We were going to be on a 2 week backpacking trip of central europe – from Germany down through Italy. We wanted to camp as much as possible and decided to buy a small stove so that we could cook some basic food and refreshments at will. After zero research, we shortlisted the stove that came up on an internet search and ordered one.
Here’s a photograph of it after I attached the fuel canister to the burner in the tent. Of course, I lit it outside!
While I do like to read reviews of products before I buy them, I think reviewing everything in great detail is not really essential. What makes the whole review reading process so annoying is the unwanted hyperbole and big fluffy descriptions.
Here is what you might come across in say, an automobile magazine – The new Lamborghini is so powerful it rips out the tarmac when it accelerates, and the sound it makes is that of God roaring. In a culinary show, when the food is good, it is portrayed to be so tasty that the presenter is willing to saw off parts of his body for a chance to eat another serving. And so on. At times, it feels we are reading a compilation of exaggerations rather than a precise review of the thing being reviewed. Of course, nothing wrong with hyperbole, but everything in moderation, including moderation and exaggeration.
For this gear review, I have chosen to use the flowery language which they use in lots of magazines and TV shows for no reason thinkable. Here is my review, crappy journalism style.
Coming to the Campingaz stove – It was like carrying a small nuclear reactor with me – so intense was the heat that the instant soup i made on it took my taste buds to an orgasm while burning my tongue to a pulp. This is a dynamite of a product. The response time of the stove is quick: with minimal skill, it lights up sooner than the match is blown off by the wind, in a carefully designed intuitive and almost spontaneous manner. Built to be lightweight and strong, it feels like it has been made from an amalgamation of space age carbon fiber and Titanium, while still managing to look like ordinary metal. What’s more, it has 4 swiveling support legs finished in shining steel, which are lockable in place to support whatever type of vessel is thrown on it. After the cooking is done, the support legs look mean – a burnt – black signature of the aftermath, staring back with a vengeance while blending in with the violence of the act of cooking. The canister is beautifully packaged in the same shade of blue as the sky above you – in perfect harmony. It has a nice smooth rounded finish, like a cannonball. The bottom face is finished to be as flat as the Earth was once considered. The inside of this power plant has high calorific gas filled almost to the brim, something like Mount Vesuvius waiting to explode, only that it (the canister, not the mountain) is controlled by a threaded, finely calibrated control valve, one which is intuitively placed for ease of use. Life may not be fair, but the placement of this knob sure is. The sound it makes when it is switched on is something that I do not have enough hyperbole for. It sounded like the world’s largest and angriest snake hissing in the bottomless throes of Hell’s pits; it sounded like a fierce hurricane was blowing through a valley and whipping up waves on the oceans a continent away. Part of this must be because of the aerodynamically designed venturi holes on the burner, which spit out hot flames a dragon would be ashamed of. Cook your soup and noodles on this, make sure you don’t pulverise them and turn the heat off . Once turned off, it starts to resemble a cooling planet – with a red hot liquid core and.. Ok. I can’t do any more.
This was a lightweight, easy to use, inexpensive, stove. It came with a fuel cartridge that snapped into place and could be removed quickly and safely. Spare cartridges of various capacities were available in most camping sites. The stove and accessories are available online and in most big stores in bigger towns. It looked like a commonly used brand – we saw service areas in a couple of campsites, and it needed hardly any cleaning in 12 days of use, even though it got soaked in rain for half a day and several times via overnight dew.
If needed, you may please buy this model of the stove, but under no circumstances fall for one of these flowery reviews. Order one and enjoy the wait till the 18 wheeler truck delivers it.