How To Set Up A Portable Camp Stove

Learning how to set up a portable camp stove is one of those basic skills any serious camper should learn. Many state and national parks prohibit cooking fires outright, making the use of a portable camp stove essential. Although camp stoves come in a variety of shapes and sizes as well as use a number of different fuel formats, many portable camp stoves use disposable propane bottles, and these stoves share common set-up characteristics.

To set up a portable camp stove you will need:

  • Suitable bottle of propane fuel (consult your owner's manual for compatible bottle sizes)
  1. Turn the fuel knob to off.  This is the knob located beneath the stoves burner, above the nozzle which fits into the propane bottle.
  2. Unscrew the old, empty propane bottle.  If there is no bottle in your stove, skip to step three to continue with setting up the portable camp stove. If the bottle is not empty, skip to step five.
  3. Remove the protective cap from the top of a fresh propane bottle.
  4. Screw a fresh bottle into the stove nozzle. When you have screwed the bottle tightly into the stove's nozzle, it will puncture the top of the bottle and form a gas-tight seal.
  5. Set the bottom of the propane bottle into the camp stove stand. Place the stand in an area of the campsite that has a flat, stable surface, enjoys some protection from the wind, and is free of dry leaves and other flammable debris.
  6. Light the portable camp stove. If your stove has an electric igniter, turn the fuel nozzle until propane is flowing out of the stove burner and the igniter is clicking. The stove will automatically ignite. If your stove uses manual ignition, place a lit match over the stove burner and open the fuel valve. These procedures are almost identical to what you would do for a gas kitchen stove that had either electric or manual ignition.
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