Are you planning a camping trip alone or with family? Well, you need to pack the essentials to make your trip unforgettable. If you are planning on preparing meals when out camping, you need to have the best camp stove with you. If this is your first time buying a camp stove, or even if you’ve used one for years and are now starting to wonder how long it is going to hold out, here is what you need to know about their durability, common malfunctions, and the best types of camp stoves in the market for your needs.
What May Cause Your Camp Stove To Fail?
Here are some of the most common issues you may experience with your camp stove and how to fix them effortlessly. By knowing what to look for, you’ll be able to take all the appropriate precautions to prevent these issues with proper maintenance and then take the proper repair actions to prevent small issues from becoming big ones that break the camp stove completely.
1. Clogged With Food Debris
The first step is to check to make sure there isn’t food debris that has managed to clog things up. The same thing can often also happen because of grease build up in some camping stove models.
Either of these issues can prevent your camp stove from igniting. The good news is that if this is the problem, the fix is actually relatively easy.
To fix a camping stove clogged with food debris:
- Start by removing the grate on the burner.
- Then remove the burner cap.
- Use a warm and soapy wash cloth to clean the surrounding area.
- Next, you need to soak the sealed burner base in warm water or vinegar then remove the debris using a stiff brush.
- Use a needle or toothpick to remove any debris in the remaining burner holes
- Dry thoroughly and give one final wipe down to all pieces before putting back together.
- When you are convinced everything is thoroughly dry, try lighting the stove again.
2. A Loose Regulator or Seal Is Causing Your Stove to Not Light
Your camp stove may not have a lot of moving parts but it’s easy enough to have a loose connection, especially during installation or cleaning. This may result in the camp stove not igniting as required. This is one of the more common problems that pop up with Coleman Camp Stoves, for example, which would otherwise work fine, or should work fine.
Generally this is more common with electric camp stoves versus gas.
To fix a loose regulator or seal on a camping stove:
- Start by removing the gas, or if electric, killing the power to the camping stove.
- Remove the grater.
- Remove the burner cap.
- Remove the sealed burner base to see if anything looks loose or if there might even be disconnected wires or connections of any kind.
- Fix these and secure them.
- Reinstall everything.
- Light it up to see if the stove works and is lighting up properly
Next, you can remove the sealed burner base to identify any loose connections or disconnected wires. Secure these loose connections and reconnect the wires before reinstalling everything.
Restore power to your stove and test whether it’s lighting up.
3. Faulty Igniter
Does the igniter on your camp stove turn orange or yellow rather than a bright bluish-white? If this happens, you are working with a faulty igniter that you need to replace immediately.
To fix a faulty igniter on a camping stove:
- You need to cut gas and power to your camp stove then remove the burner cap.
- Next, you can disconnect the burner base.
- Disconnect the wires coming out of the igniter.
- Buy a replacement igniter – make sure you have the exact part number to get the right replacement part.
- Install the new part.
- Put the burner base and igniter together and test it.
If it’s not one of these four reasons then there’s some bad news I have for you. In my experience that means you might have a camping stove that has simply hit the end of its lifecycle and there’s nothing more to be done but acquire a full replacement.
That’s not great news but if you find yourself there I’m just going to cut to the chase and recommend the Triton Propane Stove from Coleman. You can click on the link to check out current pricing on Amazon, but the long and short of it for an affordable but good camping stove (not backpacking – important distinction) and most camp cooks have no reason to grab $500 specialty camp stove so trust me and go with this one. It’s even generally right around the $100 mark if not a touch lower.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Camp Stove & How Can You Increase It?
The lifespan of your camp stove depends on a few factors such as frequency of use, cleaning and proper storage. It also depends on the type of stove in question and whether or not you adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. A regular camp stove may last a few decades if you are careful with it and have a little luck.
Major brands that are known for producing outdoor gear like Coleman tend to do well since that company has had decades of experience improving their design and honing in the details to make a superior camp stove. I know the Coleman camp stove we had during the Scouting days in the early to mid 1990s still works to this day as of 2022/2023.
If you have recently purchased a camp stove, here are some of the factors to help you increase the lifespan.
Make sure your camp stove is stored properly and away from weather elements. If you have a tendency to leave it out in the rain or snow, it will not last long. A little exposure to the elements while cooking isn’t a problem, but if it’s a long rainy day you’ll want to put your camping stove away in between uses.
Storage Of Fuel Canister
Make sure the fuel canister is stored away (at least 100ft) from the camp stove. Note that some fuel canisters come with a self-igniting valve that makes them easier to use. However, they are likely going to explode if stored near heat sources such as open flames or fires.
You need to clean your camp stove regularly to prevent debris from food residue. It will also prevent rust from forming on the metal parts that may damage the camp stove altogether.
Note that, if you want to maximize the lifespan of your camp stove, you need to follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter.
What Are Some Camp Stove Safety Tips You Need To Know?
When using or storing your camp stove, here are some of the best safety tips you need to consider.
Stove & Fuel Canister Should Be Clean And Undamaged
Before you pack your camp stove for your next camping trip, make sure the stove and fuel canister are not damaged or dirty. You can start by mixing 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap with half a cup of water then pour it on the seams or connection points of the fuel canister to find out if it is leaking.
If there are bubbles, it is leaking. You also need to attach the fuel canister to the stove and make sure the nozzle and connection points don’t have any leaks too.
Don’t forget to clean it thoroughly to make sure that it is clean and free of debris. Note that, having a stove or fuel canister that is full of debris from food residue may lead to unexpected fires or burns.
You need to be extremely careful when traveling with your camping stove and fuel canisters. Make sure they are stored away from food to avoid contamination. Also, they need to be stored in a cool place away from the sun. Don’t drop or shake them at any point to avoid explosions.
When setting up your camp stove, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter. If the stove doesn’t light when you attempt to do it, you should not use a match or lighter since it may cause a small fireball.
It’s a good idea to check whether or not your stove is working before packing it for your camping trip to avoid further issues.
Final Thoughts on Making Your Camp Stove Last
A camp stove is an essential appliance to bring with you on your next camping trip. Of course, you need to make sure that you avoid any unnecessary issues that may affect the durability of your camp stove. If you take good care of it, you can use it for many more camping trips.
When shopping for the right camp stove for your needs, take time to go through the various brands and models in the market. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check customer reviews and recommendations to avoid any issues down the line.
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