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Camping Season: Top 4 stoves for gear junkies

The Lightest Load: Primus ExpressStove with EasyTrigger™ Piezo Igniter

Weight 82g | Boil time: 3.15 minutes | Gas | 1-2 people.
Wild places | Multi-day hikes and climbs | Solo expeditions.

Gone are the days when hikers, climbers and adrenaline junkies had to come home for a hot meal. And we thank legendary camping equipment brand Primus for this – original creators of the first ever soot-free, lightweight and packable cooking system back in 1892. That's right, when the world was black and white.

Things have moved on since then, in the form of this little backpacker's dream – the ExpressStove with EasyTrigger™ Piezo Igniter. Incredibly light, but tough enough to hold a 2-person pot, it's the perfect choice for solo adventurers and for those who like to share their meals (you never know who you're going to meet half way up a mountain).

Best Bits

  • It's so, so light.
  • Tough enough to hold a 2-person pot or kettle (if you really want to carry one, this stove is all about packing light)
  • You can buy a windscreen separately, to protect against wind and speed up boil time.

The Fastest Brew: Jetboil Flash™ Cooking System

Weight 400g (stove only) | Boil time: 2 minutes | Gas | 1-2 people.
Wild places | Multi-day hikes and climbs | Solo expeditions.

Ah, Jetboil. You certainly win on your sexy looks. But there's much more to the Jetboil Flash ™ Cooking System than the tidy, compact design and flashy yellow indicator light. Like all the best innovations, Jetboil was born out of real adventurers trying to solve their own problems. Back in 2001, Jetboil founders Dwight and Terry set out to rid their adventures of heavy bottles and fiddly stoves, and came up with an ingenious way to increase heat transfer efficiency – enabling their Jetboil stoves to be smaller, more compact and ridiculously fast to boil. 2 cups' worth of hot water for drinks and cooking in 2 minutes flat, wherever you are. That is pretty cool.

Best Bits

  • It's all-in-one - everything you need is stacked and stored inside the 1 litre cooking cup.
  • Thanks to the tripod, it'll stand up pretty much anywhere – even in wind.
  • It really does light with the click of a button, no faffing around with matches.

Old School: Kelly Kettle 'Trekker' Kettle (0.5L)

Weight 600g (Trekker model) | Boil time: Depends what you're burning, usually a few minutes | Trekker model makes water for 1-2 people.
Trekking | Retro picnics | Scout trips ) large sizes available | Family or festival fun.

Picture the scene: Back in 1890, on the shores of Lough Conn, County Mayo, Ireland, a young Patrick Kelly (in between farming his land and catching fish) tinkered with tin kettles in his shed in search of the ultimate outdoor kettle system. He didn't have gas canisters or trigger igniters, just a load of twigs and various bits of metal. He came up with the first Kelly Kettle – made originally from durable copper. Word spread among farmers, anglers, wanderers…and the Kelly Kettle became a legend in the great outdoors. Fast forward over 120 years and the Kelly Kettle is still going strong, now made from lightweight but durable alluminium in a range of sizes.

The 'Trekker' Kettle shown here is the smallest available, designed for back-to-nature trekking and solo wild camping trips. It's one of those bits of gear you'll end up handing down to your kids one day, as you laugh heartily at their silly modern-day gadgets.

Best Bits

  • Feels like proper, old-school wild camping.
  • If you like to cook, the 5 different cooking surfaces will transform your camping trips.
  • It'll last for generations, and you'll never need to buy fuel for it.

Gourmet Chef: Cadac Safari Chef

Weight 4kg | Boil time: depends what's cooking | Gas | Groups
Campsite holidays | Festivals | Gourmet picnics | Al Fresco dining

Cadac are all about making the most of Life Outdoors, just like us. And that means dining out more. The Safari Chef looks like a portable gas BBQ, but it's way more. The Cadac Safari Chef packs a total of 5 different cooking surfaces to cater for your every culinary need: Stove, BBQ grill, non-stick reversible griddle and wok. Thai curry is as easy as cheesy beans thanks to this impressive piece of kit.

Best Bits

  • More ways to cook and only 4kg to carry.
  • If you like to cook, the 5 different cooking surfaces will transform your camping trips.
  • You can stick it out in the garden on a sunny day and feel like you've had a holiday.
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