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Subject Topic: Advice on cooker Post Reply Post New Topic
07/3/2010 at 9:45pm
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 We have just purchased a new Vango tent and are looking into the equipment that we need to go with camping !

Can anyone advise us on a cooker / stove for a family of 4 and to how these operate ?

Gas cylinders etc ? Sorry for sounding so stupid but i am baffled by all the camping gear you actually need .

hope someone can enlighten me



07/3/2010 at 11:22pm
 Location: central scotland
 Outfit: aztec cantera 9 vango tamor500 vango
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I'll try, there are at least three common types of cookers. A small single burner, which runs of a small disposable gas canister, we use one of these for a quick brew. A double burner, sometimes with a grill, which runs of a larger refillable gas cylinder. The gas cylinder can be either propane( better for winter use) or butane. Then there are  petrol cookers, I have not used one of these, but anyone who uses them swears by them. THey all have pros and cons.

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.........
John


08/3/2010 at 10:59am
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Go to a camping shop & have a look.  It depends on how much space you have to store/transport your gear & how much you want to spend.  There are losts of good ones out there.  As John says, the gas ones either run off a disposable canister or a bottle that is exchanged for a full one when you run out.  Disposable ones are cheap to buy, but it is expensive fuel in the long run.  Re-fillable bottles.  are available from lots of companies.  The big ones are Calor & Camping Gaz.  Both are widely available when you need to exchange your cylinder when it runs out, but Calor are only in the UK, Camping Gaz are all over Europe if you plan to go abroad.  Calor is cheaper.  Butane (blue Calor bottles) are the most economical, but the gas stops flowing when the temprature goes near freezing.  If you want to camp early/late in the year then Propane is needed (calor red cylinders).  Most people use Butane.  You "buy" your first cylinder full then exchange for another when empty.  Lots of people have got their first from their council tip by asking nicely.  Some even get them this way with gas left in.  Whichever you choose you need the appropriate regualtor to connect the bottle to your stove.  Most stoves that use re-fillable bottles will burn whatever gas you buy.  Petrol stoves are brilliant.  The big maker of these is Coleman.  The stoves are really compact & give out an amazing amount of heat.  However, you need to carry petrol & some don't like doing this for safety reasons.  The stoves are perfectly safe if used correctly, but can flare up if not.  I use a 2 burner gas stove with a  (pretty useless) grill from a 4.5Kg Calor Butane cylinder.  We easily feed a family of 3 with that.  we also have a small Cadac Safari Chef  BBQ which we cook outdoors on.  Good for the full English.

Steve.



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Steve.


08/3/2010 at 12:18pm
 Location: Sunny south coast
 Outfit: Columbia 600 Bude 4
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If you are starting out a fresh and don't have kitchen stand etc - why not have a look at the Campingaz Kitchen Extra. It is based on a product that has been around for years and is well tried and tested! There is a full griddle tray with water tray underneath for easy cleaning which is removeable and two traditional burners underneath that are very controllable. The stove (which can be bought separately) in this set up comes with removable, adjustable height legs and shelf, a wind shield back and sides (which can be laid flat as small tables alongside as in the picture) and a storage bag that turns inside out to create the cupboard in the picture. It is a very flexible set up that avoids you needing an extra camping table/ kitchen and windshield for the stove. As the legs are integral and adjustable it is also incredibly sturdy and flat (unlike stoves laid loose on a camping kitchen). You can use only what you needs for any trip - just the stove for low level camping, or add the legs for normal height camping and the storage cupboard for longer trips. Shop around - you can sometimes get one for less than 50 complete.

Note - you cannot buy the windshields or legs separately, so you have to buy the set as one if you think you may want them later. We combined ours with the Gelert single slice toaster which does lovely toast in seconds and takes up no room (don't go for the multi-slice versions - they don't work! - Oh yes, some swear on this forum that the grill versions of the campingaz stove also aren't very efficient and therefore not worth bothering with).

http://www.outdooraction.co.uk/acatalog/Camping_Gaz_Camping_Kitchen_Extra__2009_.html

The stove comes with a gas pipe but not the regulator or gas bottle. The regulator is about 10 if I remember correctly and the bottle you can either buy from a shop, ebay, car boot sale, and occasionally pick up from a dump (not all dumps allow this though). You exchange the bottle for a full one each time you need more and just pay for the gas inside. The bottle is quite bulky, but fits nicely inside a fire bucket (which is another essential bit of camping kit).

Helen

 



Post last edited on 08/03/2010 14:14:24

Post last edited on 08/03/2010 19:09:39


08/3/2010 at 2:04pm
 Location: Cheltenham
 Outfit: Hymer T575
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Hi,

Some useful advice already posted, maybe taking a moment thinking about these items, will allow you to narrow the choice down.

How are you getting to Site ? How long are you staying for ? Is keeping costs down a factor ? Are your kids under 15 ?

Lets assume you are travelling in family car, without a trailor & for a Weekend.

Your boot is now already full !

Your Tent, camping Chairs, Sleeping Bags & KarryMatts will have taken care of that, With luck you maybe able to squeeze in 2 small bags for clothes one for the adults & one for the kids. Your wet weather gear will be seperating the kids in the back seat.

The stove therefore needs to be a Campingaz 2 ring burner (toaster underneath) with a 7kg Butane gas bottle.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=campingaz+camping+chef&tag=yahhyd-21&index=aps&hvadid=36751195031&ref=pd_sl_41xwi6bne0_b

You need a 2 Ltr Teflon coated stock pot, a smaller stainless steel two tier vegetable steamer, & a Teflon coated wok type frying pan, plus spatchelors, tongs, 2 x melamine chopping boards & a couple of kitchen knifes. A camping table would be nice ! Bowls rather than plates to eat off by the way !

Cook your first nights 'stew' at home a couple of days before you go, freeze it & transport it down to site in a coolbag. Ideally you should look to own a hard electric coolbox, (12v & Mains ) that can keep your bacon, butter, milk & sausages cool, so look for Camping Sites with an electric hook up. You will need this device at this URL  http://www.outdoorworlddirect.co.uk/blog/camping-equipment/sunncamp-mains-hookup-230-v

Get a 'One Pot cook book' if you do not own one, & shop locally each day for meat & veg, the Camp Site should have the basics like Heinz Beans & Bread ! 

Take a good book & enjoy !

Good Luck !



-------------
PaulKentUK


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08/3/2010 at 2:22pm
 Location: North West
 Outfit: Obelink Familia 6; ESVO Bedouin 280
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We use a coleman petrol stove (you can use coleman's own fuel - but that's stupidly expensive.  A cheaper alternative is Aspen fuel, if you can find a supplier... Aspen is a lot cheaper than coleman fuel but more expensive than petrol, but apparently it burns cleaner than petrol).

I have only good things to say about the coleman - VERY compact VERY efficient - room for two pans - what more could you want?

I am considering a gas stove, as we have room in the car, but I can never bring myself to move away from the petrol stove.

Having said that, most people use gas - but don't write off the petrol stove - for thier size, they're absolutely bloomin' brilliant!



08/3/2010 at 4:36pm
 Location: Scotland.
 Outfit: Conway Camargue Lots of Vangos. .
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Gas.

Most stoves will run on either propane or butane gas. You do have to buy the appropriate regulator for the gas you choose.

Propane refills work out cheaper than butane. Propane works at lower temperatures than butane. Propane bottles are generally bigger than butane ones.

Are you intending to go to France or the continent at any time? If so you should know you can't get propane refills in France, but butane (CampingGaz) is easy to get.

Cookers.

The most common type is the two-burner version, with or without grill.

The grill on these type of cookers is minute and almost always useless. If packing space and budget are tight, forget the version with grill.

The most important accessory to a camp cooker is a three sided windshield. Cooking outside in the breeze makes your cooker much slower and it will gobble gas. Either get a cooker with integral windshield or a camp kitchen stand with windshield.

A two burner cooker will be fine for a family of four for simple camp meals. If you're going for long trips though or expect a lot of guests, a three burner might be a better buy. Or a small barbecue to go with your two burner.

As a final comment, cooking inside the tent is a fire hazard. Synthetic tents are highly flammable and best practice is not to cook inside one. A lot of folk do but you'll usually discover that they don't also have kids in the tent. There's also a danger from scalds and burns...a tent is a confined space, camp kitchens don't tend to be that stable and lightweight pots can slide around. And let's not get on to gas leaks and flares. Best to cook outside under the canopy.

 



08/3/2010 at 7:15pm
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We use a CampinGaz Chef, great little stove 2 burners and a grill, cost us 20 brand new c/w with regulator and hose!, although CampinGaz works out expensive, we carry two CampinGaz 907 cylinders, that way we never run out of Gas, as there is always a cylinder on standby, we only camp in France so CampinGaz it has to be, the 904 cylinders are more compact, but work out more to refill than the 907's so if you have got the room use 907's, fact is the CampinGaz cylinders are more compact than the CalorLite or BP GasLight offerings, but with the latter you get more Gas for your money a lot more, but you can't get refills in France, I have never worked out the cost of the small disposable canistors of Gas, but somthing tells me that on a per kg basis they will work out even more expensive than even CampinGaz.


08/3/2010 at 9:01pm
 Location: Leeds
 Outfit: Various Cabanons
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Sorry to jump in...I have a CampinGaz Chef and have only ever used Butane, I am camping at Easter which may be quite cold, so will I be better off switching to Propane?  I've read that some folks use Propane all year round but is this as efficient as Butane in the summer months  

Thanks

Update: Just read the thread on which gas to use so I will copy my answer there too...sorry



Post last edited on 08/03/2010 21:15:20

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Happy days :)


09/3/2010 at 8:57am
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You'll be fine at Easter with Butane.  I've never had the gas freeze up.  Keep the bottle & regulator in the tent with you if it gets frosty - but cook outdoors.

Steve.



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18/3/2010 at 7:21pm
 Location: South Wales
 Outfit: Royal Bordx 6; Vango Spectre & Icarus
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Hi Padster

Welcome and hope you have as much fun as our family does. Prepare to remortgage when the camping bug finds your credit card....

We use a Coleman dual fuel twin burner "suitcase". It has been in use for 15 years, never missed a beat, takes a right hammering, and is big enough for two proper pans. Until 3 years ago, it was used to prepare loads of different dishes - sometimes I had 4 or even 5 pots on the go if ma and pa in law came with us too. Just keep swapping them over - as one pan starts to simmer, swap it with another. You'll be amazed how inventive you become.

3 years ago, I bought a Coleman Sportster single stove, mainly because you can use the same fuel (petrol / Aspen (naphtha) / Coleman (naphtha ), but also because I can use it for backpacking if not going too far. On three rings, I have done some luvly grub - just as good as at home. I have never used gas, but have never been tempted as the petrol stoves are so good and so long lasting that I haven't needed to try them.

Cheers

Earl


18/3/2010 at 8:42pm
 Location: Bristol
 Outfit: Conway Camargue TT Cabanon Barbados
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Hi Padster
I have given up Camping Gaz for Coleman's dual fuel but if you can get to the Bristol area then you could pick up a bargain - see ebay for a very newish boxed Camping Chef:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300406872243&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT#ht_937wt_943
Free Camping Gaz 907 bottle for the lucky winner.
Looks good to me but then I am the seller !
Cheers
Mark

-------------
Mark



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