Cooking equipment compared

There’s more and more cooking options on the market, and the most expensive isn’t necessarily the best. It all depends on your preferences and needs, but basically you’ll want your gear to be efficient, tiny and lightweight.

  • Good ol’ Fire :

camfirecookingBEstcampfire cooking one

+++ Pros :

Allows you to cook more than just pot meals : barbecue some marinated tofu/veggies, sausages, marshmallows on a stick, cook in the coals with aluminium foil some bush bread or campfire dessert… I’ll post the a couple of recipes soon, I promise.

More than an interactive cooking device, it’s an hypnotising  TV, a beautiful dancing light source, and a heater.

No need to carry any special gear, just a lighting source (lighter, safety matches etc…) Although a lightweight grill might be useful to cook and a bit of newspaper or cardboard can help starting it (use the packaging from your food). 

— Cons :

You have to start the fire probably an hour before getting enough hot coals to cook on.It’s pretty tricky to get the right heat : You want a slow, consistent heat coming from the coals, not the flames.

Can make your cooking gear scuffed up and it’s really hard to clean, just use some shitty pan or pot. Personally if I cook on a campfire it’s just to cook stuff that I can’t do on a camping stove so I just use a grill or aluminium foil.

There might be some fire restrictions or total fire bans in the area you’re hiking, get some information about it before you go. Also, it can rain even if the weather forecast says it’s gonna be clear (especially in the mountains). So don’t rely exclusively on campfire cooking. 

Here’s a link for tips about campfire cooking

  • Multi fuel stoves :

multi fuel2Multifuel stove

+++ Pros :

Easy to find fuel wherever you are in the world : you can find unleaded petrol/gasoline/kerosene everywhere.

Work well in cold environment (unlike gas stoves) so useful in high mountain or polar environment.

Some work also with clean white gas from the camping store.

— Cons :

Could be a bit heavy, also requiring carrying your fuel in a separate bottle.

Difficult to adjust/simmer so not the best for cooking delicate meals.

More expensive than gas camping stove.

Here’s a full comparison of multi fuel stoves 

  • DIY fuel can stove :

DIY stoveDIY@

+++ Pros :

Super tiny and light.

Versatile : you can use different kind of fuels, the best options still being ethanol or denatured alcohol.

Fun and rewarding to make.

— Cons :

Probably not the best in efficiency, it can burn off the fuel quite quickly if you do it wrong.

You still have to carry your fuel in a bottle and can be dangerous if it spills.

Hers’s a link on youtube showing you how to make a fuel can stove 

  • Gas burners :

gasburner1gas2

+++ Pros :

Small, collapsible arms, light.

Easy to use : it’s basically a single smaller version of your gas cooker at home.

Some don’t even need a lighter to ignite although I recommend carrying one in case the electric spark fails.

— Cons :

Tricky to balance your pot/pan on the arms.

You can’t carry your gas bottles on the plane and it can be tricky to find some in some parts of the world.

Here’s a link comparing gas burners and gas canisters that’s also comparing all in one stoves

  • All in one stoves :

all_in_one_camping_stoveallinone

+++ Pros :

All attaching together burner, heat sink, wind shield, piezo lighter and pot units.

Compact : all in all the size of a big water bottle.

Reduced fuel consumption.

Much faster cooking time, bringing water to boil in less than 2 minutes.

— Cons :

Slightly heavier than usual gas camping stoves.

Could have special gas canister (Propane).

Sometimes only good for boiling water for coffee and dehydrated food sachets, due to smaller arms and narrow pots, not designed to cook delicate food in the pot.

Still expensive but getting more affordable.

Jetboil led the way to this system, here’s a link to their website

PersonaIly had a trangia for a while (fuel stove)

 my

but then turned to a lighter and more compact campinggas (gas stove) that came with 2 pots you can set together and put either your gas can inside or your burner.

DSCN2402 

But again it all depends on your needs, where you’re going and for how long… you might even not need to cook anything and get energy from raw foods or pre cooked foods !

I hope I’ve been helpful here, posts to come are recipes and a small introduction to nutrition basics.

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