Cooking Gear

Cooking Gear

Cooking includes the ability to cook gourmet foods while car camping and heating up water for dehydrated bag meals on backpacking trips.

Out troop has stoves for camping use. But if you want your own stove, you have many options. That said, before you run out an purchase a stove for your scout, come talk to our Hiking and Backpacking Team. We can point you in the right direction.


  • Stove is vital in the winter for cooking, providing emergency heat and for melting snow to drink

  • There are many types of stoves to consider

    • Isobutane Stoves

    • Propane Stoves

    • White Gas Stove

    • Alcohol Stoves

    • Hexamine Stoves

    • Wood Stoves

Stoves Recommended for Scouts

  • There is a lot that goes into stove selection

  • If you are looking for a basic all around stove for your scouts, consider a basic Isobutane/butane over the canister stove such as:

  • If you want to know more about on

Isobutane Stoves

  • These camping stoves are easy to use and generally work down to freezing temperatures

  • Isobutane Camp Stoves are use a variety of fuels

    • Isobutane vaporizes at 10.85°F (-11.75°C)

      • This fuel becomes problematic in subfreezing temperatures

      • With good technique, this can be used in most environments we will visit

      • Note: Special training requires for use in subfreezing temperatures

    • Butane vaporizes at 33°F (0.6°C)

      • This fuel will fail to work at near freezing temperatures

      • This fuel is less expensive than isobutane, but is not suitable for winter camping

    • Propane vaporizes at −43.8°F (−42.1°C)

      • Propane will continue to work far below temperature we will experience

      • Some stoves can use propane with a special adapter

      • Use of fuels not approved by the stove manufacturer is NOT recommended

      • Big cans are too heavy for summer time use

  • Use in subfreezing temperatures

    • These types of stoves requires special techniques to operate in the cold

    • Talk to your Winter Adventure Team about this

    • Specialty stoves that use a remote fuel line, inverted a fuel canister and generator tube

    • Consider specialty fuels with a higher mix ratio of Isobutane and/or Propane

  • Examples of Stoves

  • Example of Isobutane Stoves better suited for Winter Camping

    • MSR WindPro II Stove

      • Remote canister feed allow you to invert canister

      • Improved vaporization pressures in cold temps

      • Generator tube on stove preheats fuel fed to stove

    • MSR WhisperLite Universal

      • Expedition Quality Stove

      • Remote canister feed allow you to invert canister

      • Wait for sales before Holidays to purchase this

      • This is more stove than most scouts will need

Propane Stoves

  • Best option for site/car camping

  • Easy to use

  • Too Heavy for Backpacking Use

  • Option for snow camping as propane vaporizes down to −43.8°F (−42.1°C)

White Gas Stoves

  • Several hazards and problems are associated with White Gas Stoves

    • Flare ups can burn scouts or set gear on fire

    • Spills are toxic and messy

    • Fumes are toxic

    • They require maintenance

    • They require a certain level of skill to operate

  • Not recommended for general use by scouts

  • Not recommended for use by younger or less mature scouts

  • We recommend against this type of stove, except for snow camping

  • Use of Gasoline in these stoves is PROHIBITED, toxic and dangerous!

  • White gas stoves requires maintenance and finesse to use - avoid if these aren't your strong point

  • So why use a White Gas Stove

    • White gas stoves are not as effected by subfreezing temperatures as Isobutane and Butane stoves

    • Fuel is less expensive than gas fuels stoves

    • These can pump out some HEAT!

    • These are what are used on Polar expeditions

  • Examples of White Gas Stoves

Alcohol Stoves

  • Uses various fuels

    • Denatured Alcohol

    • Methanol (HEET antifreeze)

    • Isopropanol Alcohol (generally creates a lot of soot)

  • Low heat output

    • Slower cook times

    • Poor option for large groups

    • Not ideal for melting snow

  • Lightweight/environmental option

    • Used by may ultralightweight hikers

    • Option for solo/duo hike with freezerbag meals

    • Renewable fuel

  • Potentially dangerous fuel

    • Requires certain level of maturity to use

    • Spill hazard

    • Flame hazard - invisible flame

    • NOT recommended for scouts per BSA

    • DIY stoves are Prohibited by the BSA

Hexamine Stoves

  • Uses Haxamine Solid fuel - such as ESBIT

  • Low heat output

    • Slower cook times

    • Poor option for large groups

    • Not ideal for melting snow

  • Lightweight option

    • Used by may ultralightweight hikers

    • Option for solo/duo hike with freezerbag meals

Wood Stoves

  • Maximizes efficient use of bio fuels and wet/damp fuels

  • Requires locally found wood/biomass or for you to haul it in

  • Fires requires a certain amount of supervision and these are generally not suitable for scout trips (with some exceptions)

  • Can't be used during burn bans

  • Produces waste

    • Smoke

    • Ash

    • Partially burnt fuels

Unconventional Stoves

  • There are a number of Unconventional Stove options available

  • There is a reason these are not in mainstream use

  • These are NOT recommended for scouts

  • Examples:

    • Solar Stoves

      • Slow cook times

      • NO cooking if no sun!

    • Wax/Candle/Paraffin

      • Excellent potential heat output per gram of fuel

      • Impractical and often dangerous to use

    • Chemical Stoves

      • Heat output is generally low

      • Produces a lot of waste

      • Some are potentially dangerous or toxic

    • Woods Stoves that use electricity

      • Generally impractical for what we do

    • Canned Heat

      • Low heat output

      • Flame hazard

      • There are better options

    • Electric Stoves, Cookers and Immersion Coils

      • Nice to have on certain trips

      • Not suitable for most camping - due to lack of electricity

      • Not suitable for hotel cooking - due to fire risk

    • Internal Combustion Engine Powered Stoves

      • Includes those that use engine exhausts to operate

      • Impractical for what we do

    • Homemade, Improvised and other Survival Stoves

      • The ability to fabricate and use these are invaluable in a zombie apocalypses

      • We do NOT go on outings in designated zombie apocalypses zones

      • Use is PROHIBITED by the BSA


Mess Kit

  • Scouts will need a mess kit for site/car camping

  • Kit should be easy to pack away and clean

  • Should ideally include

    • Spoon and fork - or Spork

    • Bowl

    • Mesh bag for storage and to allow kit to hang dry

  • Example Mess Kits