EtekCity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove
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I legitimately don't think that there is a better backpacking/camping stove that you can get for $10.99 (which is how much it cost when I bought it!). There, I said it.
When I started shopping for camping stuff for my 2017 Summer Road Trip, I knew that one of the things I would need was a stove of some sort. But knowing that my car would be stuffed full of not only camping supplies, but the remnants of boxes from my move, I didn't want one of those big burner stoves. Maybe I'd get one in the future for family camping trips, but for now I needed something small and compact.
I'd also thrown around the idea of starting to go backpacking and hiking more, so I wanted something that would work for that. But not knowing what kind of lifestyle I would be living, and not wanting to spend too much money, I had limited options. But when I started reading the Amazon reviews for this product, I was sold! It would do everything I needed and even the heavy-duty backpackers on Amazon said that this was an amazing little stove. And in a size that could fit in your pocket? I was sold.
THINGS I LOVE:
- Easy operation. I'm not a big camper. So I didn't want something that took a whole lot of expertise to work. Nor did I want something that I would need to worry about having lighters handy to use. This unit is so easy to work it's unheard of. You literally screw it into your gas can, open up the 4 prongs to support your pot/pan, turn the little metal knob to get the gas flowing, and hit the orange lighter button. Thirty seconds max and you've got a burner running. If even this not-super-street-smart-and-definitely-not-camping-savvy me can figure it out, then trust me it's gonna be cake for you too!
- Easy to find gas. I've seen Wild. I know that you have to make sure you buy the right gas for your stove. Lol. But I didn't want to buy something where I had to go to special stores to buy the gas. No REI or Cabella's for me thanks. This stove uses "any 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mixed fuel canisters" as advertised on the Amazon product description. Me? I bought my gas canisters at Kroger or Walmart early in the trip. We went through two small gas cans and then I barely even started using the big one shown in the picture to the bottom right (where I'm making s'mores!).
- HUGE Gas flow range. When it was just me in the last week of my road trip, there were time when I really just wasn't feeling watching the water boil. So I'd turn the gas on ultra low and go shower or go for a walk and come back to boiling water. There were other times when I was super antsy to eat food so I'd crank the gas up super high and SUPER boil my water (yes, I know that's not a thing, I'm being dramatic). Basically, I'm saying that I loved the range in which I could control the gas flow.
- Compact. You know how I mentioned that this thing fits in your pocket? Ya. That. The picture they show on the Amazon website is 100% accurate. When unscrewed from the gas can, it folds up nice and compact and slips inside a nice little carrying case for easy transport. This stove taught me how minimalist you can really go when you're camping.
- Built in safety features. Any time there's a pressurized gas canister, I'm moderately paranoid about blowing myself up or lighting something on fire. Haha. I had to deal with pressurized CO2 all the time at work when I was in lab and they definitely tell you horror stories about how those things are basically missiles. Horror stories aside, there are some fun little safety feature with this product. Like the fact that it will NOT turn on or light if the stove is not properly screwed in. Ya it can be irritating after a long day of driving or hiking when all you want to do is make some damn food, but when it's the difference between you blowing something up or not, I'll take the safety features thanks.
THINGS I DIDN'T LOVE:
- For honesty sake, I figure I'd tell you the one thing that I didn't love about this stove. I'm being super picky, but the stove is a bit loud. There were times when I felt like I was disturbing my neighbors boiling water for coffee in the morning. In all likelihood, I wasn't, but it just felt so much louder than any other gas burner I'd used (and I've used a fair number of gas burners in lab for various activities). It sure as shit isn't a deal breaker, but I thought I'd point that out! :-)