When ATV camping, light and compact is the rule, but through proper preparation one can still cook gourmet meals at the campsite by using some of our Camping Stoves & Cookware. Because when ATV camping one usually travels with a group of ATVers and this provides many options when it comes to cooking gourmet meals at the campsite. Click on a link below to browse our selection of Camping Stoves & Cookware.
Types of Camping Stoves
There are many types and brands of camping stoves, which makes it a little difficult to choose which one is best for ATV camping. We must have a understanding of what is available and once we understand the differences, we can make a better decision on what we need for our ATV camping adventure.
Camping stoves come in basically three different types: multi-burner family camping stoves, backpacking stoves, and expedition stoves. Each has its advantages and disadvantages for ATV camping. Each of these stoves are available with different fuel types. The different fuel types available are: Solid fuel, Gas fuel, and liquid fuel. Like the stoves the different fuels have their advantages and disadvantages. Before discussing the different stoves, the fuels will be explained first.
Solid fuels for camping stoves are wood, charcoal, hexamine tablets, and thick petroleum-based gel (Sterno®). These fuels are generally safe, inexpensive, easy to use and control but can produce considerable amounts of ash and soot especially wood and coal. The ash and soot builds up on the stove and cookware. Solid fuels should not be used in an enclosed area such as a tent unless a flue is provided to exhaust the fumes. Solid Fuels are usually very inexpensive or free. Wood is usually available at the campsite saving pack space and weight.
Gas fuels for camping stoves are propane, butane, isobutane, or a mixture (e.g. propane and butane). These fuels are actually in liquid form under sufficient pressure in canisters and they vaporized into a gas at lower pressure as they are released into the stove. These fuels are simple to use and burn cleanly. Butane has the disadvantage of not vaporizing well in cold temperatures (Below 10° F). Most canisters available are not refillable and may have to be treated as hazardous waste when empty. It is also difficult to determine how much fuel is in the canister.
Liquid fuels for camping stoves are mostly alcohol, gasoline, kerosene, and naphtha (white gas). Liquid fuels are a little more complex to use because they must be vaporized before burning. Liquid fuel burns hotter than gas and work better in windy, cold and low atmospheric conditions therefore it is the primary fuel for most expedition stoves. It is often lighter and cheaper to use liquid fuel than gas fuel due to the gas canister being heavier and has to be purchased each time. Liquid fuel does not burn as cleanly as gas and is more difficult to regulate the temperature.
As stated earlier there are three types of camping stoves:
- Multi-burner family camping stoves
- Backpacking stoves
- Expedition stoves.
Multi-burner family stoves are very similar to a home gas stove in that this stove has individual controls for regulating the temperature of each burner. Most family camping stoves have two burners or one burner and a grill. The fuel for these stoves is either liquid or gas and they are very easy to use enabling the user to easily cook most any meal. These stoves are the heaviest of the bunch (10 – 25 lbs) and typically have a lid that closes giving the stove the appearance of a suitcase.
Backpacking stoves are small single burner stoves and considerably lighter in weight than the family camping stove for obvious reasons. The fuel may be liquid, gas, or solid and the fuel canisters are kept small for weight considerations. These stoves are fairly easy to use to cook very basic meals. They typically fold up to a convenient small size.
Expedition stoves are as small or smaller than the backpacking stoves. These stoves are designed to be ultra-lightweight and operate in very cold and low atmospheric conditions. The fuel is primarily liquid because of its superior performance in extreme conditions. There are some expedition stoves that use gas for less extreme conditions. Expedition stoves are more complicated to use than the other stoves and usually used for heating water for freeze dried meals and drinks, although they can heat soups and other very basic meals.
So which stove is best for ATV camping? Well this depends primarily on two factors: Size and Weight. Every utility ATV has load ratings for the front and rear racks. It is the rider’s responsibility to keep the total weight of camping gear and supplies within the rated load capacities of the ATV. If camping alone or with another individual then light and compact may be the major concern, so either the backpacking or the expedition stove would be the choice, although with the increased load capacities of some of the larger ATVs, a family camping stove would be an option if gourmet meals are desired and there is room.
If camping with three or more individuals (preferred method) then any of the stoves would work fine. But, for convenience and gourmet meals, have one individual carry a family camping stove and fuel, another carries the food, and another carries the camping cookware. To be safe and offer more convenience each individual might also carry a backpacking stove with fuel.
Always remember to keep the total weight of the load within the rated load capacities of the ATV and effectively balanced between the front and rear racks. As for camping cookware select items that are light, compact and easy to clean. Let us help you properly equip your ATV for your next ATV camping adventure.