Portable Gas Cooker
When camping, my choice of cooking stove was a two or three burner set up used in conjunction with a small gas cylinder. These are handy little things and even a small 1.25kg gas cylinder will last quite a few days before having to be refilled. My stove sat neatly on top of a wire frame designed specifically to hold it. It was simply a matter of unfolding the frame, sitting the stove on top, attaching the hose from the gas cylinder and that’s it. With the two burners, you could have a frying pan going on one side and billy with water boiling on the other.
I still have this stove, but over the last few years I have come to rely upon an even more convenient contraption for cooing whilst camping. It is still a camping stove, but it is a single burner only. The whole thing is about 30cm (12 inches) square. It is housed in its own plastic carry case. Fuel is gas, delivered by way of a small canister, about the size of a can of fly spray. This slots into a space on the side of the stove.
To prepare for use, it is simply a matter of removing the stove from its case and fitting one of the gas canisters. Then just turn the dial and the flame will ignite. It is possible to adjust the heat slightly by turning the dial.
It takes less than a minute to set these things up. They are very useful if on a long trip and you feel the need for a quick cup of coffee or an almost instant barbeque.
I have found that I rely on this stove more and more. The single burner has not proved to be any real disadvantage, as I rarely need to have more than one thing cooking simultaneously. The whole thing sits on the camp table when in use and gets packed up and thrown in the camper trailer when it’s not.
The gas canisters, although small, last a surprisingly long time and they are very cheap to buy. A pack of four costs about $6AU, and each canister lasts me an average of two days. This includes use at breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two billys full of water boiled for cups of coffee.
If you run out of canisters, they can be purchased at large supermarket stores, variety stores and outdoor and camping specialists.
When I first received my stove, I was worried that it wouldn’t last. On closer inspection though, I couldn’t really see where it was going to fail. There are hardly any parts to them. Three years on and I am using the same stove. It has been dropped and left in the rain numerous times and it is still working perfectly.
Add to this the fact that they are very cheap to buy, and it is hard to imagine using anything else. There is still a place larger camping stoves, particularly if large groups are involved, but for one or two people, these little portable models are ideal.