For centuries if you were hiking or camping out overnight, your only source for cooking anything was to build a fire. However with the advent of the camp stove in the mid 1800s, people were able to camp out and actually cook foods without leaving any mark on the landscape whatsoever.
The first camp stove was created in 1849 by Alexis Soyer. His “Magic Stove” worked very similar to the kerosene lamp and relied on a wick to bring the fuel to the actual burner. The initial outdoor stoves were created to allow people to cook food wherever they were, even in remote locations.
In the 1960s backpackers began the widespread use of the portable camp stove stove repair los angeles. They realized the impact they had on the environment by building open fires in heavily traveled areas. The open fires would leave a fire scar on the ground that would take two to three years for the vegetation to recover, thus taking away from the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Basically there are four primary types of camp stove, all of which are based on the fuel consumed: solid fuel, pressurized liquid, unpressurized liquid and gas stoves. The solid fuel stove is uses alcohol gel or hex blocks it is easy to use, inexpensive, the fuel burns slow and is inefficient. The pressurized stove uses Coleman fuel, paraffin or gasoline. This stove is efficient, cheap to run, high maintenance and the fuel is dirty and smelly. The unpressurized stove uses methanol, it is easy to use and convenient since the stove and pan are combined. This stove is slow, inefficient but low maintenance. Gas stoves use compressed gas such as propane. This stove is very efficient, easy to use, easy to clean and convenient.
Pressurized outdoor stoves are commonly attributed to Frans Wilhelm Lindqvist whose design was based on the blowtorch. His design blew the flame upwards instead of outwards. Many of these stoves use some form of alcohol, petrol or propane as their fuel source.
The difference among outdoor stoves is generally in the types of fuel burned and is dependent upon your needs. White gas is the most common liquid fuel for backpacking stoves, it burns hot and clean, works well in higher elevations and in extreme cold temperatures. Butane/propane mixture is another fuel popular with backpackers, it comes in a cartridge which is resealable. Propane gas is commonly used in car camping with two burner stoves, it also comes in canister form for cartridge type stoves. Kerosene is mostly used as an alternative to white gas, that is, when white gas is not available. Unleaded gasoline is used as an alternative fuel when white gas and kerosene is not available and only as a last resort.
Many of today’s stoves are multi-fuel stoves, one example is the Brunton Vapor AF, it will burn butane and all types of liquid fuel.
At any rate, it’s reassuring to know that if you’re a camper, hiker or backpacker, you have numerous options available to you for your camp stove. You won’t have to damage the wilderness with your presence, you will be able to leave knowing you left it in pristine condition.