How Do Propane Camping Stoves Work? camping stoves are easy to use and a reliable way to prepare food on a camping trip. Stoves fueled by white gas or liquid fuel are also common. Propane stoves are a good choice for most campers, but may not be the best for those who camp in extreme conditions or travel extensively to camp. Propane also weighs more than the equivalent amount of white gas or liquid fuel.


Propane camp stoves work by burning propane as fuel. The propane comes in a small, easy-to-pack cylinder. The propane canister attaches to the stove through a hose. After the hose is connected, the user opens the main control, allowing the propane into the stove. Most propane stoves have an ignition button that allows you to light the fuel at the burner. You can then adjust the flame up or down.


While propane stoves burn clean and are easy to use, they do have disadvantages. The fuel for propane stoves is more expensive than stoves that burn liquid fuel such as kerosene and white gas. If you plan to do cold weather camping, it is important to realize that propane stoves only work to 0 degrees.


Propane camping stoves have many features and can be as simple or as fancy as you like. Simple propane stoves are small, one-burner arrangements that can easily nest inside your cookware to save space in your pack. Larger camp stoves have multiple burners, windshields and collapsible legs. While the features may vary, all propane camp stoves work the same way. If you purchase a propane gas stove with multiple burners, remember that it will require more fuel than a one burner stove. Fuel containers can add a considerable amount of weight to your pack.


Propane stoves are easy to light and the flame is highly adjustable. After lighting the burner, you can easily lower the flame to a simmer so that you can warm food slowly or turn the flame up to rapidly to bring water to a boil. Propane fuel is also readily available and the containers that it is stored and carried in are leak proof, which eliminates lost fuel as well as unpleasant odors.


If you plan to use a camping oven, choose a propane stove that allows you to use a longer hose for connection to the fuel source. You do not want the propane canister sitting under or beside the camping oven when it gets hot. Also, realize that propane is not available everywhere. Make sure to carry enough fuel for your entire trip or confirm that the area where you are camping sells propane canisters.

Article Written By Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter has been a writer since 1998. She writes about health and lifestyle issues and enjoys writing about hiking, camping, trail running and other outdoor activities. Her work has appeared in "Sacramento Parent," ASPCA's "Animal Watch" and other print and online publications. She is the author of "The History of Mexico" and "Tony Gonzalez: Superstar of Pro Football," aimed at young-adult readers.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.