses a cylindrical pot to heat food or water. Both the gas canister and the gas stove are put into the lidded pot for transport. This gives a very compact cooking unit that is ideal for the hiker or back packer.
There are alternatives to gas cylinders or canisters as the power source for your cooking and water heating and some of these are excellent. The swedish army trangia is such a device. The heat producing part is a brass burner that is designed to run off meths. It has a built in wick that transports the meths to a ring of small holes at the top of the burner The brass burner is roughly 2″ or 50mm. in diameter and the same in height, so it is very compact. It can burn for over an hour on 1 filling of metholated spirits and produces a good hot flame. The flame can be extinguished with the lid when cooking is finished thus conserving the fuel.
For tips and resources on gas camping stoves take a look at www.campinggasstove.net