the preface – cooking inside any enclosed area is a huge life NO NO. you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, not to mention a fire or gas leak inside your home.
when on the road or camping, you should always cook in an open area with plenty of fresh air and space.
please use caution when living your own life. hopefully you don’t try everything you read about on the internet without doing your own research.
that being said, being able to cook food on the road is a necessity.
even in a car, you can’t eat fast food every day.
and if you are, you have bigger problems than you realize because it’s gonna catch up with you.
yes, i am talking to myself, why do you ask?
so if you expect to eat anything other than ready made food, you probably want a camping stove. but you may have heard a lot of comments about how you shouldn’t cook inside your van, and that’s the dead ass truth. pay attention.
dangers of butane and propane inside your van
i didn’t get a camping stove for a long time for a number of reasons, one being i was scared to cook inside my van because of the horror stories of carbon monoxide poisoning.
this is a real concern.
so if you’re using planning on using a camping stove as part of your van set up, let’s make sure we do a couple of things:
- get that carbon monoxide/smoke detector and fire extinguisher on deck. do not do what i do and have your extinguisher in a place you can’t access in an emergency. make sure your batteries on your detector are good and that your fire extinguisher is ready to go if you need it.
- ventilate your van as much as possible. this means opening all the doors and windows, setting up a nice crossbreeze through your home.
- remove, cover, or get away from anything that might be flammable. don’t be a genius and light a fire right next to your forest tapestry. if there’s anything that might splash around, make sure you’re protected. they make those little stovetops with the built-in splash guard, and that helps minimize any risk of accidental fire.
butane vs propane – what’s the difference?
ask anyone, and you receive different answers about which kind of gas camping stove you should decide on, and the fact is, they both have their merits and shortfalls.
cooking in cold weather? winner: propane
so apparently, if you live in a cold place, butane is a no-go. butane has a higher boiling point, so in freezing weather, you won’t be able to get a flame out of its canister to even light a fire.
overall cost? winner: propane
both gases are inexpensive, but since propane is so dang popular, it’s often cheaper to find propane and places to refill your propane canisters, so you get more bang for your buck when cooking with propane.
convenience of size? winner: butane
generally speaking, i’ve seen propane canisters come in two distinct sizes: kind of big, and super big.
so if you’re planning on carrying your camping stove with you and weight/space is a factor, you’ll definitely want to carry a butane canister with you over propane.
not only are the canisters physically bigger, propane is a heavier gas. keep this in mind if you plan to trek with propane in your backpack.
one burner or two burner?
this is completely dependent on your needs. if you don’t cook a lot, or don’t want your cooking area to take up a lot of space, then a single burner is sufficient. my honest opinion is to stay away from backpack stoves. their balance is unreliable and all it takes is a simple flick of the arm to burn down your entire home.
the final countdown
both fuels are useful, and since sometimes it is easier to find one over another, the best situation is to have a camping stove that is able to use either fuel.
although propane is more versatile and easier to find in a lot of areas, sometimes having both options is a safer option for the worst of cases.