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Month: May 2020 Page 1 of 26

The Tire-Mounted Steel Table is Perfect for Camping

Picture this if you will; you have actually simply come to your base camp—– whether that’’ s at a routes head, or at a tailgate celebration. You have all your equipment prepared, now you’’ re confronted with the problem of discovering a location to put everything. There […]

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The Best Camping Stoves of 2020

We tested the best camping stoves from Coleman, Camp Chef, Kovea, Snow Peak, and more for this review. Read on to see how each performs and which stove came out on top.

Camping and food go hand in hand. And nothing makes camp cooking enjoyable like a good stove. This year, we tested several new 2020 stoves and many models from previous years. We also have years of combined experience with camp cooking, and all of that knowledge went into this review.

For each stove in this comprehensive review, we considered design, ease of use, BTUs, windy weather performance, simmer control, weight, cost, and boil time. On the surface, these stoves all have a lot in common. But at the heart of it, each stove is different. And most importantly, each stove in our top picks performs the best for specific uses and reasons.

This list is for car camping stoves. If you want to eat hot food while hiking or backpacking, check out our review of the best backpacking stoves.

The Best Camping Stoves of 2020
Best Overall: Kovea Slim Twin Propane Camp Stove ($130)

This stove impressed us from the get-go for two main reasons: the design and functionality. The Kovea Slim Twin was almost completely redesigned this year, with two 10,500-BTU burners, short and sturdy legs that work well on a variety of surfaces, adjustable windscreens, and an incorporated piezo igniter. It weighs 10 pounds.

When we tested last year’s model of the Kovea Slim Twin stove, we had issues with the leg supports (they were thin and wobbly), burner design (it required two separate propane cans), simmer control, and price ($190). Overall, Kovea made tons of great updates this year, and the effort shows. The 2020 Kovea Twin Slim is a fantastic improvement.

Pros: The Kovea Slim is a good price, and its slimness is great for those who like camping but don’t have a lot of storage space. It performs well and offers all the basic features (plus a spiffy auto-igniter so you don’t have to carry matches).

Cons: The only con we have with this stove is that it’s so slim, the propane adapter doesn’t fit inside the stove for storage. We recommend labeling it or attaching a leash, carabiner, or clip to the adapter so it can be stored with the stove.

Shop the Kovea Slim Twin Stove

Runner-Up: Camp Chef Everest 2X ($130)

The Camp Chef Everest 2X replaced the older Mountain Series Summit model from this brand. The Everest is definitely as high-powered (if not more so), with two 20,000-BTU burners, an auto-igniter, and a redesigned burner area and exterior.

Although the Camp Chef Everest has the strongest burners we tested, it still simmers well. And with the new burner and cookspace design, you get a few more cubic inches of cooking space for the same weight.

Last year’s Camp Chef Summit 2-Burner Camp Stove ($150) model had impressive heat output, but we had issues with the striker (and the price tag). This year, we found the auto-igniter to be more consistent.

Pros: The Everest produces strong flames and works well in windy conditions. Its burner design evenly spreads out heat, and the windscreen tabs stay secure with exterior locks, which is a nice touch.

Cons: It’s a bit heavier and bulkier than we’d like.

Shop the Camp Chef Everest 2X

Best Budget: Coleman Classic Propane Stove ($43)

The simplest option on the list is also one of our favorites and has been a go-to choice on our staff for a while now. The Coleman Classic Propane Stove might not have all the fancy features as the others on the list, but it’s hands down the most bang for your buck out of all camp stoves on the market.

For as low as $43, you get two 10,000-BTU burners in a classic, trusted design. We cooked up plenty of meals on the Coleman Classic and appreciate how simple it is. It blocks wind well enough and has really nice simmer control. The Coleman Classic weighs 12 pounds.

Pros: It’s budget friendly but still durable enough for the outdoors.

Cons: It doesn’t have a striker, so you’ll have to use matches or a lighter. And the simmer control could be a bit better.

Shop the Coleman Classic

Best One-Burner: Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner ($110)

One-burner stoves serve a lot of cool purposes. They’re great for those short on space, for solo campers, and for building out vans or off-road vehicles. (And as the name implies, they also work for home cooking.)

Snow Peak’s newest Home & Camp burner has all the compactness and intricacy of origami, with all the durability of a two-burner camp stove. The burner completely folds into itself (about the size of a 48-ounce Nalgene). Simply open the top, slide out the legs, and engage the locking pin to swivel the burner out onto any surface. Then slide in a butane gas canister.

Pros: The legs and burner are low to the ground, reducing wind interference. If you choose a one-burner, you want to make sure it has good simmer control for when you need it. And the dial on the Home & Camp provides that.

Cons: It’s on the pricier side at $110 for only one burner, but its compact design, versatility, and overall good performance are why this stove made the cut.

Shop the Snow Peak Home & Camp

The Best of the Rest
Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove: $100

The Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove is an exceptionally well-rounded camp stove. It comes in Quiet Green (shown above) and works well time and time again. The wind panels block wind reasonably well, and it has excellent simmer control. It weighs 10 pounds.

As we noted in our 2019 camp test review, the reason this stove didn’t impress us more is that it doesn’t excel in one particular area. It does all things a camp stove should well. But when compared to others, its performance falls a bit short.

Pros: This stove falls in the middle/upper end of the pack — it simmers really well and isn’t an outrageous price, but its boil time is slower.

Cons: Occasionally, we had issues with the strikers. One of the burners would fail to ignite or a striker would stop working altogether. But average is fine; average will cook meals well at the campsite and look great in photos.

Shop the Eureka Ignite

Primus Profile 2-Burner Stove: $108

The Primus Profile 2-Burner Stove has a clean design with with a moderate heat output at 12,000 BTUs per burner. It functions with a piezo ignition striker and has one of the larger cooking areas compared to other stoves. That means you can place larger pans on the Profile. It’s also on the lighter side for two-burner stoves, weighing in at 9 pounds.

Pros: The heat can go really low, and the dial is slow to turn, meaning you don’t accidentally crank it and burn your food.

Cons: The flame blew out twice in one test, leaving our editors at the conclusion that the side panels and burner are not designed for really windy areas.

Shop the Primus Profile

Kovea Cube Stove: $50

This stove was our close second choice for best budget stove, if it weren’t for its poor performance in windy conditions. The Kovea Cube offers a lot of functionality for just $40. The Cube has a lightweight frame, and although it doesn’t fold, it’s fairly compact too. The Cube is powered by butane gas instead of propane, which we believe contributes to its slower boil time (a little over 7 minutes per liter, or a little under 4 minutes for 500mL).

Pros: it’s lightweight (unlike most one-burner stoves), simmers very well, and the price is hard to beat.

Cons: the square style pot support is minimal, and there’s absolutely no wind protection. We solved this problem easily by using a windscreen. Note: the lower-range 7,800 BTU output gave us a few issues in cold and windy conditions.

That said, it weighs almost nothing at 1 lb 8 oz., so you might as well pack it. 

Shop the Kovea Cube

Primus Tupike: $250

The Primus Tupike is a great stove, but it comes at the hefty price of $250. What you get is a beautiful stainless steel stove accented with oak slats on the cover. We’ve had this one in testing for nearly 3 years now, and it’s proven itself time and again as a durable, reliable cook setup.

On the plus side, its 7,000-BTU piezo ignition burners fire up every time at the push of a button — even 3 years into testing and dozens, if not hundreds, of meals cooked. And while its doesn’t have the highest BTU output, it has proven sufficient for everything from boiling water in below-zero weather to searing steaks on a warm afternoon.

Pros: It simmers well and performs well in cold weather.

Cons: On the downside, the windscreens are oddly designed and are held open only by weak magnets. They don’t work protect the lower area of the stove (where the fire is), so it loses a lot of heat in wind. Finally, the price is a heavy hit. While yes, this is a luxury-level stove, $250 is pretty crazy for something you’ll bring camping.

Shop the Primus Tupike

Camp Chef Versatop: $150

While not technically a stove, a griddle can also bring a lot of joy and simplicity to outdoor cooking. The Camp Chef Versatop has a nonstick cooking surface with a wide 15,000-BTU burner underneath, plus a grill accessory.

The unique part about the Versatop is its versatile design. With separate attachments, you can cook on a flattop, grill, or even bake bread in the Versatop. You just pull off the cooking surface, place on another, and start cooking. During our 2019 GearJunkie campout, our editors had a blast cooking breakfasts, sandwiches, and large helpings of stirfry on the Versatop.

Pros: The Versatop provides an even cooking surface and is great option when cooking for large groups of people. Another benefit of the Versatop is you don’t need to bring additional pans thanks to the flattop.

Cons: It takes a while to heat up fully, and if you’re cooking any meals that require boiling, you’ll need to bring a second stove. It also weighs a hefty 24 pounds.

Shop Camp Chef Versatop

Jetboil Genesis: $260

The Genesis from Jetboil brings one of the more novel if not genius designs to the classic camping stove. It functions with a clamshell design that unfolds to display the cooking surface. And underneath each burner is a place to chain additional burners.

“Where the Genesis really shows through is its simmering ability. The burner knob can be spun in four full rotations from the lowest to the highest setting, and each slight movement of the knob makes fractional adjustments to the flame,” we wrote in our full-length Jetboil Genesis review.

Pros: The clamshell folds down small and has great simmering controls.

Cons: The stove is more expensive than other stoves on the list at $260. But its simmer control and the ability to daisy-chain additional stoves make the Genesis a solid investment.

Shop the Jetboil Genesis

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 2-Burner Camp Stove: $170 (available in July 2020)

While we haven’t been able to review this stove yet, we’re looking forward to it, as it’s one of the most highly awaited stoves for the industry this year. The GSI Pinnacle was nominated for an innovation award at January’s Outdoor Retailer trade show, and we gave it our Best in Show award, as it shows lots of promise and innovation in design for a camp stove.

The stove, similar to the Kovea Slim Twin, is designed to be as slim as possible, with foldout legs, two 11,000-BTU burners, a collapsible grate, and thin windscreen and frame — all adding up to a stove that’s just 1.4 inches thick. The claimed weight of this stove is around 10 pounds, and it will retail for $170.

Note: We plan to test this stove later in 2020 and will provide feedback here once we do so. 

How We Tested: Best Camp Stoves

Besides just boiling water, we also cooked meals on each of the camp stoves for this review (including mac and cheese, sauteed veggies, hot dogs, rice, and more). The boil and simmer tests are by no means perfect, but they are a consistent way of comparing stove performance, and we believe they provide a good understanding of the stoves’ more technical functions.

Note: We tested these stoves over a period of several weeks, hence the absence of some (including the Coleman Classic and Primus stoves) from testing photos. However, we’ve reviewed all of the stoves on this list in depth.

Boil Test

We subjected each propane stove to a boil test. We boiled 1 L of water with the same GSI pot and lid on each stove. Before each test, we made sure the pot and water were the same temperature as prior tests. We checked the water occasionally to see when it began to boil.

Different air temperatures and altitudes will boil water differently. (We tested all of these stoves at the same altitude.) Don’t buy one of these stoves and expect it to boil water at these specific times; instead, use this as a rough guide as to which stove heats the most effectively and gets the hottest. Some stoves might have faster boiling times, and others might have better simmer capabilities.

Best Camping Stove Boil Test

Camp Chef Everest 2X: 3:06 per liter (compare to the 2019 Camp Chef Summit at 4:50 per liter)
Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner: Around 4 minutes per liter
Kovea Slim Twin: 4:30 per liter
Coleman Classic: 3:40 per 500 mL (a little over 7 minutes per liter)
Kovea Cube Stove: 7:45 per liter
Eureka Ignite: 4:10 per 500 mL (around 8 minutes per liter)
Primus Profile: 4:10 per 500 mL (around 8 minutes per liter)

Simmer Test

To test how well a stove could simmer, or cook gently, we tested the knobs and saw how low the flame could go while still remaining active. I placed my hand above the flame and lowered to see how close I could get before it got uncomfortable. This directly relates to how low a burner can go. The closer my hand could comfortably get (measured in inches), the lower we found a burner could go.

We also tested each of the dials to see the range of control they allowed. The higher the degrees of rotation, the more you can turn the dial and change the heat output. Generally, the higher the better, as this lets you clearly know if you’re cooking on low, medium, or high. Some knobs are also marked with high and low settings to indicate the range.

A close-up view of burners on the Kovea Slim Twin (left) and Snow Peak Home and Camp burner (right)

Best Camping Stove Simmer Test

Camp Chef Everest 2X: 1 inch, 360+ degrees
Kovea Cube: 1-2 inches, 120 degrees 
Eureka Ignite: 1-2 inches, 440 degrees
Primus Profile: 1-2 inches, 120 degrees
Snow Peak Home & Camp: 2 inches, 3 settings
Kovea Slim Twin: 2.5 inches, 360 degrees
Coleman Classic: 2-3 inches, 270 degrees

Conclusions: The Best Stoves for Camping

None of the stoves included here are a bad option, and we like all of the stoves on this list. They all work well and will perform for your outdoor cooking needs. They just have different strengths that will suit different camping scenarios.

When compared head to head with other camping stoves, one clear winner for 2020 emerged: the Kovea Slim Twin Propane Camp Stove.

How to Choose a Camp Stove: What to Consider

Think about how much, and under what conditions (i.e., in cold weather), you’ll be using your stove.
Think about who you’re cooking for. Is your group size usually one to two people, three to four, or a larger family?
Consider what you’re cooking. Do you make a lot of one-pot meals, or do you like sauteeing, simmering, slicing, dicing, and baking in the outdoors?
Finally, consider your budget. If you see a stove on sale for less than the others, we recommend jumping on it.

Have a favorite camp stove we missed? Let us know in the comments for future updates to this article.

The Best Sleeping Bags of 2020

A sleeping bag is one of the most important pieces of camping gear. Choosing the best sleeping bag can help keep you warm (but not too warm), cozy, and rested. Read more…

The post The Best Camping Stoves of 2020 appeared first on GearJunkie.

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7 Healthy Non-Perishable Food Items

When it comes to stocking up your Prepper’s pantry, you’d want to make sure you have food that doesn’t expire quickly. Below are some non perishable food items you should stock up on. And take note, they’re healthy, too!

Non Perishable Food Items to Keep

As you stock your Prepper’s pantry, you will want to make sure you’re addressing all the major food groups. If/when the day comes that you rely on the pantry, adequate nutrition, and a balanced diet will be more important than ever. You don’t want to eat white rice for every meal, but you also don’t want the items in the pantry to expire every few months and need to be replaced.

Luckily, some of the foods with the longest shelf lives (30+ years) are full of vitamins and nutrients. Short-term solutions can still be safe to eat for 3-5 years while sealed, so don’t get overwhelmed by what to stock up on.

Very few foods are truly non-perishable, and the manner in which you store them can extend their shelf lives. Using food-grade plastic storage bins and storing food at 40-68° with minimal light exposure will ensure your supply lasts as long as possible.

Here are some of our top picks for your Prepper’s pantry.

1. Raw Honey

Raw honey will literally never expire! It is full of antioxidants and nutrients, it can be used to treat a sore throat, and it makes for a delicious sweetener. Just be sure you’re stocking the raw stuff, as plain old honey has been processed and heated, removing many of the benefits.

2. Dried Beans

 

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With an expiration date 10-30 years in the future, dried beans should be a staple in your pantry. Not to mention that dried beans are a great source of fiber and protein! They can easily be added to soups, stews, salads, and rice to beef up the protein content and help to fill you up.

3. Powdered Milk

For those worried about having milk on hand, storing powdered milk will keep you covered for 3-5 years. A plant-based alternative is canned coconut milk, which will also last for 5 years. Just be sure to keep milk options in a cool, dark place.

4. Canned Fish & Poultry

Canned fish and poultry can last for up to 5 years in your pantry, ensuring you have lean protein in the years to come. The smaller packets that are now sold do have shorter shelf lives, so read the expiration dates before purchasing.

5. White Rice

Although not as healthy as its neighbors quinoa and brown rice, white rice have the added benefit of lasting up to 30 years when stored properly. Carbohydrates are essential if you’re working up an appetite each day.

6. Canned Vegetables

Low-acidity canned vegetables have the potential to last for up to 5 years. Examples are potatoes, carrots, beets, and spinach.

7. Canned Soup

You may be able to consume some canned soups for up to 5 years, but again, low-acidity is key. That means avoid tomato-based soups when stocking up. Dried soups do not last nearly as long as canned varieties.

If you fear that a long-term power outage, natural disaster, or other disruptive event is on the immediate horizon, you can also stock up on supplies that will last for about a year and diversify your diet – like dried fruit, jerky, nuts, nut butter, and granola bars. Be organized with your pantry and don’t keep expired items in stock. It’s also recommended that you start a vegetable garden to ensure future supply.

What are the non-perishable food items you stock up on? Share your tips in the comments section!

Up Next:

Best Foods for Prepping: How to Put Together Your Prepper’s Pantry
How To Setup Long Term Food Storage At Home For Emergencies
10 Foods That Never Expire

Read more: survivallife.com

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