How Do You Use a Propane Camp Stove?

propane camp stove burner

How Do You Use a Propane Camp Stove?

If you’re wondering how to use a propane camp stove, the answer will depend on what kind of propane stove you have. However, the most common way is to first complete a safety check before attaching the hose. You can then light a match near the burner and adjust to the desired heat. 

If you’re wondering how to use a propane camp stove, you should know that taking the right precautions can be the key to ensuring everyone’s safety.

Camping stoves are excellent when you don’t want to build a fire or don’t have access to a grill, but they’re also tricky to get right. We’ll look at the standard advice on how to use a propane stove, so there are no accidents or injuries on your watch.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

Make sure you have the following before you get started:

  • Propane camp stove
  • Propane canister
  • Compatible hose
  • Match or lighter (if stove does not self-ignite)

These items can be sold separately or they may come in a set. Choose a hose length that can properly connect the canister with the stove.  You might be tempted to use a larger propane canister with your camp stove to improve efficiency and streamline your meals. This is not only possible, but it’s also a more environmentally friendly decision.

Should you choose this option, you’ll need the following items:

  • Propane adapter
  • Gas pressure regulator

We highly recommend going with the more efficient option, especially if you’re willing to work with the additional equipment. However, if you’re nervous about adding additional steps to the process, you might be better off sticking with the smaller tank. Or look for products that come with built-in equipment, like the Coleman Classic Propane Gas Camping Stove.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The first step is to read your stove’s user instructions as every product will have its own best practices. From there, use the following guidelines and tips for best results.

Step One: Set Up the Stove 

Your camping stove will need to be on a level surface with the propane tank valve closed. Some stoves are set up to include conveniences like wind guards, which can keep the breeze from blowing out the flame when you’re first trying to light the stove.

We recommend setting up your stove in an area that’s at least somewhat sheltered from the wind (regardless of how great those wind guards happen to be). Make sure that debris, like highly flammable twigs and leaves, has been removed as much as possible.

If you didn’t happen to bring a card table with you to use as a flat surface, see if you can’t find a flat tree stump. If there’s nothing like that around, use the most stable patch of ground available.

If you can’t find a sheltered place, use aluminum foil as a protective barrier. Create a ring with the foil that’s both tall and flat on the edges and then place it around the burner. If you’re wondering how to use a propane camp stove, this tip can be the key to getting to the actual eating process.

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Step Two: Remove Caps and Attach Hose 

Remove caps from the propane stove and the propane tank in order to connect the two. You’ll then attach one end of the hose to the stove and one to the tank. The stove cap is typically located on the side or front of the stove. Double-check the connection of the hose to ensure it’s secure.

It is possible to connect more than one propane tank, depending on the adapter you have, though it’s not necessarily recommended. All that extra gas will only increase the odds of a fire.

Step Three: Loosen the Valve on the Propane Canister to Pressurize Stove

Anything from temperature to how often you cook can affect the output of your stove. The colder it is outside and the more you use your gear, the worse the stove will perform. Pressurizing it with this step makes it easier to get more out of it.

You should go slowly when working with the valve because a loud hissing sound indicates that there’s a leak. As long as you don’t hear anything but the standard flow of gas, you can continue to pressurize the stove.

See pressure relief valve. 

(Source: BOEHLKE)

Step Four: Loosen Stove Valve and Ignite the Burners 

Some camp stoves have self-igniting features. If they don’t, you’ll need a lighter or match at the ready. Once you’ve lit the burner, turn it on and adjust to the desired level of flames.

You should be able to set the flame to either low or high on even the most basic stoves. From there, simply use the stove as you would at home. Most people find that they can cook nearly any food they want outdoors.

(Source: Eureka! Camping)

Step Five: Turn Off the Propane Tank Before the Stove 
Turning off the gas first makes it possible for any remaining gas in the hose to flow out, which will prevent a build-up of pressure.

Turn off propane valve.

Wrapping It Up

Do you feel ready to use a propane stove now? This popular choice for cooking in the great outdoors is not only convenient,it’s also affordable. However, anytime you work with fire and gas, you have to be certain that you’re taking proper precautions. Setting up the stove, using it, and turning it off requires your attention and precision.

The good news is that the more you cook outside, the easier it will be to make the kinds of meals that will make everyone rediscover their love of being out of the house. Have additional tips or comments about how to use a propane camp stove? Let us know below.

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