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Thread: Float Camp Cook Stove

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Default Float Camp Cook Stove

    I am considering the Camp Chef Explorer stove for an upcoming Gulkana River trip. Anyone have any experience with this or a similar model of stove? I'm curious how much propane I can anticipate using over five days.

    Cabela's listing is here: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Campi...3Bcat104246280 (hope the link is good)

    I like the self-standing nature of this stove, but am open to other suggestions. Thanks much for your wise counsel

    Edit: oh yeah, cooking for 4 people, will be using water filters so boiling water for cooking only. Hope that helps.

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    I have the three burner Explorer and I only take it if I am cooking for a huge group. For four people I would take my 2 burner coleman.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Pricey, but I have heard good things about Partner stoves. Myself, I use MSR whisperlite internationals.

    http://tuffriverstuff.com/camping-ge...el-camp-stoves

    Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have the Camp Chef explorer. I got mine free as a safety prize at work.
    I normally use mine at home on the back deck. We just used it on Sunday and Monday all day both days canning salmon.
    We used 2 and 1/2 bottles of propane doing 17 cases of red Salmon. That was standard BBQ sized tanks.
    It might be a bit big for a float trip but would be large enough to cook plenty of food.
    Quality is good and I do like the unit. I would think a 10# tank would last you the trip if you didn't use it for excessive stuff(heating bath/shower water or something).
    My favorite and one I'm using now for camping is the Brunton wind river range. I run it off of a 10# tank and it last for 4 or 5 days of camping with 4-6 people. I bought mine at a charity auction with the optional pots/pans set for $150 but I know they sell for much more than that retail.
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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback all. I should mention that I've got a couple MSR Whisperlite stoves but that's all I have right now. Something with two burners is what I'm thinking of. By the way, Sportsmans Warehouse is running a sale right now on the Buckmark 3 model like the one below, but swap the griddle for a carrying case. More than I'm looking for but the temptation to super-size is there.

    http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/sportsmans/Browning-Buckmark-3-Burner-Outdoor-Stove/productDetail/Camp-Stoves/prod999901366748/cat110125

    Dan, those Partner stoves look butch! Probably well worth the cost.

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    First of all, you can usually get those at Costco, and I'm sure they're cheaper than at Cabela's.

    Second, I was a scot leader ina troop that had one. They're good set-ups...for a big group. I don't recall ever having problems with it. You can get a griddle for it for making breakfast, etc.

    Third, I would not want to take one a river trip. (Unless maybe it was doing double duty as a boat anchor.) If you've got Whisperlite stoves, you're all set, especially for just four people. I spent all of last week cooking for four people on a single Snowpeak Giga stove. This camp chef thing is overkill for a float trip (unless you're Lewis & Clark.)

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    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    For any bigger stove I'd strongly recommend a 10# refillable bottle. I have trouble using my high btu, multi-burner stove with the small, disposable bottles.

    Don't forget Dutch oven cooking. They are perfect for river trips. Stack a couple with dinner in one and dessert in the other. When you are done clean out the leftovers (doubt there will be any), rinse in the river, and put them back on the coals to bake dry and kill any bacteria from the river water. That's all it takes to clean them and they'll be ready for the next meal.

    I prefer lighter weight aluminum Dutch ovens for river trips. I keep my coals and starter-can in a 5gal. bucket with a lid that doubles as a camp seat.

    On my last Gulkanna trip my family used Dutch ovens one night to cook moose meat tacos with all of the fixings and brownies. The other two families cooked spaghetti with sauce from a can (blah). What really made them envious was when I pulled out a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream to top the warm brownies. I had placed a block of dry ice against the ice cream and then insulated it prior to placing it in the cooler. Ice cream on day 3 of the trip was most impressive.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Great thoughts above. We use 10" and 12" aluminum Dutch ovens. Great for any camping, or float trip. We often make gumbo in 2L MSR black lite pot and make cheesy garlic biscuits (Bisquick just add water type) in a Dutch oven. Same scenario with chilli and jalapeņo cornbread. At around 6-8 lbs, a 12" GSI aluminum Dutch oven is pretty easy to carry on a float trip. Also, makes the perfect place to carry MSR whisperlite internationals. Hint. Ha ha. I am not a big fan of the huge camp stoves popular among rafters. Flying all my gear up to Alaska from NC has a lot to do with it I suspect. But I do agree with others that unless you are cooking for a big group, the big stoves may be more weight and bulk than what most folks might consider reasonable. With that said, I rarely listen to others, nor should you. If you are going big, go stainless steel, aluminum, and solid brass. Partner stoves.



    Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the camp cooking advice. I was looking at Sunday's newspaper insert for Fred Meyer last night and made up my mind. They have the Explorer two burner stove on sale through Saturday for $99.99. My wife tells me that if I buy it on the weekend we'll get double reward points.

    I'm taking my dad out on a hunt this fall and am looking to have a base camp with a few more luxuries than we had on our last trip. So a little overkill when it comes to a stove is fine by me. It will also serve very well at home for canning and homebrewing.

    I really like the dutch oven comments. That's the sort of cooking I have in mind for the hunt with my dad. And the ice cream is just too awesome Birdstrike! I definitely need to look into dry ice cost and availability.

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    Lots of good info - I have a camp chef and love it - had it for many years. If I was buying a new one it'd be a partner. Probably get the small two burners with break apart hinges. Compact light but can handle large pots and pans. https://www.cascadeoutfitters.com/in...=3449&framein= . Have a great float.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Thought I'd toss a log on the fire here...

    For starters, you might want to have a look at our "Camp Kitchen" video on our YouTube channel. HERE'S THE LINK. The video goes into stoves, tables and the entire kitchen setup.

    Second, your stove is only one component of your camp, and for my purposes it helps to see it as only one component of an entire system involving where the stove sits in relation to your food prep area, a place to put cooking utensils, where your seasonings go and other items you need both during and after meal preparation.

    I see two problems with this stove:

    1. The stove offers nowhere to set utensils. It's just a a couple of burners with legs. I prefer multi-use items where possible, or those that better integrate into my entire camp kitchen. That's why I use a propane stove and table. It gives me a place to put things while I prepare meals.

    2. Weight / bulk. I do a lot of flyout trips, and the weight and bulk of this stove is over the top. It weighs 40#, whereas my Coleman two-burner propane stove only weighs about 10#. The table weighs another 10#, so I am still way ahead of the Camp Chef, plus I have two burners and a table to boot. If you're not doing fly-outs, it may not be an issue for you.

    Just some things to think about-

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    T
    2. Weight / bulk. I do a lot of flyout trips, and the weight and bulk of this stove is over the top. It weighs 40#, whereas my Coleman two-burner propane stove only weighs about 10#. The table weighs another 10#, so I am still way ahead of the Camp Chef, plus I have two burners and a table to boot. If you're not doing fly-outs, it may not be an issue for you.

    Just some things to think about-

    -Mike
    Bingo. Maybe it's the Indian in me, or maybe it's the Mainah in me, but I'm reaquanting myself with a coleman stove. I always disliked the MSR whisperlites I've owned, and gladly got rid of them after a decade with those granola-turds. There was a fella from the UK, biking all the way from vancouver to anchorage. his pump crapped out, and for the life of us, we couldn't figure it out. I was in Lilooet, B.C., for a tribal gathering. He was overly pleased when I gave him a spare MSR pump. As a canoe hunter, I indulge in the luxury of the coleman stove, and a hefty tent that I can stand up in. When my coleman stove isn't being used with cheap regualar unleaded gas, perfectly simmering beaver or frying grayling during moose hunts, it is being used year-round to cook dog food for my team of Malamutes. Picture of my coleman frying grayling, no MSR quackery or vodoo required to get a low simmer or low-heat fry on a big loaf of bannock:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...013-moose-hunt

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Bingo. Maybe it's the Indian in me, or maybe it's the Mainah in me, but I'm reaquanting myself with a coleman stove. I always disliked the MSR whisperlites I've owned, and gladly got rid of them after a decade with those granola-turds. There was a fella from the UK, biking all the way from vancouver to anchorage. his pump crapped out, and for the life of us, we couldn't figure it out. I was in Lilooet, B.C., for a tribal gathering. He was overly pleased when I gave him a spare MSR pump. As a canoe hunter, I indulge in the luxury of the coleman stove, and a hefty tent that I can stand up in. When my coleman stove isn't being used with cheap regualar unleaded gas, perfectly simmering beaver or frying grayling during moose hunts, it is being used year-round to cook dog food for my team of Malamutes. Picture of my coleman frying grayling, no MSR quackery or vodoo required to get a low simmer or low-heat fry on a big loaf of bannock:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...013-moose-hunt
    Mainer, thnks for the post. So...I have that exact same stove. Had it now...since the 90's anyway. POS. I can never get it to burn the flame down. Constant high yellow flame. No matter what. I AM running 87 octane. ($4 gal vs Coleman white fuel at $10) My single burner dual fuel "backpacking" version does the same thing. The "aux" burner on the left side barely puts out any flame and only works when the right flame is on. Takes FOREVER to heat chili. Can't get a handle on it. Any thought? By the way, was thinking on replacing both with a whisperlite multi fuel...maybe not after your glowing review.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FL2AK-Old Town View Post
    Mainer, thnks for the post. So...I have that exact same stove. Had it now...since the 90's anyway. POS. I can never get it to burn the flame down. Constant high yellow flame. No matter what. I AM running 87 octane. ($4 gal vs Coleman white fuel at $10) My single burner dual fuel "backpacking" version does the same thing. The "aux" burner on the left side barely puts out any flame and only works when the right flame is on. Takes FOREVER to heat chili. Can't get a handle on it. Any thought? By the way, was thinking on replacing both with a whisperlite multi fuel...maybe not after your glowing review.
    I'm not a fan of the white gas Coleman stove at all! We use the propane version; it's thinner, lighter, and almost foolproof. We've never had it fail to light, never had a problem with flame control. The ONLY issue I have had in the field with it is that propane doesn't flow well at low temperatures. That's why we always take an MSR XGK (multi-fuel) or a MSR Whisperlite (white gas) stove as backup.

    I would cook over a campfire before I would use a white gas Coleman stove.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
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    Due to the age of your stove, Might be the tube that uses heat to convert liquid fuel to a gas, where you get the nice blue flame. Might even be the little jet at the end of the tube. Maybe take it apart and soak the parts in sea foam. Clean the tube with a copper bore brush of appropriate size. Sea foam liquefies carbon and varnish better than most products. I tested it on the tops of pistons from an engine with 275,000 miles on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Due to the age of your stove, Might be the tube that uses heat to convert liquid fuel to a gas, where you get the nice blue flame. Might even be the little jet at the end of the tube. Maybe take it apart and soak the parts in sea foam. Clean the tube with a copper bore brush of appropriate size. Sea foam liquefies carbon and varnish better than most products. I tested it on the tops of pistons from an engine with 275,000 miles on it.
    That part is called a generator. I have a spare one for using straight kerosene on the single burner backpacking version. I forgot about sea foam. Good stuff. Probably even have a can around somewhere. Use it on outboards. Thanks for the tip. Another winter project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    I'm not a fan of the white gas Coleman stove at all! We use the propane version; it's thinner, lighter, and almost foolproof. We've never had it fail to light, never had a problem with flame control. The ONLY issue I have had in the field with it is that propane doesn't flow well at low temperatures. That's why we always take an MSR XGK (multi-fuel) or a MSR Whisperlite (white gas) stove as backup.

    I would cook over a campfire before I would use a white gas Coleman stove.

    -Mike
    I certainly would not dispute anything you've said here; that echoesmy experiences as well. I was just about to put that dual fuel stove on the swap n sell here.

    The only reason I bought, and the only reason I'd like to keep it (if it would work correctly) is that it runs on 80/87 auto gas. I bought in FL, which is hurricane country, thinking I'd be prepared no matter what. At the time, white gas was cheaper than 80/87, and I figured I'd only use the motor fuel in an emergency and I'd be draining it from a vehicle. That's still a good reason to own a dual fuel stove, but you're right, propane, other than in the cold, is soooooooo much nicer.

  18. #18

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    I agree that those camp chef type stoves just seem like a lot of bulk/weight. I don't use my Coleman 2 burner multi-fuel as much as Mainer but I use the heck out of it and love it. I just got a new one last Christmas after I put my last one thru the ringer, I think I've had it since around 89 and had started rusting out real bad and had a few flame up episodes but that was after over 20 years of use. between lanterns, stoves, boat motors,chainsaws, quads, etc ... I like having one fuel to haul and not have to worry about backhauling empty cannisters or whether the stove will light when the temp dips. I like my MSR WL too.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackhawkranch View Post
    I agree that those camp chef type stoves just seem like a lot of bulk/weight. I don't use my Coleman 2 burner multi-fuel as much as Mainer but I use the heck out of it and love it. I just got a new one last Christmas after I put my last one thru the ringer, I think I've had it since around 89 and had started rusting out real bad and had a few flame up episodes but that was after over 20 years of use. between lanterns, stoves, boat motors,chainsaws, quads, etc ... I like having one fuel to haul and not have to worry about backhauling empty cannisters or whether the stove will light when the temp dips. I like my MSR WL too.
    Okay now you've done it! Next thing you'll have me reminiscing over the smell of a canvas tent in the early morning while the coffee is simmering on the old white gas stove... amazing how the memory of even one of those things brings back such a flood of good memories and great times with friends.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    I have a Woodland Power Stove that I like for raft camping. NRS sells them here: http://www.nrs.com/product/3158/woodland-power-stove. I also use the burner section of a turkey fryer when I need two of them. That and a couple 10 lb propane bottles will do it all for more than a week.

    60,000 BTU from these stoves is more than enough for large pots when group camping. Even 30,000 would be enough, but the usual 10,000 BTU Colemans & Wisperlites won't do it for large pots if there's any breeze at all. And nothing howls as much as 12 teenagers waiting for an overdue dinner.

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